A newborn puppy normally requires around 30 ml of canine milk replacer for every ½ pound of body weight each day. During the first week of life, puppies need feeding every couple of hours. As they grow and develop, the number of daily feedings decreases.
Newborn puppies don’t usually need water as they get all their hydration from puppy formula or their mother’s milk. Once puppies begin to transition from milk to solid food at around 3 weeks old, then you can start introducing water. You can do this by placing a shallow water dish near their sleeping area.
Once puppies begin to transition from milk to solid food at around 3 weeks old, then you can start introducing water.
Puppies, especially newborns, are at risk of becoming dehydrated due to their small size. If they are experiencing vomiting/diarrhea and aren’t eating enough, this also makes them more susceptible.
One of the earliest symptoms of dehydration in puppies is a dry or sticky mouth. Their saliva might also be sticky. Another sign is a loss of elasticity in your puppy’s skin. In hydrated pups, skin swiftly springs back into shape when you gently pull it. If a puppy is dehydrated, then the opposite occurs.
You can check your puppy’s gums for refill capillary time. To do this, softly press your finger against your puppy’s gums. Normally, the gums appear white for a split second before they return to their natural pink color. In dehydrated dogs, the gums are white for much longer.
How to Bottle Feed a Puppy
If you are using milk replacer to feed your puppy, make sure it is cooled to room temperature before you serve it to your pup. A good way to test the temperature of the formula is to splash a few drops onto the inside of your wrist.
Puppy milk replacer is available in powder or in pre-made forms. If you are using powdered puppy formula, make sure you mix it well to get rid of any lumps.
Some bottle nipples don’t come with holes, so you will need to pierce them yourself. Use a sterilized needle or pin to pierce two holes into the nipple. Hold the bottle upside down and make sure the milk leaks out slowly. If the flow is too fast, then your puppy is at risk of choking or breathing in the milk.
Never feed your puppy upright or on their back. You should feed them face down on a surface, such as your lap. Most newborn puppies require 6 feedings each day for several weeks.
Pet-Ag Nursing Kit 2 Oz Bottle
This nursing bottle from Pet-Ag is targeted for hand-feeding young puppies, kittens, and other animals. It has a specially designed teat to make it more comfortable and natural for your pup to use. Multiple teats/nipples are included to ensure you always have one on hand.
This feeding bottle has measurements marked on for accurate feeding. You also get a bottle brush to make cleaning easy. The bottle, brush, and nipples are heat-safe and can be sterilized in boiling water.
The main issue with the Pet-Ag nursing bottle kit is its durability. Older puppies can easily chew through the material of the nipple, which could increase the risk of choking. It’s also important to note that the nipples for the bottle need to be pierced with a needle before use.
- Specially designed teat to make feeding more natural
- Comes with a bottle brush to make cleaning easy
- Includes multiple teats
- Not very durable
- Nipples need to be pierced before use
Four Paws Pet Nursing Bottle Kit
This nursing bottle from Four Paws is suitable for puppies, kittens, and other small animals. It comes with extra nipples so you can easily replace damaged ones. The 2-pack includes two bottles at an extremely affordable price (at the time of writing), which is a plus.
The bottle needs to be pierced with a needle or pin before use. Alternatively, you could use a razor blade to make a tiny crosscut on the top of the nipple.
Unfortunately, the material of the teat is quite hard, which can be off-putting for some puppies. In addition to this, the nipples are not very durable and can tear easily and quickly.
- Comes with extra nipples
- Affordable price
- Not very durable
- Nipples need to be pierced before use
Newborn Puppy Dehydration Home Remedy
If your newborn puppy is severely dehydrated, then you need to take them to a veterinarian as they might require intravenous fluids. Mild cases, however, can often be treated at home. You should provide your puppy with cool water via an eyedropper to help them recover lost fluids. You can also use milk replacer.
Is Sugar Water Good for Dehydrated Newborn Puppy?
Additionally, you could give your puppy an electrolyte solution as long as they are not vomiting. If you cannot get hold of an electrolyte solution, then sugar or honey water can also work. Contact a veterinarian to ask whether you should give your dehydrated puppy sugar/honey water.
Saving a Fading Puppy
Fading puppy syndrome can occur in puppies under 12 weeks old, but it’s most common in pups less than 2 weeks of age. Fading puppies seem fine at birth, but eventually pass away. In the first few weeks of life, puppies are susceptible to illness and environmental stress as they cannot regulate their own body temperature.
Young puppies also struggle to regulate their fluid and energy balance, which can lead to dehydration. As the immune system of a puppy is not fully developed, they are vulnerable to infections and diseases. All of these factors can contribute to sudden death in puppies.
The symptoms of fading puppy syndrome can be difficult to identify quickly. In most cases, once symptoms are apparent, it is too late to save the puppy.
However, it’s common for fading puppies to have a low birth weight or struggle to gain weight. They also tend to cry or whine in a high pitched-tone, not dissimilar to the cry of a seagull. Puppies with fading puppy syndrome are often lethargic, inactive and reluctant to nurse/feed.
Saving a fading puppy can be difficult, but there are steps you can take that could help your pup’s chances of survival. It’s best to seek the advice of a veterinarian in this situation.
Initially, you should separate the fading puppy from the rest of the litter and place it into a separate box. Put newspaper or puppy pads on the base of the box.
Next, use a heating pad to keep your puppy warm. Position the heating pad underneath one half of the box. This allows your puppy to crawl to the cooler half of the box if they get too hot.
Make sure you keep the temperature within 85- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit for newborn puppies. If your puppy is too cold, then heating them up too quickly can be harmful. Another way to warm them up is to hold them against your lap or chest. This transfers your body heat to the puppy in a slower, steadier manner.
You should check your puppy’s hydration levels by gently grasping the skin behind their shoulders, or by checking their refill capillary time. If your puppy is dehydrated, use a bottle or eyedropper to offer them some fluids every couple of hours, such as milk replacer, sugar/honey water, or an electrolyte solution.
Dehydration can be dangerous in puppies, so it’s important to monitor them closely so you can act quickly if anything out of the ordinary occurs.
If you suspect that your puppy is dehydrated, then contact a veterinarian immediately to work out the best course of action.
Although mild cases of dehydration can be treated at home, it’s a good idea to get your puppy checked out by a vet to be on the safe side. Additionally, if you are concerned that your pup has fading puppy syndrome, it’s also recommended that you get advice from a vet.
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