What to feed a baby puppy

Feeding Orphaned Puppies | VCA Animal Hospital

Newborn puppies are relatively immature at birth compared to many other mammals, and large breed puppies are less mature than small breed puppies. The period of time they spend being nursed by their mother (bitch) helps the newborn puppy transition from in utero nutrition to solid food.

When puppies are raised on their mother's milk, their growth and health is influenced by:

  • the nutrition of the mother during pregnancy and early lactation,
  • the mother’s overall physical health and behavior, and
  • good neonatal care. 

The first few days of a mother's milk is known as colostrum. Colostrum is very high in protein and transfers important immune system elements. Whenever possible, newborn puppies should receive their mother's milk as it sets the stage for normal immune system function and protection from disease.

If the mother is incapable of raising her puppies herself, the puppies are considered orphans and some important needs must be met in order to ensure their survival. These needs include appropriate heat, humidity, nutrition, elimination, sanitation, and social stimulation.

"If the mother is incapable of raising her puppies herself, the puppies are considered orphans and some important needs must be met in order to ensure their survival."

Fortunately, most orphaned puppies can be raised successfully with a bit of care and attention to detail. Using a logbook to track their development is a good place to start.

What should I track in a logbook?

Maintaining a logbook about the orphaned puppies does not need to be complicated. The intent is to simply keep track of how they are doing so you can identify if there are any potential concerns with their development.

Tracking their weights, milestones, and routines are key, so be sure to record details of when their eyes open, when their teeth begin to erupt, their food intake, and stool consistency.

TIP: Individual puppies must be identified in some way, so consider colored collars or nail polish on a few front toenails.

How often should puppies be weighed, and how much should they weigh?

The birth weight of each puppy should be recorded, and weight should be taken every day or two for the first four weeks of life. Starting in their fifth week, you can switch to weekly weigh-ins. A digital food scale with capacity up to 5 pounds works best for these measurements.

Puppies should gain about 5% of their current body weight per day during the first 4 weeks. This means that body weight may double by 8-10 days after birth and triple by the third week of life.

What do orphaned puppies need for proper nutrition?

Water is a critical nutrient for orphaned puppies, just as it is for all other stages of their life. Normal water intake is relatively high for puppies, needing 130-220 milliliters (mL) of fluid per kilogram (kg) of body weight each day.

On average, the total fluid volume fed per day (including milk replacers) should be approximately 180mL/kg of puppy body weight. Mother's milk is highly digestible and very calorie dense. Compared to cow's milk, milk from a puppy's mother contains more than twice as much protein, which helps to explain why cow's milk is not ideal for feeding orphaned puppies.

Commercial puppy milk replacers are recommended as they are superior to cow's milk and home-made mixtures. The milk replacer you choose should meet several key nutritional factors. For every 100g of milk replacer fed (on a dry matter basis), there should be:

  • 33g crude protein
  • 42g fat
  • 14.5g lactose

How do I feed orphaned puppies?

Most puppies will suckle on small pet nursing bottles, also known as pet nursers. When bottle fed, puppies will nurse until they are full and then reject the bottle.

Be sure the opening in the nipple restricts the outflow of fluid to one drop at a time in order to avoid a flow rate that is too rapid for the puppy. When the flow rate is too rapid, it can lead to aspiration, pneumonia, and/or death; and when the flow is too slow they have to work too hard to nurse.

When feeding, hold the puppy in a horizontal, head-neutral position as it would be when feeding from its mother. If the puppy is too weak to suckle, your veterinarian can show you alternative feeding methods and assist in tube feeding if needed.

TIP: Handling puppies during feeding contributes to critical socialization.

How much and how often should I feed orphaned puppies?

Orphaned puppies should be fed on a strict schedule, preferably every 2-4 hours. Puppies up to two weeks old can generally consume their daily intake in 4-5 meals per day. Small breed puppies should be limited to 10-15mL per feeding during the first week of life in order to prevent diarrhea.

Commercial milk replacers are labeled to help you calculate the total volume to be fed per day. To calculate the amount for each feeding:

  • dilute the total daily volume of milk replacer to a final volume of about 180mL/kg of puppy body weight, and
  • divide that total into the desired number of meals per day.    

It is recommended that you warm puppy milk replacer to approximately 100°F (38°C) before feeding, but be careful not to overheat it. Cold formula, overly rapid feeding rates, and overfeeding can lead to regurgitation, aspiration, bloating, and diarrhea.

If the orphaned puppy develops diarrhea, reduce the formula volume. It is better to slightly underfeed than to overfeed neonatal orphaned puppies. Puppy milk replacer should be the sole source of nutrition until 3-4 weeks of age at which time the weaning process may begin.

The transition from formula to solid food is a gradual process, so be patient. Use a high-quality food formulated to support growth and reproduction. Introduce small amounts of semi-solid or solid food to supplement formula, and transition to solid food by 5-6 weeks of age.

What’s my role in helping a puppy to eliminate?

Puppies cannot eliminate (urinate or defecate) on their own until about 3 weeks of age. They rely on their mother to stimulate their reflex to initiate elimination. Orphaned puppies, on the other hand, rely on their caretakers to stimulate them to eliminate.

After feeding, you can stimulate their reflex to eliminate by gently stroking the area between the anus and vulva or penis with a warm, moistened cotton ball or soft cloth. Your veterinarian can help teach you this technique.

What are some best practices for proper puppy hygiene?

Orphaned puppies require you to pay strict attention to their hygiene for optimal health and development. Follow these best practices for proper puppy hygiene:

  • Bottles and nipples should be cleaned and then boiled in water to sterilize them between uses. 
  • Never prepare more milk replacer than can be used within 24 hours and always keep it refrigerated. 
  • Discard formula after 1 hour if left at room temperature. 
  • Once or twice each week, gently wash the puppies with a moist cloth.

By paying attention to the details of feeding and hygiene, you can help orphaned puppies thrive.

Orphaned Newborn Puppy Care | Best Friends Animal Society

Raising orphaned puppies can be very rewarding. It is, however, a serious responsibility that requires some time, money and work on your part if you want to help the little ones grow up healthy and happy. Close observation and prompt attention if any problems develop are especially important. If you have not raised orphans before, you should have a veterinarian examine the pups before you get started. Don’t be disappointed if you are unable to save all the orphan puppies; you can only give it your best effort.

Learn more about puppy development

Basic medical care for newborn puppies

What are the medical concerns when raising orphaned puppies? Here’s some basic information about what’s normal and what’s not.

Temperature. A normal rectal temperature for a newborn puppy is 95 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week, and 97 to 100 for the second week. By the fourth week, the puppy’s temperature should reach the normal temperature of an adult dog: 100 to 102 degrees. Puppies under the age of about 38 days have a reduced ability to regulate their body temperature and will need a temperature-controlled environment. (See the section on warmth below.)

Weight. Weighing the puppies daily to check for weight gain can reassure you that they are doing well. If a puppy is failing to gain weight or losing weight, you should consult with your veterinarian.

Vision. Puppies’ eyes open when they are 10 to 14 days old. Because their eyes are very sensitive to light, they should be kept out of direct sunlight until approximately four weeks of age.

Hearing. The ear canals of puppies open between five and eight days.

Warmth. A puppy burns far more body heat per pound of body weight than an adult dog. To stay warm, puppies depend on radiant heat from their mother. In her absence, they need constant temperature control. So, you’ll have to provide your puppies with a draft-free nesting area. Heat lamps or hot water bottles can be used to keep the temperature controlled.

During the first four or five days of life, puppies should be kept in an environment that is between 85 and 90 degrees. The temperature may gradually be decreased to 80 degrees by the seventh to tenth day, and may be reduced to 70-75 degrees by the end of the fourth week.

Provide necessary warmth or cooling to the puppies gradually. If you have a large litter, they will huddle together, which means they won’t require as much help with external heat from you. Take care not to overheat the puppies; newborns cannot move away from the heat on their own.

Stimulation for elimination. For the first two weeks of life, puppies are stimulated by their mother to encourage urination and defecation. In the absence of their mother, you will have to provide the stimulation. Massage your puppies’ genital area with a moist cloth to stimulate bladder and bowel action. After two weeks, puppies should urinate and defecate on their own. Watch them carefully to make sure that happens.

Diarrhea. Diarrhea is common in puppies and may be caused by parasites, viruses, bacteria, food changes (e.g., formula that is too concentrated, a new brand of formula), stress, overfeeding and other causes. If the diarrhea is mild and the puppy is otherwise alert and vigorous, you can try giving less food more often and monitor the pup closely.

Also, make sure that the puppy gets a lot of fluid, as they are prone to dehydration if they don’t get enough. This can be done by diluting the formula with extra water, or giving the puppy clean warm water in a bottle or syringe. If the diarrhea is severe, lasts more than three or four feedings, or contains blood or obvious parasites, you should call a veterinarian (and also bring a sample of feces).

Dehydration. The lack of normal parental care may mean that you receive puppies who are dehydrated. They may also become dehydrated from other causes, such as diarrhea, vomiting or by being chilled. Newborns can’t nurse if they are too cold, because their energy is spent trying to stay warm.

One sign of dehydration is loss of elasticity in the skin. If you pick up the pup’s scruff with two fingers, it will stay up, looking pinched. Another way to test for dehydration is to look at the puppy’s gums (mucous membranes). The gums should be moist and shiny; if you touch them, they should not be sticky.

Hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, an abnormal decrease of sugar in the blood, can also happen to orphaned puppies. The signs to look for are lack of strength, lethargy (lack of movement), and muscle twitching (sometimes with convulsions). If a puppy shows signs of hypoglycemia, place a few drops of corn syrup under his tongue and on the gums, and call your veterinarian immediately for further assistance.

Internal parasites. If a puppy is developing very slowly, has an extremely large bloated belly or has blood in his stool, he may have internal parasites. A stool sample should be taken to your veterinarian for examination.

Puppy living space, feeding, disease prevention

Living space. If the puppies were being cared for by their mother, she would choose a place that is soft, warm and away from full sunlight. In the absence of their mother, you must provide this type of environment. A box may be large enough for a first home for the family. Put the box in a warm, sheltered space. (See the section above on temperature.) If the litter is a big one, you may need to buy a child-size plastic pool. As the puppies grow, watch to see whether they can climb out of the box or pool. Once puppies start to move, they can climb well within a surprisingly short period of time.

Bedding. Use clean packing paper (newspaper without print) or newspaper layered on top of a flat towel for the first week or so. Newborn puppies can get caught up in soft cloth and can die if they can’t breathe. After they are able to lift their heads and move around a bit, you can use a towel, sheet or blanket. When the puppies start crawling, and then walking, they’ll use the cloth for traction.

Feeding. Newborns will need food every two to three hours, around the clock. Six or eight meals, equally spaced over 24 hours, are sufficient for most puppies; small or weak puppies may need more feedings.

You can give your orphans complete nutrition by buying a commercial puppy milk replacer (such as Esbilac), which can be purchased through your veterinarian or a pet supply store. Commercial milk replacers have feeding directions on the label and should be given at the puppy's body temperature (about 100 degrees). Once the can is opened or the powder reconstituted, unused formula should be kept refrigerated and discarded after 24 hours. When the puppies are 3-4 weeks old, you can start feeding them milk replacer at room temperature.

When feeding orphaned puppies, it’s best to use commercial animal baby bottles; you can use an eyedropper in an emergency, but it does not allow normal sucking as well as a nipple. The size of the hole in the nipple is crucial. If you turn the bottle upside down and the milk drips freely, the hole is too large. The bottle should require a light squeeze (simulating a puppy suckling) for milk to drip out. If you need to make the hole bigger, you can heat a needle with a lighter and use it to enlarge the hole.

Adopt from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Here are the steps for feeding:

  1. Position the puppy on his stomach with his head level, as though he is nursing from mom. Puppies do not have a well-developed gag reflex, so you must be very careful that fluid does not go down the windpipe into the pup’s lungs. For this reason, do not feed the puppy on his back.
  2. Open the puppy's mouth gently with one finger and place the tip of the nipple on his tongue. If he won't eat, try stroking him.
  3. Tilt the bottle up slightly to prevent the puppy from inhaling too much air. Do not force the puppy to nurse, or allow him to nurse too fast.
  4. After each feeding, the puppy should be burped. Hold him against your shoulder and gently pat his back.

Tube-feeding may be necessary if a puppy refuses to nurse well with the bottle method. You will need to work with your veterinarian to make certain that you understand the technique and can safely perform tube feeding. (If done improperly, it can result in life-threatening aspiration pneumonia from formula accidentally entering the lungs.)

Disease prevention. Puppies are very vulnerable to disease, so disease prevention is really important. Always wash your hands before touching the puppies. If you work with other animals or visit shelters or dog parks (anyplace where you come into contact with other dogs), always change your clothes and shoes before entering the area where the puppies are kept and before handling the puppies.

Nail trimming. The puppies will need nail trims often, so if you have not trimmed toenails on dogs, ask someone to show you how to do it safely. Human nail clippers work well on small puppies.

Visitors. You should limit the number of visitors and the number of people who handle the pups until the puppies are a few weeks old. Hand-washing before handling the puppies is always recommended. Limit interaction if the visitors have been in contact with sick animals or have been to a shelter just before visiting. Use caution: Gentle handling and disease control will continue to be concerns for many weeks.

Veterinary checkup and weaning

Visits to the vet. During the puppies’ third week, a visit to your veterinarian for a checkup is a good idea. The puppies’ eyes are still sensitive at this stage, so don’t expose them to direct sunlight on this first outing. Ask your veterinarian about diet, deworming and vaccinations. Puppies in a foster or sheltering situation should start receiving vaccinations at 4-6 weeks of age and every two weeks thereafter until 18 weeks of age.

You should also talk to the vet about spay/neuter, since this procedure should be done before the puppies leave your care. (Spay/neuter can be done as early as eight weeks; the puppies must weigh at least two pounds.) The vet may want to evaluate each puppy and start individual records for their future human families.

Weaning puppies to gruel. During the third week, begin offering the puppies a dish of water. The dish should be one that isn’t too large and cannot be tipped over, since the pups may attempt to climb into it instead of drinking from it.

Then, introduce the puppies to gruel. Make a gruel by blending a good-quality dry puppy food with commercial milk replacer. Put the gruel (warmed up and not too thick) in a low pan. As the puppies discover how to lap up the gruel, you can gradually thicken the mixture. Feed gruel four times a day. By week six, most puppies can eat a diet of dry puppy food. Don’t forget to give them a constant supply of fresh water.

Socializing puppies

In your role of dog parent, you will have the challenge of safely socializing the pups to other canines and the rest of the world. They have much to learn — things that mom would normally teach them. Invite fully vaccinated friendly dog guests over to visit, and introduce the puppies to dog-friendly cats as well. Be careful to protect the puppies from any harm, keeping in mind that not all other animals like puppies.

When children visit, supervision is absolutely necessary. Puppies can scratch and bite; children sometimes get too rough in their handling of them. Both children and puppies can benefit from learning the proper manners required for human-animal relationships to be safe and harmonious. The puppies should also encounter a variety of people, objects, sounds and smells — anything you can think of that is commonplace out in the world. To prevent them from becoming fearful of noises, for instance, you can play thunderstorm sounds, run the vacuum and turn on the TV.

When it’s time to find homes for the puppies, please try to place them in homes where they will be considered valued family members. Emphasize the social needs of dogs and recommend to each puppy’s new family that they invest in some relationship-based training as the puppy gets older.

Learn more about socializing puppies

Puppy care from 1 to 5 months - how to properly feed a puppy - ProPlan

Proper nutrition and good care are the foundations of a dog's health, longevity and happy life. Therefore, even before buying a puppy, you will need to think carefully about all related issues.

Puppies grow very fast, and for their harmonious development, both physical and mental, the first months of life are very important.

Peculiarities of mental and physical development of puppies by months

Puppy at 1 month

At one month, or four and a half weeks, the puppies are still living with their mother and siblings. Not so long ago they began to hear and see, and during this period they have an active phase of exploring the surrounding space, new sounds, smells, surrounding people and animals. Monthly puppies are still too small to make meaningful actions, as long as they are all based on instincts and communication with their mother. As a rule, breeders do not sell puppies at the age of one month, giving them the opportunity to get stronger, to get the first lessons in socialization. Human interaction during this period is very important for puppies to develop as companion dogs. nine0003

From one month to two, puppies have an active phase of memorization or, in other words, an identification phase. The puppy begins to meaningfully recognize parents, form social relationships with littermates and people.

Roar and take away a toy from a brother or sister, bite mother on the cheek to share food, run away from a person or run up to him. During this period, each puppy has a lot of similar questions, the answers to which he receives by performing an action and receiving a reaction. The sister gave the toy away, which means it is weaker, next time you can take the toy away again. Mom growled and shook her scruff, so don't bite her on the cheek. The person came and pleasantly stroked or screamed loudly - depending on the action, the puppy will build its further reactions to repetitive stimuli. nine0003

Puppy at 2-3 months old

Two- and three-month-old puppies are very affectionate, inquisitive and sociable. They are active and constantly exploring something. For example, when meeting strangers, they run up to them completely fearlessly, sniff, caress, jump, sometimes bark. Therefore, during this period, they can easily develop positive skills associated with any activity. At this time, the puppy can easily be taught to follow the commands “Place!”, “Come!”, “Walk!”.

Puppy at 3-4 months

Skills for commands "Sit!", "Lie down!", "No!" the puppy will work out much easier at the age of 3.5-4 months. This is due to the fact that such commands are based on inhibitory reactions that are not yet developed in the puppy at an earlier age.

Puppy at 4-5 months

At the age of 4-5 months, the puppy needs regular, gradually increasing in time and difficulty walks, which are important both for his physical development and for the accumulation of life experience. During this period, the puppy is developing the characteristics of his nervous system, his character can noticeably change. When meeting with strangers, the puppy may no longer run up to them to start a game, but only observe from the side, and at the first manifestation of even unsharply pronounced threatening actions by outsiders, they get scared and run away. Therefore, this time is also called the period of fears. nine0003

At this time, the owner is required to be very careful, affectionate handling of the puppy, careful observation of what may frighten him. You need to try to predict such a moment in order to distract the puppy from the negative reaction in time with a treat or a game.

1 month

As mentioned above, at the age of one month the puppy is still too small to separate him from his family. Good breeders do not give away their wards at such a young age, but leave them in the company of their mother, at least for another half a month or a month. During this time, the puppy is actively adapting to the outside world. nine0003

If you happen to have a one-month-old puppy, you will need to give him the first vaccination when he is 6 weeks old. If you are unsure about the best time to start vaccinating, contact your breeder or veterinarian.

5 months

At the age of 5 months, the puppy should be active, already fully accustomed to the house, know his nickname, a few basic commands, understand what is possible and what is not.

During this period, he still continues to change his teeth from milk to permanent, which begins at about three months and lasts up to seven months. During this period, you need to monitor the puppy's oral cavity, monitoring whether milk teeth fall out. This is important both for the health of the dog and for the formation of the correct bite. nine0003

Care for the health and appearance of the puppy

Training for walks

Regardless of the time of year, it is necessary to accustom the puppy to walks. Immediately after sleep and after each feeding, the puppy must be taken outside for 5-10 minutes to accustom him to the toilet. The more often you take your puppy outside, the faster he will understand what is wanted from him, and the faster he will get used to going to the toilet outside the house.

Longer walks, for the sake of play and active movement, are recommended between feedings. It is worth slightly increasing the time spent outdoors from 15 minutes to two hours a day, depending on the weather and season. Of course, it is important to consider the breed and age of the puppy. At first, a two-three-month-old puppy can be carried outside in your arms. At the same time, if the puppy has not yet completed the entire course of vaccinations, all contact with other dogs should be excluded. nine0003

During the walk, the puppy must be in motion, do not let him sit or lie on the cold ground. At two months, it is already possible to teach a puppy to a leash. The puppy gets used to the soft light collar quickly. At first, you need to lead him on a leash so that the puppy feels that you are leading him. Follow him (the leash should be long enough) and carefully, without jerking, take him away from unwanted places. It is necessary to ensure that the puppy does not eat unsuitable food items from the street.

By the third or fourth month during a walk, you can walk up to one and a half kilometers with a puppy of a large breed, with a puppy of a medium or small breed, this distance should be proportionally reduced. Increase the distance gradually, do not tire the puppy with too much exercise, otherwise he will lose his appetite and will not grow well. nine0003

With a five-month-old puppy, you can already run in deep snow, earth, sand, play active outdoor games, swim, let him accompany his owner on a ski or bike ride. But even here you can’t overwork the puppy, at the first sign of fatigue, you need to take a break or stop walking.

When walking with a puppy, teach him not to pay attention to noise, not to be afraid of cars, gradually moving with him from quiet streets to more noisy ones. The puppy needs both free walking and playing with peers. Socialization is especially needed for a puppy living in a private home. Keep him away from stray and unfamiliar dogs, as they can infect him with infectious diseases. During walks, you can teach your puppy to play with balloons: praise him and rejoice with him when the balloon bursts. This game will strengthen the psyche, and the puppy will not be afraid of fireworks and explosions of firecrackers. nine0003

If the puppy lives in an apartment, walks are allowed after the first vaccination. But you need to make sure that he does not meet other dogs on the street until the second vaccination. If the puppy will live in a private house, where he will be alone on his territory, you can start walking from the first day of being at home.

After a walk, especially in wet weather, wipe or wash the puppy's paws and stomach. In winter, it is simply necessary to do this so that street reagents do not irritate or injure the skin on the paw pads. nine0003

Everyday care

Grooming time is not just a time for caring for a puppy, but also a great opportunity to communicate, make contact, pet your pet.


A short haired puppy needs a natural bristle brush and a fine metal comb for shedding care. An ideal care product for short-haired dogs is a massage mitt. For puppies of long-haired breeds, a slicker brush is still needed. nine0003

Puppies of all breeds will also need nail clippers, towels, shampoos. Bathe your puppy only as needed. Combing the more often, the better - this is how the puppy gets used to being touched, and this will come in handy in the future. Put the puppy down regularly, inspect the tummy, paws. In the future, he will not be afraid of human hands.

If you have a puppy of a breed that is characterized by a very long coat or a coat with a thick undercoat, you can go to a professional groomer to get the puppy used to brushing from childhood. nine0003

Dental care

Clean teeth are essential for good health. On sale now there is a large number of a wide variety of chewing sticks that act as a toothbrush, as well as special toothpastes and brushes for dogs.

During the growth period from 3 to 7 months, puppies change teeth from milk to permanent. At this time, it is important to follow the process of changing, and if necessary, contact the services of a veterinarian.

Feeding Basics

Puppies should receive a balanced diet of excellent quality, since it is up to the age of one that the foundation is laid for their health for life. The owner of the dog is obliged to provide food that is appropriate for the size of the dog and its breed. You can’t go to extremes, believing that the dog can eat everything and feed it with leftovers from the table. But it is also impossible to humanize a pet, deciding that the pet will receive only the most delicious, and give him delicacies that are intended for people - they will cause only one harm to the dog. nine0003

Improper nutrition can lead to obesity, internal diseases or skin diseases. Only nutrition that maintains the health of the animal will be correct. Therefore, it is very important to balance the dog's diet in terms of the content of the main food components: proteins, fats, carbohydrates.

The easiest way to do this is to use ready-made puppy food, where the content of all these elements, as well as vitamins and minerals, is taken into account, calculated and balanced.

What are the main components of food for dogs

Meat should form the basis of the dog's diet - be part of the food or be the basis of natural nutrition. Meat is the main source of protein . But if the dog eats exclusively tenderloin, or, conversely, only defective parts (veins, skin and cartilage), this will lead to indigestion, so the meat base must be mixed from both pure meat and offal. This includes animal fat, which serves as a source of energy. Protein is also found in fish, seafood, dairy products and eggs. nine0003

To maintain healthy teeth and bones, skin and coat, the dog needs unsaturated fatty acids contained in vegetable oils. They are found both in plant products (sunflower, peanut, olive, soybean oil, sprouted wheat grains), and in animal products - in oily fish (salmon), in eggs. An excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids is fish oil.

Carbohydrates - energy providers for the body. They are found, for example, in cereals and are often added to ready-made feeds so that the dog eats up and has enough strength for active games and walks. nine0003

A complete diet must also contain vitamins and minerals necessary not only for building the skeleton, but also for other metabolic processes. The body of a growing dog undergoes continuous restructuring. As a “building material” for bones and muscles, a puppy needs protein and carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals as energy suppliers for metabolic processes. The total feed should consist of about a third of protein, at least 5% of fat and at least half of carbohydrates. nine0003

Thus, if you decide to feed your puppy with natural food, you will need to take into account all of the above about food components in order to create a complete diet for him. In addition, it will be necessary to constantly adjust it, since the needs of the body will change with age. For example, as strange as it may seem, puppies and young dogs require more food than adult dogs of the same weight; up to five months - twice as much, and then - by about 50%. Their food should be two-thirds, and later at least half, consist of meat and other protein substances. It is easiest to follow the correct serving size by reading the information on the package of ready-made food that is appropriate for the age and needs of the dog. nine0003

By choosing ready-made puppy food, you will provide the puppy with all the necessary nutrients, you will be able to change the food according to the age of the growing pet, offer him different tastes. In order to give out the required daily allowance, you will need to read the recommendations on the package.

How to properly feed a puppy from 1 to 5 months old

It is impossible to create a perfect diet for all puppies at once. Here you will need to take into account factors such as the breed, age, size and activity level of the puppy. Feeding a puppy taken from a breeder should continue for the first time according to the recommendations of the latter. nine0003

In the third or fourth week of life, puppies, in addition to mother's milk, begin to receive the first complementary foods. Accordingly, it is the breeder who decides what kind of food the puppies will eat in the first months - either natural food or industrial food designed for very young puppies up to 1-2 months old. So when you pick up a puppy, which can be between one and a half and five months old, his digestive system will be adapted to exactly the food he received in his first months of life. For at least one week, you will need to keep your feeding schedule and diet unchanged to avoid digestive upsets caused by restructuring and the stress of moving to a new place. It will be easier for the puppy to get used to the new conditions, and then the change of home will be painless for him. nine0003

All of these foods are either poisonous to dogs or can damage the digestive tract, disrupt metabolism, and cause gas.

Only a general diet is described here, for more detailed recommendations you can always contact the breeder or veterinarian. In the future, having studied the needs of the puppy, you yourself will be able to select the appropriate food and treats for him in order to raise a healthy dog ​​out of him.


Water, always fresh and clean, never icy, must be freely available to the puppy at all times. Although a healthy dog ​​will hardly drink on food with normal moisture, he should be able to quench his thirst in the heat, after some effort, or with a certain food. Persistent increased thirst for no recognizable cause is a sign of illness. nine0003

Possible diseases in puppies

Puppies, like all children, can get sick with something. Diseases can be infectious and non-infectious, traumatic in origin and genetically transmitted. If you can encounter the latter unexpectedly, since some diseases that are inherited may appear at a later age, then other types of diseases can be avoided. To do this, you will need to strictly follow the recommendations for caring for a puppy, feed him properly and monitor his health. nine0003

Infectious diseases

Parvovirus enteritis is a dangerous infectious disease, one of the symptoms of which is intestinal upset. The lethality of this disease in puppies reaches 90%. You can avoid it by making the puppy the necessary vaccination on time.

Canine distemper - a viral infection that is very dangerous for puppies, almost always leads to death. It can manifest itself in various forms, the most dangerous is the nervous form. Vaccination is made against the plague of carnivores. nine0003

Adenovirus and canine viral hepatitis - infectious diseases caused by adenoviruses of the first and second types. Transmitted by airborne droplets or saliva from a sick dog. Most dangerous for puppies and young dogs. A timely vaccination against these diseases will protect the young pet.

Leptospirosis - an acute infectious disease that is contagious to humans, can be fatal to a puppy. The carriers of the disease are rats. Vaccination minimizes the risk of contracting the disease. nine0003

Rabies is a fatal viral infection that is contagious to humans and fatal to dogs and humans. Rabies vaccination is mandatory and annual.


Internal parasites

For all types of internal parasites that a puppy can infect (for example, roundworms, tapeworms, heartworms, heartworms and others), special antihelminthic drugs have been developed that need to be given to the puppy periodically. nine0003

External parasites

Fleas, lice, mites, which can infect a puppy while walking or communicating with relatives, not only cause him discomfort, but can also become a source of more serious diseases, causing otitis media, various dermatological diseases. Therefore, it is mandatory to periodically treat the puppy from external parasites. You can check the processing schedule with the breeder or veterinarian.

Other illnesses

A puppy can get sick for various other reasons, for example, hypothermia, as a result of which he will develop cystitis . Or, if you take a puppy in a car with open windows, where he will look out, then he may develop conjunctivitis . If a puppy lags behind in growth and development , or he starts lameness - the problem may be related to improper nutrition.

Of course, it is impossible to protect a puppy from all diseases one hundred percent. Therefore, you, as a responsible owner, should always carefully monitor any changes in the behavior and mood of the puppy, and at the first sign of illness, seek help from a veterinarian. nine0003

If you follow the correct feeding regimen, make vaccinations and deworming on time, give feasible physical activity in accordance with the age of the puppy, then you can avoid most diseases, giving your pet a happy childhood.

Article on our Yandex Zen channel.

At what age is it better to take a puppy? nine0003

If you are offered to take a puppy at the age of 1 month, it is better not to do this, allowing the baby to grow up in his own family for another month.

No matter at what age you took a puppy, at two months, at three or four, try to establish the right relationship with him from the first day, which is commonly called good contact. This will allow him to develop affection for you, obedience, devotion, and subsequently love. To do this, you need:

  • always treat your pet calmly,
  • feed him, walk him, comb him in time - that is, take care of him,
  • regularly train with him, combining games and initial training.

Try not to let any troubles in life affect your communication with the puppy. Dogs very subtly feel the mood of their owner and react accordingly.

Problems that arise as the puppy grows

Problems that can arise during the growth period of puppies of any breed are mostly related to improper feeding. The amount of feed should be constantly measured in relatively small portions to avoid overeating. Obesity in dogs puts a lot of stress on the heart and circulation. It happens that even weak ligaments and joints are exposed to unnecessary excessive stress in puppies and young dogs. The consequence of this can be diseases associated with the paws and joints. With proper nutrition, the puppy should actively play, run, and explore the territory several times a day. Too tiring walks for several hours in the first year of life should be avoided. If your dog is unwell, contact the dog breeder or veterinarian immediately. nine0003

Puppy Care Highlights 2 to 5 Months

In order to lay a solid foundation for your dog's health from childhood, it will be necessary to vaccinate and deworm your puppy at precisely defined times.

Deworming and vaccinations

The dog's breeder performs the first deworming procedures. Together with basic housing and feeding instructions, he will tell you about the exact schedule for further deworming and vaccination procedures. Usually the owner of the puppy gives him an anthelmintic drug before the next vaccination, ten days before it. nine0003

2 months

If you collect your puppy from a breeder at the age of 2-2.5 months, the breeder will usually give the first vaccination to the puppies. This happens when the puppies are 8-9 weeks old, so he comes to you already vaccinated. The second vaccination should be done by the owner when the puppy is 12 weeks old. It must be remembered that until the second vaccination is given to the puppy, he must be quarantined. For a detailed explanation of the timing of vaccinations, you can contact the puppy's breeder. nine0003

3 months

If for some reason it happened that the puppy did not receive his first vaccination either at the age of 6 weeks or at the age of 8-9 weeks, you must use the third option of the vaccination schedule. This means that the puppy should be vaccinated for the first time at 12 weeks of age and revaccinated between 14 and 16 weeks of age. In order not to get confused in the timing and make the necessary vaccinations on time, it is recommended to have a calendar where the puppy's age in weeks and the necessary weeks for vaccination will be marked. Or you can seek the advice of a veterinarian. nine0003

A later vaccination date does not change the fact that the puppy will have to be quarantined until he has had his second vaccination. This means that he will not yet be able to communicate with his relatives on the street.

4 months

If your puppy has been vaccinated according to the standard vaccination schedule, it means that at 4 months old he is already fully vaccinated, the quarantine has been lifted, and you can enjoy walking together, getting to know other dogs and doing initial training. nine0003

Ear care

Bathe your puppy only if necessary, for example if he is dirty. After each walk, wash and wipe the paws and stomach. When you wash your pet, be careful not to get water in his ears: moisture in the ear canal can promote fungal and other diseases. If the ears are dirty, take a damp swab and lightly remove the dirt. If the ears are dirty inside, wipe them with a cotton swab moistened with a special lotion, but not deeply. Clean ears must be dry. In puppies with hanging ears, the ear canals are closed and not ventilated, therefore, for prevention, we recommend using special ear cleaners once every one to two weeks. nine0003

Nail care

Nails trimmed as needed. If the dog wears off its claws during walks, they are not trimmed. It is advisable to regularly feel the paws and fingers: if someday the dog cuts its paw, you will be able to provide first aid in a timely manner and apply a bandage.

Long claws can cause paws to turn out even when set correctly. When shearing, the claws are shortened, and the paw becomes in place, so it is very important to ensure that the claws do not grow unnecessarily. Start clipping or sharpening your puppy's nails as early as possible, every one to two weeks. For small puppies, clippers from a manicure set are well suited. When conventional clippers are no longer suitable, you will need to use special clippers for dog claws. There are blood vessels in every claw, and if you hit them, they will bleed, so try to avoid this when trimming your nails. If trouble happens, treat with hydrogen peroxide or use a special hemostatic pencil that can be bought at a pharmacy. nine0003

Puppy nutrition

In the future, if for some reason you want to change the diet of a young pet, you can do it at any time. In this case, the best option would be to consult a breeder or veterinarian who will give you valuable recommendations.

Puppies should not be fed a day's worth of food at one time, their stomach is too small to properly digest the entire amount of food; the consequence of this will be an overload of the stomach. In addition, the ligaments, joints and bones will receive too much stress, which will only bring harm. In a healthy, well-fed puppy, the ribs do not protrude visually, but should be felt with the palm of your hand. nine0003

Underfeeding a puppy in the first months and up to a year will have negative consequences that are very difficult to correct. That is why it is so important to feed your puppy in a balanced way and to follow the exact feeding time. Following these two rules will help you keep his weight normal.

After eating, the puppy should be allowed to rest, as is customary with wild animals after a hearty meal. Otherwise, when playing immediately after eating, a life-threatening situation of twisting of a full stomach, which occurs in dogs of large breeds, may occur. nine0003

Number of feedings for puppies of different ages:

1st month - 5-6 times a day;

2-4 months - 4 times a day;

5th month - 3 times a day.

Divide the day from morning to evening into equal intervals and try to feed the puppy at this designated time.

What not to give to puppies:

  • Rich meat broths.
  • Chicken bones (tubular).
  • Boiled bones.
  • Smoked, salted, fatty. nine0202
  • Sweets, chocolate in any form, cakes.
  • Legumes.
  • Cabbage.

Industrial puppy food

The content of protein and other necessary substances in the finished food is fully consistent with scientifically sound standards. The modern way of canning preserves vitamins better than home cooking. In the manufacture of destroyed pathogens contained in the meat. Another advantage is that you can always have a supply of food in the house. For example, when traveling, ready-made food is the easiest solution to a feeding problem. Dry food contains five times less water than normal wet food, so make sure you have water in a separate bowl. 200g of dry food has approximately the same nutritional value as 850g of whole food in a can, or 400g of meat and 125g of porridge. In this case, no additional goodies are needed - they lead to obesity! nine0003

Proper feeding of a puppy is the basis for the formation of a healthy animal. He needs more high-calorie food with a high protein content. During this period, the puppy's digestive tract is not yet fully formed, and as the transition from mother's milk to ready-made feeds, the bacterial flora of the intestine accumulates.

When choosing a puppy's diet, it is important to consider its age, size or breed, level of physical activity and individual health status. All these parameters are taken into account in PRO PLAN 9 super premium dry food0295® .

For large breed puppies, PRO PLAN ® OPTISTART ® for large breed puppies is balanced in the content of such important elements as calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary in the correct proportion for the growth and development of bones and joints, which is especially important for large dog puppies.

For puppies of medium breeds, as well as small and dwarf breeds, the OPTISTART ® range also includes specialized foods that take into account the characteristics of the breed. nine0003

Useful information about puppy feeding norms

When a small fluffy pet appears in the house, the first question that worries a caring owner is what is the best way to feed a puppy? What foods are suitable for his diet? And what is better to give the baby: natural food or industrial food? In the article we will tell you what to feed a puppy, how many times a day this should be done, and also how to calculate a portion of food, taking into account the age and breed of the animal.


  1. Feeding a puppy with natural food
  2. What foods can be fed to a growing dog?
  3. Industrial feed
  4. How to feed a puppy correctly?
  5. Daily Feeding Rate
  6. Diet according to breed
  7. Puppies of small breeds
  8. Puppies of medium breeds
  9. Large dogs
  10. Puppy feeding according to age
  11. Feeding a 9 month old puppy0202
  12. Two-month-old puppy food
  13. Feeding a three-month-old baby

The selection of a diet for a small pet is a very crucial moment, because a balanced diet guarantees the full development of the body and the prevention of possible diseases.

Important: When choosing food for a puppy (purchased food or natural food), you should be guided by one simple rule - do not overfeed. Overeating can lead to joint problems, poor pet health, organ diseases and other serious diseases. Therefore, it is important to correctly calculate the portion that is given to the puppy. nine0003

Of course, you can spoil your pet. For example, before going to bed, give him porridge with milk or meat. But it doesn't have to happen every day.

Feeding a puppy with natural food

Many owners prefer to feed their dogs with natural products because:

  • they are cheaper than ready-made food;
  • the owner is confident in the quality of the food he gives to the pet.

But natural food also has a lot of drawbacks. During the growth period, the puppy eats a lot, so you will often have to buy and prepare food for him. nine0003

If this prospect does not scare you, then here are some tips for choosing a diet for your baby. So that he does not get poisoned, you must ensure that the products are fresh. Meat "smell" at a low price will have a bad effect on the puppy's health. Remember, he is a small child and should be treated responsibly.

Second rule: no table feeding! Food for him must be prepared separately, fried meat, fragrant barbecue, various soups will surely cause pleasant sensations in people, but not in a puppy. For him, this food is bad. nine0003

What foods can be fed to a growing dog?

    1. Milk

Dogs up to 4 months of age should be fed with milk. You can offer it raw or cook porridge from it. But not all milk will do. It is better to give preference to goat, it rarely causes allergies and is better accepted by the body. If such milk cannot be found, you can offer cow's milk to the puppy, but before that, be sure to dilute it with water.

Closer to six months, milk begins to be canceled, reducing its amount.

Important: Animals older than eight months should not be given milk.

    1. Dairy products

Improves pet's digestion and enriches the body with calcium. A puppy can be pleased with cottage cheese, kefir, low-fat sour cream. Hard cheeses are also useful, they are usually used as a treat when training a dog.

    1. Meat

Meat should make up at least 40% of your puppy's daily diet. It is better to give raw meat, but you can also safely feed your pet frozen, boiled and scalded meat.

Do not feed bones to your puppy. They break and can injure the digestive organs. You can make bone broth and add it to porridge.

It is also not recommended to feed pork to dogs, regardless of their age.

    1. Fish and seafood

Thinking about what to feed your puppy, include fish in the menu. It can be given twice a week. It is better to offer your baby sea fish (since river fish can be harmful), squid, shrimp and pollock. Do not mix fish with meat.

    1. Vegetables

Vegetables contain a large amount of vitamins, so it is worth accustoming a puppy to them. You can offer them together with cottage cheese or porridge, as well as rubbed on a fine grater, in the form of mashed potatoes or stewed. The most useful vegetables include pumpkin, carrots, zucchini and greens. nine0003

    1. Berries and fruits

Beneficial for a growing organism, so they are advised to be used as a supplement to food intake. It is not recommended to give bananas because they can speed up weight gain. Also, do not offer grapes and currants that cause bloating.

    1. Cereals

No need to make porridge the main dish. Cereals have a beneficial effect on digestion, but they are the basis of nutrition, but only supplement the milk and meat diet. nine0003

Puppies may like porridges such as:

    • semolina;
    • buckwheat;
    • rice;
    • oatmeal.

    If your baby has diarrhea, temporarily eliminate the porridge you fed him.

    1. Eggs

    Saturates the dog's body with protein. It is recommended to give twice a week.

    Industrial pet food

    How to feed your pet with dry food? This question is asked by any responsible owner who decides to make purchased food the basis of the nutrition of a new pet. Some owners believe that such feeds do not contain enough substances for the proper growth of the pet. But this is not the case, the food is designed to not only satisfy the dog's hunger, but also provide it with the necessary vitamins and minerals. Purchased food is well balanced, it is easy to give it to your pet, the main thing is to follow the dosage instructions. nine0003

    What is the right way to feed a puppy?

    Purchased food for small puppies must be soaked in advance. About half an hour before feeding, fill it with water so that it swells. It is forbidden to soak the granules in broths.

    Follow the dosage instructions on the package. Do not underestimate or exceed the dose. If the dosage is exceeded, dry food can cause rapid weight gain.

    There are cases when a dog needs to be transferred from regular food to dry food, but not abruptly, but gradually. We recommend discussing the transition with your veterinarian before doing so. nine0003

    If you do not know what food to feed your puppy, it is better to give preference to premium lines. Typically, these types of feed contain a greater amount of minerals and vitamins.

    Zoomix shop offers dry food of existing classes: from economy options to super premium. We advise you to take out the following brands:

    • Hill”s;
    • Royal Canin;
    • Purina Proplan;
    • Popular feed nine0202
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      Dry complete food with beef and rice for puppies, pregnant and lactating dogs of medium breeds AlphaPet Superpremium 2 kg

      Dry complete food with beef and rice for puppies, pregnant and lactating dogs of medium breeds AlphaPet Superpremium 2 kg An assortment for cats and dogs that best suits their physiological needs. Carefully selected ingredients... nine0003

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