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How to Bottle Feed a Puppy?

Black and tan puppy being bottle fed

Generally, we should not give the puppies anything but their mother’s milk until they’re one month old, as it contains all the necessary nutrients. However, for many reasons, that cannot be possible. There’s nothing to worry about, as you can easily bottle-feed the puppy by following simple steps. Keep reading to learn the right way to bottle-feed your puppy.

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How Do You Bottle Feed a Puppy for the First Time?

Taking care of orphaned puppies is a major responsibility, with many tasks that you must take care of with precision and care. There is no margin for error when taking care of the puppies. It includes bottle-feeding the puppies using the appropriate formula on a tight schedule provided by a professional vet.

Visit a Vet

Person wearing white gloves holding a new born puppy flipped over on its back

You must dedicate all your attention and even some of your finances to caring for these orphaned puppies. If you have never taken care of orphaned puppies, we highly suggest you take them to a vet and get them examined.

The vet will be honest with you and tell you whether you should dedicate your time and attention to them or whether you’re just wasting your time, as these puppies are a lost cause. Don’t be disappointed and feel down because you couldn’t save them. You should be proud as you gave your best.

Sometimes, the puppy is too weak to suckle on its own. In such cases, you should take the puppy to the vet. The vet will assist you in feeding the puppy with the help of a feeding tube.

Give Your Puppy the Bottle

Black and white newborn puppy being bottle fed

When you provide the pup with the nursing bottle, it will impulsively start suckling it. It will keep suckling, and when its small tummy is full, the pup will turn its face away from the bottle, indicating that it is no longer hungry.

Keep checking the milk flow, as too slow or too fast can be bad for the pup. If the milk flow is too fast, it can cause aspiration, which can be fatal for the pup and cause sudden death. In contrast, if it is too slow, it may not be fatal, but it will be more difficult to nurse the pup.

When bottle-feeding the puppy, ensure that you hold the puppy in a horizontal position. Also, ensure that the head is in a neutral position, as it is the most natural position for the pup if it is feeding from its mother.

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Maintain a Record of Important Factors

person filling out paperwork with a pen

Also, keep a logbook that keeps details for every significant factor. These factors should be simple and only contain what is important to maintain a healthy diet. These should include nutritional values, feeding time, stool consistency, weight changes, etc.

How Do You Bottle Feed A Puppy That Won’t Eat?

Brown and black puppy laying on its back in a white bed with a bottle tucked in beside it

In many scenarios, the pup might refuse to eat any food. It may happen if the pup is under stress or not feeling well. In such cases, you should follow some steps to ensure the pup is feeding well. These are:

  • It would be best if you positioned the pup on its stomach and kept its head in a neutral position. Puppies do not have a well-developed gag reflex, so you must proceed with care and precision to ensure that the milk does not flow into its air passageway. For this reason, we do not recommend feeding the pup on its back.
  • Now you should gently open the mouth of the pup with your finger and put the nipple of the nursing bottle on the pup’s tongue. If it doesn’t suckle on it, try stroking it gently.
  • It would be best if you tilted the bottle at a slightly acute angle, as it will prevent the pup from inhaling air.
  • You must not force the puppy to nurse. It would help if you let it nurse itself.
  • After you have finished feeding the pup, it must burp. Place the pup on your shoulder and start patting its back.

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How Often Do You Bottle Feed A Puppy?

Black and white puppy being bottle fed

As mentioned before, orphaned puppies require a lot of attention and dedication. You must follow a strict schedule when it comes to feeding your pup. Preferably, you should check on your pup after every 2-3 hours. You can also use this handy feeding chart!

If we look at it from a general point of view, we must feed the newborn puppy with two tablespoons of the best quality formula per four oz of the body weight every 3-4 hours. You should divide this feeding schedule into a 24-hour format to keep the diet balanced. If the pup intakes more than it demands, it can be fatal for its health.

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How Much Should You Bottle Feed a Newborn Puppy?

Black and white puppy being bottle fed against a red background.

Puppies around two weeks old should consume their daily intake of around 4-5 meals every day. If we look at the quantity of the feed, it can vary depending on the specific breed. Nonetheless, smaller breeds are more likely to suffer from such cases. In smaller breeds, you should feed it around 10-15mL daily to prevent diarrhea.

To calculate an appropriate amount of each feeding to keep a healthy and balanced diet intake for a puppy, you must:

  • dilute the total daily volume of milk replacer to 180mL/kg according to the puppy’s weight.
  • calculate the number of meals per day desired based on that total.

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