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Puppy nursing and feeding requires great devotion and the right diet and techniques to ensure that any puppy grows up to be a strong, healthy, and social dog that can adjust to anything. A puppy’s diet depends on many factors such as the breed, age, and status of its health. Getting the puppy off to a good start is very important to avoid sickness and malnourishment in its later life.
For the first eight weeks in particular, proper nutrition is extremely important. The puppies will need their mother’s milk, which contains colostrums, for the first few days. These maternal antibodies will not be properly absorbed by puppies at a later time, so they should be nursed by their mothers when they are newly born.
Puppies who cannot nurse properly will need special milk. Puppies that are orphaned or rejected are good examples. Goat milk or milk substitutes like Ebsilac are good for them, and help to sustain their nutritional needs. Hand feed them using a nursing bottle several times a day for about two to three hours total until they reach 4 weeks old. Also make sure they stay warm, as they are still very delicate and get cold easily, even in warmer weather.
Around 3 weeks of age, the puppy can now be introduced to and be fed some solid food mixed along with the suggested milk substitutes. A blended mixture of kibble and puppy milk substitute should do the trick, and should be fed 3-4 times per day. Gradually decrease the milk content to help the puppy get used to solid food until his 7th week. And after 8 weeks, the well-nourished puppy is now “weaned”. Congratulations, Mom!
If you’ve adopted a puppy that is used to a certain kind of dog food, his meal should be switched over gradually if you want to change the product, otherwise his system may not adjust well, and start causing problems.
Balancing protein and calcium in a puppy’s diet should work out, as well as including meat like lamb or chicken, just making sure it is fresh and clean. Remember that even though high quality foods are expensive, your puppy will get better nutrition with them.
Different breeds have different needs when it comes to feeding them and how long they should be fed, as well as what kind of food they are much used to. For example, breeds of dogs that are larger than the usual need different supplements as they tend to have rapid growth and eat more than regular dogs.
Once you think that your puppy is old enough to start eating adult food, it is still better to consult a local vet as to whether the dog is ready for it. The age of adulthood for dogs varies by breed.
As a whole, caring for and properly feeding your puppies will establish an initial solid base of good health, and they will tend to be more energetic and much less prone to becoming depressed and bored. Then when they grow up to be adult dogs someday, they will not be prone to sickness and will live a good healthy life.
Giving them a good start in life is up to you, and especially so if you have any rejected puppies on your hands.
If you have any tips for the proper feeding and care of puppies, especially rejected ones, please share them with our readers below.