Hand rearing puppies is a time consuming process requiring a lot of patience, persistence and care. Please read the following information carefully and talk to your vet or nurse if you have any other questions.
- Puppies should be placed in a crate or box lined with towels or another easily cleaned warm material.
- The box/crate should have a heat source and should be big enough for the puppies to move away from the heat source if they get too hot.
- Hot water bottles or heat lamps are often used.
- Puppies should be fed in a similar position as if they were nursing naturally. Therefore they must not be fed while lying on their back.
- Milk formulas are available for puppies and these will have feeding guidelines as to how much to feed depending on the age and weight of the puppies (refer to feeding guide below).
- Puppies less than 2 weeks feed every 2-3 hours round the clock, from 2-3 weeks they can be fed every 4-6 hours then every 6-8 hours at 4 weeks.
- Bottles and teats designed for feeding are available from your vets, and these need to be sterilised between uses.
- From 4 weeks, offer milk in a saucer, gradually mixing in small amounts of puppy food.
The mother would normally lick the area under the tail to stimulate the puppy to urinate and defecate. You will need to clean this area with damp cotton wool or tissues after a feed to ensure regular toileting.
Puppies should defecate at least once a day, but if no motions have been passed after 48 hours they may be constipated, please contact your vet for advice.
Some signs of illness
Common signs are:
- persistent crying
- decreased activity
- reluctance to feed
- failure to gain weight
Crying for more than 20 minutes is abnormal and it may indicate that the puppy is cold, hungry or ill. Eventually the puppy will stop crying and become weak and cold.
Since newborn puppies can become seriously ill and die very quickly, contact your vet or nurse for advice if you are concerned about a puppy's behaviour.
This is just a rough feeding guide to help with your feeding process. Amounts and weights may vary.
||Amount in mls
||Amount in oz