Puppy Feeding

Puppy Feeding

Animals in a litter should be watched carefully to see that they are all getting enough milk. When they are a few days old they can starve in a very short time. Frequently old dog have some teats so large that the young will suck from the side or be unable to suck at all They sometimes have to be helped so that they can find the teats small enough for them.
A healthy puppy struggles in your hands, attempting to find a proper environment for survival, namely, its littermates and its moth – er’s breasts. Sick puppies are noisy puppies until they become so weak they are limp to the touch and have little strength when picked up. Hungry puppies are also noisy. The litter cries a pathetic chorus as it seeks food, and if the mother has inadequate milk a puppy nurses on anipple, releases it, and tries for another, crying between efforts.If the litter is a large one and all the puppies are to be raised by the mother, remove half the puppies as they arc born by stealing them away without the dam’s knowing what is being done. Stroke her head and, as you cover her eyes with your hand, quickly take a puppy and place it behind you in a box. This can usually be done most easily while the bitch is giving her attention to the latest arrival. On the other hand, it is possible to wait until all the pups are born and then take half of them away. The mother cannot count and will he content with the puppies you leave, provided the absent ones are placed so far away that she cannot hear them.
The two groups of puppies can be switched for feeding every two or three hours for the first few days and every four hours for the next few. To have them grow satisfactorily, however, you must change them at not more than five – hour intervals.
If the dam’s milk is infected or insufficient, or if she is nervous and even seems afraid of her pups, it may be necessary to feed them from a bottle or by stomach tube. Supplementary feeding may also be advisable if the dam has too large a litter.
Bitches’ milk is naturally slightly acid. Many people blame the death of puppies on acid milk, but they should look for other causes. If a formula is used as a substitute, do not try to modify cow’s milk so that it approximates the chemical composition of human milk, even though you have read that this should be done. Bitches’ milk is not at all like human milk. It has more fat, less sugar, more protein, and more ash. Most of the old formulas advise adding limewater, glucose, or dextrose. These formulas, however, are modified in precisely the wrong direction.
There are specially prepared modified milk on the market today for puppies. If these are unavailable in your neighborhood, try one of the spray – dried baby milk. Mix one ounce with six ounces of water by volume and add one ounce of fresh cream. This can make a stock solution which serves admirably, although it is high in sugar. Keep the solution refrigerated. It should be shaken and warmed before being fed to the puppies.
If a 20 – gauge hypodermic needle is inserted through the hub of the nipple next to the bottle’s lip, the air can run in while the puppy is suck in gand the nipple will not collapse. Start with two small holes and increase the size of the holes if the puppy is not able to suck wills enough strength to withdraw the formula.
If there are more than three puppies, the stomach tube method is preferred as a time saver. The formula is drawn into a syringe attached to a premature human infant stomach tube. Before inserting the tube down the puppy’s throat hold it alongside the puppy so that the tip is just behind the rib cage. With the puppy’s head extended, mark the tube at the puppy’s nose. This will be the mark to reach before inject – ing the formula. Such a tube is premarked for humans but disregard that mark. Insert the tube down the throat until the pup swallows and then pass it until your mark is even with the nose and inject the formula and withdraw the tube.
There are two dangers to avoid. First, if the tube is introduced into the windpipe or trachea, it can be inserted only halfway. If formula is injected into the lungs the result will be death. Second, if the end of the tube is not down into the stomach some of the injected formula will follow the tube back up to the entrance of the trachea where the puppy may inhale it and die a few days later.
The overzealous owner decides a young puppy should have supplemental feeding purchases a bitch’s milk substitute and administers it with a bottle and nipple – usually with poor results. There is no milk substitute that tastes to a puppy like its mother’s milk and Ilse puppy will often refuse it. If the puppy’s mouth is forced open and a nipple is placed in it, the puppy will usually chew it, fighting to resist the unusual flavor. Some of the formula may be inhaled with disastrous results since mechanical or foreign body pneumonia may result, and for these there is little effective treatment.
There is an obvious way to determine if puppies are not able to get enough milk from their mother and that is to hear them crying between trying one stipple after another. When hungry enough they will then take a formula with gusto. Massy females have little milk for about six hours after whelping but an adequate amount thereafter.
The supplementary milk must be close to body temperature at first. Even five or six degrees of variation in either direction will inhibit sucking. Feed the puppies before returning them to their mother. At first puppies will take about it cc of milk for each ounce of weight. You can increases the amount proportionately as they grow. They most be nursed at least four times a day if they are to thrive, and five times a day is preferable.
Since young puppies are stimulated to urinate and defecate by their mother’s licking, a puppy fed by other means than its mother must be stimulated by gently rubbing the genitals with cotton after each feeding. They may not defecate but will urinate at each feeding with the proper stimulation.
When puppies reach as little as three weeks of age their mother does something for them of which many people strongly disapprove – she eats food, lets it partially digest, and then vomits it for them to eat.This is their first natural food. The mother’s actions are probably under hormone control. Do not be alarmed if you witness this phenomenon. Learn a lesson from it and start supplying the little pups with solid, easily digestible food at this time. There are several puppy foods on the market specifically formulated for the requirements of this period of explosive growth just as there are human baby foods geared to the needs of children. If such food is not available, offer the pups cooked meat and cereal foods. Concoct a stew of ingredients such as protein, lots of vegetable matter, and fat. Let it cool, then watch them eat it!The addition of such foods to the puppies’ diets spares the mother the burden of furnishing huge amounts of milk, and she is thereby kept in good condition.

Alicia Carter

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