Taking care of a puppy is a big job and requires a lot of knowledge and work.
Puppies need to be fed a lot, and you can’t give them just anything. It is important that they get fresh milk on a daily basis to satisfy their nutritional requirements.
Why is Milk so Important for Puppies?
Puppies are prone to nutritional deficiencies, especially if they are not properly fed. Their body is still growing and needs lots of nutrients to ensure healthy development. A calcium deficiency can be devastating to very young dogs. If you want to keep your puppy healthy, you’ll want to give it milk each day. When the mother is not around to nurse the puppy, you need to find an appropriate replacement.
1. Commercial Formula Products
There are quite a few different commercial formula products on the market that you can buy. You will want to buy a product that is formulated specifically for puppies. This will reduce the chances of gastrointestinal upset, which can be very unpleasant for your little canine.
2. Goat Milk
A lot of people feed their dogs goat milk, as it is very good for them overall. This type of milk is packed with calcium, essential fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins that these animals need. It helps to strengthen their immune system, which is still fairly weak when they are a puppy.
3. Cow Milk
While puppies can technically be fed cow’s milk, you should avoid doing so altogether. This milk has a low fat content, so it is not a good choice for very young puppies because they can starve. Believe it or not, dogs can be lactose intolerant too. The last thing you want is for your pupper to have a negative reaction to this milk. It can cause vomiting, stomach cramps, bloating, and severe diarrhea. If you have to do it add some honey or yolk in it.
4. Making Your Own Milk at Home
You also have the option of making your own milk to feed your puppy. This requires a bit more effort than just doing down to the store, but it could help you save money.
Simply put 10 ounces of goat’s milk, a raw egg yolk, a cup of plain yogurt, and some corn syrup in a blender. Make sure that you mix these ingredients together thoroughly for at least 2-3 minutes. You can also whisk them together by hand, though it takes more time.
This combination of ingredients will provide your puppy with everything its growing body needs to stay healthy. You only want to use fresh ingredients every single time. If you notice any bloating, gas or vomiting, try not using any yogurt (as it contains lactose).
Bottle-Feeding Your Puppy
It is highly recommended that you feed your puppy milk from a bottle. This is the easiest way to ensure that it drinks enough every day. Simply putting it in a bowl and expecting the dog to drink it is not a very good idea.
You want to simulate the nursing process as closely as possible, which is why a bottle with a rubber nipple on the end is the ideal choice. Once the puppy is three to four weeks old, you can start putting the milk in a bowl.
This is about the time that dogs start eating solid food from a bowl as well. Make sure that you only give your dog food for puppies and not adults.
When you feed your puppy milk from a bottle, you should follow these steps:
- First you will want to check if the nipple is firmly fixed on the bottle so your puppy doesn’t accidentally rip it off. If your puppy is less than two weeks old, you should feed it milk using a syringe.
- The milk in the bottle or syringe should be no more than lukewarm temperature. You don’t want it to be too hot or cold. As you hold your puppy with one hand, use the other hand to gently put the bottle up its mouth. Keep the bottle tilted at a 45-degree angle while it sucks on the nipple.
- Give the bottle a little squeeze once you have it up to your puppy’s mouth. This will release the milk smoothly.
- Make sure that your puppy doesn’t drink from the bottle too fast, as it could cause stomach issues. If they are gulping it down too quickly, you should take the bottle away from their mouth for a few seconds before continuing.
- Refrain from giving them too much milk, as it is not good for their overall health. Despite what some people believe, it is possible to overfeed puppies.
How Often Should I Feed my Puppy?
You should give your puppy milk in a bottle every two to three hours for up to a week after they are born. As they get older, you can start waiting longer to start feeding them again. You can stop giving your dog milk when it has reached eight weeks of age.
Once your puppy has reached 4 to 5 weeks old, you should begin weaning them off the bottle. It is very important that you do this somewhat slowly. You don’t want to rush the transition, but you also shouldn’t take too long with it.
If you are unsure how much milk to give your dog, you should talk with your veterinarian. They can provide you with this information based on the age and breed of your dog. Puppies generally need to be fed about half of their total body weight in milk each day.
All puppies need milk for at least the first eight weeks of their life. The type of milk that you give your pet is incredibly important. You should either give them goat’s milk or a commercial formula that is meant for puppies. If you decide to buy formula, you’ll need to make sure that it is high quality. Take some time to research your options so you don’t end up with a sick puppy on your hands.