Category Archives: Dog Feeding

How To Care For A Puppy Under 8 Weeks Old

How To Care For A Puppy Under 8 Weeks Old

Puppies need their mother and littermates during their first 8 weeks of life to eat, stay warm and pick up early social skills. But what about when your puppy comes home too soon?

You can care for a young puppy who does not have a mother; it will just take a little extra work during those first few weeks. Here is everything you need to know about caring for puppies under 8 weeks of age:

Was Your Puppy Sold Illegally?

If you’re in the United States, there is a chance that the puppy was sold to you illegally. Twenty-five states have laws forbidding puppies and kittens to leave their mother until 8 weeks of age, or before the animal is fully weaned, “whichever is later.

Legitimate breeders, rescues and adoption centers will not allow you to take a puppy home before they are ready. Some people may sell you an underage puppy because they are unable to take care of the litter, they may not know any better, or they may be scamming you into believing you are purchasing a “teacup” or “miniature” version of their breed to fetch a higher price. If you can, return the puppy to its mother for another few weeks. If that is not an option, read on.

Always keep in contact with a veterinarian when raising a young puppy. Your vet can give you personalized advice and ensure that your puppy does not have any genetic defects or health issues that you may not be able to recognize on your own.

Caring For A Puppy Under 3 Weeks Old

If you are caring for a very tiny newborn puppy, your close attention and care is crucial for ensuring they have the best chance of survival.

Until they are 4 weeks of age, your puppy may have trouble regulating their own body temperature. They would rely on their littermates and their mother for snuggling to stay warm.

You can use your own body heat to keep the puppy warm. Space heaters, heating pads and heat lamps should only be used under close supervision, as your puppy may not be old enough to crawl away from the heat source if it becomes too hot.

Feeding A Newborn Puppy

Puppies do not begin eating solid foods until they are four weeks old. Until then, you will need to provide a milk substitute, ideally one specifically formulated to meet the needs of growing puppies.

Many homemade formula recipes are available online, though none are vet-approved and nutritionally complete. They are home remedies that some breeders swear by, but this does not mean that they will be appropriate for your puppy. You may use a recipe in case of an emergency if you need a day or two to get commercial canine milk replacer.

The below recipe comes from The Veterinary Technician’s Pocket Partner by Marisa Bauer.

  • 120mL of whole goat’s milk
  • 120 mL of water 2-4 egg yolks
  • 1-2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1000mg of calcium carbonate (like TUMS)

Other recipes include ingredients like corn syrup to provide additional calories, whole yogurt for digestive enzymes, fat and protein, and evaporated milk (3 parts evaporated milk to 1 part water) can be substituted for goat’s milk.

Always boil the water first when making formula, then allow it to cool.

Warm formula to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.

Feed your puppy upright or on their stomach, never on their back, to prevent aspiration. Use an eyedropper, infant baby bottle or special puppy bottle, depending on the size of the puppy. Ensure that the milk does not flow too freely, without being too difficult for your puppy to suckle.

Always burp your puppy after feeding, just like a human baby – hold your pup upright against your chest or over your shoulder and gently pat their back.

How Much Do Puppies Need To Eat?

The best serving size will vary greatly depending on the age, breed and individual nutritional needs of your puppy.

Generally, puppies need to eat one fluid ounce per 1/2 pound of body weight each day, split into 4-8 feedings throughout the day. Weigh your puppy each day using a kitchen scale – their weight should increase by 10% every day.

Pottying A Small Puppy

Puppies cannot urinate and defecate on their own until they are about three or four weeks old. Until then, their mother licks their tummy and anus-genital region to stimulate them to go potty.

Use a warm, damp washcloth, tissue or cotton ball to stimulate how your puppy’s mother would lick them. Do this after every meal, and between meals, as frequently as every two hours.

Caring For A Puppy At 4 Weeks Old

At four weeks of age, you can introduce solid foods. Always use a dog food that is for all life stages or a special puppy formula. Mix canned food or softened kibble with milk, then gradually reduce the ratio of milk.

Dry kibble should be reduced to a soft mush. You can put it in a blender with warm water, or allow it to soak in hot water for an hour before meals. If you are caring for multiple puppies, feed them out of separate bowls to keep track of consumption and to prevent the development of resource guarding. Puppies that have to squabble for food while they are young are more likely to become aggressive around food as they get older.

Caring For A Puppy At 5-6 Weeks Old

By the time your puppy is 5-6 weeks old, they can live on a commercial dog food diet, though you may still want to soften dry kibble. You can continue soaking food in warm water or milk replacer, especially if your puppy is small or needs to gain weight.

Your puppy should already be able to regulate their own body temperature, and will be able to urinate and defecate on their own. Avoid taking them outside unless you are certain that stray dogs do not wander around your property. Young puppies, especially those who have not had the immunity benefits of their own mother’s milk, are vulnerable to potentially deadly infections like parvovirus and distemper.

Around this time, your puppy will need to have a vet visit to get their first round of core vaccines. The sooner you finish their vaccine schedule, the sooner you can begin socializing them without worry of picking up illnesses in public places.

Now that your puppy can potty without assistance, you can begin early potty training. It may be a few more weeks, or months, for small breeds, before they fully develop control over their bodily functions. It’s best to confine your puppy to a small, safe space like a bathroom or an area with a playpen or baby gate. Line the area with potty pads. At first, you’ll need to spackle the whole floor with them. As your puppy gets older, you can use fewer and fewer pads, encouraging your puppy to choose to eliminate on the pad instead of the bare floor. You can worry about transitioning to pottying outside a bit later.

You can also begin getting your puppy used to different people and experiences. Clip those sharp puppy nails to get them used to nail maintenance at an early age. Keep bathing and other grooming experiences short, fun and positive.

Caring For A Puppy At 7 Weeks Old

At seven weeks, your puppy is likely weaned, though you can supplement their food with milk if desired. Getting a puppy a week early is not too risky to their health, but it can result in long-term behavioral problems.

Puppies that spend more time with their mother and littermates have more time to learn about dog-dog interactions. They play-fight with their brothers and sisters and learn that, if they are not gentle, their sibling will squeak and stop playing with them.

Your young puppy will need to learn dog-dog manners and bite inhibition in another way. It is helpful if they are able to play with another dog, though they are vulnerable to parvo and other viruses before they complete their core vaccines.

Only let your puppy play with adult dogs who are fully vaccinated. If this is not possible, teach bite inhibition early on – a high-pitched yelp (from you!) when your puppy nips can communicate that they are playing too rough, along with short breaks during playtime. There is no need to shout, tap your puppy on the nose, or otherwise punish them for natural, playful puppy behavior – those techniques tend to get puppies even more riled up. Use soft toys to act as a buffer between your hands and those sharp puppy teeth.

Early Training For Puppies

At this age, puppies are clingy – which makes it the perfect time to start teaching recall. Give your puppy lots of love, praise and treats for responding to the sound of their name, a whistle, and/or your chosen cue, like “here pup!”

It will be a few more months until your puppy has a reliable attention span, so keep training sessions short and frequent.

Exercise Guidelines For Puppies

Until one year of age, and longer for large breeds, your puppy will be growing rapidly. They can be prone to growth plate injuries and their bones may not grow correctly as a result. No long walks, hikes, or jumping up stairs and in and out of cars. Keep play sessions under 30 minutes. Your puppy will go from zero to 100, to zero again in minutes – hyper streaks and lots of naps are totally normal.

Once your puppy catches up to the 8-week mark, they likely will not need any more special care. Complete their vaccine schedule on time, start training early, and work on socialization throughout your puppy’s first year.

The first year is the hardest, but sooner than you know, you’ll have a smart, healthy, well-rounded adult dog.

The Best Fresh Foods To Boost Your Pet’s Kibble

The Best Fresh Foods To Boost Your Pet’s Kibble

Dry kibble is the most affordable way to feed your pet – but it’s not the healthiest. Just like people, animals thrive on fresh food diets. However, it’s not always practical to prepare your own pet food at home. You can boost your pet’s kibble and add enticing variety to their diet with healthy add-ins. Are… Continue Reading

What You Should Know About Food Allergies In Dogs

What You Should Know About Food Allergies In Dogs

Food allergies in dogs are incredibly common, yet few dog owners realize that their dogs are silently suffering. We mistakenly think it’s normal when our dogs spend hours each night licking their paws. We don’t take notice when our dogs give off strange odors. It’s not until their skin is inflamed, scabbed and flaky that… Continue Reading

Dog Food Recall Of May 2016 By Blue Buffalo

Dog Food Recall Of May 2016 By Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo is voluntarily recalling some batch of their Life Protection Formula Dog Food product due to mold and moisture. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Blue Buffalo Company of Wilton, Connecticut. Brands: Life Protection Formula Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe. Recalled products: A single batch of Life Protection Formula Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe… Continue Reading

Bravo Pet Food Recalls Select Lots Of Dog & Cat Food

Bravo Pet Food Recalls Select Lots Of Dog & Cat Food

Bravo Pet Foods is recalling select lots of Bravo Chicken pet foods for cats and dogs because of possible salmonella contamination. Salmonella can affect animals eating the contaminated products and humans are also at risk after handling the products, especially if you don’t wash your hands thoroughly with soap afterwards. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological… Continue Reading

Tremenda Sticks Recalled Due To Salmonella

Tremenda Sticks Recalled Due To Salmonella

The Natural Dog Company, Inc. is recalling 12oz bags of 12″ Tremenda Sticks pet chews due to potential salmonella contamination. Salmonella can affect animals eating the contaminated products and humans are also at risk after handling the products, especially if you don’t wash your hands thoroughly with soap afterwards. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order]… Continue Reading

I And Love And You Dog Treats Recall

I And Love And You Dog Treats Recall

I and Love and You of Boulder, Colorado, is voluntarily recalling 1,299 cases of Cow-Boom! Strips Beef Gullet because of the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Update: As of 07/14/2015, the recalled products have been greatly expanded to include the products with the following information as well: Cow-Boom! Strips Beef Gullet Dog Treats 2.0… Continue Reading

Vital Essentials Raw Frozen Dog Food Recall

Vital Essentials Raw Frozen Dog Food Recall

Carnivore Meat Company is voluntarily recalling two batches of Vital Essentials raw frozen dog food due to possible Listeria bacteria contamination. [All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Carnivore Meat Company. Brand: Vital Essentials Raw Frozen Tripe Patties. Vital Essentials Raw Frozen Tripe Niblets. Recalled products: Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Tripe Patties Lot # 10930… Continue Reading

Stella And Chewy’s Recall Frozen And Freeze-dried Pet Food

Stella And Chewy’s Recall Frozen And Freeze-dried Pet Food

Stella & Chewy’s is voluntarily recalling a number of both frozen and freeze-dried products due to potential exposure to other foods contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. [All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Stella and Chewy’s Recalled products: Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner for Dogs /15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016 Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner… Continue Reading

Boulder Dog Food Company Recalls Turkey Sprinkles

Boulder Dog Food Company Recalls Turkey Sprinkles

Boulder Dog Food Company, L.L.C. is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of its Turkey Sprinkles food enhancer because it has the potential of being contaminated with Salmonella. This is an expansion of the 3 oz. Chicken Sprinkles recall issued on June 19 by the same company. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Boulder Dog Food… Continue Reading

Boulder Dog Food Company Recalls Chicken Sprinkles

Boulder Dog Food Company Recalls Chicken Sprinkles

Boulder Dog Food Company, L.L.C. is voluntarily recalling the Chicken Sprinkles (3 oz.) with a “Best By” date of “05/04/16”, a Lot Number of “998”, and a UPC Code of 899883001231 (the “Product”), because the Product has the potential of being contaminated with Salmonella. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Boulder Dog Food… Continue Reading

Himalayan Ruff Roots All Natural Dog Chews Recalled

Himalayan Ruff Roots All Natural Dog Chews Recalled

According to a bulletin published on the company’s website, Himalayan Corporation of Mukilteo, WA, has issued a voluntary recall of specific Ruff Roots All-Natural Dog Chews due to potential metal contamination. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Himalayan Corporation dba Himalayan Dog Chew. Brand: Ruff Roots Dog Chew Toys. Recalled products: According to the… Continue Reading

Turkey & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation Recalled

Turkey & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation Recalled

OC Raw Dog of Rancho Santa Margarita, California is voluntarily recalling 2055 lbs. of Turkey and Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation (for dogs) because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: OC Raw Dog of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA  NOTE:  Click on the images for… Continue Reading

Nylabone Puppy Starter Dog Chews Recalled

Nylabone Puppy Starter Dog Chews Recalled

Nylabone Products (TFH Publications, Inc.) of Neptune, New Jersey is recalling one lot of  1.69 oz. package of the Puppy Starter Kit dog chews, as they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: TFH Publications, Inc./ Nylabone Products  NOTE:  Click on the images for a larger view. Brand:… Continue Reading

Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food Recalled

Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food Recalled

Tuffy’s Pet Foods, Inc. of Perham, MN is voluntarily recalling specific lots of 4 lb. bags of Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Tuffy’s manufactured the product for Nutrisca. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Tuffy’s Pet Foods, Inc. Nutrisca… Continue Reading

Pet Food Recall – Buster’s Natural Beef Trachea Treat

Pet Food Recall – Buster’s Natural Beef Trachea Treat

The potential to be contaminated with Salmonella has led Pet International of Miami, Florida to recall 1500 units of 6” Beef Trachea Pet Treat. Salmonella can affect animals including dogs if they ingest the products. Humans can also be infected from handling the product if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after having contact with the… Continue Reading

Raw Pet Food Recall By J.J. Fuds Expanded Again

Raw Pet Food Recall By J.J. Fuds Expanded Again

This pet food recall update is an expansion of the previous pet food recall by J.J. Fuds Inc. J.J. Fuds is expanding their recall to include all lots and products of J.J. Fuds Chicken Tender Chunks, Beef Tender Chunks and Duckling Tender Chunks Pet Food. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company:  J.J. Fuds, Inc.… Continue Reading

Pet Food Recall – Big Bark All Natural Beef Jerky Treats

Pet Food Recall – Big Bark All Natural Beef Jerky Treats

Big Bark All Natural Beef Jerky Treats by Grill-Phoria recalled. [All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company:  Grill-Phoria LLC Brand: Big Bark All Natural Beef Jerky Treats Recalled products: Grill-Phoria LLC of Loveland, Colorado is recalling approximately 200, 3.5 oz bags of Big Bark All Natural Beef Jerky Treats. Why recalled? possible Salmonella Contamination. Notes: No illnesses have been… Continue Reading

Pet Food Recall – J.J. Fuds Chicken Tender Chunks

Pet Food Recall – J.J. Fuds Chicken Tender Chunks

J.J. Fuds Chicken Tender Chunks Recalled. [All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company:  J.J. Fuds, Inc. [Click on the image to see a larger version of the Labels] Brand: J. J. Fuds Premium Natural Blends, Chicken Tender Chunks. Recalled products: The product can be identified by the batch ID code (manufactured date) and UPC code printed… Continue Reading

Pet Food Recall – Roo Bites (Cubes) Pet Treats

Pet Food Recall – Roo Bites (Cubes) Pet Treats

Jump Your Bones recalls Roo Bites Pet Treats (dehydrated Kangaroo meat) due to potential Salmonella contamination. [Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company:  Jump Your Bones, Inc. Brand: Roo Bites (Cubes) Pet Treats Recalled products: The products affected by this recall ( dehydrated kangaroo meat) are identified with the following UPC codes: 63633010041 for 80g. /… Continue Reading

Pet Food Recall – Barkworthies Chicken Vittles Dog Chews

Pet Food Recall – Barkworthies Chicken Vittles Dog Chews

Barkworthies Chicken Vittles dog chews recalled by Barkworthies due to potential salmonella contamination. [Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company:  Barkworthies of Richmond, VA Brand: Barkworthies Chicken Vittles dog chews Recalled products: Here are the details on the affected products. The Lot Code can be found on the side of the plastic pouch. Barkworthies Chicken Vittles Lot… Continue Reading

Pet Food Recall – Simply Nourish Biscotti Dog Treats

Pet Food Recall – Simply Nourish Biscotti Dog Treats

Simply Nourish Biscotti Dog Treats recalled by Loving Pets Corp & PetSmart due to the potential for mold growth. [Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Loving Pets Corp & PetSmart Brands: Simply Nourish Biscotti with Beef and Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats Recalled products: The affected products have an expiration date of February 2016. Here are the details on the… Continue Reading

Pet Food Recall – Bravo Dogs And Cats Pet Food

Pet Food Recall – Bravo Dogs And Cats Pet Food

Bravo recalls select lots of Dogs And Cats Pet Food due to potential salmonella contamination. [Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Bravo of Manchester, CT Brands: Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats  Recalled products: The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly… Continue Reading

Pet Food Recall – Kong Aussie Sticks Dog Treats

Pet Food Recall – Kong Aussie Sticks Dog Treats

Kong Aussie Sticks Dog Treats recalled by JAKKS Pacific due to possible contamination with mold. [Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company:  JAKKS Pacific Brands: Kong Aussie Sticks Recalled products: The products being recalled have the following item numbers: Item 75559 Item 75560 And these “Best Before” dates: 1/30/16 1/31/16 Why recalled? due to possible contamination with mold.… Continue Reading