In-Depth response to query on feeding young puppies by Marj Brooks
Upon weaning your puppies you will need to continue feeding more than 3 times a day awhile. My rule of thumb is you feed enough to fill their stomachs and not have them have that extended stomach look when they are finished eating. You can guesstimate the size of their stomachs just by looking.
Let them still be around mom through the 7th week. They can help mom dry up by suckling on her for a minute when her breasts fill up with milk and relieve her and save yourself from having to do it. Also mom teaches the puppies dog things or things that dogs need to know. In the 7th week mom teaches discipline. You should observe this yourself and use what mom is teaching them for her and other dogs for you to teach for you and other humans.
Back to feeding: Put them on a daytime schedule. You shouldn’t have to be getting up in the middle of the night to feed them. You are imprinting a bad
habit. They probably need to be fed 5 or even 6 little meals on the same schedule each day backing off to 4 or 5 meals at six weeks and 4 meals at
the 7th week for a while. Maybe at 9 weeks or so you can drop to 3 times a day and at about 4 months to 2 times a day. You will be able to tell by
their behaviors when you can feed less meals.
All during this time you are giving them more and more each meal and day as they grow. As you will see, they will be growing very fast now and actually have been all along.
It is good for digestion that they chew their food too, so you don’t have to smash it all up but soak it some for the added moisture. Another thing that I can advise is to feed them all in separate dishes. This way they all will get what they need. The bullies and the bigger pups will eventually cause a slower and the lesser or lower puppy in the pecking order which they are establishing to not get enough and they eventually could give up and become fussy eaters when they leave the nest and your home.
I have a photograph to share and I will put it on the website to illustrate this feeding separately thing. You don’t have to separate the puppies all over the place at this time, just line all of the dishes up and keep each puppy at their own dish until they have all cleaned up their respective dish of food. Then they can go around to all of the dishes and clean ’em up if you desire. At the time you hand them the food, you can say “let’s eat” and “go to you dish” and you will have to guide and push them to their individual dish. During the time they are eating and want to leave their dish to go another, stop them by guiding them back to their dish and say ‘eat you own food’ or ‘go to your dish’ … whatever words or command that you think of. This way they are learning direction and obedience from you. Their dam (mom) is already teaching them these things at this time and has been all
Puppies normally play a little after eating, eliminate and then go to sleep to grow. Actually this is a great time to teach them to housebreak them. After they eat they have to eliminate and you can usher them outside ‘let’s go outside’, ‘take a pee’ after they get outside and so on. Let them play outside, weather permitting and/or say ‘let’s go in the house’ and usher them in to play, and you play with them a little and let mom play with them a little and they will go to sleep and you start all over.
When they wake up say, ‘let’s go outside’ and take them out to eliminate as they always have to eliminate when they wake up and so on through out the
If you set up a schedule that works for you, they will learn it and you should be able to get a full nights sleep.
It is hard for me to remember just how much food that I am feeding to each puppy at 5 weeks, so you will learn how much that they need to satisfy them
without allowing their stomachs to be noticeably extended. You should be able to tell at a glance that they are full or something is in the stomach
I hope that this is a big help to you and if you have more questions, please ask.
I will work on getting the photo up on the site.
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