How do I introduce my 4 week old puppies (no mother) to food.
How do I introduce my 4 to 5 week old puppies (no mother) to food.
We are currently bottle feeding them. We were told to just shove their faces in the bowl. This seems harsh.
Can you use a spoon instead?
They definitely do need to learn to eat from a bowl, a spoon won't really work well, but just 'shoving their faces in it' does seem a bit of a harsh way to put it!
They are old enough to be weaned, so I would recommend that you choose a good quality, dry puppy kibble and offer it to them three times a day. I'd suggest soaking it in warm water for about 10 mins before you feed it to them, you could also sprinkle some of the puppy milk powder on top so that it is appetizing to them.
Continue to bottle feed them too, for at least a week, but as they begin to eat their kibble, reduce the amount of milk they get. You also need to introduce them to a bowl of water - so they can learn to lap.
Expect them to be a bit (or a lot!) messy at first, they'll step in their food, get it all over themselves and each other - but they'll soon 'get the hang of it'.
You might find my New Born Puppies and Puppy Development pages helpful as you raise your puppies.
Best of luck with them.
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