Sherob's Cookbook Introduction

Sooner or later, everyone who breeds dogs finds themselves having to feed newborn puppies. I've always had good luck using goat's milk with no additions. Some supermarkets carry it in both the regular milk section and in the evaporated form.  You can also order dried goat's milk from mail and internet order houses that carry animal supplies, like KV Vet. 

If you can't obtain goat's milk, you will have to make a formula for your puppies. You cannot give them cow's milk because it doesn't have the correct amount of fat and your puppies will probably not be able to assimilate it. Here is a collection of formulas that people have use successfully.

It's also a good idea to keep a supply of unflavored Pedialyte on hand to rehydrate dogs and stabilize electrolytes if they have diarrhea or vomiting.  (Not a bad idea for people either).  Put it in the water bowl or use it in place of water with food. 

Recipe #1

Baby bottleIngredients

     2/3 C Goat milk canned (or just regular canned milk)
     1/3 C water or Pedialyte
     1 tsp Karo Syrup
     1 egg yolk
     1 tsp Dyne or pediatric vitamin

     Strain a couple of times to make sure there is no albumin in the mixture, although it has been used successfully without egg at all.
Received from Chryste Gettman on Showdog-L.

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Formula, Variation 1

1 can of Condensed Milk rather than goat's milk (it may be too high in protein and put a strain on the puppy's kidneys
1 envelope of Knox unflavored gelatin in addition to other ingredients (helps keep stools
solid).
Received from Christeen Nowrocki on Showdog-L

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Recipe #2

Ingredients     
1 cup of canned Condensed milk or evaporated milk
4 oz plain, full-fat yogurt
1 egg yolk
1 dropper full of baby vitamins

Mix well.
Received from Phyllis McNall of Showdog L

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Recipe #3

Ingredients

2 cups hot water
1 can Evaporated milk (Not condensed--both are in bakery section of store but different products)
2 eggs
2 Tbs Karo syrup
2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatine.

Mix thoroughly to get the gelatin working.
Received from Linda Campbell on Showdog-L .

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Recipe #4

Ingredients

4 oz Carnation EVAPORATED milk
4 oz FULL FAT natural, plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise, (NOT salad dressing and definitely NOT DIET)
1 egg yolk
1 dropper full of human baby pediatric liquid vitamin, no fluoride.

Whiz in blender...feed baby.
Submitted by Julie Richards on Showdog-L

 

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Weaning

I get a lot of questions about weaning and feeding young puppies.  I've never whelped anything but large-breed puppies, so I don't know if these techniques would work for or even be applicable to smaller dogs like toys.  Generally, I feel that dogs have managed to survive on their own for many thousands of years, and so they're pretty well equipped to take care of their young.  So, I try to minimize my interference with the natural course of events. 

That said, I'm not wild about my mom's recycling their dinners for the puppies.  Usually, this starts around five or six weeks,  Mom usually comes into the litter box a few times with the sort of expression I've learned to recognize as "I feel a little sick." 

Cued by the puppies jumping and licking at her face, eventually this progresses to full-blown regurgitation of food. Nothing is really wrong with this--dog's have been feeding their young this way for eons--except that the mom can get really run down fast.

Several factors determine when I start feeding puppies,but the main one is the size of the litter.  Very small ones, with just two or three pups, can easily be handled by the mom.  In fact, it's hard to get them interested in food because they don't have any competition for the milk-bar.  A singleton puppy is especially difficult.  Sometimes the problem with these guys is keeping weight off.

For most of my mothers, their enthusiasm for feeding their puppies is inversely proportional to the size and number of needle-sharp baby teeth in the puppies' mouths.  Her waning interest makes keeping her separated from the puppies much easier, because to get them started, they need to be hungry and away from Mom.  Otherwise, she'll eat their food and they'll just nurse!

I also think it's important to prepare the puppies for solid food gradually, so initially, I feed a gruel made from Gerber's Cereal for infants (human) mixed with goat milk.  At this point it should be quite liquid.  Just as with a baby's bottle, I heat it in the microwave for a few second and stir until the temperature is uniform.  It should feel warm to the inside of your wrist but not uncomfortably hot.

I use 8 x 12 baking pans at first.  When you put this in with the hungry puppies, they have no idea what it is, but they'll stumble into it or stick their noses down to investigate and lick it.  It may take them a couple of tries before they decide they like it, but eventually they'll start licking it up and licking off each other. 

A little while after they've finished, I let their mom in to clean up the pan, puppies, and pen.  Then at least an hour before their next feeding, Mom goes outside and they get another meal when they start looking for her and whining because they're hungry.  At this point, I feed small amounts about 3 times a day.

As the puppies get used to the food and start to gobble it up, I start making it a little thicker.  By the third day, it should be the consistency of oatmeal.  At this point, I start adding some kind of puppy food and raw meat.  I grind the kibble in the blender or food processor until it's like sand.  The meat is either hamburger or chicken I've ground up in the food processor.  All of this soaks untie it's thoroughly moist, and then is given to the puppies.

As the week goes by, I decrease how much I grind the food so that the pieces are increasingly larger.  At about 5 weeks, puppies become interested in eating things with texture.  By 6 weeks, I'm giving them snacks of dry food to exercise their teeth and gums as well as meat and food just soaked in milk but no longer ground.

Sated puppies don't nurse as much, so the mother's milk production decreases.  Eventually, you'll be able to separate them for an entire day and she'll also pitch in to wean the puppies by only allowing them to nurse for a couple of seconds before she moves or jumps away.  The puppies eat solid meals three times a day and can be without their mother for long stretches of time.

If you don't want to mess with grinding, several dog food companies make "Weaning" formulas of their food.  This is basically just their puppy food ground up already, but it does save you some time.

One more not about feeding.  I use food especially formulated for large-breed puppies made by premium food companies for the first few months but after that, I switch to the lower fat/lower protein formulations typical of maintenance foods.  It's important not to force growth in a large-breed youngster.  They'll eventually achieve whatever size their genes encode, but it's better for the dog physiologically if that doesn't happen overnight!

 

Dog bone and bowl rule courtesy of Fuzzy Faces

©2007, Sherry E. Wallis.  All rights reserved. All copyright material not owned by the authors used with permission.