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Hand Rearing Puppies

Hand-Rearing Puppies

Recent developments in successful puppy hand-rearing methods has made it so much easier to raise orphaned or abandoned puppies. Dog owners who enjoy a high degree of success raising newborn pups pay careful attention to the three following principles: Giving a suitable environment; feeding a nutritionally complete formula; and having a regular feeding schedule.

Regulating the right environment such as providing warm temperature, humidity, and keeping the puppy comfortable, quiet, and undisturbed are the three most important requirements for a puppy's proper environment.

Obviously the ideal food to feed to newborn puppies is their mother's milk. However, any replacement for the mother's milk should approximate it as closely as possible. Milk from cow is too dilute for puppies and should only be used as an emergency food. Every effort should be made to replace it with a more suitable substitute as soon as possible. However, a much more suitable emergency formula can be made from evaporated canned milk. This can be achieved by mixing three parts of evaporated milk, as it comes from the can, with one part of warm water. With this mixture, milk with 20 percent solids will be formed. This mixture will have the amount of nutrients that is close to that of the mother's milk. In addition, commercial formulas designed to be used for feeding orphaned or abandoned puppies is also a good substitute. These products closely resemble the mother's milk in content.

If their formula resembles the motherís milk closely enough, newborn puppies of small and medium-size breeds do not need to be fed more than four times per day. For larger dog breeds however, this number may need to be increased to six meals. Using these measurements with a formula of proper content, the total daily quantity required will divide into four to six equal feedings that will leave the puppy with a moderately distended stomach following each feeding. The exact quantity to be fed must always be left to the discretion of the owner feeding the puppy. Remember that common sense is still one of the most important aspects of successfully raising infant puppies. Always keep in mind that it is better to underfeed than to overfeed.

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