How to Feed a Weaned Puppy Properly

Animal abandonment can be especially serious at a time when a puppy still hasn't fully developed its defenses, which means they are vulnerable to several illnesses.
How to Feed a Weaned Puppy Properly

Last update: 25 October, 2018

The number of abandoned puppy litters each year just keeps rising, especially during times when females are in heat. If you ever find a young puppy abandoned by its mother, then you should know how to feed a weaned puppy properly.

Common problems with abandoned puppies

Recently-born puppies are so fragile that they are very vulnerable to serval illnesses. If you ever find an abandoned puppy on the street, he most likely would have already been exposed to the following problems:

  • Hypothermia, especially if you find them during the autumn or winter. However, since recently-born puppies can’t regulate their body temperature properly, hipothermia can develop at any time of year.
  • Dehydration. This is often the sequel to hypothermia, with a lack of nutrients causing poor metabolism, leading to dehydration.
  • Hypoglucemia, low levels of blood sugar. Amongst the most common symptoms are convulsions, muscle spasms, and apathy.
Puppies feeding from their mother

Any single one of these problems can be interrelated, so don’t discard any of them and take them straight to a vet after finding a puppy.

Feeding a weaned puppy

Many puppies that have been abandoned on the street or in the countryside are only a few weeks old. Therefore, they still need their mothers’ milk to survive. The only way that these puppies will come out alright is if they got enough food and nutrients through a special milk that’s made just for dogs.

To feed a weaned puppy, you need to bottle-feed them every two or three hours during three to four weeks, depending on their age. Here are some tips that you should follow in order to correctly feed your puppy.

  • Bottle hygiene is especially important due to the fact that they haven’t ingested maternal milk yet. Therefore, the puppy most likely won’t have any intestinal flora or many common antibodies.
  • The size of the teat is important to prevent the puppy from choking or damaging his jaw.
  • The angle that you use to bottle feed the puppy is important to prevent them from developing colic.
  • The hole in the teat also needs to be the right size. If it’s too small, the puppy will have to suck too hard and will end up losing interest.
  • When you are feeding the puppy this way, try to weigh him every week to make sure he’s getting the right amount of nutrients and that everything is progressing correctly.
  • Pay attention to the temperature of the milk. Try to keep it below 37 degrees in order for it to adapt to the puppy’s body temperature.
Puppy being bottle fed


The weaning process should begin around two weeks after the puppy has opened his eyes. Begin by giving them a special milk for puppies in a dish with a small amount of ground oats and put a little bit of food in their mouths to introduce them to the milk. In three weeks, your puppy will be ready to try solid foods.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.