How can I get 4 week old puppies to eat solid food? Please help!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by PhoenixPhlock, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. PhoenixPhlock

    PhoenixPhlock Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 5, 2009
    I am fostering a momma dog and her puppies. I just got them on Tuesday, and have been introducing softened puppy chow mixed with canned food about every four hours. A couple of them seem to like it, but others don't even lick at it. Mom doesn't want to nurse much any more. The puppies have sharp little teeth, and I'm worried they're not getting enough food. By the way, there's TEN of them. Any advice? Thanks for looking.
  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Have you tried bottle feeding them the puppy milk replacement?
  3. FiatThis

    FiatThis New Egg

    Mar 24, 2009
    SW Missouri
    Milk replacer + ground up solid dog food + sprite. A vet friend of mine taught me the sprite trick a while back and I've never seen it fail. Good Luck.
  4. thebritt

    thebritt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Every bit the pups can get from mom will help them develope strong immune systems, especially if she's been vaccinated. Just wanted to put that out there. Good luck.
  5. me&thegals

    me&thegals Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    We raised about 10 litters of lab pups a while back. I can't remember when they started on solid, but when their mom started kicking them off because they were biting her while nursing, we would get them going on it.

    We got a large, flat pan (like a pie dish) half filled with puppy food and then dumped in a bunch of water. It softened the food up enough to get the babies going on it. Good luck!
  6. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    Have you clipped the puppies' toenails? They get awful sharp by four weeks old and the mamas just can't take it any more so the hop up out of the box because their nails are too sharp and dig in.

    If that is not the problem, I soak the dry puppy food in water, mix in a bit of canned food or a finely mashed hard boiled egg, and puppy milk replacer and mash it up so it is about like oatmeal and get it just warm in the microwave. Don't make it boil because it turns it gummy and they don't like the taste after it gets too hot.

    Using a three CC syringe, I put a bit at a time im the back of their tongue and they usually will start eating it. Make sure they are protected from being chilled at all times. If a puppy gets chilled, the bacteria in their gut slows down and their digestion gets thrown off. Keep them warm, draft free, and oh, it is also time to worm them. Hope there is some sort of useful info above. Good luck with those puppies, and kudos to you for helping out.
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    i would wet dry pup food,let it get soft and then mix in some soft canned food also..put a little of it on their lips so they have to lick it off and get the taste of it. or you can gently dip their nose in the food to show them where its at. also...use warm water to soften the dry food....dont give them any cold food. always make sure its a little bit warm for them. good luck!
  8. tharrell

    tharrell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    First I would do what was just suggested and clip the puppies nails. Long nails can be very uncomfortable for momma. Second, if that doesn't work, DON"T feed the milk replacer you find in stores, make your own. It's higher in fat, and better for the puppies. I have used this recipe many times, and saved many puppies;
    10 oz can of goats milk (even better if you can find it fresh)
    1 raw egg yolk
    1 cup whole yogurt (not fat free, or low fat, has to be whole fat)
    1/2 tsp karo syrup

    If these are large breed puppies, you can probably go with food mixed with the formula. I don't like to make a special diet for puppies because every time you change their diet they can get a stomach upset. What I do is buy a high quality puppy food, and I put it in a blender and grind it down to a fine powder. I then mix this with the puppy formula. It's better than feeding canned food because it is mostly water. This was they get all the nutrients of the food, and all the calories and protein from the puppy formula. Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to help. I have been raising puppies for a long time.
  9. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    I always started my puppies on baby rice cereal. Mixed with some evaporated milk (watered down). Just stick each nose in it a little till they all get the idea.

    Then add some puppy food. Will be chowing down in no time.
  10. abluechipstock

    abluechipstock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2009
    fort ashby, wv
    it sounds normal to me when you start puppies on solid food, i start my puppies at 4 weeks eating canned food, they only eat a little at a time, then i use soaked dry food, i feed them twice a day when the mom is still with them, then when the mother leaves i feed them 3 times a day, by the time they are 8 weeks they are eating really well twice a day, hope this helps, they'll catch on don't freight [​IMG]

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