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Has anybody hand-reared a puppy or puppies?

(6 Posts)
PinkPjamas Fri 20-Nov-15 11:14:42

I've got one at the moment who was abandoned. She's 3 weeks old today.

I've been giving her puppy formula and this morning we went for a check up and the vet is very pleased with her.

But I forgot to ask him if I should be introducing other foods, yet?
She doesn't toilet very often (poo) and I am thinking if I get some fibre into her, that will help, if I can. Or should it just be formula for a while longer?

When I first got her she refused formula completely and I bought some full fat greek yogurt out of desperation, after reading online that it was okay, and luckily this seemed to spark her appetite and dipping the bottle in it also meant she took her formula after that.

But looking online, I've found a lot of stuff saying that at three weeks pups will start wanting more solid foods, but not much by the means of what they can have. Actual puppy food seems to specify at least five weeks, from what I have read.

Could I give her mushy weetabix or something like that? I'm so scared of damaging her digestive system if she's too young, but also I'm not wanting to deprive her after her rocky start, if it IS okay for her to have some actual food, now?

TheCunnyFunt Fri 20-Nov-15 12:14:26

I just asked my friend who is a breeder, she's not a member of MN so she can't post herself but here is what she says -

Yes introduce solids from 3 weeks .. I start with some Butchers Tripe mixed with the milk and mushed up .. mainly because the smell really makes them want to try it .. Butchers Tripe is a canned dog food from the shop and you need the original loaf .. not any fancy variation as they are too chunky and won't mush ..
I offer this 4 times a day for a couple of days then when the puppies have the hang of things I give 2 meals per day rice pudding and 2 meals per day mince with goat's milk and gradually introduce a soaked kibble which can be prepared in a tub enough to last a day.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 20-Nov-15 13:17:20

Are you stimulating her to urinate and poo as this what her mother would do. You mimic this by wiping with damp cotton wool around the anus every time you feed.
I offer solid food from three weeks, I use a puppy dried food ( I like Arden grange) soaked in warm puppy milk to make a porridge. Once she is eating this well you can gradually reduce milk content and make it more crunchy.
Hand reared puppies can get constipated this tends to be due to mild dehydration so I would ensure she is full at each milk feed.
Very like a human baby don't alter the milk making it as pack instructions, offer solid food, but until about 5 weeks solids are mainly for fun.

PinkPjamas Fri 20-Nov-15 13:33:32

Thanks, very helpful. Yes catwithkitten I do this, but she still isn't very regular (day before yesterday was last time).
I am going to the shops first chance I get and will look out for Butchers' tripe.

I was worried she was constipated although vet said not.
Thanks for asking your friend for me, cunny! smile

PinkPjamas Fri 27-Nov-15 00:15:47

I had puppy to the vet and he was very pleased with her smile

She isn't constipated, I was panicking unduly.

She's refusing formula more and more, now although I have had some success with putting it onto her food. The Butcher's tripe is going down very well.

I'm slightly concerned at her not getting much formula but I am supposing that the protein content is now replaced by what she's getting from food.

I know first jabs aren't meant to happen until she's quite a bit older.

As she's not socialising much with her siblings I am also concerned about whether she'll grow up to be not a 'normal' dog. Time to get swotting up on the means of ensuring she's well mentally as well as physically.

banff82 Fri 27-Nov-15 22:51:20

Three weeks is absolutely fine to start weaning but Butcher's tripe is not very good quality - and is formulated for adult dogs - and rice pudding has little nutritional value for puppies. I would get a good quality puppy food - the Royal Canin Starter range is good - and soak it in boiling water or the puppy milk until you can mash it into a Ready-Brek style paste which she can then lap up. As she gets bigger you can gradually stop mashing it and decrease the amount of water added. Barking Heads Puppy Days and Arden Grange puppy are also good brands, or mashed/scraped raw mince can also be a good first food for pups if you raw feed.

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