Nursing puppies receive complete nutrition from their mothers' milk and should continue to nurse until they are at least four weeks old. At four weeks of age, dogs can begin to eat a high-quality kibble designed for puppies to ensure proper nutrition. It should be offered several times a day, and softened with warm water and a milk replacement, blended to prevent choking or damage to the puppy's teeth. Puppies can be transitioned to dry kibble at about eight weeks old.Continue Reading
If a puppy is rejected by or loses its mother, it can be hand nursed using a commercially-made, canine milk replacement formula. Using cow's milk or another type of milk replacement is not recommended, as it can cause diarrhea. A veterinarian should be consulted to learn the proper technique for bottle-feeding puppies, and they should be fed every few hours for the first several weeks.
A puppy being properly fed should gain approximately 10 to 15 percent of its birth weight daily. During the first several weeks, it is common for a puppy to double or triple its birth weight. A puppy that does not gain weight properly is unlikely to survive. At six weeks of age, a puppy should have its first visit with a veterinarian. This visit includes a physical examination, the first round of vaccinations and deworming.Learn more about Veterinary Health
A puppy receives a 7 in 1 shot at 6 weeks of age. The vaccination is a two-step process, with the second vaccination occurring at 9 weeks. A yearly re-vaccination is recommended.Full Answer >
Puppies should have the five-way or combination vaccine at ages 6 and 9 weeks. This vaccine protects puppies from adenovirus cough, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus and distemper, according to Pet Education. Puppies at high risk for exposure to parvovirus should get the parvovirus vaccine at 5 weeks of age.Full Answer >
The average length of the gestation period for dogs is between 60 to 64 days, or roughly 9 weeks. However, as with humans, the length of the gestation period varies slightly depending on the female. The duration also varies between breeds.Full Answer >
Most of the time, female dogs deliver their puppies without human intervention, states veterinarian T.J. Dunn, Jr. for petMD. First, the female dog delivers the water sack, and then the first puppy arrives within an hour. If the dog does not deliver, contact the veterinarian for instructions. Also call the vet if the dog is more than 65 days pregnant.Full Answer >