Are you a first-time puppy owner and worried about how to feed your 4-week-old puppy? Well! Puppies are similar to human beings in many ways, yet different from them in some other ways. Confused? Don’t be, because my article will answer all your questions and provide solutions to all your problems.
To ensure the optimal health and well being of your puppy, you must know every single detail regarding their diet and nutrition. I have done all the leg work for you and by the end of this blog, post you’ll be aware of all the dietary needs of your pup.
Components of your 4-week Old Puppy’s Diet
When a mammal comes out from its mother’s body, it is solely dependant on the mother’s milk for a certain period of time. Our 4-week old pup is not a grown adult. It needs milk as well as solid food for healthy growth. The main components of its food are:
From the beginning till around 4 weeks, a puppy’s diet completely relies on its mother’s milk. Mothers milk is best for the puppy. It contains all the essential nutrients and antibodies required to boost the immune system of the little one and help it grow smoothly. In case if the mother is not available or you have an orphaned puppy, then milk replacement formula is the alternative to mothers milk.
Now a question arises that how much milk should you give to your puppy? The answer is that an average puppy of about 4-weeks of age needs around 1 ounce of formula milk for every 8 ounces of its body weight per day. This consumption should spread out to four feedings per day.
To be more specific, a 4-week old puppy will require 22 millilitres or 0.022 litres of formula milk per 100 g of body weight. So, if your puppy weighs 400 g, then you need to feed 22 x 4 = 88 ml of milk replacement formula to it. Remember, puppies can only accommodate 10 to 20 ml at any one feeding so spread out the quantity throughout the course of the day.
2) Puppy Food
As your pup is 4-weeks old now, he needs solid food along with milk to meet its caloric requirement. Milk alone cannot fulfil all the dietary needs of your little one. Below is the method of how to prepare puppy food.
How to prepare food for your puppy? Easy Recipe:
- There are puppy food formulas available in the market which are specially designed to meet the nutritional requirements of your pup.
- Puppy food can be softened with a little quantity of warm water to make a running consistency.
- You can also mix milk(as required) with puppy food to make it a bit soft and consistent, in case it is too thick to be taken by the pup.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl and allow the pup to lick and enjoy.
- Avoid making homemade puppy food as it is not recommended by experts.
- Your pup will mess up while eating. In the beginning, the food will be more on the ground than inside his tummy. Try to choose a place that is easy to clean, when feeding your pup.
- To feed milk, either use a bowl or a feeding bottle as needed.
Weaning Process: Shifting completely to solid food
Weaning starts at around 4 weeks and ends at 8 weeks. This is the time when the pup starts developing his teeth. Now, your pup gradually starts to intake solid food replacing milk from his diet.
From the 4th-week to the 7th-week soft puppy food should be given. By the end of 8-week, soft puppy food should be completely replaced by high-quality dry puppy food, thereby completing the weaning process. Nutritional weaning ends when it completely transits to solid food to fulfil its caloric requirement.
You must be thinking about how to accomplish the weaning process. It’s very simple. There are two possibilities.
- If the mother is available, separate your pup from his mother gently during feeding time and then make them meet again. This separation is necessary to make your puppy more dependant on puppy food than on mothers milk.
- If the mother is not available, then substitute one formula milk feed per day with soft puppy food. Repeat the process after every 4 to 5 days, replacing all the milk feeds until the transition is completed.
How to give puppy food to your pup?
At first, you will need to dip your fingers into the puppy cereal and the pup will lick it. Subsequently, you can pour the food into a flat saucer or a bowl and allow the pup to dip his mouth into it. Be patient and calm while feeding your puppy as he will make a mess in the beginning. With time he will learn how to feed himself without spilling food.
Feeding Schedule of a 4-week-old Puppy
Your puppy needs food 4 times a day. Make sure you are ready to feed him at proper intervals. His feeding schedule is as under:
Be ready to wake up early in the morning! 4-week old puppies rise early in the morning and when they wake up they are really hungry. Feed them according to the instructions listed above and let them play around till the next meal is made available for them.
It’s time for the second meal. Feed him at around 12 pm at noon. If you have to go out from home, take your pup with you or make sure he is comfortable at home. Along with feeding, it is necessary to build a strong bond with your pup. This will result in a positive upbringing of your little one.
The third meal of the day is to be given at around 3 pm. Perhaps your puppy needs a lighter meal at this time. This completely depends on his digestion and activities performed during the day. Feed him accordingly.
The last meal of your pup will be around 6 pm. Feed him well because there is a long way to go till the morning. Don’t get panic or be surprised if your pup wakes up during the night. Maybe he is feeling hungry. Make him a soft and light meal at night too. Once his stomach is full, he will sleep again.
Best puppy food
Puppy foods can be categorized on the basis of small breeds and large breeds. Below are two examples that can be taken by all breeds.
- Victor Purpose Nutra Pro Dog and Puppy:
This formula is comprised of chicken meal, blood meal, whole grain millet, chicken fat, yeast culture which is best for all breeds including large breeds.
It comprises largely animal protein from the chicken meal and blood meal. Analysis reveals that the recipe contains 42% protein, 20% fat and 31% estimated carbs, producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
- Orijen Puppy:
This puppy food is a super option for your pup. It consists of deboned chicken, deboned turkey, Atlantic flounder, cage-free eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel. Best suited for all breeds.
This Orijen formula takes the major part of its animal protein from fresh poultry (chicken and turkey) and fish. Analysis reveals that the recipe contains 43% protein, 23% fat and 26% estimated carbs resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
When it comes to the nutrition and dietary requirements of your puppy, you will have to be very cautious. If something wrong happens with the digestion or appetite of your puppy, immediately seek help and consult a doctor.
Now you must have a clear idea about the weaning process, best puppy food, feeding schedule etc. I am quite sure that by reading the above post it is crystal clear how to handle your 4-week-old puppy like a pro! Best of Luck!