Our dog is not wanting to feed her puppies anymore, are there any alternatives for feeding the puppies?

The puppies are 3 weeks old, There are 8 of them. The mother has been doing so well feeding and taking care of them, but the last few days, she is not showing interest in them. She won’t lay down long enough for them to nurse anymore. You can tell she is getting aggrevated with them. How long do the puppies need to nurse for before they switch to regular food & water/milk? Are there any ways we can help the mother get back to showing interest in her puppies?


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  • you can start feeding them mash- puppy kibble soaked in warm water. It’s not too early. If she won’t feed them at all, you may need to supplement a couple bottle feedings a day.

  • The_Holli

    someone she doesn’t know probably touched them and now she doesn’t want to feed them you can go to the vet and get a formula that you can bottle feed them just don’t feed them upside down

  • Fuzz Butt the Shiba

    You can buy special formula milk from your local petshop, like petsmart/petco, or walmart might have it, make sure you call first to see if they supply it

  • mauveme49

    Take the female away from the pups for 3 or 4 hours. See if that renews interest in her feeding them. If not then it is time to wean them.

  • Basset Puppies = land piranhas

    First you should be taking her to THE VET to see if there is a medical reason why she does not want to nurse. Perhaps she has mastitis, perhaps she has an irritation. Have you been cutting their nails so that they do not scratch her?

    The puppies can be started on solid food (I start with ground puppy kibble mixed with formula), but they should still be nursing as well.

    Why are you breeding your dog when you obviously don’t know what you are doing?

  • ~ La vita è misterioso ~

    This is really a question for your breed mentor. Call them up and ask.

    Until they get back to you, here is what I recommend. Get some formula from the store (PetSmart, Petco, etc.) and feed the puppies – they will be needing milk until they are at LEAST 5 weeks old – between 5 & 6 weeks is when puppies begin on solid foods. At that time I would introduce some muscle and organ meats and some raw meaty bones, such as chicken drumsticks (those are fairly soft).

    If the dam is frustrated with nursing them, there is not much you can do. You don’t want her harming any of the puppies b/c you’re forcing proximity.

    And do whatever else your breed mentor suggests.

    Good luck!

    EDIT: Basset is quite right – there may very well be a medical problem here, so I would contact your veterinarian right away to schedule an appointment.

  • whitejohndoe

    they need milk for 6wks but you can start them on soft food as soon as you can feel the teeth in their mouths, yes you can buy supplement from a vet or from a pet store. 8 is a lot of mouths to feed and could take too much out of her, make sure you bulk up her food and add extra protein and calcium- it would also be a good idea for a vet to check up on mom and pups because sometimes when mom knows somethings not right she will neglect puppies.. good luck

  • Black Sal

    Eight pups is a lot to feed. You need to supplement the diet of the mother and the pups. We always gave our pups raw egg with milk. Whisk it up well. Mama dog will like that too. An egg has everything they need. We totally spoiled our puppies but they grew big and strong because of it. We would cook eggs with cheese and some oatmeal for breakfast and then give them half cooked minced beef for dinner. Whatever you introduce them to is going to react with their little digestive systems and once you start feeding them the mother dog won’t clean up after them any more so you have to change their newspaper and bedding. But it’s worth it. What kind of dogs are they?

  • vats 1993

    mothers milk has colurasm it gives pups immunity other alternatives are u can give them a formulated puppy milk feed for baby dogs don’t feed them human baby milk powder as there is onion in it
    SAMOLAC is a product formulated for pups less then 4 weeks age it also contains colorosum
    don’t force yr dog to allow pups to feed them it may make her stressed and led to killing the pups
    or take her to vet because pups should drink mothers mik for at least 6 weeks of age

  • The one thing you can do to ease the mothers discomfort is trim the puppies claws. Nothing you can do about the emerging teeth tho.

    It is common for a mother not to want to lay down anymore, IT HURTS ! ! !

    You can start mixing up some puppy kibble and warm water for the pups. Isolate the mother from the litter when you feed them.

  • McSween

    Trim or file the pups nails if you have not done so already. They hurt and mom is uncomfortable. It is part of the natural process of the pups getting ready to be weaned (the puppy teeth and claws hurt mom so she is not so interested in nursing any longer). Eight pups is alot too so more uncomfortable for mom. Have them nurse in groups of four. Mom may be more willing to tolerate them like that.

  • Yes!….Get baby rice cereal, can milk, add some sugar, and 1 raw egg yoke.
    after you blend them together, take the chill off of the mixture and poor it into a baby bottle and with a scissorss make an Chris- cross cut in the top of the nipple. Take the puppy and prop it up on you lap and with you hand over the puppy’s head take your thumb and your pointer and stick them into the sides of the puppy’s mouth, put the nipple in it’s mouth and squeeze the mixture in the back of the pup mouth, let it get a taste of the milk, some pups will eat right away, others you may have to pull on the bottle in a back and fourth motion before the pup will start to suckle on the nipple. Once the pups gets use to you feeding them like this, the rest is easy. Let the pup feed until they have a good belly full.
    You might have to feed them at a 2:00 AM feeding for one more week.
    By four weeks they will be able to wait through the night. But no later than a 6 o’clock feeding is recommended.
    Most of the bigger breeds have had their full of motherhood by 4 weeks. Teeth!… Ouch!

  • Joh: think outside the bag

    You may want to check their nails – they can be really sharp. Just snip a tiny bit of each end being very careful not to cut too far.

    At this age they feed much more efficiently so don’t need to nurse for as long. The dam will start to leave them for longer periods. It is almost time to start the weaning process too.

    I start our pups on a mixture of ground chicken frames and kangaroo mince at about 4 weeks but I know that many people start a bit earlier than that. Try them with a bit of minced meat on your finger and see how they go.

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