It takes a lot of caring and love to take care of puppies. From the right food to training, they need it all to flourish into healthy adult dogs. Thanks to their mothers for providing nursing and milk when they are small.
As they grow, their growth becomes a primary priority, which includes food and water. Supplying minerals and food to these tiny fluffy pups at the right time helps their development. We must understand about providing nutrients at the right time to these puppies as they could end up detrimental to their health.
So, to help puppies grow, it is best to provide them with food and water when they are 3 to 4 weeks old. This ensures they become independent and do not cling to their mother alone.
Bonus Read: When Can Puppies Eat Dry Food Without Water
What is The Right Time To Feed The Puppies?
While we were growing up, our parents did not feed us solid food or water immediately after we were born or after a few weeks. They waited for the right time to introduce solid food and water. Providing at the right time ensures that we remain healthy and do not end up sick.
Likewise, dogs require the same while they are growing up. There is always a suitable time for everything, even introducing food and water. If you think it is not essential, you must think twice. Otherwise, you can end up hurting your pups, being unknown, which you wouldn’t want.
Everyone requires water, and while their mother’s milk is nurturing the pups, they need to adapt to water after the mother steps away. So the puppies need to be accustomed to water to regulate their dehydration or fluid needs.
Water ensures proper digestion as they grow up while helping nutrients reach the cells, allowing them to thrive. And they are also regulating bodily temperature.
Bonus Read: When Can Puppies Eat Dry Food Without Water
Should I Give My Pups Water Before Milk?
You would want your pups to drink water and encourage them to drink, but it is not suitable for them. Every newborn or puppy requires milk as the primary source of consumption, and then you may think about giving pups water but at the right time only.
The pup is yet to form its digestive system, which only requires its mother’s milk, which can be pretty sensitive. The milk is the only source of nutrients and antibodies for complete supplication at this stage.
Suppose you feed your puppies water before milk. In that case, this will cause a problem with their digestive system, resulting in struggling to digest solid food later. In some situations, pups can find themselves away from their mother or abandoned or separated, requiring milk. But water is not the replacement if these situations arise where their primary resource has been taken away or separated.
Instead, replacement milks are available for their mother’s milk, an alternative for their growth.
Bonus Read: Can A Puppy Leave Mother At 5 Weeks
How Do I Make My Pups Drink Water?
Well, your pups will not have any problem drinking water. Still, your puppies will require a proper technique and time to introduce solid food and water.
You can take your puppy away from its mother for quite some time and keep soft food ready for them to try. Use kibble or wet dog food that is soft to chew and good for gums. While you take the pups away from their mother to a new environment, do not forget to create a comfortable space for them to explore independently.
They are pups, so the attention span of these tiny fluffy balls will not be easy to get, but you can always nudge them in the right direction. This process can be messy initially, but it’ll surely get used to you and your puppies. Eventually, they will initiate their contact with water and begin drinking slowly.
If they get wet while drinking water and play with their food or water, clean them up as soon as possible to prevent them from catching a cold.
Bonus Read: Can 4 Week Old Puppies Drink Water
Puppy Water And Food Schedule
As you are new to feeding your pup water and food, following a small routine schedule can help them thrive.
1. Feeding quality food
Always feed your pups quality food as prescribed by the vet. Never compromise their food quality, as cheap food can do more harm than good.
Puppies can be very tempting sometimes, as they might beg you to let you give them table scraps. However, no matter how much they beg, never provide them with table scraps. It is crucial to provide them with a healthy diet in their growing stages.
While introducing puppy food, keep in mind to serve them moistening, dry or wet nutrition until they develop their teeth.
2. Weaning time
You can raise the amount of puppy food during the coming weeks to keep up with the pups’ growth. Puppies should be weaned from their mothers by week seven or week eight and eat just solid food. A mother dog is probably relieved that they will use her as a food source as the puppies depart for their next stage of life and potential new homes soon.
3. Slow but steady
Don’t rush while they begin their journey with solid food and water. If they do not engage with water or food for the first time, simply nudge them and not force them to drink. Such enforcement can drive them away. Slowly but steadily, introduce them by being gentle. As pup owners, we need to be as gentle, caring, and loving as we can with their development.
Bonus Read: Can You Give A 6 Week Old Puppy Peanut Butter
Should Puppies Eat And Drink At The Same Time?
Yes, puppies can eat and drink at the same time. While feeding your pup food and water, keep a separate bowl of both food and water together. Ensure your puppy has only a water supply (bowl) when eating food. As soon as your pup is done, clean up and take up their bowl so you can measure their intake and the need to pee and make them drink water again before dehydration.
No, you mustn’t, as they might end up drinking more than they should, or it can sway them away from water for not being provided with a fresh supply of water which can get challenging for you to encourage them to drink.
Newborns can drink water but not before nursing with their mother’s milk. During weaning, they require a fresh water supply and about one-half cup of water every two hours.
To check if your pup is drinking enough water, cushion your pup’s neck and stretch out a little. If the skin doesn’t return to how it was, your tiny little friend (puppy) might be dehydrated.
No, water doesn’t hurt pups. Water is a requirement for their body to digest food and cellular growth at the time of weaning.
Typically, empty the food and beverage bowl two to three hours before nightfall. A puppy should not receive food or water after around 8 or 8:30 p.m. if your lights-out time is approximately 11 p.m. This allows you to take him outdoors for one final bathroom break before putting him to bed for the evening.
While it may not be easy to feed your pup solid food and water, it will surely be messy and full of a fun experience for you when they play with food and water at the time of introduction. Puppies can drink water and food (both) when they are about 3-4 weeks old. So make sure to follow your puppy schedule, which is easy to follow and ensures optimal health for your tiny fluffy pup.
Meet Fabian Wright, our guide into the animal realm at PetLoversArena.com. Having served as an Animal Care Specialist for the Ruwenzori Team at the Kansas City Zoo, he prioritizes conserving exotic species by replicating their habitats. Fabian aspires to share captivating stories of creatures, big and small, through PetLoversArena.com.