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Old 02-27-2014, 05:36 AM   #1
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Default Pups licking my hands and refusing bottle

Hello everyone. Looking for advice.


My pups just turned 3 weeks old yesterday and for anyone who hasn't seen my posts so far, they were born C-section and mom's milk has been insufficient, so we bottle feed to supplement.


During the feeding last night, they both fussed and didn't want the bottle.
Then one of the pups was licking my hand, not suckling as they typically will if they get a hold of any part of me
This was licking, like giving kisses!!!
I thought it was odd...and cute...but wasn't sure whether it meant anything or not.


This morning, the same thing happened. So, I squeezed a little bit of formula onto the palm of my hand and the pup lapped it. I was shocked! He only drank a little, then after a little while I offered the bottle again and he took it.


I thought it was too soon for them to start lapping from a dish???...plus my biggest concern is also whether they will get enough considering the insufficiency we have in mom's milk - we are still trying to catch up with weight gain.


Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions???


Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:09 AM   #2
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Are they still nursing off the momma? If they are with their mother it is possible that they had just nursed off momma and they were not hungry.

Three weeks is not to early for them to start lapping out of a bowl. I usually introduce mine to food at 3 1/2 to 4 weeks. I grind up dry puppy food in a blender until it is like cornmeal and I put it in a shallow bowl and I also leave out some water in a shallow bowl. The pups will lick the dry food and slowly start eating more. You can also give them their formula or make a mush out of the formula and ground up dry food. They should still be allowed to nurse off mom as often as they want.

Have you cut their toenails? Make sure you do that if you have not already.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:29 AM   #3
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Are they still nursing off the momma? If they are with their mother it is possible that they had just nursed off momma and they were not hungry.

Three weeks is not to early for them to start lapping out of a bowl. I usually introduce mine to food at 3 1/2 to 4 weeks. I grind up dry puppy food in a blender until it is like cornmeal and I put it in a shallow bowl and I also leave out some water in a shallow bowl. The pups will lick the dry food and slowly start eating more. You can also give them their formula or make a mush out of the formula and ground up dry food. They should still be allowed to nurse off mom as often as they want.

Have you cut their toenails? Make sure you do that if you have not already.

Thank you!


We are keeping them with mom all the time (except for supplemental feeding, which double up as Lola's free time), but supplement a couple of times per day because their weight gain on mom alone was extremely slow. They do nurse...they are pretty loud about it, so I hear them, but whatever they are getting is definitely not enough to support substantial weight gain.


So, if I put a shallow dish out, I guess I should open up the box so they have access to the rest of space?


Toe nails, I've been doing...but I never get them all at once. They're so active! I got the front ones for sure and I think I have most of the back ones, but I'm hoping my husband is available this weekend and I can get help so he can hold the pups while I check and trim all the nails.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:02 AM   #4
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I always get my pups out of their whelping box when they are around 3 to 3 1/2 weeks old. I set them up an area using an x-pen so the pups have their bedding at one end and the rest of the floor I have their pee pads and their food and water. I don't make it to big at first but I expand their area as they get bigger. If your pups are walking well you can do that now but if they are not walking well then you might need to wait a few more days. I also have a board across one end of the x-pen so momma can come and go to see her pups.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:00 AM   #5
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I always get my pups out of their whelping box when they are around 3 to 3 1/2 weeks old. I set them up an area using an x-pen so the pups have their bedding at one end and the rest of the floor I have their pee pads and their food and water. I don't make it to big at first but I expand their area as they get bigger. If your pups are walking well you can do that now but if they are not walking well then you might need to wait a few more days. I also have a board across one end of the x-pen so momma can come and go to see her pups.


Ok, thank you.


My box is inside an X-pen because Lola is trained to use pee pads, so she could get in and out of the box and eat, drink, and use the potty as needed. I kept the entire thing covered and only opened it for supplemental feedings so there's a consistent and controlled temperature for the pups and Lola is not restricted or getting overly excited every time someone walks by.


The babies walk a little wobbly. They move fast and can climb as well, but' they're not walking fully steady yet. How well do they need to walk?


What's the board about? Is mom not with the pups all the time?
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:01 AM   #6
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I always get my pups out of their whelping box when they are around 3 to 3 1/2 weeks old. I set them up an area using an x-pen so the pups have their bedding at one end and the rest of the floor I have their pee pads and their food and water. I don't make it to big at first but I expand their area as they get bigger. If your pups are walking well you can do that now but if they are not walking well then you might need to wait a few more days. I also have a board across one end of the x-pen so momma can come and go to see her pups.
I meant to say, I can remove an entire wall out of the box (the one that sat a little lower for Lola to get in and out) so the pups have free range.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:31 AM   #7
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The board is just to divide the x-pen that mom and babies are in so the mom can get away from the babies when she wants to.

How big of an area do they have now? They don't have to be walking perfect. The more room they have to move around the quicker they will get steady on their feet. Here is a picture from several years ago of a setup I had for some young pups. Of course this was a large litter so they needed room sooner than a small litter would need.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:33 AM   #8
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Ooops, here is the picture.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg puppysetup.jpg (104.7 KB, 33 views)
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:09 AM   #9
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The board is just to divide the x-pen that mom and babies are in so the mom can get away from the babies when she wants to.

How big of an area do they have now? They don't have to be walking perfect. The more room they have to move around the quicker they will get steady on their feet. Here is a picture from several years ago of a setup I had for some young pups. Of course this was a large litter so they needed room sooner than a small litter would need.


WOW!!! That's a BIG litter! How adorable!


Ok, so the board just gives mom separate sleeping quarters, not a big area? Although Lola has become very good at blocking the babies when she's had enough. I guess with only 2 pups, that's easier to do


But I can definitely separate my x-pen. The pen is 2' x 6' and I have it separated in 1/3s. The whelping box is in a 2x2 area, then the mid section I have with a variety of food and drink dishes as I was trying to get Lola to eat something...anything! Now that she's eating, we'll reduce the number of dishes. The last 1/3 is the potty area, but I do have pee pads under all of it.


We had started with a 2x4, but Lola wasn't happy about the smaller space she had to potty, so we expanded it to the full size. Picky, picky...lol


Thoughts? How can I improve this set-up?
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:35 AM   #10
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I am glad momma is eating well now. The main thing is to just slowly give the pups more room and start leaving them out some food and water. My mommas love the ground up dry food so they usually munch on it too.

Also when my pups are about 4 1/2 to 5 weeks old I will take small amount of canned puppy food and mix it well with the ground up dry food and I put it in their pen a couple times a day. There are lots of ways to wean so you have to just pick a method that works best for you and your pups. It can get really messy, especially with a big litter.

I let the momma decided when to wean them. Most of my mommas will let their pups nurse until they are 10 to 12 weeks old.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:46 AM   #11
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I am glad momma is eating well now. The main thing is to just slowly give the pups more room and start leaving them out some food and water. My mommas love the ground up dry food so they usually munch on it too.

Also when my pups are about 4 1/2 to 5 weeks old I will take small amount of canned puppy food and mix it well with the ground up dry food and I put it in their pen a couple times a day. There are lots of ways to wean so you have to just pick a method that works best for you and your pups. It can get really messy, especially with a big litter.

I let the momma decided when to wean them. Most of my mommas will let their pups nurse until they are 10 to 12 weeks old.


Thank you! I'll experiment a little and see how they do.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:53 PM   #12
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The formula you're giving them in the bottle can be put on a plate for them to lick up. That's how we started ours. Then, we used the royal canin program. I already had mom on it (it's specifically made for whelping moms and pups when they're ready) and just mixed the food with warm water, let it set for a little bit until it turned to oatmeal looking mush and then set it down for them. It was fun to watch them eat their food, but also stand in the food dish, and then lick the food off each other after lol.

Mine are 9 weeks old now and are in to everything. I have to cage myself into their area just to clean it, because they chase and latch themselves onto my broom, my mop, my shoes.... They're a lot of fun though. I'm going to miss the 2 that are leaving.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:36 AM   #13
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The formula you're giving them in the bottle can be put on a plate for them to lick up. That's how we started ours. Then, we used the royal canin program. I already had mom on it (it's specifically made for whelping moms and pups when they're ready) and just mixed the food with warm water, let it set for a little bit until it turned to oatmeal looking mush and then set it down for them. It was fun to watch them eat their food, but also stand in the food dish, and then lick the food off each other after lol.

Mine are 9 weeks old now and are in to everything. I have to cage myself into their area just to clean it, because they chase and latch themselves onto my broom, my mop, my shoes.... They're a lot of fun though. I'm going to miss the 2 that are leaving.
Awww...I can imagine how adorable they must be. Call me crazy, but even though mine are only 3 weeks, I see their little personalities coming through. They are fun even though they sleep most of the time


I had begun to research Royal Canin's products. Are you referring to the Mini Starter?
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:05 AM   #14
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Awww...I can imagine how adorable they must be. Call me crazy, but even though mine are only 3 weeks, I see their little personalities coming through. They are fun even though they sleep most of the time


I had begun to research Royal Canin's products. Are you referring to the Mini Starter?
Yes. Those little pieces are teeny tiny for little mouths.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:30 AM   #15
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Yes. Those little pieces are teeny tiny for little mouths.
Cool. Thank you!
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