What do we do with 4 week old puppies that seem hungrier?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – We have some 4-week-old puppies that now they seem more hungry.

Jennifer Alberini

Answer

Hi Jennifer– thanks for your email. Puppies that are 4-months-old should be nursing and growing. If they are getting enough milk they should seem satisfied. They should be sleeping contentedly and gaining weight. Their mother should be eating well and acting normally as well.

If the puppies seem "hungry" – often showing signs of crying or loosing weight – then I'd recommend two things – start weighing and supplementing your puppies and have the mother dog checked/examined by your veterinarian.

  • Weight the puppies every day – make sure they are gaining
  • Start weaning the pups over to a gruel then puppy food. Please read Weaning Puppies for details on how to do this.
    Make sure you are feeding the mother a good quality food for pregnant or nursing dogs. It takes a lot of energy to fed 4-week-old pups!

    An article that might be helpful to you is Care of the New Mother Dog.

    Best of luck!

    Dr. Debra

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