Knowing exactly what to feed a 5-week-old puppy can be a bit challenging, especially when they’re at such a vulnerable age.
Creating a feeding schedule for a 5-week-old puppy can help to calm some of the nervousness and anxiety you might be facing in regard to helping them grow and develop successfully.
Feeding your 5-week old puppy the wrong thing can have the potential of stunting their growth, getting them sick, or even worse.
When coming up with a feeding schedule, it should be realistic and should be able to give you a range of time that will allow you to take care of them while simultaneously taking care of other priorities that may be going on in your life, for example; husband or wife, kids, work, etc.
In this article, my goal is to help you to come up with a very effective feeding schedule for your 5 week old puppy and to answer a few other frequently asked questions about pups when they are at this age, such as, “What do you feed a 5 week old puppy?” and “How much food should a 5 week old puppy eat?”.
Creating the Feeding Schedule
Mentioned earlier, it is important to create a feeding schedule for your puppy that is realistic and that also works around your already existing life schedule.
Now, it is important to note that puppies that are only 5-weeks of age have a very short food digestion life cycle.
What this means is that they might potty two or three times after every meal they are given and the length of time between eating and going potty is not very long.
Which means that you could potentially end up cleaning puppy droppings up to 15 times in a single day.
Knowing that this could be a task all on its own, I recommend adding at least 5 minutes to the time allotted for you to feed them.
These minutes will come in handy after it compiles and you’re cleaning up pee or poop for countless hours of the day, depending on your dog.
It is also equally important to recognize that a puppy which is only 5 weeks of age, generally may not be weaned off its mother yet.
Weening a puppy off its mother’s milk usually occurs between weeks 6 and 8, therefore it is best to only let your puppy feed off their mother unless some instances arise where the mother has either died, is not around, or is neglecting the pups (which is viewed as a form of postpartum depression in dogs).
Situations like this is when creating a feeding schedule is encouraged.
Every feeding schedule will differ, the only way yours will match someone else’s is if you guys have the same day to day schedules which excludes taking care of a pup.
Here is an example of a feeding schedule that I came up with over 2 ½ years ago when my dog was at the 5-week mark.
Feeding Schedule for 5-Week-old Puppy
Note that, at the time, this 5-week feeding schedule suited me and my lifestyle perfectly. Use this as a blueprint to help you come up with your very own puppy feeding schedule.
Also, as the weeks go by, adjust your schedule accordingly to suit your weeks and your pup’s eating habits.
What do you feed a 5-week-old puppy?
At the 5-week mark, soaked puppy kibble will be your best bet if your pup is completely weaned off their mother’s milk.
Some dog food brands such as Hill’s, Royal Canin, Eukanuba offer high quality dog food for every stage in a dog’s life. As a dog parent it is important to know exactly what you’re putting into your dog’s body.
Here is a list of some ingredients that you should watch out for in your dog’s food.
· Wheat Gluten
· Meat and grain meals
· BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
· BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
· Food Dyes
· PG (Prpylene Glycol)
· Rendered Fat
You can view the full list here at https://www.petsafe.net/learn/pet-food-the-good-the-bad-and-the-healthy
For puppies that are 5 weeks of age, we recommend feeding them Hill’s Science Diet Dry Puppy Food Formula.
Some of the key benefits as to why this food is so good for young puppies are listed.
· Precise nutrition to encourage growth and a healthy lifestyle
· Controlled levels of calcium support
· Glucosamine and chondroitin help support strong muscles and joint health.
· Antioxidant and vitamin E and C blend work together to help support a healthy immune system.
· Made from natural, high-quality ingredients without any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
· Made in the USA, this is a complete and balanced diet recommended for puppies up to 1 year of age.
If this is your puppy’s first time eating dry dog food, use only 1/3 dry food and 2/3 water mix.
This will be extremely easier on your pup’s teeth while also helps to move them towards eating heavier meals later in life.
For those thinking of taking a more DIY approach to their puppy’s food, we recommend you feed them cooked chicken breasts and plain rice, and vegetables like carrots if you can’t get dog food.
Even things like cooked and mashed pumpkin is good to give.
Please avoid onions because they can be toxic to dogs and avoid chicken bones because they can cause severe internal bleeding in dogs.
How much food should a 5-week-old puppy eat?
At 5 weeks old, feeding your puppy at least 3 times a day is required, but you should prefer to aim for around 4 to 5 times a day. Monitor their eating habits and adjust to them accordingly.
Measuring the exact amount of food to give your pup at this stage in their life is impractical.
Puppies grow fastest at these young ages and their eating habits will waver.
Allowing them to eat until they walk away from their food bowl (indicating that they done eating) will give you a rough estimation of when they’re full.
If you found out that they are incapable of eating 3+ times per day then don’t force them to eat more.
A puppy will eat until they are full. Unlike much older dogs that develop a sense of greed and eat food when it is available, even if they are not really hungry.
Also, any puppy that is 5 weeks of age will be very small. Therefore, feeding them using a cake pan as opposed to a traditional dog bowl is preferable as they might step into the bowl.
How often do you feed a 5-week-old puppy?
Puppies spend a large majority of the day asleep.
Feeding them after every nap is usually the best course of action to take.
For a puppy, sleeping anywhere between 2 and 3 hours is normal and is more than enough time for their tiny bodies to digest the food.
If there are signs that you may be feeding your puppy too often you may want to only feed them between every two or three naps instead of every single nap.
Two signs that are very easy to tell if your puppy is eating too much is if they start to have diarrhea, vomiting or are simply not eating their food.
5-Week-old puppy diarrhea & vomiting
1. Your puppy has eaten something toxic.
2. Worms – Younger puppies are very susceptible to attracting worms.
3. Your puppy is over-eating.
4. Something in your puppy’s food just isn’t sitting right with them.
Your first approach should be to take your dog to their local veterinarian as soon as possible.
They will be able to tell you exactly what the problem is and provide you with the resources necessary to eventually cure them of their sickness.
Feeding your puppy a rather bland diet will usually stop the pup from being sick, though not right away.
This can take anywhere from 2-3 days to an entire week before any progress is made.
Foods like boiled chicken, boiled riced, boiled pasta and scrambled eggs are typically easier for your dog to digest while still providing them with needed nutrients.
5-Week-old puppy not eating
If you’re finding that your puppy is not eating their food to its entirety or at all, then it is recommended that you contact a veterinarian and inform them of what is going on. Your puppy not eating can be the symptom of a variety of different things.
Stress, bad tasting food, scared, anxious or nervous, feeling unwell are all reasons why your puppy might not be eating their food.
Feeding a 5-week-old puppy can come with many challenges. At this age, your puppy is growing at increasingly fast rates, they need a surplus of attention, and they are very likely to become ill even for the slightest change in their diet.
Knowing what to feed them, how to feed them, and why you are feeding them a certain way are all things that you must know to properly love and take care of your new pup.
I hope that this article has been informative and has answered your questions.
Is your new puppy being placed on their new feeding schedule? Leave a comment below for tips or suggestions for other readers.
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