How Much to Bottle Feed a Puppy 1280x720

Puppy Feeding Guide: How Much to Bottle Feed a Puppy

Ideally, puppies should be nursed by their mothers until they are at least 6 weeks of age. However, if you end up with an orphaned or rejected puppy or a litter too big for the mother to nurse on her own, you need to know how much to bottle-feed a puppy.

Here’s everything you need to know about bottle-feeding a puppy.

Tiny sleeping puppy

How Much to Bottle Feed a Puppy: Understanding the Right Amount

Overfeeding and underfeeding puppies can both cause harmful and potentially fatal side effects, so feeding the right amount of food the correct number of times per day is crucial. Generally, the older and larger a puppy gets, the fewer feedings they will get and the more food they will eat at each feeding.

Keep reading to find out how often to feed a puppy and to see a puppy bottle feeding chart.

How Often to Bottle Feed a Puppy: Scheduling for Optimal Health

Here’s how often puppies of various ages need to be fed:

  • •1 week old: Every 2 hours

  • •2 weeks old: Every 3 hours

  • •3 weeks old: Every 4 hours

  • •4-6 weeks old: Every 5-6 hours

  • •6-8 weeks old: Every 6 hours

To determine how much to feed your puppy each feeding, use the bottle feeding puppy chart below and divide the total amount of daily food intake by the number of meals per day to find out how much to feed your puppy at each feeding.

Tiny puppy

Monitoring Puppy Growth: Using a Puppy Bottle Feeding Chart

You should weigh your puppy every day for the first 4 weeks of their life to determine how much to feed them. Generally speaking, puppies need 15 mLs of milk replacement per 2 ounces of their body weight per day. That total amount per day should be divided by the number of meals per day to determine the amount of food to give each meal.

Puppy feeding table

Selecting the Best Puppy Milk Replacer

Whenever possible, you should choose a commercially available puppy milk replacer rather than trying to formulate something yourself. That’s because dog milk contains about twice as much protein as cow’s milk, and puppies require very specific nutrients from their milk.

The best puppy milk replacer should contain approximately 33% protein, 42% fat, and 14.5% lactose.

Home Made Puppy Milk Replacer: A Guide

For best results, you should choose a commercially made puppy milk replacement, but in a pinch, you can use this homemade puppy milk replacer recipe.

Mix 1 cup of boiling water with 1/2 cup of evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon of corn syrup, 2 raw egg yolks, 1 drop of pediatric multivitamin, and 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt. Heat the formula to room temperature.

Tiny white puppy

How to Bottle-Feed a Puppy: Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s how to bottle-feed a puppy.

Step 1: Acquire a Small Pet Nursing Bottle

Picking the right pet nurser will ensure that your puppy gets the perfect amount of milk. The nipple should restrict the outflow of liquid to one drop at a time to avoid causing aspiration pneumonia.

Step 2: Fill the Bottle With the Appropriate Amount of Food

Use the above puppy bottle feeding chart to determine how much to feed your puppy each meal and put that much formula in the bottle. The fluid should be approximately 100℉.

Step 3: Hold the Puppy Belly-Down in a Neutral Position

Puppies lay on their bellies while nursing from their mothers, so you should hold your puppy in a neutral, belly-down position as opposed to the face-up position you hold a human baby to feed it.

Step 4: Help the Puppy Eliminate Waste

Until they’re about 3 weeks old, puppies need help being stimulated to pee and poop. After each meal, you should stimulate them to eliminate by gently stroking the area between the anus and vulva or penis with a warm, moistened cotton ball or soft cloth.

Small black and white puppy

Common Problems with Bottle-Feeding Puppies

The most common problem with bottle-feeding puppies is overfeeding, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and regurgitation, which itself can cause potentially fatal aspiration pneumonia.

Another common problem is underfeeding. During their first 4 weeks, puppies should gain approximately 5% of their current body weight per day, which is another reason why daily weigh-ins are so important. If your puppy isn’t gaining enough weight, you may be underfeeding them.

Transitioning to Solids: When to Wean Your Bottle-Fed Puppy

You can start weaning your puppy when they are about 3-4 weeks old. Start by letting them lap up their milk replacer from a bowl occasionally instead of only feeding them from the bottle. Then, gradually start adding in liquidized or softened puppy food. Eventually, you’ll be feeding the puppy just their puppy food with no more milk replacer.

Dog Eating Raw

After the Bottle, Switch to Raw

Once you start weaning your puppy from their milk replacer, you can start adding small amounts of We Feed Raw to their diet. A raw diet is the best way you can set your puppy up for a long, healthy, happy life because studies have shown that raw-fed puppies are less likely than kibble-fed puppies to develop ear infections, skin allergies, and gut problems.

We Feed Raw is nutritionally complete and balanced for dogs of all life stages, including the growth of large-breed puppies, so you won’t need to switch them to an adult formulation down the road. Additionally, we use a cold-pressure process on our finely ground patties to inactivate potential pathogens, making our food safe for even the tiniest puppies just starting to wean.

Take our quiz now and start your puppy’s life on the right paw with species-appropriate We Feed Raw.

Dog sitting down

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the appropriate bottle-feeding puppy chart to follow for feeding newborn puppies?

In general, puppies need 15 mLs of milk replacer per 2 ounces of their body weight per day divided into smaller meals throughout the day. You can see our bottle-feeding puppy chart higher in this article.

Can I use a homemade puppy milk replacer if I cannot find any commercially available formula?

While a commercially available formula is always best, you can make the following homemade puppy milk replacer in an emergency: Mix 1 cup of boiling water with 1/2 cup of evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon of corn syrup, 2 raw egg yolks, 1 drop of pediatric multivitamin, and 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt. Heat the formula to room temperature.

How do I bottle feed a puppy properly to ensure they're getting enough nutrition?

You should follow a puppy bottle feeding chart like the one we have near the top of this article and split that daily amount between multiple feedings throughout the day depending on the puppy’s age. This will ensure they are getting proper nutrition.

White and brown Shih Tzu puppy

How often to bottle feed a puppy throughout the day and night?

Younger puppies need more frequent feedings than older puppies:

  • •1 week old: Every 2 hours

  • •2 weeks old: Every 3 hours

  • •3 weeks old: Every 4 hours

  • •4-6 weeks old: Every 5-6 hours

  • •6-8 weeks old: Every 6 hours

Start Your Puppy on the Right Paw With Raw

As you've learned through meticulous feeding and monitoring, getting the right nutrients is essential for your puppy's development. With We Feed Raw, the guesswork is taken out of providing a balanced diet. Our finely ground patties are formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of growing puppies, ensuring they receive all the proteins, fats, and vital nutrients in the safest way possible through our cold-pressure process, which inactivates potential pathogens.

Transitioning from a milk replacer to a raw diet will fortify your puppy’s health and could potentially reduce the risk of common issues such as ear infections, skin allergies, and gastrointestinal problems. As you wean your puppy, We Feed Raw becomes the ideal next step, offering a seamless transition without the need to switch to an adult formulation later on.

Entrust your puppy's health to We Feed Raw—the choice that aligns with nature's intent and is backed by careful science. Take the first step toward a thriving future for your furry friend: start by taking our quiz to tailor a meal plan that caters to the unique needs of your growing puppy. 

Visit and prepare to witness the transformation to a vibrant, raw-fed life. Your puppy deserves the best, and with We Feed Raw, that's exactly what they'll get.

Raw food for dogs by We Feed Raw

Complete & balanced raw meals.

Portioned out, packaged up, and cold-shipped (for FREE!).