Hand-rearing a puppy or kitten

When hand-rearing a puppy or kitten the first thing you will need is formula.  Formula is made specifically for species, therefore if you buy formula for a dog, it is made to ensure your pup gets the nutrients it needs to develop into a beautiful and healthy dog.  The same is true with cats.  Feeding kitten formula will be the best thing for your little kitten.

Pups and kittens that are very young can be fed as often as every 2 hours, keeping their blood sugar levels normal as they can become hypoglycaemic if they don’t get food often enough.

When buying formula, the bottles would usually come with, but if not you can purchase them separately.

Hygiene is very important since the young one still needs to build on their immune system.  So after every feeding session, bottles should be boiled to keep them clean.

It is very important to feed according to the feeding guidelines as you do not want to overfeed or underfeed.

Most important is to help your pup or kitten to pass stools and urinate.  Young puppies and kittens cannot urinate or defecate without stimulation for the first 3 weeks.  Their mother would usually lick their genital area which would stimulate them to pass stool and urinate.  When hand rearing – use a piece of wet cotton wool and gently wipe between the back legs and under the tail.

Hand-rearing is very time consuming and requires a lot of commitment.  Not all hand reared young survives, therefore if you are concerned about your young puppy/kitten, please bring him or her in to see the vet.

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