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BOTTLE FEEDING: NURSING CARE FOR NEWBORN PUPPIES AND KITTENS

Occasionally, situations occur where one is left to hand raise a puppy or kitten who is too young to be separated from its mother. This can be extremely time-consuming and occasionally, quite overwhelming. We would like to provide some resources to help you help these babies until they can thrive on their own.

The ASPCA urges pet owners to think twice about flying their pets on commercial airlines, especially if they plan on checking them in as cargo.

Shopping List:

  1. Milk replacement: commercial brands such as KMR or Just Born for kittens or Esbilac for puppies—can be found at PetSmart or PetCo or similar pet stores.
  2. Pediatric bottle kit—often the nipple hole needs to be made SLIGHTLY bigger
  3. A “nest box”—can be a regular cardboard box or a hard pet carrier—use a towel to drape over the top for extra warmth.
  4. Warm water bottles or a heating pad—NOTE—use heating pads cautiously as you must keep multiple layers of towels between the pad and the kitten or puppy as they can cause severe thermal burns.
  5. Optional (but helpful)—a reptile thermometer—ideal temperature of the box should be between 90-95 degrees for first 3 weeks until they can thermo-regulate on their own.

Best web sites to consult for care:

Veterinarypartner.com—search “nursing kittens” and you will find a great article on “Orphan Puppy & Kitten Care”.

Kittenrescue.org—good information on kitten care

☼ Some rescue groups will take young puppies or kittens if needed, and others might take them once they are done bottle feeding. Please let us know if you need a list of organizations to contact.☼

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