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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a mixed breed German Shepherd puppy in about 1 week and it will be 4 weeks old by the time I adopt it. It's mommy is quite ill and unable to feed her puppies so I will have to adopt her earlier than planned. I'm confused about the feeding schedule. It is said that I should be feeding my puppy every 5 hours between 4 to 8 weeks but what about night time? Can anybody suggest a feeding schedule? I plan to feed my puppy 4 times a day and I work from home so that won't be an issue but I'm just confused about the feeding schedule and how long it can go without food at night?

Also, can I start to feed my puppy soft food by then?
 

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At four weeks you can start solid food. There is a transition period so the food needs to be soft. You are going to have to get up at night about every 2 hours (more to get the puppy out to potty than to feed). Set your alarm and do it.. and realize this is only for about 4 months.

Here is a suggested web article written by a veterinarian.
 

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You are going to have to get up at night about every 2 hours (more to get the puppy out to potty than to feed). Set your alarm and do it.. and realize this is only for about 4 months.
I really think 3GSD4IPO is being pessimistic there. People who get puppies at 8 weeks old, usually have to get up in the night a time or two for a couple of weeks, but that doesn't last any 4 months. My current puppy was sleeping 6 hours straight at night at 11 weeks. I had one I got at 8 weeks that let me sleep through the night right from the get-go. So it seems a 4-week old would only need the every 2 hours thing for maybe 4 weeks, not months.

Good luck with this poor baby, Weeni.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for the help guys. No worries about waking up at night for potty.
But I wanted to know when should the last meal be at night and first meal in the morning?
Is is ok if I feed it at night at 8pm and feed it in the morning at 8am. Obviously I will also be feeding it 2 more times during the day.
Is 12 hours without food too much for a puppy?
 

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I think you need an answer about the night feeding from someone who has raised litters. What are the people you're getting the puppy from saying?
 

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Do you trust the person who's telling you the pups need to go at 4 weeks? This is a common lie from bad breeders, because it saves them a ton of time and effort...that's about the time that the pups get demanding on the owner because they need food other than nursing, they're more active, you have to clean up waste, it's time for vaccinations, etc. Even if the mom can't care for the pups or her milk has dried up, it's still best for the pups to stay with their siblings until 8 weeks. In my personal opinion if you're taking a pup home at that age, the breeder had better not be charging you any money or only a small rehoming fee. Basically - make sure you're not getting played by your sympathies for cute puppies.

That said:
3-4 weeks
  • Feeding: Bottle feed formula every 4 hours, until puppies are full but not bloated. Puppies may start lapping from a bowl.
  • Environment: The floor temperature of the nest box should be 70 to 75 degrees from this point onward.
  • Behavior and training: Adult eye color will begin to appear, but may not reach final shade for another 9 to 12 weeks. Puppies begin to see well and their eyes begin to look and function like adult dogs' eyes. Puppies will start cleaning themselves, though their mother will continue to do most of the serious cleaning.
4-5 weeks
  • Feeding: Bottle feed as needed to keep pups from crying with hunger. Puppies usually can drink and eat from a saucer by 4 weeks. Weaning should be done gradually. Introduce them to solid food by offering warmed canned food, mixed with a little water into gruel, in a shallow saucer. You can begin by placing one puppy by the plate of canned food gruel, and hoping for the best - if she starts eating, great! Her littermates will probably copy her and do the same. But without mom around to show them, many puppies do not have a clue about feeding from a saucer. The puppies will walk in it, slide in it, and track it all. Some puppies may prefer to lick the gruel from your fingers, if this is the case; slowly lower your finger to the plate and hold it to the food. This way the puppies will learn to eat with their heads bent down. Be patient, sometimes it takes two or three meals before they catch on. If they do not seem interested enough to even sniff your finger, try gently opening the puppies' mouth and rub a little bit of the food on their teeth. Hopefully this will result in the puppy starting to lick your finger. If they're still not getting the idea, you can take a syringe (without a needle) and squirt a small amount of gruel directly into their mouths.
If there is a bitch present, she will usually begin weaning by discouraging her puppies from nursing; however, some dogs (particularly those with small litters) will allow nursing until the puppies are old enough for permanent homes. Some nursing activity is the canine equivalent of thumb-sucking, that is, for comfort only. Even if puppies appear to be nursing, they may not be getting all the nutrition they need from mom. Make sure they are eating food and gaining weight.
Be sure that the puppies always have access to fresh water in a low, stable bowl.
  • Behavior and training: Begin housebreaking at four weeks of age. This can be done by using a pile of newspapers or training pads in a corner. After each feeding, place the puppy on the papers, or outside, for him to go to the bathroom. Be patient! He may not remember to do this every time, or may forget where to find the papers, but he will learn quickly. Be sure to give the puppies lots of praise when they first start using their papers or cry to go out. It is a good idea to confine the puppies to a relatively small space, because the larger the area the puppies have to play in, the more likely they will forget where the papers are. Keep the papers clean and away from their food.
  • Vaccination: foster puppies in animal rescue programs or shelters should receive their first vaccination at 4-6 weeks of age. The vaccine should be repeated every 2 weeks until 18 weeks of age, or until adopted to a permanent home. Please see our vaccination information sheet for more detailed information and useful links.
5-6 weeks
  • Feeding: Feed gruel 4 times a day. Thicken the gruel gradually by reducing the amount of water mixed with it. Introduce dry food and water. If you are fostering a litter with their mother, continue weaning. For reluctant eaters, try mixing some puppy milk replacer into the gruel or tempt the puppy with some meat-flavored human baby food mixed with a bit of water. The familiar formula taste and smell or the meat flavor of baby food is often more appealing to the picky eaters than dog food. Once the puppy accepts the formula-based gruel or baby food, gradually mix in dry puppy food until the puppy has been weaned like the other puppies.
  • Behavior and training: At about five weeks, puppies can start to roam around the room, under supervision. The strongest, most curious puppy will figure out how to get out of the nest. The others will quickly follow.
 
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