Nursing Kittens & Puppies

Sadly, we see tiny kittens and puppies all the time — orphaned, abandoned, thrown in the trash, or left on a busy highway to die. These tiny babies can be given a chance to survive if fostered in a home, rather than left at the shelter. Here are some tips on how to look after very young kittens and puppies.

Nursing Kittens & Puppies

Sadly, we see tiny kittens and puppies all the time — orphaned, abandoned, thrown in the trash, or left on a busy highway to die. These tiny babies can be given a chance to survive if fostered in a home, rather than left at the shelter. Here are some tips on how to look after very young kittens and puppies.

“Should I take them to PAWS?”

Unweaned kittens and puppies need round-the-clock monitoring for at least 2 weeks. They cannot be left at the shelter where they are prone to infections, cold temperatures, and no one to look after them — they will surely die. You are their best chance of survival.

What you will need:

1. Lactose-free formula milk (e.g. KRM, Petlac, Lactol)
2. Feeding bottle, dropper or small syringe (without the needle)
3. Hot water bottle
4. Small crate or box
5. Cotton or terry cloth towel

Caring for nursing kittens and puppies

The first thing to do is to take the kitten or puppy to the vet in case first aid treatment is required. The vet can also give you guidance on how to look after them. If you are unable to take them to the vet for some reason, then follow these steps to give them emergency care.

Feeding Guide

Feed them only lactose-free milk. Follow the prescribed formula for preparing the milk. Feed only warm milk (not cold, not hot) so that they can digest it properly. Hold them upright when feeding to avoid aspiration pneumonia (milk in lungs). Feed them the prescribed amount every 2-3 hours, including nighttime feedings. If older than 2 weeks, they can be fed every 4-6 hours. Be careful not to overfeed.

Regulating Temperature

Very young kittens and puppies don’t know how to regulate their temperature. They could die if their temperature drops too low. It’s important to keep them warm, especially if it’s a single kitten or puppy with no litter mates to keep them warm. Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel or use an incandescent lamp. Be sure that it’s not too hot, or give them enough room to move away from the heat source if needed.

Aiding Digestion

Very young kittens and puppies don’t know how to pee or poop. This could poison their bodies. After each feeding, use moistened cotton or terry cloth to wipe down the kitten or puppy’s mouth, moving down to the belly and towards the genital and anal region. Gently dab or wipe that area to simulate the mother’s licking. They should pee after each meal and poop once a day. If not, try adding a little more water to the formula so it’s not too concentrated.

Weaning

When you see teeth starting to protrude at around 3-4 weeks of age, you may introduce wet kitten or puppy food diluted in some water, and offer it along with their milk. Gradually decrease the amount of water and milk until they are eating pure solid food and drinking water separately from a bowl. Be sure to do this gradually, and monitor their poop to ensure that they are digesting their food properly and not getting constipated.

Unweaned kittens and puppies have a 40% chance of survival in the absence of a mother, although it is said that it is higher for puppies. Some kittens and puppies are just too weak to survive. It is not your fault if they don’t. Just do your best!
Can’t keep the kitten or puppy for long? Just FOSTER them until they are weaned or until there is room at the shelter so they can be admitted.

How you can help

The shelter and all our programs and campaigns are funded solely by donations. You can donate any amount via bank deposit or Paypal transfer.

Checks should be issued to Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Bank of the Philippine Islands (Swift no. BOPIPHMM)
BPI USD Account No. 3944-0021-61
BPI PHP Account No. 3943-0086-11

Philippine National Bank (Swift no. PNBM PHMM)
PHP Account No. 1888-70015305

Banco de Oro Unibank (BDO)
PHP Account No. 006250058159

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Paypal is the easiest and safest way to donate online using your credit card.
You do not need to be a PayPal member.

PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC)

Aurora Blvd. Katipunan Valley,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City,
Philippines 1108

Tel. (02) 8475-1688

We are open Mon-Sat except Wed 10:00am-5:00pm
~We are also closed on holidays~

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