Newborn puppies and kittens are easily dehydrated, which makes adhering to a frequent, regular feeding schedule crucial to their survival. Feeding frequency is determined by the newborn’s age—if you’re unsure how old your puppies or kittens are, you can make an estimate based on their weight, ask your local vet for help, or watch closely for queues that the newborns are getting hungry again (they’ll yowl and their stomachs may appear smaller than when you last fed them).
Generally speaking, newborn kittens and puppies should consume 2 tablespoons of formula per 4 oz of body weight every 3 to 4 hours. This should be divided into equal feedings throughout a 24-hour period. Many well-meaning caregivers mistake this amount for how much to give the newborn per feeding, which can make the newborn very ill or even cause sudden death. Thus, it’s critical that the daily amount of formula be dispersed evenly throughout the full day of feedings.
Since your puppies and kittens will grow rapidly, obtain a scale to weigh them week by week and adjust feedings as necessary. The following charts show a general guideline of how much and how frequently to feed your newborn puppies and kittens, but keep in mind every animal is different and yours may require more or less food. Stay attuned to each animal’s needs, and seek help from your local vet if necessary. Before feeding, be sure to understand the proper technique for how to feed puppies/kittens.