Much like their human counterparts, puppies need to be burped after eating. Bottle-fed puppies often ingest air as they nurse, leading to bloated, uncomfortable bellies. Many puppies wiggle around enough to burp on their own, but some need to be burped by hand to prevent gas buildup and colic.
Wrap the puppy on a soft towel, and lay him across your lap. Place the puppy on his stomach to prevent aspirating milk into his lungs during feeding.
Fill a small bottle with puppy milk replacer, and screw the lid on. Turn the bottle upside down to check for proper milk flow. Milk should flow slowly from the nipple so the puppy doesn’t inhale it during nursing. If no milk drips from the nipple, poke two or three holes in the top with a sharp needle.
Place the bottle near the puppy’s nose and allow him to nurse at his own pace. Hold the bottle horizontally with the puppy’s mouth so he does not have to reach up to drink, which increases the chance of aspiration.
Let the puppy drink until he voluntarily spits out the bottle. Lift the puppy up against your shoulder as you would a human baby, and rub his sides gently with your hand. Tap him softly on the back with an open palm until he burps. If he seems reluctant to burp, lay him back down on your lap for a few minutes and try again.
- Some puppies burp right away, while others may take a few minutes.
- If the puppy cries or shows any signs of serious pain, call your veterinarian.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.