Using a Feeding Syringe for Dogs

A feeding syringe is needed if you have a small puppy or if your dog is injured and will require force feeding, as he is not able to get his nutrients otherwise. You should be able to use a feeding syringe when your dog needs it.

When Is Force Feeding Needed

A dog may need force feeding in a number of instances such as:

  • When the puppy is abandoned by his mother or taken away from her before the age of 4 weeks and he is not able to eat without being fed
  • The dog is recuperating from an injury or surgery and he is too weak to eat by himself
  • The pet has a broken jaw that makes it impossible to chew
  • He has a dental abscess or a painful tooth
  • He has muscle atrophy or a dropped jaw
  • He is severely ill and lacks appetite

How to Use a Feeding Syringe on a Puppy

The food you will have to feed with a syringe will have to be rich in calories, so that your pet gets all the nutrients he needs. Consult your vet to establish the best type of food that your dog should eat while he is being fed with a syringe. The food may be liquid or solid. If the food is solid, it can be transformed into liquid using a blender and adding some tuna sauce or tomato juice. You may also add some water or milk to dilute the mix. Make sure you feed 2 to 5 cups of food to your dog, or as prescribed by your vet.

You will need a syringe and some paper towels, which will be necessary to wipe the excess food off the dog’s face. Fill the syringe with the liquid food and then hold the dog’s jaw open. If needed, you should get some help to hold the dog and open his jaw. Insert the syringe and slowly empty the contents into the dog’s mouth. Don’t insert the syringe in the dog’s throat, as this will increase the risk of choking. After emptying the syringe, close the dog’s mouth and help the dog swallow the food. You may have to lift the dog’s head so that the food will get in his throat. If your dog can chew, allow him to chew the food, but make sure he also swallows it.

How Often to Feed Your Dog

The frequency of feeding will depend on the age of your dog. If you have a puppy, he will require feeding every 2 hours or even more frequently, as recommended by your vet. If you have an adult dog and he typically gets food 1 or 2 times per day, he will require feeding 3 to 5 times per day. This is due to the fact that the dog may not get as many nutrients through liquid feeding and he may also need to have a constant level of blood glucose, which you can only maintain if you feed him regularly. Make sure you maintain regular feeding times.