How to Feed a Puppy With a Broken Jaw

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Owning a puppy with a broken jaw can be a difficult experience. The most basic aspects of caring for your puppy, such as feeding, bathing and grooming, are much more challenging when your furry friend is suffering from such a traumatic injury. Providing the right nutrition for a puppy that cannot chew is a struggle for even the most seasoned pet owner, but your diligence and patience will be well worth it once your new friend is back on the mend.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft puppy food
  • Dog bowl
  • Small spoon
  • Calorie supplement
  • Clean towels

How to Feed a Puppy With a Broken Jaw

Speak with your veterinarian about your puppy’s diet. Your puppy will have a very difficult time taking in adequate nutrition until its jaw heals, so providing it with a well-rounded diet is important during its recovery. Your vet will tell you how much to feed it and will explain how breaking the food down into a number of smaller meals will ensure the puppy takes in enough to stay healthy.

Place the proper amount of food in your puppy’s bowl. While your puppy will not be able to eat from the bowl, it will recognize that the food is going into its normal dish, providing a visual signal that it’s time to eat. Stir a small amount of a calorie supplement, such as Nutri-Cal, into the food. The calorie paste is packed with vitamins and minerals and will help give your pup energy and maintain a proper weight while it heals.

Hold your puppy gently on your lap and scoop a small bit of food onto the spoon. Offer it to your puppy and allow it to sniff at it. The puppy may be reluctant to eat at first, so place a small bite inside its mouth with your finger to encourage it to eat. You may have to force-feed the puppy a few bites until it realizes it can eat from the spoon on its own.

Keep feeding the puppy until it seems full and loses interest in the food. Be sure to offer it clean water frequently, as the soft food and calorie paste can stick to the insides of its mouth. It may eat only a few bites at a time, so don’t be alarmed if it initially seems reluctant to eat. Cover any leftover food and store it in the refrigerator until the next meal.

Dampen a clean towel and wash your puppy’s face after it has eaten. It will be difficult for your puppy to clean itself with a broken jaw. Soft food can be very sticky, so cleaning your puppy after every meal will keep its coat from matting or staining.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask your veterinarian if you have any concerns during your puppy's recovery. Administer any medicines on schedule and follow up with your vet to make sure your pup heals as quickly as possible.
  • Never feed your puppy human food or table scraps. It may seem interested in what you are eating, but many human foods are not good for dogs and can in fact cause them more harm than good.

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