Caring for Newborn Puppies: A Comprehensive Guide

If you are getting ready to take care of a newborn puppy, here is a guide to help you. Puppies are comparable to babies in that they require great care and attention. They also require feeding and potty breaks on a regular schedule. Make sure you are prepared for this commitment before bringing home your new furry friend!

Caring if Mum is Around

Pregnancy is hard on dogs, so you should talk to your vet if you are thinking about breeding your dog. There are a lot of things to think about! But even if everything goes well, you still have a lot of work to do after the puppies are born. The mother dog will do most of the work for you, but there are still some things to consider.

Mum’s health is essential, so you must check on her often. It includes ensuring she is still nursing, has no bad smell, and is active. You need to talk to your vet immediately if anything seems wrong. She needs food and water, and you should take her outside regularly to use the bathroom. Keep her nest warm and clean. Make sure she is taking care of her puppies properly – if one or more are being neglected, you may need to take care of them yourself.

Oversee the puppies, looking for any weaknesses. The weaker puppies should be placed on teats with the most milk. If you see any illness in the puppies, you should go to the veterinarian immediately.

Caring if There’s no Mum

Even though it would be great if every puppy had a parent, this isn’t always possible. If the puppies were abandoned or rejected, or if the mom died, you may have to hand-raise them yourself. This post will provide you with some pointers on how to do so.

Feeding

Newborn puppies need their mum’s milk to survive. If the mother can’t nurse them, you will have to bottle feed them using either dog’s milk or special newborn puppy formula milk. Feed the milk using a clean bottle with a teat. The milk should be warmed in hot water to about 37°C. Do not use the microwave. You will need a thermometer.

Feed the puppy slowly by laying them down on its belly. It will help them not choke on the milk. Stop feeding them regularly and let them latch back on if they are still hungry. After they finish eating, gently rub the puppy to help them burp. You will have to feed the puppies every hour or two for the first few weeks and then less frequently as time goes on. It will continue until they start to wean at 5-7 weeks old. Once you notice they are chewing on the bottle teat, you can begin placing down puppy food. Then continue to bottle feed milk until they are entirely eating puppy food.

For three-week-old puppies, water should be kept in a shallow dish. Weigh the puppies every day to keep track of their growth. Every day, they should grow a little bit more. If they stop growing or start losing weight, there may be a problem, and you should take them to the vet.

Toileting

Newborn puppies need help going to the bathroom. Their mom will lick their back end to help them go, but you must do it if she’s not there. Use wet cotton balls to rub the area until they go, then clean them up. Not doing this can lead to them getting sick.

Take this chance to observe their stools. Once the meconium has passed, it should be of standard color and consistency. It could be a sign of disease if it is too soft, too hard, or strange in color. Continue this for the first 3-4 weeks of life until the puppies can go by themselves.

Heating

Newborns have very little fat, and they can get cold quickly. So you need to keep their environment between 29-32°C using blankets, heat pads (be very careful to double-wrap them to avoid burns), or heat lamps. As they age, they can gradually be lowered to an average room temperature of around 22°C.

Flea and Worming Treatments

Worms can be unpleasant for puppies and can also be dangerous. Worms feed off the nutrients in a dog’s food or the host. In small puppies, high worm burdens can easily lead to illness. Always talk to your vet about suitable treatments, as many are unsuitable for very young puppies.

It would help if you gave your puppy a worming tablet or liquid every two weeks—puppies who are outdoors need to be wormed more often than those who stay indoors.

Fleas are less of a problem in puppies, but they can still be a problem in high numbers. We usually don’t advise treating fleas unless there are fleas present until they are vaccinated and starting to go outside. It will vary depending on the individual vet and puppies.

Vaccination

Puppies need to get vaccinated when they are old, regardless of whether or not their mother is around. Most veterinarians recommend starting a vaccine course at eight weeks old. Still, some may encourage earlier vaccination, mainly if the puppies had no milk from mum.

Four diseases are standardly vaccinated against in puppies. These are distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and leptospirosis. These diseases can make puppies very sick, and in some cases, they can even be fatal. Other diseases may be recommended depending on the individual puppies’ situation, such as kennel cough, Bordetella, and rabies.

Most puppies can go outside when they are 12-16 weeks old. Before this, the puppies are more likely to get a disease. But this is also a significant time for the puppies to learn new things. If they don’t do this, the puppies may have problems when they grow up.

If you want to take your puppy out and about without risking them getting sick, you can carry them. It will keep them safe from disease and help them learn that not everything is scary. The good idea is to find a park bench somewhere and let them watch the world go by. Some vets may also permit mixing with older vaccinated dogs – ask your vet if they think this would suit your puppies. You can also encourage socialization at home by interacting with the puppies regularly, having different sounds and smells, and allowing them to explore the house.

Veterinary Care

As soon as you get a new puppy, it would help if you spoke to a vet about how to care for it. Puppies need to be checked by a vet often to make sure they are healthy and growing well. It is also an excellent way to socialize with other animals in a clean environment.

Remember that puppies are vulnerable in the first few weeks of life. If they seem sick in any way, please let us know right away. It may include vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, not eating, losing or not gaining weight, being inactive, or having swollen joints.

Read more: How to Introduce Pets to Babies

Frequently Asked Questions About Caring for Newborn Puppies

How Do I Take Care of Newborn Puppies?

Make sure her nest is warm, quiet, clean, and dry. Make sure she is taking care of her puppies properly. If one or more puppies are being neglected, you may need to take care of them yourself. Watch the puppies to ensure they are healthy and not being pushed away from the teats by their siblings.

What Should You Not Do With Newborn Puppies?

Do not use soaps or disinfectants on your dog unless your veterinarian instructs you. Get rid of any soiled newspapers or bedding in the whelping box. The new mother will often spend most of her time with the puppies. She might resist leaving the nest for the first several days, let alone using the potty.

Can You Leave Newborn Puppies Alone With Their Mom at Night?

Many responsible breeders do not leave newborn puppies alone with the dam. It is best to supervise the dam and her litter at all times because there are many reasons why this is a good idea.

What Do You Do With Newborn Puppies at Night?

You will want to create a warm environment for the puppy to sleep in. A small box with blankets and a heating lamp is ideal. Keep the lamp at a fair distance, so the environment does not overheat. A heating pad and blankets can also work; ensure the heating pad is well-covered to prevent burns.