How to Care for Newborn Puppies

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The delivery and care of newborn puppies can be an overwhelming task for both you and the mother.

Most of the time, a mother dog will do an excellent job caring for her puppies, but you can help and be there in case the mother needs assistance in caring for her newborn puppies.

 

Things You’ll Need

  • Bedding
  • Heat lamps
  • Whelping box
  • Gram scale
  • Puppy formula

 

How to Care for Newborn Puppies

Newborn Puppies

Make sure the whelping box is comfortable for both the mother dog and her puppies. Have sufficient bedding and change it regularly to avoid excessive soiling.

Use a heating lamp to achieve the right temperature in the whelping box. A dog should have a temperature of about 101.5 degrees, but puppies are typically born with a body temperature of 94 degrees that gradually builds up after they are born. Until their temperature reaches normal, they are dependent on the environment to provide them with the warmth they need, so keep the room at 70 to 80 degrees. You can use heating pads, but you monitor them to make sure they don’t get too hot.

Clean the whelping box at least once a day. It is ideal to utilize paper or things that can be effectively put in the clothing, for example, towels or covers.

Monitor the puppies for the first few weeks of their life, including weighing them once a day and keeping a careful record. The weight gain shouldn’t be excessive, but it should be consistent.

Bathe the puppies after each feeding or more often if they get dirty.

Make sure the puppies are nursing on their mother at least every two hours. If the puppies are moving around a lot and crying, they may not be getting enough food. If the mother isn’t allowing the puppies to nurse every two hours, feed them a milk supplement.

Make sure the puppies are urinating and defecating naturally. If you notice a lack of elimination in the whelping box, rub the stomach and perinea area before and after each feeding to stimulate them.

 

Tips & Warnings

  • Things can go wrong during the birthing process; if you are unsure about something or know something is wrong then take your dog to an emergency veterinarian right away. Always seek expert advice for anything you don’t understand.

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