Some individuals enjoy parenting puppies from birth to adulthood as much as children. Before kids shred the toilet paper, you’ll know every quirk and mischievous look. Puppies require the same care as newborns, despite their cuteness. To raise a healthy, happy puppy, you must know how a puppy feeds, how to care for a puppy, and how much a puppy sleeps. Here’s how to care for newborn puppies.
Exercise Caution Around the Puppies
You may want to hold and pet the puppies, but they are susceptible to disease in the first week or two, which can stress the mother and puppies. When approaching the puppies, exercise caution because some moms may become aggressive toward humans or other household pets if they detect a threat.
As the puppies become older and more active, your dog will want more and more time to sleep, exercise, or socialize with family members. Allow your dog to get away from the puppies, but make sure she frequently returns to check on them.
Provide A Warm Environment
Puppies cannot regulate their body temperature until 3–4 weeks old. As a result, you should offer a warm, clean box or blanket for the mother and puppies to share throughout the first four weeks of their existence.
Place a heating bulb above the puppies to keep them warm. If the puppies get too hot, they must go somewhere cooler. Keep track of the puppies’ temperatures. During their first week of life, their body temperature ranges between 96 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
Puppies cannot process milk if it is too cold, and it may curdle in their stomach. Heating pads should not be used since the puppies may become chilled and spend too much time on them. Burns can occur if the temperature is too high.
If you unexpectedly need to go out of town, look up “dog boarding near me” to find a warm and cozy place for your pups.
Begin Socializing the Puppy
You can habituate the puppies to your presence if the mother dog permits it. Early socialization can guarantee that kids fit in well with a family and the puppy vet.
Keep an eye out for “poor doers” or “runts of the litter” (puppies who are significantly smaller and not growing as quickly as their littermates), as they may have underlying health issues that impact their capacity to thrive. For the first week or two, puppies should be weighed twice a day, then daily. Puppies should never lose or maintain weight—either is grounds for alarm and supplements.
Since they learn social norms from their mothers and siblings, puppies should not be separated too soon. It’s forbidden to separate puppies under eight weeks old. Waiting until they are ten weeks old allows them to benefit the most from social interaction with their mother and littermates.
Weaning and Feeding
Puppies should be fed every two hours for the first week or two. They can then extend the feeding times to 3-4 hours as long as they still gain weight and perform well.
You can start weaning the puppies when they are 3 to 4 weeks old by giving them puppy chow. Mix high-quality commercial puppy food with water or canned food to make eating simpler. The meal must be softened first.
They should have constant access to the mother because she will continue breastfeeding them. In the coming weeks, they will increasingly rely on puppy food rather than breastfeeding. Most dogs wean their puppies between the ages of 5 and 6 weeks. Because puppies have strong teeth at this age, breastfeeding may be uncomfortable for the mother dog.
Maintain your vigilance and keep an eye out for signs of mastitis. Parasites are also an issue with little puppies. Visit websites like https://www.stoneypointevet.com/site/veterinary-services-rochester/cat-dog-vaccinations-parasite-prevention to learn more about parasite prevention.
Newborn puppy care is time-consuming, but the first few weeks pass quickly. If your puppies are adopted, you’ll be saying goodbye to them in no time, which is often a bittersweet experience. Enjoy the puppies while you have them, and when the time comes to let them go, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you gave them the best start possible.