Caring for Newborn Puppies

Pet owners should be involved in the care of newborn puppies. In addition, the mother should also be cared for, as she will be able to keep her puppies well nourished if provided with good food and plenty of water. There are a few things that pet owners can do to prepare in advance for the birth of puppies.

Preparation for Birthing

It’s best to keep a large box, preferably wooden, to keep newborn puppies comfortable and warm. The box should be lined with absorbent material that should be changed frequently and disposed after each use. Newborn puppies have to be licked clean after birth by the mother. Clean towels are necessary to assist the mother in wiping the newborn puppies, especially when the litter is large.

Newborn Puppy Care

  • Puppies that haven’t been cleaned should be wiped with a soft, clean towel.
  • Puppies should be placed close to the mother in order to initiate nursing.
  • Prompt nursing also helps the mother’s contractions.
  • Puppies may be individually weighed at the time of birth, in order to determine their health in the forthcoming weeks.
  • Although the mother will ensure proper puppy care, puppies that are slower or move away from the litter should be kept close to the mother.
  • Puppies that haven’t been cleaned by the mother after urination or defecation may be wiped with a soft, moist towel.
  • It’s also best to keep the mother and her puppies in a temperature controlled room.
  • Pets may prefer heated or warm blankets.
  • Pet owners should also observe if the puppies’ genitals are licked to stimulate normal urination and defecation.

Care for Birthing Mothers

It’s very important to look after the mother so that she maintains her strength to care for her puppies. The nutritional intake will increase soon after delivery, and most pets should be fed nearly three times the amount of food given prior to pregnancy. If the dog is accustomed to a particular vitamin, it may be continued unless otherwise directed by the vet. High quality puppy food and a fresh supply of water are necessary to keep her healthy. Healthy mothers should be able to nurse the litter every two hours.

Signs of Healthy Puppies

Puppies that don’t nurse well appear thin and weak. Sick puppies should also be taken to the vet for a check if they suffer from loose stools or if they cry extensively. Puppies that are normal and healthy gain weight in the first 10 days after birth. They also appear content and sleep without difficulty. Within 21 days, the puppies will show interest in their mother’s food. Normal food should be incorporated in little amounts during the weaning process.

Puppy Vaccinations

It’s also important to get puppies acclimatized to the environment and people as they advance in age. This will prevent aggressive behavior and help puppies in their socialization skills. Puppies should be registered and taken for vaccinations at the age recommended by the vet. The dosage and administration of vaccines may differ, although most vets prefer to start vaccination at 6 weeks of age. Since puppies have low immune system functioning, they should be kept in clean environments and away from all other pets living in the same household. Children should also be taught proper hygiene after play with puppies.

Puppies grow at a speedy rate and with proper home care, most grow into healthy and strong adult dogs within a few years.