Newborn Puppy Temperature Control
Newborn puppies cannot control their body temperature. This means that owners need to make sure that puppies are kept in a warm, draft-free environment, as exposure to cold stresses the puppies and exposes them to disease. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends using a heat lamp to keep the new litter warm, as long as you provide a slightly cooler location within the whelping pen to prevent the puppies from overheating, and position the lamp far enough overhead that it does not burn the puppies or the mother. Or, consider placing the heat lamp at the corner of the whelping box so that the puppies can crawl to another corner if overly warm. They recommend heat lamps over heating pads, as heating pads are more likely to burn puppies.
What To Feed Newborn Puppies
For breeders, even first-time puppy owners, we know that the litter would be feeding straight from their mom. But there are times where a puppy would need help from us during their first week or so.
Since we mentioned foundation, the best start for puppies is to get colostrum during their 12 to 48 hours of life.
Colostrum from their mothers milk will give the puppies immunity to germs and diseases that they may encounter during their first few weeks. This transfer of antibodies occurs only until their intestine develops the ability to screen out large molecules.
The change in the intestine occurs very quickly in the first few hours of life, thats why the puppies should nurse right away and continuously.
Table Scraps Or People Food
No matter how lovingly your puppy looks at you, lets not kid ourselves by saying, its just sometimes when we toss her a french fry or a strip of bacon. Youll be surprised that out of nowhere, your dog obese and is crowding you off from the bed or couch!
Not only that, giving your pup table scraps on a daily basis or every meal can create a nutritional imbalance. And there are certain spices or ingredients that can upset your puppys stomach.
Dont be fooled by your dogs pleading gaze. Its not a test of your love for her and its not an emotional crisis. Believe it or not, its the canines way of scamming us without knowing the fatal and harmful effects it will have on them.
Not only are you rewarding your pets undesirable behaviors that will eventually be hard to break, but there are also human foods that are toxic to dogs. Some of those are:
You May Like: Why My Newborn Has Diarrhea
How Do I Feed Orphaned Puppies
Most puppies will suckle on small pet nursing bottles, also known as pet nursers. When bottle fed, puppies will nurse until they are full and then reject the bottle.
Be sure the opening in the nipple restricts the outflow of fluid to one drop at a time in order to avoid a flow rate that is too rapid for the puppy. When the flow rate is too rapid, it can lead to aspiration, pneumonia, and/or death and when the flow is too slow they have to work too hard to nurse.
When feeding, hold the puppy in a horizontal, head-neutral position as it would be when feeding from its mother. If the puppy is too weak to suckle, your veterinarian can show you alternative feeding methods and assist in tube feeding if needed.
TIP: Handling puppies during feeding contributes to critical socialization.
How To Care For A Newborn Puppy
Those of you who have had children probably know how stressful and time-consuming caring for a helpless infant can be! Those of us who havent can probably never imagine it! But perhaps there are some similarities with caring for a newborn puppy? If you are preparing to care for a newborn puppy, we have a handy guide you can follow below.
Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Formula Do You Start A Newborn On
Caring For Orphaned Newborn Puppies: Basic Care Feeding And Disease Prevention
Raising orphaned puppies can be very rewarding. It is, however, a serious responsibility that requires some time, money and work on your part if you want to help the little ones grow up healthy and happy. Close observation and prompt attention if any problems develop are especially important. If you have not raised orphans before, you should have a veterinarian examine the pups before you get started. Dont be disappointed if you are unable to save all the orphan puppies you can only give it your best effort.
Helping Newborn Puppies Poop
When the mother is present, the mother always helps the newborn pup urinate and defecate during the first few weeksbecause they cant go on their own without help. As the puppys adoptive parent, you should assist your puppy in defecating. Puppies need help with excreting and urinating the first two weeks of their lives.
The female dog helps their baby stimulate waste release by licking their genitals. However, humans do not share similar sentiments, and luckily, damp clothing, and hands are perfectly enough for the job. Since defecation is a vital part of their lives, you can ask your vet for help to encourage your newborn pups. A vet can teach you better tricks to helping them pee and poop. They begin excreting on their own at about three weeks.
Don’t Miss: What Is Newborn Stem Cell Banking
Decide When It Is Time To Change Diets
Most newborn puppies need to keep nursing from their moms for the first month of their lives. The case is also the same when using bottle feeding. After the first month, you can start the slow progression into dry food. The progression period should take approximately three to four weeks to get them used to eat kibble. When your pup is two months old, it should have been used to eating both dry and solid dog food.
Do All Puppies Need Formula
“A puppy may require formula as a supplement when the mother cannot make enough milk to satisfy the puppy’s needs,” according to Elizabeth Fuller, DVM. Fuller serves as the Vice President of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians and Chief Medical Officer for the Charleston Animal Society in Charleston, S.C. A puppy may also require formula if she cannot nurse from her mother at all, including if the mother is ill or otherwise unavailable.
“Of course, puppies should nurse from mom as much as possible,” Fuller says. “There are benefits beyond just nutrition behavior later in life is better when puppies are allowed to stay with mom for at least 8 weeks.”
Don’t Miss: How Many Ounces Of Milk For A Newborn
Should I Buy The More Expensive Dog Food
First, check the for a statement from , the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This association informs pet owners about the intended use of the food. Another phrase to look for is “complete and balanced nutrition”.
High-quality dog food has higher nutritional density, which means you can feed your dog less to achieve the same results. Additionally, high-quality puppy foods have stable ingredient profiles, higher in essential fatty acids.
When Should Puppies Have Their First Vet Checkup
Most veterinarians suggest bringing in your newborn puppy at around 6 weeks of age. This time-frame results from the motherâs antibodies wearing off. Puppies become more at risk of infection and disease. During their first physical examination your veterinarian will give your puppy their initial immunizations and deworming medication.
Your puppy should get their first vaccinations at around 6 weeks. Vaccinations for new pups include:
- Distemper virus
- Parainfluenza virus
At around 8 to 12 weeks, you’ll need to make sure your pup receives these follow-up shots:
- Canine Influenza H3N2 and H3N8
- Rabies first year
The physical exam lets your veterinarian know if there are any conditions that need to be addressed. Theyâll ask you about feeding, the care youâve provided, and give you some suggestions for further care.
Recommended Reading: What Helps Newborns With Constipation
Choosing A Dry Dog Food
There are tons of dry dog food choices out there, but its hard to decide on which is the best for your puppies. It is important that you pick puppy food that meets the nutrition guidelines from the AAFCO or Association of American Feed Control Officials. This signifies that your puppy food will have the appropriate nutrients for your puppy. In addition, make sure that the label and packaging states for which stage of life should the dog food be fed to the puppies.
As much as possible, avoid certain ingredients for the puppy food, such as corn and various grains, which can cause stomach upsets and allergies. Dog food that is cheap does not mean it is nutritious always check the label for the content.
How To Feed A Newborn Puppy
- A puppy nursing bottle is the best way to feed your bundle of joy. The size of the hole in the nipple is crucial to successful bottle feeding, according to experts at Best Friends. To check this, turn the bottle upside down and gently squeeze: If the milk drips freely the hole is too large. That means the puppy could take in too much milk and risk inhaling it into their lungs. If the hole is too small, the puppy has to work too hard to get nourishment and may refuse to nurse. The hole is the proper size if, when the bottle is squeezed gently, the milk comes out a small drop at a time.
- Puppies shouldnt be fed on their backs because they dont have a well-developed gag reflex and theres a danger that fluid may go down their windpipe and enter their lungs. Instead, place the puppy on his stomach with his head level as if he was nursing from his mom.
- Open the puppys mouth gently with one finger and place the tip of the nipple on his tongue. If he wont eat, try stroking him. Tilt the bottle up slightly to prevent the puppy from inhaling too much air. Do not force the puppy to nurse, or allow him to nurse too fast.
- After each feeding, the puppy should be burped by holding him against your shoulder and gently patting his back.
Also Check: Should Newborn Clothes Be Washed Before Wearing
Whats My Role In Helping A Puppy To Eliminate
Puppies cannot eliminate on their own until about 3 weeks of age. They rely on their mother to stimulate their reflex to initiate elimination. Orphaned puppies, on the other hand, rely on their caretakers to stimulate them to eliminate.
After feeding, you can stimulate their reflex to eliminate by gently stroking the area between the anus and vulva or penis with a warm, moistened cotton ball or soft cloth. Your veterinarian can help teach you this technique.
Caring If Mum Is Around
Pregnancy is a difficult time for any dog, so you should seek assistance from your vet if you are wanting to breed from your dog theres a lot to consider! But after giving birth , even if it went well your work doesnt stop, because now you have both mum and pups to care for! Mum will do a lot of the work for you, but there are still things to consider.
Mums health should be a top priority, so regularly check she is still giving milk, has no smelly discharge from her back end and is active. If there is anything not quite right, it is essential you speak to your vet immediately post-birth diseases progress quickly and can be very dangerous. She should be provided with food and water, and taken outside regularly to use the toilet she may not want to leave her puppies for long. Keep her nest warm, quiet, clean and dry. Ensure she is mothering the puppies properly if one or more are being neglected, they may need to be hand-reared.
Keep an eye on the puppies as well, looking for any weakness or being pushed away from the teats by littermates. Those that are weaker should be placed on teats giving the most milk. As with mum, if there are any signs of illness in the puppies seek veterinary advice immediately.
Don’t Miss: How Often Should You Wash A Newborn
When A Newborn Puppy Wont Eat
Common sense disclaimer: As with everything else on this blog, its critical to seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian, preferably one that is board certified in theriogenology for reproductive matters. This website, its blog, and its courses are NOT designed nor intended to replace the need for a qualified veterinarian, but instead to help educate people to to work optimally with their veterinarians. All recommendations should be reviewed with qualified professionals, such as a board certified reproductive veterinarian, prior to implementation in a breeding program. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian. Readers assume all risks associated with use of material on this site. More here.
Heres a quick summary of what to do with a neonate that wont latch on and eat right away. Ill try to go more into detail in a later post. This assumes no cleft palate or other glaring issues. When in doubt or if something here is beyond your skill or comfort level, call your vet immediately.
1. He needs to be warm. Newborn puppies cannot regulate their own temperature. The are born wet and chill quickly and easily, even after they dry off. You dont want to feed a cold baby. And by warm I mean really warm, he should feel as warm as a heating pad on low. Do not try to feed him until he warms up. Take care not to burn him when warming him or to overheat him. Normal neonate temperature is 95-99 degrees.
Myra’s Homemade Puppy Formula
What Could Go Wrong With Newborn Puppies
Pregnancy and birth can be filled with complications. Just like humans, mommy dogs can get super freaked out by this crazy process, causing our brains and bodies to short-circuit.
Suddenly, the genetic programming that somehow lets a new dog mommy know how to care for her newborns goes haywire, and she rejects her precious bundles of joy.
Or, she has some medical ailment that causes her not to produce enough milk for them. In severe cases, complications could even cost your beautiful dog her life while shes giving birth to her offspring.
Sometimes, mommy dogs need to give birth through a caesarian section, especially if its a toy breed or bulldog. After this, the mommy may be unable to feed her babies, in which case you need to step in.
She might also suffer from mastitis, making nursing extremely painful. If this is the case, she may bite at the pups or run away when theyre trying to feed. A breech birth is another potentially serious complication.
Here, one or more of the puppies are in the wrong position, so they can get stuck in the birth canal. This is potentially fatal for both mom and pup.
Note that newborn puppies cant regulate their own body temperature. Under normal circumstances, snuggling up to their mom while suckling keeps them warm. So, if your mommy dog cannot snuggle with her little ones, keep them warm with blankets.
Also Check: How Warm Should A Newborn Bath Be
The Growing Puppy Diet
Puppies need a balanced diet for proper growth and development. Although there are many foods in the market, the owner ought to confirm that they meet the correct nutritional requirements.
Commercial newborn puppy food should be purchased according to age, size, and breed of the pup. These commercial feeds can be consumed for up to 12 months in small breed dogs. Large breeds should eat their unique formula to avoid developmental issues.
Puppy foods come in a variety of different forms. Remember pups and adult dogs dont require the same supplements or minerals therefore, don’t feed your puppy adult formulas.
General foods such as those not specified whether for adults or pups should be bypassed.
When Puppies Are Left Out
Sometimes a litter has puppies that are smaller than others. In this situation, the larger dogs might hog the milk source, making it difficult for smaller dogs to get what they need from mom. They might need some of their diet supplemented with milk replacers to keep them growing healthy and strong.
You May Like: When Can You Wash Your Newborn
Dry Dog Food May Take Longer
Because dry dog food is manufactured with long conservation in mind, the moisture is reduced to the minimum level. This is because water, humidity and moisture are required in order for food to go off. By removing moisture, manufacturers also rid most of the foods palatability and appeal.
Therefore, the transition may take longer when starting a puppy on dry dog food from the mothers milk.
Feeding The Orphaned Puppy
Unfortunately, we dont live in a perfect world. Puppies that are orphaned or otherwise separated from their mothers at very young ages have special needs, and chief among these is adequate nutrition.
Puppies will generally need to drink from a bottle until they are about four weeks old. They should eat every two to three hours from the time you wake until you go to sleep. Thankfully, overnight feedings are usually not necessary if you stick to this schedule, and the frequency of feedings can be decreased gradually as the pup gets closer to four weeks of age. Buy several sets of bottles and nipples made specifically for dogs and use a heated needle to make two or three pinholes in the nipples, if necessary. Having multiple bottles lets you have a clean one available when you need it.
Canine milk replacer is the best food for dogs when they are in the nursing stage. It comes in powdered and premixed forms. The powdered milk replacer is cheaper, but it should only be used immediately after mixing. The liquid milk replacer is very convenient to use, especially when you arent at home. Heat the bottle containing the milk in warm water until it is just above room temperature and let the pup nurse until his suckling begins to slow down.
Dr. Jennifer Coates
Don’t Miss: Does Jcpenney Do Newborn Pictures