Newborn Puppies: Providing Assistance in The First Days After Birth

newborn puppies

Newborn puppies have not yet adapted to the conditions of existence in a new environment, so they need to be given increased attention. During this period, puppies are very vulnerable and sensitive to external influences. They need good care taking into account their physiological needs.

Right after the puppies are born

1-Don’t touch the placenta. Otherwise, it may lead to bleeding. Leave the placenta intact. After a while, it will burst itself.

2-Avoid treating a newborn puppy’s navel. There is no need to use disinfectants. If the box containing the newborn puppy is clean, then you should not use disinfectants.

3-Change the towels and newspapers in the delivery box. It is important that the box is clean after the puppies are born. However, do this so as not to disturb a dog that has just given birth to puppies. You can change towels and newspapers while the dog is defecating. Throw away dirty newspapers and replace them with clean ones.

newborn puppies

4-Watch the temperature in the box. Feel the puppy’s body. If the puppy is cold, then most likely the temperature is insufficient. In addition, the puppy can be very quiet. If the puppy is hot on the contrary, its ears and tongue will be red. In addition, you will notice that your puppy is overly active as tries to escape the heat source by any means.

The body temperature of newborn puppies should be 34-37 degrees Celsius. At two weeks of age, the temperature can rise to 37.7 degrees Celsius. It is not necessary to measure your puppy’s temperature using a thermometer. Check with your veterinarian if you have any questions.

If you are using the lamp as a heat source, watch your puppy’s skin. It shouldn’t be red or dry. If you notice these symptoms on its skin, remove the lamp.

5-Control the temperature in the room. Newborn puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature, which can lead to hypothermia. A covered heating pad will serve as a substitute for the mother when she is absent. Therefore, take care of a suitable heat source.

newborn puppies

The room temperature should be such that you are comfortable in shorts and a T-shirt.

Provide extra warmth in the box where the newborn puppies are. You can place a heating pad under your puppies’ bedding. However, don’t overdo it; the puppy shouldn’t be too hot. Please note that a newborn puppy cannot control the temperature by itself.

See also: Preparing for the birth of puppies: helpful tips

The next days after birth

1-Let the mother bond with her puppies for the first 4-5 days. The first few days of a puppy’s life are critical in establishing a bond between the mother and her puppies. Therefore, leave the first few days of the newborn and their mother alone.

Try not to pick up the puppies for the first few days. You can only do this when you need to replace the newspapers.

2-Weigh newborns (on a precision electronic scale) daily for the first 3 weeks. Recording the weight of each puppy will help you monitor the puppies’ health and nutrition. Disinfect the bowl on the scale before placing your puppy on it. Use a disinfectant that you have at home.

a newborn puppy

Weigh your puppy every day. Don’t panic if your puppy hasn’t gained or even lost weight in one day. Your puppy is alive and well, check the weight the next day. Check with your veterinarian if your puppy is not gaining weight.

3-Make sure your visitors are completely healthy. Most likely, your friends and family will want to see your puppies. Make sure they are completely healthy. There may also be bacteria or viruses on the hands and on the soles of shoes.

Ask visitors to take off their shoes before entering the newborn puppies’ room.

Ask visitors to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching the puppies. Also, ask visitors not to touch the puppies if possible.

4-Do not bring animals that do not live in your home  into the room. Other animals can carry pathogenic bacteria that can be dangerous to newborn puppies. Even your dog that recently gave birth to a puppy can be vulnerable as well. Limit the newborn puppies’ contact with other animals.

Helping the newborn puppies with feeding

1-Help the puppy pick up the nipple. A newborn puppies are blind, deaf, and unable to walk until 10 days old. Therefore, for newborn puppies, finding the mother’s nipple may not be an easy task. In this case, you must come to the rescue and teach the puppies to do this.

two puppies

First, wash and dry your hands. Take the puppy and place it against the nipple. The puppy can move with its mouth, but if it cannot find the nipple, gently point its head towards it.

You can squeeze a drop of milk out of the nipple. The puppy will smell the smell and start sucking milk.

If the puppy hasn’t picked up the nipple yet, gently insert your finger into the corner of its mouth to slightly open its jaw. Then place the nipple in its mouth and release your finger. The puppy should start sucking

2-Supervise the feeding of the puppies. Remember which puppy ate from which nipple. The back nipples can produce more milk than those in the front. A puppy that constantly suckles on the front nipple may gain fewer grams than a puppy that sucks on the rear nipple.

If your puppy is not gaining weight at the same rate as the others, have it eat from the back nipple.

3-Do not mix breastfeeding with bottle feeding. When a mother feeds her puppies, her body will produce milk. If you start feeding the newborn puppies, milk production will decrease. If milk production is reduced, there is a risk that the mother will not be producing enough milk to feed her babies.

three puppies

Only use bottle feeding as a last resort. For example, you can start bottle feeding your puppy if it lacks the physical strength to feed itself. Another reason might be: your dog brought in too many puppies, more than nipples.

4-Place food and water as close to the dog as possible. She will most likely be reluctant to leave newborns, so make sure she has easy access to food and water. Some dogs don’t even leave the box for the first 2-3 days. In this case, you can put food and water inside the box.

Puppies will be able to watch their mother eat their food.

5-Let the puppies explore their mother’s food. Newborn puppies will be fed exclusively on mother’s milk for 3-4 weeks. By the end of this time period, they may become interested in their mother’s food. At this stage, they are no longer newborns.