Welcoming a new set of newborn puppies from your beloved pet is a joyous and exciting chapter in every pet breeder or pet owner’s journey. But aside from the joy of getting to hold the adorable puppies, caring for a new litter also entails a lot of pressure and dedication. For first-time pet breeders, this can also usher in a challenging time as they navigate through unfamiliar territory in pet care. If you’re unsure how to become a responsible pet breeder and provide your pets and their newborn puppies with the care they need, this article offers a few answers to the most pressing questions.
What Materials Do You Need for Newborn Puppies?
Stocking up on newborn puppy essentials should be completed even before the dam is scheduled for labor. This will help you be ready to handle newborn puppies easily without scrambling for materials at the last minute. Here are some materials that you should have at
home even before the puppies are born:
- Weighing Scale – Monitor the weight of the newborn puppies with a weighing scale. This will help you track their development and weight gain, and predict possible problems in their growth. We recommend keeping a weight journal where you can write down the weight progression of each newborn puppy.
- Pee Pads – Newborn puppy dens need to be clean and sanitized at all times to lower the risk of infections and illnesses. With pee pads, dog breeders can do quick clean-ups.
- Heating Pads – Keep newborn puppy dens warm by buying heating pads where they can lie down. Just make sure that you don’t set the temperature too high so that the puppies won’t overheat.
- Feeding Bottle – Sometimes dog pregnancies are unpredictable. Keep feeding bottles in your home as an emergency measure if ever the mother is unable to produce milk or if the mother sadly encounters an issue during delivery and she passes. With a feeding bottle and the right type of dog milk, you can easily feed the newborn puppies and ensure that they get the right amount of nutrients and vitamins in their diets.
- Nesting Box – Give the dam and her newborn puppies a comfortable place where they can lie down and rest during nursing. Ideally, nesting boxes should be twice the size of the mother dog so that she’s afforded adequate space for both her and her puppies. If your dog prefers being near you and your family, place the nesting box in an area that’s accessible but still affords a certain degree of privacy.
How Frequently Should Puppies Be Fed?
The early periods in a puppy’s life outside the womb are crucial in growth, with puppies needing regular feeding times to satiate their hunger and properly support their development. You need to let puppies nurse from their mother every two to three hours, even during the early morning. It’s useful to set alarms for these feeding times to ensure that you don’t skip and let the puppies become hungry for long stretches. If in any case the dam is experiencing some issues with producing milk or if the puppies have become orphaned, they will still need to feed every two to three hours through hand feeding.
Can Puppies Drink Pet Milk Formula?
While dams typically don’t experience problems with producing adequate amounts of milk for their litter, sometimes they still do. Some pet breeders opt to find a nursing animal that can provide puppies with milk, but others take it upon themselves to manually feed puppies using pet milk formula through feeding bottles. Note that newborn puppies need specialized dog formula milk and that it should never be swapped out with human milk formula. Using them interchangeably will not only cause significant digestive problems for the newborn puppies, but they may also suffer from long-term health issues if they don’t get the right nutrients they need.
What Temperature Should Their Den Be?
Ideally, newborn puppy dens need to be kept stable at about 29.5 °C to 32 °C. One thing you need to know about newborn puppies is that they can’t regulate their body temperatures well. They can either get too cold or too hot, so you need to be specific when it comes to regulating the temperature inside their dens. If you live in colder areas, getting a heating lamp and some heating pads would be good investments to avoid letting newborn puppies get too cold during the night. If you live in hotter areas, regularly check the den’s temperature so that you can easily regulate it with some air conditioning or improved air circulation.
How Should I Monitor the Newborn Puppy’s Health?
Newborn puppies typically don’t have strong immune systems yet, making health monitoring an important part of newborn puppy care. Look out for signs of infections, colds, or poor health from newborn puppies, which may manifest as diarrhea, vomiting, running noses, and weak movements. If you observe any unusual behaviors in the newborn puppies you’re taking care of, make sure to bring them to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that you get professional advice. You should also monitor each puppy’s weight regularly to make certain that they’re gaining the right amount of weight for their growth.
Should Newborn Puppies Be Separated From Their Mother?
As much as possible, newborn puppies should not be separated from their mothers to ensure that they get the warmth and nutrition they need when they need it. Do not separate newborn puppies from their mother for long periods as this may cause significant distress to the dam. If you plan on moving the puppies to a new location, allow the mother to see where you’re taking them. Just make sure that you supervise the newborn puppies to guarantee that they’re able to feed on time and that they’re comfortable in their den. Only separate puppies from their mother at 8 weeks or two months. Separating them too soon may lead to problems in socialization and behavior.