Congratulations to your new family members! What happens now? Your new job has just started and a new chapter in your life as a dog owner has just been opened.
We’ll give some tips on how you can manage to take care of the newborn pups.
The mom dog will need some food and water after giving birth so prepare and bring it to her. Offer her food every 2 to 3 hours. The puppies may crawl outside the whelping box so don’t leave the dishes on the floor.
Her appetite will increase so have ample food and water ready and near to her. Give her puppy food that is recommended by your vet. This will in turn benefit your pups when they feed with milk.
The puppies on the other hand should be lively, firm and plump. They will feed every 2 hours and once their tummies appear round, they will become sleepy. It’s a good indicator that they fed fully.
If you notice that the puppies are moving and crying a lot, they may not be eating a lot. Make sure that they nurse as frequently as they want to. You should be seeing them gaining and doubling their weight in 10 days.
Knowing the temperature inside the whelping box will be helpful. You can hang a thermometer inside the whelping box. Although the pups usually lay side by side to share their body warmth, having a heat lamp as heat source will also help them.
Heat lamp temperature should be around 85 Fahrenheit in the first 3 days then lowered down to 80 Fahrenheit. This extra heat source helps puppies regulate their body temperature. Only until several weeks old will they be able to regulate their own body temperature.
Health care for your puppies
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. The vet will examine your puppies for any birth defects or illnesses. He will also talk to you about vaccinations and deworming procedures.
If medication is necessary, it will also be recommended by your vet. A health check can include heart murmurs, parasites, eye disorders and hernias.
The puppy’s umbilical cord will fall off in 3 days after birth. Make sure the whelping box or kennels are clean to avoid infection.
They will start to crawl in 2 weeks’ time and then start walking. At 4 weeks old, the puppies will start playing, following and biting each other. At this age, their teeth will also start to come out.
Their eyes open in 2 weeks and they will start seeing clearly also at 4 weeks after their birth. Your job is to not let them wander away from their safe place and to make sure that their area is clean.
You need to prevent them from being exposed to bacteria, virus or even physical injury since they are still developing their senses and movement. Always think about keeping them safe apart from giving them good nutrition.
With safety and care in mind, you should also allow your puppies to socialize. Keep household noise as normal, let children play around their area and you should handle the puppies throughout the day.
Interactions with the puppies will help them become confident around people as they grow older. Play with them as often as your time permits and they will grow as great and highly trainable pups.