Care for a puppy must be planned in advance, even before giving birth to a dog, take care of all the necessary conditions for the birth of newborn babies. Look new puppy checklist for help.
The birth of puppies is a very joyful, but at the same time, a very crucial moment, for which you need to prepare in advance.
Care of puppies after birth or how to care for very small puppies?
First of all, you need to allocate a special place where the mother and her babies will be. You should equip it with everything you need, make a soft warm bedding, prepare an electric heating pad, you may need it to warm the puppies, an electric scale for weighing puppies, and a dog’s milk replacer in case there is not enough milk or the puppies are so weak that will not be able to suck milk on their own and will have to feed them from a syringe with milk replacer.
Be prepared that in the first days of the life of newborn puppies you will need to constantly be near the dog and her puppies, this is especially true for a young dog that brings litters for the first time. To do this, take a vacation and ask for help and share the schedule of care and monitoring of the puppies and their mother with someone in the household.
If the dog is experienced, then caring for newborn puppiesdoes not require much effort and attention from you. Dogs that become mothers not for the first time are distinguished by a very attentive and caring attitude towards puppies, they lick them especially carefully and regularly, which is very important for the life of newborn puppies. The point is that licking stimulates blood circulation, digestion and bowel movements, as well as the breathing of the newborn puppy. Newborn puppies cannot defecate themselves, it is the licking of the mother dog that stimulates this process. In the first days of the puppies’ life, they lie clean and dry precisely because of such careful care from their mother. If the dog is inexperienced or in a weakened state after a caesarean section and cannot frequently lick the puppies,
From the first days of life, blind and deaf puppies are able to suck milk, making pushing movements with the front and hind legs, these actions create a nipple massage and stimulate milk production. It is very important that the first feeding of the puppies is colostrum. This is the first portion of milk that is produced in a dog for the first 3-5 days, the composition of colostrum has unique qualities, this milk contains nutrients and immunoglobulins that protect the weak organisms of puppies from various infections.
The sucking reflex is fixed from birth, it is not necessary to teach this to puppies. However, there are times when the puppies are so weak that they cannot suckle or hold on to the nipple. Then you need to help, hold the puppy, open his mouth and put the nipple in his mouth, first you need to massage the dog’s mammary glands so that colostrum is released from the nipple. The smell of colostrum will trigger the puppy’s sucking reflex. If the puppies are very weak and unable to suck independently, then they will have to be syringed every 2 hours with a canine milk replacer. The first volumes of syringe feeding are 0.5-1 ml of milk, upon reaching two weeks of age, the puppy can consume 5-10 ml of milk or milk replacer.
It is very important to monitor the weight of the babies. Starting from the second day of life, puppies need to be weighed daily, they must be sure to gain weight daily. If this does not happen, then the puppies are receiving insufficient nutrition, the mother does not have enough milk and you need to additionally feed them from a syringe with milk or milk substitute.
Keep an eye on your dog’s mammary glands; if they have too much milk, they may develop mastitis, which can be identified by swollen, hard and painful glands that are hot and have a bumpy surface. At the first signs of mastitis, it is necessary to lubricate these mastitis-affected glands with camphor oil and carry out a gentle massage to get rid of stagnation in the mammary gland. If this does not help, be sure to contact your veterinarian!
Separately, care should be taken to keep the puppies warm. Newborn puppies cannot control their body temperature, they are prone to hypothermia. The puppies are warmed by their mother with her body, also the puppies warm each other, being in close contact. During the period when the mother is absent, she is out for a walk or went to feed the puppies need to be provided with additional heating, for this you need to use an electric heating pad.
Caring for newborn puppies requires constant monitoring. On the 7-10th day, it is necessary to start trimming the claws of the puppies, just a little, only sharp hooks. You need to trim your nails once a week. This must be done so that the puppies do not injure the delicate skin of the mammary glands of the mother dog with their claws.
You also need to be especially careful to avoid inflammation of the navel stump in puppies. To do this, you need to lubricate the navel with brilliant green twice a day, morning and evening.
As the puppies grow, they become more active, if at first they only sleep and eat, then from the third week of life the puppies begin to walk actively, defecate on their own, play and fight with their brothers and sisters.
In the fourth week, the puppies have their first teeth, which means it’s time for complementary foods. Gradually, the proportion of mother’s milk in the diet of puppies will decrease, and other foods will replace milk.
The transition from milk to other products should be done gradually, it is necessary to monitor the condition of the puppies. If the puppies are still weak, do not rush to transfer them to another food. A gradual change in diet should take place in stages, first add one complementary food a day so that the puppy gets used to it, look at his reaction, then twice a day, then three, four, five, six until the complete replacement of mother’s milk.