Your pet dog might be in the whelping stage, or you might have taken on an orphaned newborn puppy that needs care like its mother’s. Caring for a newborn puppy from birth to adolescence can fly by, but there is much work to be done in the meantime. Consult Everhart Veterinary Medicine in Baltimore, MD, for newborn puppy care tips and any issues that might arise.
Newborn Puppy Care
If the mother dog is with the puppies at birth, you will need to do little for them aside from monitoring their health and growth. The mother will take care of the puppies, and one should avoid interfering in the process. Care for newborns includes feeding every 2-3 hours around the clock and stimulating the genitals area so the puppies will urinate and defecate.
Commercial milk for puppies can replace the mother’s milk if need be. When the puppy is weaned, it will need puppy food as opposed to adult dog food. Dietary needs change as a dog ages, and food specific to its age will help it prosper. When feeding newborn puppies, use a commercial animal feeding bottle.
The temperature of the puppies’ environment should be between 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the first week; the mother’s body heat and the combined body heat of the puppies will generate enough, but if there is only one puppy, the owner must create that environment.
Monitoring Health & Growth
It is common for puppies to have internal parasites that could come from the mother’s milk or fecal matter. The puppy might have diarrhea or obvious parasites as symptoms. You should also look out for infections in the eyes and other areas. As for growth, the puppies should gain 5-10% of their body weight every day, open their eyes at 10-14 days, and open their ear canals at 5-8 days. If you notice anything wrong with them, call a trusted veterinarian as soon as possible.
The first week or two of life requires the puppy to lie on a flat surface like newspaper or clean packing paper over a towel. Newborns cannot raise their heads at first, and soft, plush fabric could make it hard to breathe. After they can lift their heads and crawl, it is best to use a sheet, towel, or blanket.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!