It is already a full time job to care for a young puppy, but when the puppy is orphaned it is a whole different story. When a puppy is born the mother makes sure that the puppy is well fed, clean and healthy but when the mother is absent it is you who will have to make sure of these tasks. Let’s explain in details how and what you will need to do to take care of your orphaned newborn
- Find a milk replacement
You will need to find a milk replacement that is suitable for your newborn puppy. Puppy milk can be bought from most pet supplies stores. The puppy will solely depend on this for the first 4 to 5 weeks. A replacement also often recommended by vets is lactose free milk for babies, if puppy milk is unavailable. Normal store-brought milk or cow milk products are not recommended for new born puppies.
- Know when the puppy is hungry
Because newborn pups have less fats in their bodies, their stomachs tend to be flat when hungry and a little full like a barrel when full. A hungry puppy will typically whine or squeal. You should hand/bottle feed the puppy every 2-3 hours, until he/she stops eating.
- Sterilize all equipment used
New born puppies are very prone to infections and viruses, thus you need to take extra care of all equipment used. You can simply boil anything in water before using to be free of germs.
- Keep the puppy clean
You will need to wipe the dog’s mouth after feeding to make sure that there is no bacteria around this area with a damp cotton or towel. This resembles what the dog mother would do after feeding her puppy.
- Stimulate the puppy to defecate
Newborns don’t defecate on their own. Dog mothers stimulate their babies to excrete waste through licking. To do this, you will need to rub the dog’s anal and urinary areas, before and after feeding, with a damp warm towel or cotton towel to stimulate the puppy to urinate or defecate. You will need to clean them up after they finish. At 3-4 weeks of age, puppies will start excreting on their own.
- Regulate the newborn’s body temperature
Newborn puppies cannot regulate their own temperature so you will need to keep him/her warm. The room should be warm enough for you to sit with t-shirts and shorts. You can feel the newborn’s temperature by placing your finger on the pup’s belly. If cool then the puppy needs to be warmed more. It might also be non-responsive and very quiet. An overheated puppy will have red ears and tongue. It may also be unusually squirmy, which is the puppy’s best effort at getting away from any heat source.
Assuming the pups appear healthy, most veterinarians recommend that they receive their first round of standard vaccinations at six weeks of age. Consult with your vet to schedule your puppies’ preventative health plan. You can start deworming a pup after 2 weeks, only using brands specific for new born puppies, otherwise deworm after 6 weeks. Flea treatment also can be used starting from 6 weeks of age, same applies for checking the brand instructions. Remember never to bathe puppies under 4 months of age with water. You can only start doing this when they have completed their vaccinations at 4 months.
For more info on Parvo signs and treatment in puppies, read this article.
Need to know how to care for a pregnant mother dog? Find out here.
Written by: Farah Khaled
Sources: Wiki How , Pets WebMD