Puppies are among the most adorable things on the planet. But life is cruel, and it doesn’t care about sweetness or beauty.
It’s not a rare thing to find a litter of puppies without a mommy around. It’s only natural to panic in such circumstances. You start to wonder:
- What should I do?
- How to take care of newborn puppies without a mother?
- What to feed a newborn puppy?
Keep calm, and let me answer all your questions.
The first thing is that you must keep the puppies warm. Newborn puppies cuddle next to each other and their mother for warmth. They can’t regulate their body temperature very well, so use a heating pad or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. The temperature in the nest should be around 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the first week, and it should be kept around 70-80 degrees until the puppies are about two-and-a-half-month-old.
Then the next problem raises its ugly head – what to feed a newborn puppy without a mother? Fortunately, people have come up with an easy solution – a puppy milk replacement formula. Veterinarians don’t recommend giving a newborn puppy cow’s milk unless it’s an emergency. To feed the puppy, you’ll need a special pet bottle with a nipple. You can find them in any pet store. You can also use a syringe.
Here’s how to bottle feed newborn puppies:
- Prepare the formula by following the instruction on the package.
- Wait for the formula to cool down to room temperature.
- Test it on the inside of your wrist.
- Take the puppy and place it on its stomach. Don’t attempt to feed it on its back. It’s dangerous and can lead to pneumonia and aspiration.
If you’re using a syringe, place it in the pup’s mouth, push slowly and give the puppy time to swallow. If you’re using a bottle with a nipple make sure that the milk is dripping slowly, otherwise the pup can choke.
But how often to bottle feed newborn puppies? Just like human babies, newborn puppies eat a lot. They need around six to eight feedings a day. When the pups are around 3-4 weeks, they should do just fine with four feedings a day. At 4-5 weeks you can start weaning them by preparing gruel. Gruel is dry dog food soften with puppy replacement milk or water.
It’s also important that you burp the puppy twice – halfway through the feeding and after it. To burp the pup, place its belly against your shoulder and pat its back.
Is there anything else we need to know to care for newborn puppies without a mother? Yes, there is. You need to help them pee and poop. It sounds gross, I know, but you just have to do it. First, moisten a cotton ball. Then place the puppy on its back, and rub the genital area. Continue the massage until you the pup does its business.
If the mother is around, she might be ignoring her little ones. Then, you’ll need to take her place. But why mom isn’t feeding the puppies, you wonder? There could be several reasons for that:
– Inexperience. First-time mothers may lack the necessary instinct to care properly for their puppies.
– There is something wrong with the puppies. The mother won’t feed s puppy if she senses that it’s ill or fails to thrive.
– Illness. The mother can have mastitis or suffer from post-birth complication. Get her to the doctor immediately if you notice anything strange.
– Mom might reject some puppies simply because she has too many pups.
No matter the case, rejected puppies need around the clock care if you want them to survive, and a visit to the veterinarian is an excellent idea.
After reading all of this, you might think that caring for newborn puppies without a mother is an overwhelming task. But I can assure you, that it’s worth your efforts. There is no bigger prize than watching that little ball of fur turn into a big, healthy dog.
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