Table of Contents
Newborn Puppy Nutrition
During the first weeks of their lives, puppies depend on their mothers for nutrition. The bitch makes a milk-like substance for the first few days. The puppies will depend on Colostrum for their immune systems to mature. It’s important that all of the puppies get enough colostrum during this time to fight off infections.
The first few weeks of a puppy’s life are a good time to keep a record of their weight. Talk to your vet about the appropriate weight gains to expect for your dog’s breed and watch your puppies for signs of malnourishment.
Most mothers don’t have problems with nursing. All breeders should be aware of the signs of canine mastitis. Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast’s mammary glands, which can cause pain and limit the availability of milk. A bitch with mastitis can develop hot, dark, red, painful teats and she may snap at puppies who attempt to nurse. Mastitis can be caused by anything from a scratch to a blocked milk duct. If you suspect your female has mastitis, call your doctor. Puppies shouldn’t be allowed to nurse bitches with mastitis.
Feeding the Nursing Dog
The nutrition of the puppies is dependent on the health of their mother. As the puppies get older, lactating dogs need more energy than pregnant or non-lactating dogs. A complete and balanced diet with a higher fat content may be needed for your dog while she is nursing. During this time, your veterinarians is an excellent source of nutrition information and can help you find the right food for your nursing female.
Your bitch may be off her feed the first day after giving birth, but she should be eating within 24 hours. If she is not, this could be a problem and you should consult your vet.
There is more information about nursing bitches.
Newborn Puppy Temperature Control
The puppies can’t control their body temperature. Puppies need to be kept in a warm environment so that they don’t get exposed to cold and diseases. If you provide a slightly cooler location within the whelping pen to prevent the puppies from overheating, and position the lamp far enough overhead that it does not burn the puppies, you can use a heat lamp to keep the new litter warm. The puppies can crawl to another corner if the heat lamp is placed at the corner of the whelping box. They advise against heating pads as they are more likely to burn puppies.
Newborn Puppy Health Problems
After all of the puppies have eaten, the breeder should perform an inspection to make sure they are each healthy and normal. If this is your first time breeding, talk to your veterinarian about what to expect and look for. Healthy newborns should have a healthy suck reflex, a normal and functioning urethra and anus, no cleft palate, pink and moist gums and mucous membranes, and a healthy coat.
A baby scale is recommended to monitor weight gain in puppies. At birth, you should weigh each puppy at 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, 3 days, 5 days, and 7 days. Puppies should gain weight gradually.
The biggest health concern with newborns is temperature regulation. Young puppies are particularly vulnerable to disease and infections, and a low body temperature puts stress on their immunity. Their ability to nurse and digest food is impacted by it. If a puppy becomes chilled, it is important to warm it up slowly and not feed it until it is stable and warm.
Puppies rely on their mother to get them through their first few weeks of life. Puppies lose their immunity between six and eight weeks of age when they receive their first vaccines. Maternal antibodies are not a guarantee of protection against infectious diseases. Talk to your vet about parasites in puppies and keep your newborn puppies away from unvaccinated dogs.
Registering Your Puppies
If you want to register your newborn puppies with the AKC, now is the time. There are benefits to registration for you, prospective owners and the breed. You register your litter.
Establish a record of your breeding program.
There is a If you give prospective owners access to important information, they will be more likely to buy.
There is a Help track the development of the breed.
You can get started with the online litter registration system if this appeals to you.
Raising a litter of puppies is rewarding. It is possible to take some of the stress off of you by doing your research ahead of time.