If puppies were being cared for by their mother, she would choose a place that was soft, warm and away from total sunlight. In the absence of your mother, you must provide this type of environment. A box can be big enough to have the family's first home. Place the box in a warm and protected space.
If a mother dog has died or rejected her puppies, a litter of newborn puppies may struggle to survive. To help save these vulnerable puppies, you'll have to take on the role of the mother dog. Take puppies to the vet early and provide them with a warm and safe nest box. You'll need to hand feed puppies frequently throughout the day.
Without their mother's presence, orphaned puppies are susceptible to dehydration, hypoglycemia, hypothermia and other medical problems, so keep an eye on them. Although the first two to three weeks can be difficult, the effort will pay off as puppies grow into healthy dogs. Place a hot water bottle under towels or blankets in the puppy's nesting area to keep it warm, as cold is one of the leading causes of death for an orphaned puppy. You can also choose a heat lamp or heating pad as long as the heat source is not too hot and the puppy has the opportunity to move away from it if necessary.
Around 4 weeks you can remove the heat source as long as the puppy is in a warm environment, such as your home. Leave blankets or towels in the nesting area for the puppy to warm up. Orphaned puppies will need alternative heat methods, such as incubators, heat lamps, heating pads, or hot water bottles. Any warm-up should be done very carefully, as if the puppy warms up too quickly, this can lead to a puppy being stressed by the heat.
Elizabeth Muirhead explains how to care for a newborn puppy without its mother along with important tips on how to feed it, help the puppy eliminate, keep the puppy warm and socialize the puppy. However, a relative humidity of 85 to 90% is more effective in keeping puppies if they are small and weak. If the mother is unable to raise her puppies herself, the puppies are considered orphans and some important needs must be met to ensure their survival. Small breed puppies should limit themselves to 10-15 ml per feeding during the first week of life to prevent diarrhea.
Bottles should be clearly marked with gradations to ensure puppies receive the correct amount of milk at each feeding. The period of time they spend being breastfed by their mother (dog) helps the newborn puppy move from nutrition in the womb to solid food. Compared to cow's milk, a puppy's mother's milk contains more than twice as much protein, which helps explain why cow's milk is not ideal for feeding orphaned puppies. Even when everything goes according to plan, you'll invest a lot of time and money when you have a new litter of puppies.
For the first week, feed puppies every two to four hours with a dropper full of dog milk substitute. Normal water intake is relatively high for puppies, as they need between 130 and 220 milliliters (ml) of fluid per kilogram (kg) of body weight every day. The room in which you keep the puppies should be free of drafts or breezes, as they must remain very warm. An ambient relative humidity of 55 to 65% is adequate to prevent dry skin in a normal newborn puppy.
One of the least fun parts of raising newborn puppies is also one of the most important: encouraging them to urinate and defecate. .