As long as puppies stay close to their mother, the ambient temperature is not too critical. However, if the mother leaves her puppies alone, they must be provided with an external source of heat. The lamp should be placed high enough above the box to avoid any risk of burning the mother or her puppies, and there should also be a cooler corner for puppies to crawl if they get too hot. For the first five days, the temperature inside the pen should be maintained between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
From days five to ten, gradually lower the heat to 80 degrees, and then continue to reduce the heat little by little until it reaches 75 degrees by the end of the fourth week, PetPlace suggests. Newborn puppies can't control their body temperature. This means owners need to make sure puppies are kept in a warm, draft-free environment, as exposure to cold causes puppies to become stressed and expose them to illness. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends using a heat lamp to keep the new litter warm, as long as a slightly cooler place is provided inside the farrowing pen to prevent puppies from overheating, and place the lamp far enough above the head so that it does not burn the puppies or the mother.
Or, consider placing the heat lamp in the corner of the birthing box so that puppies can crawl to another corner if they are too hot. They recommend heat lamps instead of heating pads, since heating pads are more likely to burn. A puppy burns much more body heat per pound of body weight than an adult dog. To keep warm, puppies rely on their mother's radiant heat.
In their absence, they need constant temperature control. Therefore, you will need to provide your puppies with a draft-free nesting area. Heat lamps or hot water bottles can be used to keep the temperature controlled. Puppies are born with their eyes and ears closed.
They can't see and hear very little, if at all. However, they are capable of making noise, which sounds like a high-pitched squeak. They don't have teeth at birth and can't walk. Newborn puppies are unable to urinate or defecate on their own.
In addition, a newborn puppy cannot regulate its own body temperature. The AKC advises that, as puppies grow, owners keep track of their weight, especially during the first few weeks. During the first two weeks of life, puppies are stimulated by their mother to encourage urination and defecation. Talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate weight gain you can expect for your dog's breed and monitor all puppies for signs of malnutrition.
Keep your newborn puppies away from unvaccinated dogs and talk to your veterinarian about parasite control in puppies. A newborn puppy is too small to undergo any type of training, but there may be some things you can do to get them used to people and their environment. Puppies in a foster or shelter situation should begin receiving vaccinations at 4-6 weeks of age and, thereafter, every two weeks until 18 weeks of age. Puppies must also find a variety of people, objects, sounds and smells, anything you can think of that is common in the world.
With adequate food intake and mother care, a newborn puppy should double its weight in the first 10 days of life. Mothers also groom their puppies throughout the day, and the AKC believes this massage is important for the health and development of puppies. For the first four or five days of life, puppies should be kept in an environment that is between 85 and 90 degrees. Studies have shown that in their first week of life puppies should lose part of their birth weight and then double it.
After all puppies have eaten, the breeder should conduct an inspection to make sure they are healthy and normal. The weekly care of newborn puppies is a lot of work, but there is also a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment in the process. Once the anticipation and waiting are over, and your pregnant dog has successfully delivered her new litter of puppies to the world, it's time to roll up her sleeves and get into the business of caring for your newborn puppies. After you've taken care of helping the mother clean the puppies and making sure all the puppies breathe, you should help your dog move on to the important task of breastfeeding.