Newborn Puppy Care
Learn more about puppy care:
Unless there are special circumstances, like if the litter is separated from the mother, newborn puppy care should be left to the mother dog. If your dog has given birth to a litter of pups, there are still things you can do to help her. Be sure the mother dog has access to food and fresh, clean water. The mother should have adequate shelter and should feel safe with her litter. When the puppies are very young, you should limit handling newborn puppies in the beginning for several reasons.
Newborn puppies are precious, but also vulnerable without their mother to provide for their every need. You should care for the mother dog so she can focus her energy on caring for her new puppies, especially in the first few weeks. As the puppies get older, they will be busy exploring and you may need to help the mother ensure the pups stay safe. Newborn puppy care is important because the puppies are so fragile and delicate. To help the mother, remember that a nursing dog needs more food and water than usual. Be sure to feed the mother a brand with high quality ingredients, preferably one that is designed for female dogs with a litter of puppies.
It is likely that the mother found a safe and comfortable place prior to giving birth. Perhaps you even helped her by making a special spot for the mother and her newborn puppies. Unless the litter is in an area that is not protected from the weather or is subject to extreme temperatures, you should not move the puppies. During the first couple weeks, you should give the mother dog and her puppies lots of quiet and privacy. Even if your dog is usually very kind and happy to see you, frequent visitors will probably cause her a great deal of stress.
While it is very tempting, newborn puppies should not be handled frequently in the beginning. First, a newborn puppy is very fragile, and by frequently handling the puppy you may accidentally hurt it. Secondly, the mother may be very protective of her litter. Even though she may not otherwise snap at you, she may do so to protect her newborn puppies.
Caring for newborn puppies is a very important job, but the primary care should be left up to the mother. The most important thing you can do is to ensure the mother is well cared for. Secondly, be sure the litter is in an area that is in a safe and protected area. If the birth of the pups was prepared for ahead of time, it is likely you made sure the mother had a quiet and comfortable spot. Finally, although it is hard to resist round and warm puppies, you should not handle the pups right away because they are delicate and the mother may become upset if she things you are taking away one of her babies.