When a mother dog dies or rejects her newborn puppies, then the puppies may find it hard to survive. You may feel pity on the puppies and assume the role of the mother dog to save them.
Though it is not easy to take care of the abandoned newborn puppies, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible. Also read more about take care of a puppy without its mother.
Without their mothers, abandoned puppies will be susceptible to dehydration, hyperthermia, and other medical issues. That’s why you must keep an eye on them. The first two weeks may be difficult, but all the effort will be worth it as your puppies will grow into healthy dogs.
Let’s get started to understand each of the best ways to take care of abandoned newborn puppies.
- Take them to the vet
Within 48 hours of birth, the puppies should be checked by the vet. The vet will examine them for any birth defects or other health issues. There will be some advice too for you on how to raise the abandoned newborn puppies too.
Make sure you ask some things to the vet, such as the certain puppy milk substitute and the way to properly feed the puppies. The puppies usually receive colostrum from their mother in the first 24 to 48 hours of birth.
This milk is very important to build their immunity and give them important nutrients. Your vet will be able to provide them with blood plasma or serum from a healthy dog to get a similar effect.
- Weigh them periodically
The puppies’ weight can tell you how much to feed them, how often to feed them, and how well they are developing. In the first eight to ten days, a puppy will normally double their birth weight. You can use an electronic kitchen scale or postal scale to weigh them.
In the first 24 hours, the puppy may lose a little weight, but other than that, you may want to contact the vet. Then, keep a chart on each puppy’s weight so you can see if they gain or lose weight.
- Isolate them from other animals
Newborn puppies are extremely susceptible to viruses from other animals, especially from other dogs. Canine herpesvirus, for instance, may be treatable to adult dogs, but it can be fatal to puppies.
Even if you don’t think your adult dog is carrying any diseases, avoid introducing them to puppies, at least until they are 5 weeks old. Once it is safe, you can let them together with your adult dog as it has benefits of getting a puppy with an older dog.
- Provide a nesting box
Make sure you provide a large nesting box for the abandoned newborn puppies so that they can turn around in without falling or climbing out. You can use a cardboard box, which is easy to replace or you can also build a wooden one.
Keep the box dry and in a secluded area. Do not place it in the way of air conditioning drafts or too close to cold windows.
- Warm the room
As newborn puppies cannot regulate their own temperature, then you will need to keep the nesting box and room warm. The suggested temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit until the puppies are 1 week old. Then, on the second week, lower it to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and after that drop the temperature to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Instead of heating the whole room, you may hang a heat lamp over the nesting box. Put the heat restricted to one part of the nesting box so that the puppies cannot touch the heat source directly.
- Make a feeding schedule
Every three hours, you will need to feed the puppies if they are normal. If the puppies are weak or at a low weight, you will need to feed them every two hours. Make a feeding schedule so that you don’t forget.
For your information, puppies will start to cry once they are hungry and ready to eat.
- Decide the feeding ways: tube or bottle feeding
There are 2 ways of feeding the puppies: bottle and tube feeding. Bottle feeding is easier, however, it takes much time. For weaker puppies, tube feeding is recommended. It takes less time, however, it should be done properly. You can discuss with your vet about the best way.
- Use syringe and fill it with puppy milk substitute
Puppies cannot live with cow’s milk. They will need a solution which is similar in nutrients with their mother’s milk. You may buy some commercial puppy milk substitute. Consult with your vet about the best milk substitute for your puppies.
- Feed the puppy
When it is time for feeding, take the puppies out from the nesting box one by one. Let them eat slowly. If there’s milk coming out from their nose or mouth, then stop. Wipe it away and check whether they are breathing normally before continuing.