Box for Whelping
Box for Whelping your puppies in perhaps the most adorable little fluffy creatures on earth. But taking care of newborn puppies after whelping is very different from taking care of dogs, or even young pups for that matter.
As cute and adorable as they are, they are also very delicate and require similar attention and care as a newborn human baby. While it sounds daunting to take care of newborn puppies, it isn’t too difficult, especially when you have their mother around.
Of course, you should always consult your veterinarian on important matters.
That being said, let’s discuss how to look after your pet dog’s newborn puppies, so you know things like how to feed them, how to care for them, how long they sleep, and more, for the first few months.
● Cleaning after Whelping in your Box for Whelping
Once the mother has given birth, ideally in a whelping box, you should clean her as much as possible without upsetting her. Only use a soft washcloth and warm water to clean the mother, unless advised otherwise by your vet.
If there is soiled bedding or paper in her whelping box, remove it and let the mother spend time with her new pups. The first few days, the mother will not want to leave her puppies, even to go to the bathroom.
If she refuses to go on her own, you may need to put her leash on and nudge her a little to go do her business normally. She may only be away for a few minutes at a time, which means you’ll only have short windows to clean her bed and the whelping box for the newborns.
Inspect the mother’s vulva and nipples for abnormalities, smelly green-black discharge, or bleeding, before she returns to her puppies in the whelping box. If there is something wrong, call and consult your vet immediately.
● Feeding Newborn Puppies
For the first few weeks, the newborn puppies will only drink mother’s milk. This nursing is not just for nutrition, but also for comfort and bonding with the mum, so you shouldn’t try to feed them something else for at least 3 weeks.
Generally, newborns are fully weaned to solid foods between week 7 and 10, but this can happen earlier as well. However, if your pet dog has complications during whelping, dies shortly after, or rejects the puppies, you must call your vet and arrange the necessary supplements the puppies need to survive their first few weeks.
Continued on Box for Whelping…
If everything goes normally, you will have to start feeding the puppies who stop nursing after the first few weeks. You should consult your vet about how to nurse newborn puppies from a tube or bottle.
If the puppy rejects the bottle, your vet may need to feed them through a stomach tube. Newborn puppies require canine formula, specifically made for puppies. Remember to read the instructions on the packaging before feeding the pups.
Just like with human babies, always warm the milk to body temperature (around 100 degrees) and check it against your skin to make sure it isn’t too warm, before feeding the puppies. Always feed them on their stomach, as other positions create a higher chance of them choking.
Once they are fed, gently pat them on the back to help them burp out any excess air, just like human babies. Another similarity with humans, is that newborn puppies typically eat every 2 to 3 hours as well.
Closer to week 4, you’ll start to notice that some puppies are biting the bottle, this is a sign that they are ready for semi-solid or soft foods. During the early days, it is best to occasionally mix some wet dog food with their formula, to make the transition easier.
Around week 6, your newborn puppies should be eating solid dog food pretty easily from a bowl, albeit a little messily. At this point, you should feed them four times a day till week 12.
● Warm & Comfy Sleeping
Newborn puppies sleep roughly 22 hours a day, and usually only wake up for feeding. They are not capable of regulating their internal body temperature for the first few weeks of life. The mother provides her body heat to keep them warm, but sometimes this isn’t enough.
Without ample warmth, the puppies cannot eat or digest properly, nor sleep comfortably. If the temperature in the whelping box is low, you’ll need some form of heating to bring it up. A little cold for humans is too cold for puppies, while a little warm for humans is too warm for pups.
You need to maintain the temperature in the whelping box between 85 to 90 degrees. You may use a source of heat under a soft blanket or towel and place it in the box, but make sure to put it next to a non-heated region, so the pups can move if they feel too hot.
Another solution is to invest in a heated pet bed and placing it next to or under the whelping box. Just make sure to read the instructions, check the temperature regularly, and opt for quality pet care products from trusted providers like PetNap.
● Bathroom Breaks
Unlike human babies, neonatal puppies are not capable of emptying their bladders and bowels on their own. Initially, their mother licks the relevant control muscles for stimulation, which allows them to relieve waste.
If your newborn puppies are orphaned or untrained. You will have to simulate the mother’s lick using a cotton ball or washcloth soaked in warm water. Gently stroking the relevant areas. Consult your vet on how to do this properly and safely at the earliest, because your pups may need it urgently.
Things improve once the puppies start eating semi-solid foods around week 6. By week 8, they should be going on their own very regularly. By week 12, they’ll be going 4 times a day and you should start house training them between week 12 and 16, because they have enough control to learn at this point.
● First Vet Visit
If all goes smoothly, your puppies require a routine vet checkup at week 6. This is when the antibodies from the mother’s milk start to wear off, and your pups become more vulnerable to infections and disease.
Most vets will do a physical exam and give the puppies their first immunizations with some deworming medication. The second round of immunizations is given between week 8 and 12. Your vet will guide you on when the next visit should be.
They may ask you about the feeding routine, how you are caring for the puppies, and may even suggest a few things if needed. Don’t be afraid to ask them any questions you may have regarding the care of your newborn puppies.
Final Thoughts on Box for Whelping
Watching newborn puppies grow into young, energetic furballs is one of the greatest joys in life. It is especially rewarding when you care for them and help them get there. This guide will help you nurse, feed, clean, comfort, and take care of newborn puppies.
Of course, it is always advised to consult your veterinarian about caring for newborn puppies. That being said, you should prepare your home for puppies beforehand. This means puppy-proofing the home, investing in a nice whelping box, supplies, puppy formula, heated pet beds, and more.
We highly recommend getting your whelping box, pet beds, heated pet pads, and other pet care products from Petnap. For the best quality and comfort for your pet dog and their newborn puppies.