How to care for an orphaned puppy!
Successful care of orphaned puppies requires a regular schedule of feeding, elimination, playing, and sleeping in a safe and healthy environment.
Healthy puppies are plump and firm, warm, quiet, and sleep most of the time. Unhealthy puppies have poor muscle tone, initial high activity levels, and cry a lot. If not assisted, they become weak, quiet, and comatose. -PetEducation.com
Orphaned Puppy Care: Keep the Puppies Warm
When caring for orphaned puppies, it is very important to keep them warm. Puppies depend on radiant heat from their mother to stay warm and cannot yet stay warm themselves.
Tips to Keep Puppies Warm:
- Avoid drafts
- Use heating pad in box on low heat. Do not use any setting higher low to avoid risk of burning the puppies.
- Cover the heating pad with waterproof material (plastic).
- Line the box with disposable diapers or newspaper.
- The Heating pad should only cover 1/2 of bottom of box. Let rest of heating pad go up side of box. This allows pup to get off heating pad if gets too hot.
- Birth to 5 Days _____________ 85-90 Degrees
- 5-20 Days _________________ 80 Degrees
- 20-34 Days_________________ 75 Degrees
Orphaned Puppy Care: Nutrition
Newborn puppies need to be fed approximately every three hours. This can be done in a series of six or eight meals equally spaced over a period of 24 hours. Small or weak puppies may need additional feedings. After the first week, the puppies can be fed every six hours.
- Use puppy formula ONLY!! Milk or human baby formula causes diarrhea.
- Introduce formula changes SLOWLY.
- Feed at 95-100 degrees (body temperature).
- Discard reconstituted formula after 24 hours.
- Feed 2-tablespoons/4 oz. body weight. (15% of body wt. Divided into 4-6 meals)
- Feed every 3-4 hours for one week, then every 6 hours.
- Whining or crying USUALLY indicates hunger.
- Test the feeding bottle for proper flow rate. Do NOT SQUEEZE the bottle.
- Begin feeding in a saucer as soon as eyes are open. (Usually about two weeks of age.)
- Dip muzzle and tongue in sauce. Put finger in side of mouth to encourage sucking.
- Begin mixing formula with Gerber High Protein Baby Cereal at 3 – 4 weeks of age. After
- One week gradually switch the cereal to a high quality puppy food.
- Slowly begin to substitute water for the puppy formula at four weeks of age.
- Any time diarrhea should develop, dilute the food 50 % with water and call the clinic for instructions.
Orphaned Puppy Care: Sanitation
It is best to use clean newspaper as bedding for the first week. Newborn puppies can get entangled and suffocate in soft cloth. Don’t use a blanket or soft cloth until the puppies can lift their heads and move around a bit.
- Keep area clean! This is MOST IMPORTANT for good health!
- Rub rectum and abdomen with cotton moistened with warm water after each feeding to
- stimulate bowel functions.
- DO NOT DISTURB except for feeding and cleaning!
- TWITCHING is NORMAL during sleeps these exercises the muscles to aid growth.
- Bring the puppies to clinic at four weeks of age for examination and deworming.
- A Crying Puppy is either a COLD puppy or a HUNGRY puppy!
Orphaned Puppy Care: Emergency Milk Replacements
(Only until can come pick up our commercial formula)
- 8 ounces of 2% milk + one egg yolk
- 2/3 cup 4% milk + 3 egg yolks + 1 tablespoon corn oil + liquid vitamin + pinch of salt
- Initial Feeding Volume: 15% of the puppy’s weight divided into 4-6 meals
- Puppies should be fed 4X/day when weaned.