Newborn Puppy Care: What You Need to Know

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Newborn Puppy Care refers to the essential measures taken to ensure the health and well-being of puppies during their first few weeks of life. It includes providing proper nutrition, warmth, cleanliness, socialization, and monitoring their overall development.


Welcome to the wonderful world of raising a newborn puppy! If you’re a first-time dog mom or dad, the idea of bottle-feeding a tiny pup might seem daunting. But don’t worry – it’s a lot easier than you think. In fact, according to a recent survey, over 80% of new dog owners said that bottle-feeding their puppies was one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. So, grab a bottle, and a warm blanket, and let’s get started on this amazing journey of puppy care!

How Do I Feed a Newborn Puppy?

During the first few weeks of life, a puppy’s primary activities are feeding, keeping warm, and developing social skills. Usually, people just sit back and watch the mom dog take care of her puppies all on her own. If the puppy doesn’t have its mom around or if the mom can’t take care of it, you will need to step in and become the caretaker.

How Do I Feed a Newborn Puppy?

A mother’s dog’s milk provides everything the pups need during their first four weeks of life.

If you’re taking care of a baby dog without its mom, talk to a vet for help on how to properly bottle-feed them. Doing it the wrong way could harm them, so it’s important to get it right! The babies will need to be fed a commercial canine milk replacer. Be sure to use one specifically formulated for puppies, as cow’s milk and other milk replacements can cause diarrhea.

Puppies will need a bottle or syringe feeding every few hours for several weeks.

How Often Should a Puppy Eat?

Puppies generally nurse at least every two hours in their first week of life. As they develop and grow, the intervals between feedings increase. At around four weeks of age, puppies can begin to transition from nursing to eating solid food. When transitioning to solid food, high-quality dry puppy kibble can be soaked in warm water and a milk replacer and blended to the consistency of gruel. This can be made available several times a day. Gradually, the amount of milk replacer can be decreased until the puppies are eating dry kibble by about 7 to 8 weeks of age. Consult your veterinarian for the exact amount to feed and for help creating a long-term feeding schedule suited to the puppies’ development needs.

How Much Should a Newborn Puppy Weigh?

The average birth weight for puppies depends on the breed. During the first weeks of life, a pup’s body weight may double or even triple. Gaining 10 to 15% of birth weight daily is considered healthy. Pups who don’t gain adequate weight during this early period may not survive.

Should I Hold the Puppy?

Puppies should not be over-handled during their first two weeks of life, and care should always be taken not to upset the mother dog when handling. If you are hand-raising pups, handle them only as much as is necessary to keep them warm, clean, and fed for the first two weeks of life.

Taking care of newborn puppies can be a lot of work, but it’s also a fun and rewarding experience! One of the most important things you need to do is to make sure they stay warm. To achieve this, you can utilize a heating pad or a warm water bottle that has been wrapped in a towel.

Starting at three weeks old, it’s a good idea to handle the puppies for short periods a few times each day. This is around the time when their eyes and ears start working, and their teeth start growing. Handling them regularly at this stage is also important for socializing with them. Please take care not to allow children to do any handling without adult supervision, and not until the puppies are at least three weeks of age.

How Can I Teach a Puppy to Go to the Bathroom?

Raising puppies without their mom is a big job, but it’s important to help them go to the bathroom. For the first few weeks, puppies can’t go potty by themselves. Usually, their mom will help them by licking their private parts. But since you’re the one taking care of them, you’ll have to do it instead.

After feeding, the puppies, use a warm washcloth or piece of gauze to gently massage their bottom and private parts. This will help them go potty like their mom’s tongue would. Talk to your vet to make sure you’re doing it right! Puppies begin excreting on their own at about three to four weeks of age.

When Should Puppies Have Their First Vet Checkup?

Assuming the pups appear healthy, most veterinarians recommend that they receive their first round of standard vaccinations at six weeks of age. Deworming and a physical examination can begin at an early age. Consult with your veterinarian to schedule your puppies’ preventative health plan. However, you should call your vet immediately if a puppy exhibits any of the following symptoms:

  • ·Lack of appetite
  • ·Poor weight gain
  • ·Vomiting
  • ·Diarrhea
  • ·Difficult breathing
  • ·Coughing/wheezing
  • ·Constant crying
  • ·Pale gums
  • ·Swollen eyes or eye discharge
  • Nasal discharge
  • Inability to pass urine or stool


In conclusion, providing proper care for newborn puppies is crucial for their healthy development. By implementing essential measures in newborn puppy care, such as nutrition, warmth, cleanliness, socialization, and monitoring, we ensure their well-being and set them on the path to a happy and thriving life.

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