New Puppies

A new litter of puppies can be very exciting for your family.  Newborn puppies are one of the most adorable sights to see.  During the first few weeks, puppies do not move around much.  They spend most of their time nursing & sleeping.  This is good for the mother as well, since she needs the time to rest and recuperate from the birthing process.  She may have some bloody discharge for a few days after giving birth.  This is normal; however, if the discharge increases significantly or continues longer than a week, consult your veterinarian.  It is not a bad idea to have the mother and litter checked out by your vet, either.  This is especially true for first litters.  About two weeks before she is expected to give birth, switch your dog’s food to a puppy formula.  Keep her on puppy food throughout the time she nurses her litter.  This helps give her the nutrition she needs to keep healthy while producing nourishing milk for her litter.  Every litter has at least one runt.  It is common for these smaller puppies to get pushed out while trying to feed.  Be careful as it is not good for newborn pups to be constantly handled.  By taking care and making sure the runt has an opportunity to feed, you can ensure that the entire litter thrives.  It’s not good to constantly handle new puppies, but if you notice that any of them are weaker than the others, you may want to give that pup a little extra attention. Pick that puppy up if you suspect that it is not getting enough food. A puppy that flops in your hand needs to be encouraged to nurse. You may have to hold the puppy on a teat and squeeze the teat to get milk into the puppy’s mouth. Keep the puppy nursing for as long as possible. This may need to be done several times a day, but within a couple of days, the puppy should begin to willingly seek out its mother and fight the others to nurse. Be mindful of the fatter puppies. They will push the other puppies off of a teat to claim it for themselves. You may want to regulate them. It’s also a good idea to put the smaller puppies up to nurse while the bigger ones are sleeping. That way, they don’t waste as much energy fighting to eat. Don’t be alarmed to hear the puppies squealing and grunting or the mother whining. Most of the time, they are simply communicating. High-pitched squeals for several minutes will indicate that a puppy may be in trouble. If the mother is very worried, she will sound more panicked than she does when she’s whining at the puppies to come nurse.

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