Taking Care of an Orphaned Puppy

Caring for an orphaned puppy requires round-the-clock care.

Along with bottle feeding, puppies also need to be kept extremely warm. 

They can not warm themselves up until their shiver reflex kicks in, which is not until they are 3 weeks old.  Until that time, they will need to be on a heating pad.

Though they can’t warm themselves up, they can get overheated which can lead to dehydration, so make sure the heating pad does not cover the whole area they are in.  This way they can crawl off of the pad if they get too warm.

Make sure the heating pad is sewn closed or you may find a puppy has wiggled inside of it and died, due to not being able to get back out again.

Hang a thermometer a few inches above floor level, so you are accurate in how warm the puppies are being kept.

The first week of life they need to be kept at 90°F and the temperature can be lowered by 10°F each succeeding week.

Caring for a puppy also includes helping them use the bathroom.  Newborn puppies can not eliminate their body wastes on their own.  This is why a mother dog licks them.

If you have orphaned puppies, you will need to help them do this.  Take warm, damp cotton balls and gently rub them until you see that they have used the bathroom.

They will not have a bowel movement every time you do this, but they should pee each and every time you rub them, which should be at the start of every feeding.

If they do not, you may be running into dehydration problems, which means they are not getting enough to eat.

If a puppy’s skin does not spring back down when you lightly grasp it, but instead stays pinched up, then the pup is dehydrated. 

Get more puppy formula into this pup, or you could lose him.

You may need to rush him to the vet for some sub-q fluids.

Puppies make a lot of noises while they are growing, but they do not cry unless they are cold, hungry, or have gotten themselves “lost” from their littermates.

If your puppies are gaining weight, eliminating well, and generally quiet, then you are doing a good job with them!

Go from Orphaned Puppy Care to Bottle Feeding Puppies

Go from Orphaned Puppy Care to Newborn Puppy Care

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