Pups are Precious— Nurture Them Right
Experience magic and be prepared for the best journey of your life with your canine companions. Here’s all that you want to know about caring for a new born puppy. -by Dr Pranav Anjaria, Dr Varun Asediya and Dr Suhaas Takoo
Newborn puppies spend their first few weeks usually in the box or crate in which they were born, so it’s important to choose wisely while preparing for their arrival. Make sure there’s enough room for the mom to lie down and stretch out comfortably without crushing the puppies. She should also be able to come and go freely while keeping the puppies contained.
It should also be easy to access so that you can change the bedding each day.Once they start to toddle about, you can move them to a larger area to play and move around.
Your love and heat lamp for that dose of warmth
• New puppies can’t regulate their body temperatures. Puppies will snuggle up with their mom and each other for warmth, it’s best to use a heat lamp during their first month of life.
• The lamp should be placed high enough above the box to prevent any risk of burning. Also there should be a cooler corner where the pups and the mom can crawl to if they feel too hot.
• For the 1st week, the temperature inside the pen should be kept at about 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
• From the 2nd week, gradually dial back the heat to 80 degrees, and then continue to reduce the heat little by little until it reaches 75 degrees by the end of their 4th week.
One day they’ll be big enough to not fit your lap. So cherish this time…
The Milestones to Watch Out For
Falling of Umbilical Cord 2-3 Days
Crawling 7-14 Days
Opening of Eyes 14 Days
Maturation of Retina 21 Days
Normal Gait 21 Days
Teeth Eruption 2-4 Weeks age
Clearly able to See 4 Weeks
Full Mouth 8 Weeks
Feeding Colostrum – the elixir of life for pups
The immune system of puppies is not fully developed when they are born and they are susceptible to almost every type of infection. But colostrum provides protection to puppies through passive immunity. Colostrum is a highly concentrated mixture of protein, antibodies, vitamins, electrolytes, and nutrients. Pups absorb these antibodies into their blood through the intestinal wall. Newborn pups are able to absorb the large antibody unchanged, but this is usually before the puppy is one day old. The pup will lose this ability of absorption after this period. Colostrum with its antibody protection is only present in the first 24 hours of milk flow. After the first day of life, the protection can be given only through vaccination.
Give new mommy all the love and nutrition
• Lactating mothers should to be fed at least 6-8 times daily and should be taken out frequently to relieve herself.
• The mother’s appetite will increase dramatically just after giving birth. At this time she needs good quality food and constant water supply to maintainits health and weight while feeding the puppies. A healthy pup is plump, firm and should be fed every two hours.
• If they are fed properly, their stomach will appear round and they will sleep quietly, otherwise they will cry and move a lot. A weak pup will lay still and not cry at all.
• After feeding, the mother usually licks the perinea area and stomach to stimulate urination and defecation in pups which goes on for 2-3 weeks.
• A healthy pup will double its weight within the first 7-10 days(1-2 g/day). If the pup is not gaining weight, it is often considered as the first sign of illness.
• At about 3 weeks of age, puppies start imitating their mother’s habits, so a shallow water dish should be kept for them.
• At 3 ½ weeks of age, you can start giving them blended puppy food. You should mix the blended food with water and feed it to the pup 3-4 times daily.
• Slowly increase the amount of food and decrease the amount of mother’s milk or milk replacer and water, so that by the age of 7 weeks puppies start consuming dry food.
• At the age of 7 weeks, they should be completely weaned from mother’s milk and mother’s diet should be changed back to adult food gradually to decrease milk production.
Got a new pet, time to visit the vet!
A health check-up should be done by a veterinarian at 6-7 weeks of age. Puppies should be dewormed and vaccinated as per the schedule recommended by your veterinarian.
Deworming Schedule for Puppies
• Every 2 weeks until 3 months of age, starting at 2 weeks old.
• Once a month from 3 to 6 months of age.
• After 6 months, follow adult recommendations.
• Also, after six months, use a heartworm preventative medication that is effective against hookworms and roundworms.
Vaccination Schedule for Puppies
Puppy’s Age Recommended Vaccinations Optional Vaccinations
6 — 8 weeks Distemper, parainfluenza Bordetella
10 — 12 weeks DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus , parainfluenza, and parvovirus) Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
12 — 24 weeks Rabies none
14 — 16 weeks DHPP Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis
12 — 16 months Rabies, DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 — 2 years DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 — 3 years Rabies (as required by law) none
(Dr Pranav Anjaria, Dr Varun Asediya and Dr Suhaas Takoo are interns at College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Anand, Gujarat)