There are two common killers of new born puppies: Lack of heat, and lack of groceries! If you find puppies restless, sucking at everything they can for long time periods, crying or fussing all the time, cold to the touch or lethargic, or rejected by the dam you must make sure these two things are fullfilled.
Place a thermometer rectally, it should be close to 97 F no cooler. Puppies should be warmed to close to 100F if failing for any reason, and kept there for the first week. Healthy pups at 97F to 100F can be normal the first week and left normally. Once body temperature is taken care of you must be certain that weight gain is occurring.
WEIGH THE PUPPIES ACCURATELY and in large litters identify the puppies with a marking system that the bitch can’t lick off. Check the mother’s nipples and breast for milk. If its not adequate to satisfy complaining puppies or registering a weight gain, you must supplement. There little bellies should be full looking. Supplement and bottles can be purchased in good pet shops.
- Determine the happiness of each pup hourly. The first eighteen hours are the most critical.
- Weigh the pups often the first few days especially.
- Determine slower puppies rectal temperatures often.
- Leave the dam alone to work. If you interfere too much it’s counterproductive.
- Check the dam’s mammary glands daily for signs of mastitis. They should be soft.
- Puppies need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate. If the mother is not, do so.
- Check the pups for congenital defects cleft pallets, abnormal extremities, etc.