How To Take Care of Puppies From Birth

How To Take Care of Puppies From Birth

Few things are more delightful than a litter of newborn puppies, but caring for these new little lives can be daunting. But don’t worry. Check out this guide to newborn puppy care to tell you what you need to know to raise a healthy, happy litter.

Welcoming a litter of adorable puppies into the world is an exhilarating experience, but it also comes with immense responsibility. From birth, these tiny beings rely entirely on their mother and caretakers for their survival and well-being. To ensure these furry bundles of joy thrive, it’s crucial to understand the essential steps and considerations for proper care from birth onward.

Approach the Puppies With Caution

How To Take Care of Puppies From Birth Although you may want to continually pet and hold the puppies, it is vital not to intervene too much in the first week or two of their existence because they are vulnerable to disease and it can be stressful for the mother and puppies. 

When approaching the puppies, exercise caution because some moms may become aggressive toward humans or other household pets if they detect a threat.

As the puppies become older and more active, your dog will want more and more time to sleep, exercise, or socialize with family members. Allow your dog to get away from the puppies, but make sure she returns frequently to check on them.

Provide A Warm Environment

How To Take Care of Puppies From Birth Puppies do not have the ability to regulate their body temperature until they are 3 to 4 weeks old. As a result, you should offer a warm, clean box or blanket for the mother and puppies to share throughout the first four weeks of their existence. 

Place a heating bulb above the puppies to keep them warm. Make sure there are unheated places since the puppies will need to move away from the heat source if they grow too hot. Keep an eye on the puppies’ temperatures. During their first week of life, their body temperature ranges between 96 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Puppies cannot process milk if it is too cold, causing it to curdle in their stomach.

Heating pads should not be used since the puppies may become chilled and spend too much time on them. Burns can occur if the temperature is too high.

The Initial Stage:

  1. Create a Safe Whelping Area:

The whelping area should be warm, quiet, and secure. Use a whelping box with low sides to prevent the mother from accidentally squishing the puppies. Ensure it’s in a draft-free location and lined with soft, clean bedding.

  1. Monitor the Mother:

During the initial stage, the mother will instinctively care for her pups. Monitor her closely, ensuring she feeds them, keeps them warm, and cleans them regularly. Provide her with a quiet, stress-free environment to promote bonding with her offspring.

  1. Check for Health Concerns:

Regularly check the puppies for any signs of illness, deformities, or difficulties in feeding. Notify a vet immediately if you notice anything concerning.

Essential Care Steps:

  1. Proper Nutrition:

For the first few weeks, the mother’s milk is the best source of nutrition for the puppies. Ensure the mother is receiving a balanced diet to support her milk production. Consult a vet to determine if any supplements are necessary for her and the pups.

  1. Temperature Regulation:

Puppies cannot regulate their body temperature initially, so maintaining warmth is crucial. Use heat lamps or heating pads (under half of the whelping box) to keep the area between 85-90°F (29-32°C) for the first week, gradually reducing it to around 80°F (27°C) by the fourth week.

  1. Hygiene and Stimulation:

Help the mother gently stimulate the puppies to urinate and defecate after each feeding. Use a warm, damp cloth to mimic the mother’s licking. Additionally, ensure the whelping area is clean and dry to prevent infections.

  1. Socialization and Handling:

Handle the puppies gently from birth to get them accustomed to human touch. This aids in their socialization and reduces fear or anxiety around people as they grow.

Weeks Two to Four:

  1. Introduce Solid Food:

Around three to four weeks, start introducing solid food alongside the mother’s milk. Begin with a mixture of formula and high-quality puppy food, soaked until soft.

  1. Encourage Exploration:

Introduce toys and different textures to encourage exploration as the puppies grow more active. This helps develop their senses and coordination.

  1. Vet Visits and Vaccinations:

Schedule a vet visit to check the puppies for overall health and start their vaccination schedule.

Planning for Newborn Puppy Care

Planning for Newborn Puppy Care

How To Take Care of Puppies From Birth If you intend to buy your puppy from a breeder or a store, look for one that does not separate puppies from their mothers too soon. Different people have different ideas about when this time is. In general, 7 to 8 weeks is regarded long enough for children to be trained to urinate and have bowel motions by their mother.

You’ll need designated potty training areas for your dog, as well as puppy-proofing your home. This includes securing anything kids could get into that could injure them. Make a plan for training and keeping them healthy. 

Weeks Four to Eight:

  1. Weaning Process:

Gradually reduce the mother’s access to the puppies as they become more independent with eating solid food. This process helps them transition smoothly to a diet without milk.

  1. Basic Training and Socialization:

Start basic training, like teaching their names and gentle commands. Socialize them with different environments, people, and other animals to build confidence.

  1. Final Vet Checks and Adoption:

Complete all necessary vaccinations and health checks before the puppies go to their new homes. Screen potential adopters carefully to ensure responsible ownership.


How To Take Care of Puppies From Birth Raising puppies from birth demands dedication, vigilance, and much love. Ensuring their well-being involves careful attention to their physical, emotional, and social needs. From creating a nurturing environment to guiding their growth and development, every step contributes to raising happy, healthy dogs ready to embrace the world.


What to do Immediately After Puppy is Born?

Puppies do not regulate their body temperature well and must be kept warm. Keep one area of the whelping box around 85 degrees F for the first few days after birth. Then, you can drop the temperature down to 75-80 degrees F. Provide extra heat with the help of a heat lamp in one corner of the whelping box.

What not To do After Puppies are Born?

For the next two months, even if everything went smoothly with the birth, you have a lot of work to do! After the birthing process, please clean up the mother as much as possible without upsetting her by using warm water and a washcloth. Do not use any soaps or disinfectants unless instructed to by your veterinarian.

What Can I Feed a Newborn Puppy?

Puppy milk replacers should be the sole source of nutrition until 3-4 weeks of age, when the weaning process may begin. The transition from formula to solid food is gradual, so be patient. Use a high-quality food formulated to support growth and reproduction.

Can Newborn Puppies be Left Alone With Mother?

I would leave mom and pups for at most 3 to 4 hours during the first week. As the pups grow, they can be left with their momma for the same time you would leave any dog: no more than 6 hours without someone to check in and walk your dog.

Leave a Comment