Pet Health - Puppies
Caring For And Raising Puppies
by Simon Harris
raising of puppies can be an exhilarating and rewarding
experience. It can also be an experience wrought with
frustration if some guidelines arent adhered to
or if certain aspects of the duty are overlooked. There
are a number of things that you can do for the puppies
and their mother to help make their first days, weeks,
and months together healthy and happy ones.
The mother dog will spend the first few days after giving
birth with her new puppies. It is important to check on
the mother and the pups to ensure that the puppies are
being kept warm enough and are being well fed and to make
sure that Mommy is producing enough milk and is comfortable.
If the mother leaves the puppies it will be very important
to monitor their temperature closely. It is imperative
that the pups be kept warm and their area should be kept
at a temperature of ninety degrees Fahrenheit for the
first four days of their young lives. The temperature
can be decreased gradually after that. Remember that a
large litter will still need to be kept warm, but that
the puppies body heat will help keep them warm as
they huddle together.
The mother will be very protective of her pups and may
display signs of anxiety when people come around the puppies.
Some dogs will move the puppies from place to place in
an effort to hide them from predators. This is instinctive
behavior. Keeping the mother and her pups in an enclosed
box may curb this problem as the darkness will ease the
mothers mind and make her feel that shes found
an ideal location for protecting her babies.
During the puppies first month there should be little
need for the owner to do much of anything for them. They
will be cared for exclusively by the mother during this
time. The owners role should be one of monitoring
the pups progress and growth rate. The puppies should
double their weight in about a week. By two weeks of age
the pups will be alert and attempting to stand on their
own. By the time theyre a month old the pups should
all be able to walk, play, and run around. Now the fun
By about four and a half weeks, the puppies should be
eating solid food. One way to train them in doing so is
to start feeding them a mixture of canned or dry dog food
mixed with a little water or milt to soften it. The pups
will lap this up like they are drinking, but will be taking
food in at the same time. Day by day the amount of liquid
being used should be reduced until eventually the pups
are eating the canned or dry food on its own.
One activity that a new mother will engage in will sometimes
alarm dog owners. In an effort to teach her pups how to
urinate and defecate, mother may lick the pups hindquarters.
This stimulus will make them go. The mother
will often eat the pups excrement. She does this
to both keep the pups area clean and eliminate the
scent of her pups droppings that could alert predators
in the wild. The pups will sometimes mimic this behavior
and eat each others excrement for a short time.
Most puppies will cease this behavior by the time they
About the Author
This article courtesy of http://www.dog-obedience-solutions.com