A new litter of puppies is an exciting time for any pet owner. Whether you are a first time puppy parent or you’re looking into how to become a registered dog breeder, there are some basic things to know about caring for your new furry friends. From what to feed them and when, to how to socialize them and get them used to being handled, here is everything you need to know about caring for a new litter of puppies.
Puppies are born without immunity to disease. That’s why it’s so important to keep them clean and healthy. The first few weeks are critical, and you’ll need to be extra vigilant during this time.
The best way to keep your puppies clean is to start with a clean environment. Their whelping box should be washed out with hot, soapy water after each use. Any bedding should be laundered frequently.
Puppies should be bathed only when necessary. Over-bathing can strip their skin of natural oils, making them more susceptible to illness. When you do bathe them, use a mild puppy shampoo and make sure they’re thoroughly rinsed afterwards.
Puppies need to be wormed regularly to prevent gastrointestinal parasites. Your vet can recommend the best worming schedule for your pups.
Puppies also need to be vaccinated to protect them from deadly diseases like distemper and parvovirus. This is especially important in a litter of puppies since infections can spread quickly among the mother and entire litter.
Puppies need to eat more often than adult dogs. They should be fed three to four times a day until they are around six to eight months old. After that, they can start transitioning to two meals per day. Keep in mind that smaller breeds will have smaller stomachs, and should eat smaller meals more frequently. Puppies also need more calories than adult dogs, so make sure their food is high in quality protein and fat.
Look for a food that is specifically designed for puppies and talk to your veterinarian about how much and how often to feed your particular pup. Avoid human food as much as possible – even things like table scraps can upset a puppy’s delicate stomach and cause problems down the road.
Puppy Potty Training
Puppies need to eliminate frequently. A good rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold their bladder one hour for every month old they are. So, a two-month-old puppy can hold it for about two hours. Take your puppy outside frequently, especially after they eat or drink, and praise them when they go potty outside. If they have an accident in the house, do not scold them – simply clean it up and move on.
The most important thing to remember when potty training a puppy is to be patient and consistent. Puppies have small bladders and need to go frequently, so it’s important to give them plenty of opportunities to relieve themselves outside. The best way to do this is to take them out regularly, especially after meals and naps. It’s also a good idea to keep them on a leash so they don’t have the opportunity to wander off and do their business elsewhere.
It’s best if puppies are socialized early on. It is important to expose puppies to as many different people, animals, and situations as possible so that they grow up to be well-adjusted adult dogs. This includes things like taking them on car rides, walks around the neighbourhood, meeting new people at the park, and so on. The goal is to make sure your puppy has positive experiences with as many different things as possible so that they do not develop any fears or phobias later in life.
Puppy Exercise and Play
Puppies need lots of exercise. Just like human babies, puppies have a lot of energy and need plenty of opportunities to burn it off. Take them on walks, runs, or hikes; play fetch or other games; and let them explore your yard or home (supervised, of course). As they get older and more coordinated, you can start teaching them basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, down, etc.
Puppy Vet Schedules
In addition to vaccinations and routine deworming treatments (which your veterinarian will discuss with you), puppies also need regular check-ups just like human babies do. These check-ups help ensure that your pup is growing properly and doesn’t have any hidden health problems that could become serious later on if left untreated.
A crucial part of monitoring the health of your litter of puppies is weighing them regularly. This will allow you to see which puppies are the healthiest or who is getting the most food. If any of the puppies is underweight, you can opt to give them additional food by hand or supplements to improve their appetite. The smaller the runt of the litter is in comparison to their siblings, the higher the likelihood that they will have health complications later on in life. Bringing closer to the average will help ensure that they’ll be able to grow into healthy adult dogs.
Puppy Crate Training
Crate training is another important part of raising a puppy. Crates provide a safe, den-like space for puppies to retreat to when they need some peace and quiet. Crate training also helps with puppy potty training, since they will naturally avoid eliminating in what they feel is the safe space.