The First Week Pups Are Home



It seems like only yesterday I produced my first litter. The thought that comes to mind is “if I knew back then what I know now.” This article is about how you can be better at either taking care of or helping the mom to take care of newborn puppies. There are many reasons why the mom can’t take care of her puppies on her own so, this is intended to expand your overall knowledge on the subject. We will be going over a couple critical steps. The first is making sure all pups are being fed and are eating as much as they need to get strong. The second step is making sure all pups are warm and comfortable. The last step is to make sure the mother and puppies are in the cleanest environment possible.


Sometimes the mom cannot keep all the pups feed. Either she isn’t making enough milk, or she doesn’t want to let them feed. The supplies you’ll need are in a previous article, so I will not go over those again. Remember, if your hand feeding your pups you want to make sure they are horizontal on their bellies while feeding. Do not feed them holding their bodies straight up and down. You could inadvertently allow fluid in the pup’s lungs which is bad.  The amount of milk replacement that needs to be feed depends on the size of the puppy and don’t forget the puppies need to feed every two hours. Hopefully, the responsibility isn’t all on you and your female is feeding the post for the most part. If she isn’t that means you have to get up every two hours to hand feed the puppies your self. Still want to be a breeder?

Comfortability and warmth

If you have pups or have had pups in the past you’ve seen your female start to nest right? You know the reason they try to nest is that they know that their pups must be kept warm. I mean think about it, how would you feel if you went from a constant 100-degree environment to a 70-degree environment with drafts and you can’t regulate your temperature? That’s why I laugh and shake my head when I see some of those so-called “breeders” that have their pups in a kiddy pool in their living room. Like “I know yall aren’t keeping it nice warm 80 degrees in your house.” I believe maybe once I seen someone use a pool but had like 3 heat lamps in a dark room that I didn’t SMH at but that’s a one-off. So, my suggestion is to get a whelping box. Either one premanufactured or you can make it yourself. Make sure its at least 2 feet tall with pig rails. Also, make sure the box is the proper space needed for the mom and her pups. Big enough to be comfortable but not big enough that if a pup wanders off he won’t be too far from his littermates and mom. I say that because I have seen some crazy size whelping boxes, like pig pen size.

Clean Environment

Have you ever wondered why the mother licks the pups clean as they evacuate? Well, one is because she is stimulating them, so they can evacuate and the other is because the mom wants to keep the next as clean as possible. I myself keep the pups on white sheets with a carpet underneath for four weeks up until I start transitioning them to solid food. Also, it’s important to note that if the mom is not around you’ll need to help the pups evacuate. Take a warm cloth and gently simulate the mother cleaning them. They’ll go quickly. Sometimes I even hold the pup up for my females and let them have at it, so I can just make sure it’s being done. Now, I do white sheets that so that it reminds me that the sheets need to be washed and rotated regularly. I honestly don’t need because I am very on top of things when I have pups, but the white sheets give you the reminder you really need.


I want to talk about something I failed to mention before but is just as important as everything I talked about. The feeding and health of the mom are of the utmost importance. She needs to be feed regularly and shown love. In between feedings she needs to be taken outside and walked or let her chew the heck out of her favorite toy. If you want your female to take care of her pups as well as possible and not abandon them then you need to allow her to get her energy out. For the first couple of days after she’s given birth shell want to do nothing but be in her next “if she’s a good mom.” After that, you’ll catch her out here and there and that’s the time that you need to set aside to get her what she needs. If she had a C-section high-intensity training is out of the question for obvious reasons but there are still things that shell enjoy doing. If there’s nothing your dog enjoys doing with you as the owner, you should not be breeding. If she hasn’t bonded with you and you with her that means you haven’t put in any time to see how to keep her happy. You aren’t fit enough to ethically breed her. I’m assuming anyone reading this is not like that so ill end it here. Follow some of the tips I mentioned and I’m sure anyone will have beautiful, healthy, and strong puppies.