Everyone loves puppies. They are adorable, cute, and cuddly. And seeing them grow into majestic adults is always such a delight. But if you have an incoming litter to welcome, it is also important to know how to take care of them. In addition, mommy dog also needs optimal care so she can also provide warmth, bond, and food to her little pups.
There are a lot of things to know to make sure the newborn puppies are safe and will grow and develop healthily. Fur parents who are new to handling newborn pups might ask questions like: how much should they eat? What is the normal weight of a newborn puppy? How to feed them? What are the vaccinations needed? And more.
Puppy Care 101: How to care for newborn Shiba Inu
Puppies usually take nine weeks to develop inside their mother, however, their development doesn’t stop there.
For one, puppies are born blind, mostly deaf, and without any teeth, so there’s a lot of care that goes on until they can care for their own.
Here is a list of things that you can do to care for newborn Shiba Inu.
Create a safe space
The mother and her puppies need to have a safe space for themselves. It must have a small heating pad, blankets, and pillows for warmth and comfort. There will be discharge from the mother so the sheets need to be changed regularly.
Maintain cleanliness to make sure the puppies and the mother are healthy.
Make sure to keep them with their mother
The mother dog is the puppies’ main provider when they are first born so make sure they are not separated.
The mother gives the newborn pups the nutrients they need from her milk, which helps with their development and immune system. If the mother is not around, it is best to bring the puppies to the veterinarian for consultation and milk substitution recommendations.
Remember, human milk is not good for your puppies.
Look out for signs of sickness
If you notice anything unusual in the puppies’ appearance and behavior, we recommend you contact your veterinarian immediately.
Some signs of sickness are vomiting, excessive crying, diarrhea, rejection by the mother, and if the puppy is not nursing like the rest.
How to feed Shiba Inu puppies
Newborn puppies are mostly provided nutrition through their mother’s milk. They are protected from germs through a milky-textured substance from their moms called colostrum. Colostrum gives the puppies the ability to fight off infections.
It is recommended to let the puppies nurse as long as possible so they can receive a good amount of colostrum. If the mother is not around, the puppies need to be taken to the vet for supplements to help them survive.
After the first few weeks, if there are puppies that can’t nurse from their mother, you can do it yourself by using a bottle or tube. Just make sure you buy a formula made for dogs.
With bottle feeding, feed the pup while lying on their stomach as other positions might choke them. Like human babies, warm the milk to body temperature.
We don’t recommend heating the formula with the microwave. Instead, place the bottle in a bowl of warm water. After the feeding session, gently pat the puppy’s back to help them burp.
How often should they eat?
Newborn puppies eat every 2 to 3 hours. If you are using formula, there should instructions on the packaging to tell you how much to give them. In most cases, you will need more or less so take note of how much the puppy needs per feeding.
Also, prepare a warm environment for the puppies to eat and sleep in. For the first few weeks, their body temperature isn’t regulated. If they are cold, puppies cannot eat or digest food properly.
When the puppies are around 3 to 4 weeks of age, you’ll see that they’ll start to bite or chew their bottle. This is a cue that they are ready to eat soft food. You can talk to your veterinarian about what and how to feed your puppies semi-solid food.
Shiba Inu puppies and their first vet checkup
Newborn puppies can’t go to the bathroom on their own. Their mother licks their genital and anal areas, which stimulates the muscles and nerves and causes the pups to eliminate their waste. If your puppy is orphaned or wasn’t trained by its mother, you can use a washcloth or cotton ball soaked in warm water and gently stroke these areas, which simulates their mother’s licks.
When Should Puppies Have Their First Vet Checkup
Veterinarians suggest bringing in your puppies at around 6 weeks old. This is the period when the mother dog’s antibodies wear off, so they are not prone to infection and disease.
During the first examination, the vet will give the puppy initial immunizations and deworming medication.
They should get their first round of vaccinations at around 6 weeks, such as:
- Distemper virus
- Parainfluenza virus
Later, at around 8 to 12 weeks, they need to get the following shots:
- Canine Influenza H3N2 and H3N8
- Rabies first year
Aside from vaccinations, the physical exam also allows your veterinarian to address conditions and you also get to ask for recommendations and guidance regarding feeding and care.