Can you clean newborn puppies? Here’s What to Expect

What sort of problems am I looking for?

Check the vulva to see if there is excessive discharge. This discharge is normally a greenish-black color. If she has not expelled all the afterbirths during birthing, it may be quite substantial, especially during the first twenty-four hours after whelping. Vaginal discharge should decrease significantly after twenty-four to forty-eight hours. If not, contact your veterinarian.

Check her teats (nipples) to make sure that none are swollen, red, hot, hard or tender. The milk should be whitish, not bloody or yellowish (pus). If you find anything abnormal, call your veterinarian.

Is it necessary to keep the mother and puppies in subdued light?

In the wild, dogs will find a secluded whelping place, usually a dark or sheltered spot. Some mother dogs, if they feel their puppies are too exposed, may become anxious and start carrying them around the house. Placing a blanket over part of the top of the box or providing an enclosed crate may resolve the problem.

Some females are more anxious than others, particularly with their first litter. They may try to hide their puppies, even from the owners. If the mother does not like the place you have selected for her, try to compromise. If she is still unsettled, contact your veterinarian for guidance. Since stress can affect her milk supply and may cause problems with the pups.

Creating the Right Environment

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To keep newborn puppies warm and clean, set up a crate in a warm area of your home, away from drafts and vents. Next, insulate the crate with several layers of newspapers, blankets, and soft towels and replace these items with fresh ones every day. If theres no mother to clean the puppies, gently wipe their bodies and faces with a warm, wet wash cloth every day. For tips on sectioning off the crate to designate areas for sleeping, eating, and eliminating, read on!

  • Sofia Dias “All the information was very helpful. This will be our first time and our dog will be a mum of 12 puppies! Thank you so much for everything you have so clearly explained.”…” more