Why Newborn Puppies Shouldn’t Be Handled Often
Like all newborns, puppies are fragile and entirely dependent on their mother’s care and protection. They are blind and deaf for the first 3 weeks of their lives. They need encouragement to eat and stimulation to urinate and defecate.
Newborn puppies aren’t able to maintain their own body temperature and can easily become too cold. When you handle a puppy and remove them from their mother’s warmth, they could become dangerously cold more quickly than you realize.
As newborns, puppies need to eat frequently to keep their blood sugar at normal levels. Their bodies are unable to maintain their blood sugar levels until they are older. Frequent handling by humans can interfere with the pups’ feeding schedule and lead to low blood sugar, which can cause seizures and even death.
The immune systems of newborn puppies aren’t fully developed yet, leaving them at risk of getting sick easily. Human handling or time spent with other animals could expose them to serious diseases or parasites.
Studies have shown that the quality of bonding a puppy has with their mother strongly impacts their temperament as an adult. As long as the mother dog is caring for her puppies and they are thriving, the less human touch and handling the pups receive, the better off they will be.
Is it bad to touch newborn puppies?
Newborn puppies cannot regulate their own temperature and require the body heat provided by their mother and siblings to stay warm. If you remove them, they can very quickly catch cold, which could be fatal. You should also never touch a newborn puppy when it is nursing.
How often should I check on newborn puppies?
Do I have to check the puppies? It is recommended, particularly with a first time mother, to check the puppies every few hours to make sure they are all suckling and are warm and contented.
Can you touch a newborn puppy?
Newborn puppies are the cutest of things. It can be so tempting to want to pick them up, touch them, and hold them close to you. But as newborns they are much more vulnerable to getting sick, are extremely fragile, and there is also a belief that the mother could reject them once you touch them… so what is the truth?
I decided to research into it to find out when can you start handling puppies after they are born; plus, if it’s bad to hold a newborn puppy or not. Here’s what I found out.
When can you handle newborn puppies? You can touch handle puppies 3 weeks after they are born. You should not really touch them before this age unless you really have to. Be careful though, as some mothers can be aggressive particularly it held when being nursed.
That’s a very generic answer, and there will be exceptions to this rule, which I will explain below. I will also put to the bed the myth about mother dogs rejecting their puppies if you touch them after they are born.