How to Care For an Orphaned Puppy
Puppies may be orphaned for several reasons. For example, their mother may have died or been injured. Or, she may have suffered complications during the birthing process. In some cases, a mother abandons her young due to a psychological disorder. When the mother is not present, a puppy can have an extremely difficult time adjusting and surviving. He requires special care and attention to ensure his healthy development. Today’s article will discuss how to care for an orphaned puppy who have been bereft of their mothers. We’ll explain how to provide the nutrition they need, how to keep them warm, and how to protect them from diseases.
Providing Sufficient Nutrition
Normally, the mother will produce colostrum during the first 24 hours following the birth of her litter. Colostrum is a concentrated blend of antibodies, vitamins, and important nutrients that a pup needs in order to fight off diseases while its immune system develops. Puppies can only take advantage of the antibodies during their first 24 hours, so it is imperative that they are nursed by their mother whenever possible.
If the mom is not available to provide nursing, the pup must be fed by using a bottle or tube. Feeding formula through a tube is a more precise method, but should only be performed by veterinarians, breeders, and other professionals. Otherwise, an untrained owner may accidentally push the tube into the puppy’s lungs. Commercial formula and bottles that are designed for young puppies can be purchased at most pet supply stores.
By the third week, puppy mush can be added to the feeding routine. Over the following three weeks, the pup can be slowly weaned from the formula and the feedings can become less frequent.
Keeping The Pup Warm
Unlike adult dogs, puppies lack the ability to generate and preserve their body heat. When they are with their littermates, heat is produced by contact with their mother and siblings. In their absence, a pup will need the owner’s help. During the puppy’s first week of life, maintain the room temperature at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Reduce the temperature by 5 degrees each week until a comfortable 70 degrees is reached.
Preventing Illnesses And Infections
Puppies that have received colostrum from their mother’s milk already possess the necessary antibodies to withstand numerous infections and diseases. If they have not received colostrum, they must be vaccinated as early as possible.
Also, it is important that owners deworm their orphaned puppies when they reach two weeks of age. Doing so helps manage parasites that can develop within the intestines. Biweekly deworming should continue through a puppy’s second month after which a monthly routine will suffice.
Caring for an orphaned puppy is a time-intensive task. Because of the attention and special care required to raise them properly, many owners will be unsuited for it. However, for those who are willing to do so, it can be a rewarding experience that paves the road for a lifelong friendship.
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