Adequate warmth is crucial to the health of new puppies until the puppies are approximately 3-4 weeks of age. Temperature requirements for the first week of age are approximately 85-90 degrees. This can be accomplished with heating pads or hot water bottles. Care must be taken not to scald the puppies. Each week the temperature can be lowered approximately 10 degrees until the third or fourth week. Then the temperature should remain about 70 degrees.
There are several alternatives available to feed the puppies. These are available by both your veterinarian and pet stores. A temporary replacement can be made by combining two egg yolks with one cup of homogenized milk. You should feed about one teaspoon per ounce of puppy weight, divided into 3-4 feedings per day.
The formula should be fed from a doll’s bottle or a feeding tube. The latter is very efficient and the procedure can be demonstrated by your veterinarian. When feeding, place the puppies in a position similar to that when nursing naturally. They should not be fed when lying on their backs.
To stimulate deification and urination, take a piece of cotton soaked in warm water and wash each puppy’s abdomen, anal area, and rear legs to stimulate elimination.
If the puppy appears to have a distended or painful abdomen, this may be colic. We recommend adding a drop of simethicone, an anti flatulent medication for pediatric babies, to the milk. Consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.