Unravel the mystery: Do puppies lose weight after birth? Learn about newborn puppy care and weight gain essentials. Start your puppy parenting journey here!
As a new breeder or a pet owner, you might be wondering, "Do new-born puppies lose weight after birth?" This is a common question, especially for those who are new to puppy care. The answer is, yes, it's normal for puppies to lose a bit of their birth weight in the first 24 hours after birth. However, they should start to gain weight steadily after that.
Understanding Newborn Puppies' Weight Loss Post-Birth
New-born puppies are tiny creatures that require a lot of care and attention. One of the most important aspects of puppy care is monitoring their weight. It's crucial to weigh the puppy regularly to ensure they are growing and developing as they should.
When puppies are born, they are usually wet from the amniotic fluid, which adds to their birth weight. Once they are cleaned up and dried, they may lose a little weight. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
However, after the first 24 hours, your new puppies should start to gain weight. This is a sign that they are feeding well and are in good health. If a puppy is not gaining weight or is losing weight after the first day, it could be a sign of a problem.
The Importance of Regularly Weighing Your Puppy
Once they are older you don't need to weigh them much at all as long as you think they are there normal selves, but weighing your puppy regularly in the early weeks is crucial for several reasons.
It's much easier to weigh them when they are pups, but as they grow just having them weighed every time you go to the vets is usually enough.
With your puppy you'll want the peace of mind to know their growth and development is on track. Regular weight checks will show up any potential health issues early on.
If a puppy is not gaining weight or worse actually losing it, then it could be a sign of an underlying health problem, such as inadequate nutrition or a medical condition. By regularly monitoring their weight, you can intervene promptly if necessary, adjusting their feeding regime or seeking veterinary advice. Remember, early detection and intervention can make a significant difference in your puppy's health and well-being. The faster you find out if there is a problem, the easier and less serious it will be to sort out.
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Guide for how often you should weigh a puppy
|Age of Puppy||Frequency of Weighing|
|Birth - 1 week||Daily|
|1 week - 4 weeks||Every 2-3 days|
|1 month - 2 months||Weekly|
|2 months - 3 months||Every 2 weeks|
A healthy average puppy should ideally double its weight from birth in the first seven days or so. This rapid growth in the initial days is a positive sign of good health and proper nutrition. No need to panic if yours does it a bit quicker or slower, not all breeds are the same. Also the number of puppies in the litter can have an affect on this. See how many puppies can a Dalmatian have.
Please note that these are general guidelines and individual circumstances may vary. If you have any concerns about your puppy's weight or growth, it's always best to consult with a vet.
Nutrition: The Key to Healthy Weight Gain in Puppies
As a breeder or a pet owner, it's your responsibility to ensure that the puppies are getting enough nutrition. This starts with the mother's milk, which is the best source of nutrients for new-born puppies. If the mother is unable to nurse, or if the puppies are not feeding well, you may need to supplement with puppy food.
You can try a newborn puppy feeder, but if they are weened then you'll need a good puppy food.
Blue Buffalo Dog Food for Puppies
If you want to try a puppy food I'd recommend Blue Buffalo Dog Food for Puppies. Blue Buffalo will help with body weight. (They do adult dog food so make sure you get the puppy one) If you previously had them eating something else then a good way to switch them over is to mix in a bit of the Blue Buffalo with their current food and them gradually increasing the Blue Buffalo and reducing the old food quantities each day until they are totally onto the the new food.
It's better to do it that way than just swapping over 100% on day one.
Keep your Puppy Warm
Something else that will help them put on weight is the make sure your puppy or puppies are warm.
Tiny puppies cannot regulate their body temperature very well like an older dog. If they get cold then a low rectal temperature can lead to weight loss. Make sure the puppies are kept in a warm, draft-free environment. Use a good blanket in their crate especially in winter. Though better than a crate for a newborn pup is a whelping box.
Whelping Box: Whelping boxes often have high sides (make sure you get one that has sides at least a foot high) and this prevents them from being susceptible to drafts. It will also keep the puppies contained which is no bad thing. Once they get mobile it's like trying to herd cats when stopping 8 puppies making a break for freedom.
Make sure the box is large enough for the mother to lie down and the puppies to move around comfortably.
Heating Pad: Use a heating pad or a heat lamp to provide warmth, especially if the mother is not always in the box with the puppies. Make sure to cover one side of the whelping box only, so the puppies can move to a cooler area if they get too warm.
Blankets and Towels: Line the whelping box with soft, warm blankets or towels. These can be easily changed and washed if they become soiled.
Room Temperature: Keep the room temperature consistent. The room should be around 28-32c for the first week, then can be gradually reduced to about 24c by the fourth week. After that then your normal room temperature should be fine.
Avoid Drafts: Make sure the whelping box is not in a drafty area. Cold drafts can quickly chill newborn puppies.
Regular Checks: Regularly check the puppies to ensure they are warm enough but not overheating. Signs of being too cold include constant crying and lack of activity, while signs of overheating include panting and restlessness.
Vet Advice: If you're unsure about how to keep your puppies warm or if you think a puppy may be too cold or too hot, contact your vet for advice.
Remember, the goal is to mimic the warmth and security the puppies would have if they were with their mother at all times. By following these tips, you can help ensure your puppies stay warm and healthy.
When to Consult a Vet: Identifying Weight Issues in Puppies
Knowing when to consult a veterinarian is crucial in ensuring the health and well-being of your puppies. While it's normal for newborn puppies to lose a bit of weight in the first 24 hours after birth, they should start to gain weight steadily after that.
Don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian, if one of the pups is not gaining weight, or is losing weight after the first day, or just seems to be significantly smaller than the other puppies in the litter.
As already mentioned if they don't gain weight, it can be a sign of various health problems, including inadequate nutrition, parasites, or underlying medical conditions. A vet can conduct a thorough examination, perform necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment.
They can also guide you on proper feeding practices and puppy care to ensure healthy weight gain. Sometimes it may be a case of dehydration and they may need to have a tube feed or be bottle fed. Often the runt of the litter will just be missing out on its fair share of mums milk.
A healthy puppy will begin eating eagerly and therefore puppies should gain weight steadily.
Do Puppies lose Weight after Birth: Conclusion
In conclusion, while it's normal for new-born puppies to lose a bit of weight after birth, they should start to gain weight within 24 hours. Regularly weigh the puppy to monitor their growth and development. Provide them with adequate nutrition and keep them warm to ensure they grow into healthy, happy dogs.
Remember, if you have any concerns about your puppies' weight or health, it's always best to consult with a vet. They can provide you with the best advice and guidance to ensure your puppies are healthy and thriving.
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