If you're like most people, you love newborn puppies, especially when they get to be a few weeks old and can begin playing with you. However, sometimes getting these little guys and gals to that point is a little difficult if their mother has rejected them, or if for some reason the puppy is an orphan. If you're finding yourself in this situation, making sure that the puppy is able to go to the bathroom is important, and it's likely that help from you is required.
Why You Need to Help
Newborn puppies are unable to eliminate waste on their own. Their tiny bodies are not yet able to urinate or defecate. This isn't usually a problem because mother dogs assist their puppies in learning how to eliminate. Mothers will lick their puppies anal and urinary regions as a means of stimulating the organs and glands to cause elimination.
If the puppy does not have their mother around, they do not have this vital assistance. You need to help them during the first few weeks of their lives so that they can remain healthy. The inability to eliminate can lead to severe sickness in your puppies and eventually it can be lethal.
How to Help a Newborn Puppy Relieve Themselves
Wet a washcloth with warm (but not hot) water. Then, place your hand gently on the puppy's side as he or she is lying on its bed. Then, begin massaging the anal and urinary regions gently.
The cloth not only mimics the mothers tongue, because of the texture, but the warmth of the water also helps to stimulate these glands.
Continue massaging gently until the puppy has urinated or had a bowel movement. Do this after each feeding until you begin to see that the puppy is defecating with no help from you.
When to Call the Vet
Contact a vet, like those at Earlysville Animal Hospital, as soon as you know you will be helping your puppies go to the bathroom. Ask for the proper technique if you're having trouble with these instructions, or if your efforts are not working.
While helping a puppy relieve itself is not the most glamorous part of having a puppy, it is a vital process that could mean the difference between life and death for your new furry family member. Keep in contact with your vet and take the dog in for its first examination at the earliest possible time, so that you can have some peace of mind in knowing that you are providing the best possible care.