According to scripture, there are certain situations where mama dog cannot be present to look after her babies. She might not be producing enough milk, or have psychological or behavioural issues, or she might have come home to me. Her pups are most likely in need of intensive care and caring for them can be a very beautiful and heartwarming experience. If you, kind human, come across such puppies, how do you care for them? Shall I provide direction?
First thing’s first, talk to a vet or a rescue center as soon as possible. If you can’t adopt or care for the puppy, the rescue center might be able to find a surrogate mother or an experienced foster. Whether it’s a litter or one pup, the same rules apply. Make sure you address the common problems first, if for some reason you cannot take them to the vet or rescue center.
Low blood sugar, dehydration and chilling are the most common life-threatening problems that you must address immediately. Very young puppies cannot regulate their body temperatures well. So, supply them with heating pads, heat lamps, hot water bottles, a lot of blankets and your body heat should protect him. Keep them away from windy areas. But make sure they aren’t overheated or warmed too quickly. Apply heat indirectly — either wrapped up in a blanket, or at a distance. Pay attention and you’ll be fine.
Dehydration and Blood Sugar
It’s easy for pups to get dehydrated if they aren’t nursing. Plus, it can get quite hot and dry here in the summers. If there’s a drop in saliva production, their gums feel tacky and dry, and their skin loses elasticity, the puppy is probably dehydrated. If the puppy is twitching, or convulsing, or even unresponsive and comatose, it means there’s a sugar problem. You can put a few drops of corn syrup on their tongue as a quick fix.
How to feed a puppy?
Cow milk and bread are too rich and unsuitable for dogs. Though goat milk is gentler, it isn’t as nutrient rich as a momma dog’s milk, which contains the immunity-boosting colostrum needed by the pup in its first few hours of life. Your best option is a canine milk replacement formula. If the puppy is older, you can give it puppy food mixed with water in a thin consistency. Feed the pup while it’s lying on its belly using puppy bottles, every two to four hours depending on its age. A good thumb rule is feed him 25 to 30 milliliters formula for even 100 grams of its weight, for the whole day. Test the formula on your arm. It should feel just a little warmer than your own skin. Feed the puppy till its belly is gently rounded or pear-shaped and not more. If the puppy looks like it’s over six weeks old, you can introduce him used to solids.
Help them poop
Young pups need help relieving themselves every 20-30 minutes. Momma dogs usually lick their puppies’ bottoms to help stimulate excretion but, in their absence, humans can gently rub a warm, wet washcloth or cotton on their tiny bums. They should urinate or defecate within one or two minutes. Some pups respond better before eating, some after. After two or three weeks, puppies should be able to go on their own. many puppies wiggle and burp on their own but if they don’t you will need to step in to prevent gas build up and colic. Put them over your shoulder and gently rub their sides.
Orphans are especially prone to diseases without the colostrum from their mother’s first milk. So, wash your hands before handling them. Don’t let other dogs near them. Even avoid wearing the same clothes you wore while petting another dog while caring for the orphan. Make sure the bottle, bedding, blankets and everything is sterile. Get them vaccinated and dewormed on time. Weigh the babies every day. If they aren’t gaining weight, there’s something wrong.
Taking care of orphans is the purest form of devotion. It’s hard. Sometimes they don’t make it and that’s not your fault. You took the effort and put your heart on the line. You’re a hero. Blessings!
If you find a child in need, gather what is precious for your friend. You who stand in the path of vulnerability are the picture of nobility. Feed, feel, help, do right by this dog and leave no child behind.