Last week we shared what it is like fostering rescued moms-to-be and described the lead-up to and delivery of the puppies. Now that the litter has arrived, and each newborn has been given a different colored Velcro collar for identification, what’s involved in caring for them before they’re adopted?
For the first couple of weeks, your main concerns will be keeping the puppies warm, fed, and clean. Newborns can’t regulate their body temperature, so the whelping box is kept at about 80 degrees F using heating lamps and pads provided by FTF. The puppies need to eat every 2 hours round-the-clock, with their weight—which usually doubles in the first week—recorded daily. Mom also requires frequent protein-rich meals (at least 4 times/day) and access to a full water bowl at all times. While she usually takes care of cleaning her babies, keeping the whelping box clean is your responsibility.