How Long Can Newborn Puppies Be Away from Mother?

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Ideally Sadie should stay with her newborn pups at all times, but it isn't always possible. You may have to get her out for a quick walk here and there to let her go to the bathroom or possibly take her on an extended trip to the veterinarian. Her precious fur balls will be alright for short periods of time, although you'll need to step in and care for them if she has to be gone for a while.

Mother's Role

After giving birth, your proud new mama pooch is working around the clock, barely taking any time to care for herself. She's nursing every two to three hours, bathing each pup after meals and then making sure every single bundle of joy goes potty by licking their rear ends. Because her work is endless and ongoing, she needs to stay with her litter at all times. If you have to take her away to go in for a quick checkup at the vet, you'll have to take over her responsibilities.


Bottle-Feeding Newborns

While Sadie is away, you'll most likely feel overwhelmed with the pile of puppies crying and begging for care. If she's going to be gone for more than two or three hours, you'll need to bottle-feed her little ones while she's away. Pick up some puppy milk replacer formula at the pet store, mix it with warm water according to the manufacturer's instructions and fill up puppy bottles with the formula. Let each pup nurse on the bottle until he stops eating. If Sadie still isn't back home after a couple more hours, you'll have to repeat the process all over again.


The Potty Process

Newborn puppies don't get the urge to go potty all on their own, so you'll have to help them if their mama is away for several hours. Once you make it through the feeding process, start back at the beginning of the pile, pick up each pup and rub his rear end with a warm, damp washcloth. You're mimicking the motion that their mother does with her tongue, stimulating their bowels to go.

Keep Them Warm

Puppies are good about snuggling up with each other for comfort and warmth, although they also cuddle up with their mother to help stay warm. While Sadie is away -- even if it's just for a 20-minute walk -- you'll need to ensure that her babies are perfectly toasty the entire time. Place a heating pad on a low setting underneath their blankets, cover the nesting box with a towel to keep cold drafts away or simply give them more cozy towels to snuggle with.


By Melodie Anne Coffman


WebMD: Caring for a Newborn Puppy
ASPCA: Newborn Puppy Care

About the Author
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.