Attentiveness is key to caring for newborn puppies. Do not automatically assume that constant crying is typical or normal in newborn puppies. In some cases, crying can be a sign of a health issue, so always take it seriously and immediately consult a veterinarian.
Sign of Medical Conditions
As with newborn humans, crying can be normal in puppies as long as it isn't excessive. If a newborn puppy cries for more than 15 minutes at a time, especially if it seems particularly high-pitched and piercing, he may have a problem. In some cases, inordinate crying can be a symptom of either hypoglycemia or hypothermia. Hypoglycemia entails decreased blood sugar levels, and hypothermia involves unusually low body temperatures. Note that these are just two examples of medical conditions which excessive crying result from. If you suspect that the amount and tenor of the puppy's crying is unusual, consult your vet immediately.
Although excessive newborn puppy crying can signify the emergence of the aforementioned medical issues, it also can signify problems in feeding. Perhaps the little one just isn't getting enough access to mama's milk and is hungry. Maybe there is an issue with the mother's milk, possibly due to an infectious condition such as canine mastitis which may halt milk flow entirely. It also may cause her milk to take on an abnormal color or texture. By crying, a newborn puppy may be communicating those problems to you; don't ignore him.
Needing to Get Back to Warmth
If a newborn puppy cries a lot, it also may be a sign that he is too cold, perhaps because he isn't sleeping snugly alongside his littermates and mother. If a newborn pup for any reason is away from his siblings and mother and needs to get back to warmth, he may cry as a way of saying "help me." If a puppy doesn't go back to the cozy warmth of his family unit immediately, he can rapidly develop the aforementioned hypothermia, which can be fatal. Call a veterinarian immediately if you have hypothermia concerns.
Crying Themselves to Sleep
If a newborn puppy is in strong health and cries briefly due to some discomfort, it's highly likely that he may exhaust himself silly from expending all of that energy -- and quickly. Crying newborn puppies usually end up as fast asleep newborn puppies, within a few short minutes or even seconds.
By Naomi Millburn
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.