After giving birth to the female dog, it is important to take care of the newborn Rottweiler puppies, which are your responsibility until they leave your home.
While it may seem fun at first glance, puppy care is far from easy, even if the female dog usually takes care of everything for the first three weeks.
Provide A Place Suitable For The First Days Of Life Of The Newborn Rottweiler Puppies
Rigorous hygiene is necessary for the good health and development of the little ones because the life of a puppy at birth is particularly fragile. It is therefore recommended to provide a nursery that is easy to clean. Indeed, if at the beginning it is the mother who washes the newborn Rottweiler puppies by licking their anus and genitals, they will then defecate all over the place as they learn to move around. You will therefore have to collect urine and excrement during the first two months of their life.
In addition, for safety reasons, it is necessary to prevent the puppies from being able to walk everywhere. On the other hand, the mother must be free to move around, and be able to go and eat or relieve herself whenever she wishes.
Finally, the place must be calm, bright, and fairly heated (between 22 and 27°). For this, we can install a heat lamp in the play area, so that they can choose the heated part or not, according to their needs.
Caring For Newborn Rottweiler Puppies
Healthy puppies spend most of their time sleeping, except when hunger strikes. They then crawl around, squealing or buzzing like bees. A sick puppy sits limply in your hand and crawls slowly, whimpering. Often the female pushes him away as if she doesn't want him anymore.
It sometimes happens, although very rarely, that a litter dies entirely in infancy, without the exact reason being known. It seems that the cold is one of the reasons, so check that the temperature is high enough when the puppies do not seem to be well. In the case of a large litter, this may be because the female does not have enough milk, or she does not allow the puppies to suckle. Indeed, the latter have very sharp claws, which can be very painful for the female dog's udders. The situation can be easily improved by cutting off the end of the puppies' claws with a pair of scissors.
If desired, the veterinarian will clip the dewclaws and tail of the puppies before they are three days old. Be aware, however, that some practitioners refuse to perform these operations, and that they are even prohibited in several countries.
Caring For One Week Old Puppies
After their birth, it is necessary to avoid as much as possible to fiddle with the newborn Rottweiler puppies and to ensure that each little one finds the teats of the mother. During the first week, they should feed approximately every two hours. Breastfeeding will last about 7 weeks.
If the mother cannot provide for the food of the puppies, whether for health reasons, in the event of too large a litter (the female dog has only 8 or 10 teats), or if she does not survive the birth, infant formula should be used. They can also be given colostrum substitutes during the first week. This powdered milk can be bought from the veterinarian and should be given at body temperature, every two hours, night and day, diluted in water, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Very young puppies have trouble feeding on an artificial teat, and you will sometimes have to drip milk on their tongue. When puppies can nurse, use a small bottle. When they have finished their meal, they will trample your knees with their paws, as they would their mother's udder. You will then have to imitate the licks of the latter on the abdomen of the little ones, rubbing their belly to encourage them to urinate. When each puppy is clean, put it back in the box, where you will have put a hot water bottle, wrapped in a towel.
Caring For Two Weeks Old Puppies
Puppies open their eyes when they are ten days old and begin to gain weight rapidly.
If one of them always seems to lag, it is important to watch him: he may have a malformation (the cleft palate, for example) or, if he belongs to a large litter, the other puppies may prevent him from accessing food, and he becomes stunted. Even if he seems healthy, it is advisable to have him examined by your veterinarian, because you could not consider selling him if he had, for example, heart disease.
Caring For Three Weeks Old Puppies
By three weeks of age, one meal every three hours is sufficient, and puppies learn to lap up from a saucer. All puppies should switch to solid food at this age. Some dog breeders use baby food, but puppies rarely have difficulty swallowing ground meat. Start by giving it once a day, and gradually increase the amounts to four or five small meals daily.
It is also during this period that they must be dewormed for the first time, at the same time as their mother.
At three weeks, the puppies start wanting to get out of the whelping box, the flap of which you will remove.
Caring For Four Weeks Old Puppies
From the fourth week, when the puppies have acquired the reflex to lap, you can give them, with your fingertips or in a clean dish, some puppy food. Canned foods have the advantage of having a soft texture, which makes it easier for little ones to change their diet. It is also the food that has the most similarities with breast milk. If you still want to give them kibble, be sure to moisten them and mash them before giving them. Gradually increase the quantities, while following the indications on the labels.
These specialized foods are more balanced and promote good skeletal growth, which helps prevent malformations. The usual diet consists of two meals of meat and biscuits and two or three meals of cereals and milk.
If you want to prepare the meals for your puppies yourself, vary the menus as much as possible, and add a vitamin and mineral supplement. Meat is low in calcium, and problems will arise if you don't balance this diet with minerals. Sterilized bone meal is available at a low price, but some puppies don't like it. It can be replaced by calcium tablets.
The female dog must also receive supplements in mineral salts and in particular in calcium because her reserves are very much in demand between the second and fourth week of lactation.
At this age, puppies begin to play and toddle here and there, and they learn how to use their paws. From four to six weeks, they will probably give you a lot of work, as they are often very mischievous. But no matter what, they will remain adorable and delight you.
Products For Rottweiler Puppies
Caring For Five Week Old Puppies
During the fifth week, the puppies and the female dog must again be dewormed.
You may be surprised by the number of worms the pups throw up. It's normal: at this age, they are very curious, and stick their nose almost anywhere, which therefore increases the chances of being contaminated.
If they are heavily infested, renew the treatment before selling them, especially if there are children in the foster family. Don't forget to take a dewormer suitable for puppies, as conventional dewormers are often too strong for them and can therefore make them sick.
Puppy Care From 7 Weeks Old
The weaning of puppies ends at 7 to 8 weeks of age. During the first months, divide the daily ration into 4 or 5 meals throughout the day, to reach 2 meals around the age of one year. Meal times and locations should be the same each day. Indeed, puppies, just like adult dogs, like to have their habits. In addition, it allows them to regulate their digestive tract. A bowl of fresh water should always be available to them.
The female dog will feel a bit tired of her little ones and will start wanting to spend less and less time with them. Nevertheless, a good breeder will teach the game and discipline to her offspring, thus beginning the socialization of the puppies, a very important part of their education, in which you will have to participate from the third week. She will also feed them regularly when they insist on eating and will regurgitate her food if you don't give other meals.
It will also be necessary to weigh them every 15 days, and, from the sixth week, to have them vaccinated and identified by a veterinarian. The installation of an electronic chip is indeed a legal obligation before any donation or sale of a dog.
The Final Words
Caring for newborn Rottweiler puppies is a full-time job, between cleaning, preparing meals, and rescuing them from sticky and dangerous situations. You also must socialize them, so that they become sociable and comfortable individuals.
Having a litter of puppies cannot be improvised: before starting, you have to ask yourself the right questions and be ready to do what is necessary to ensure that everything goes well.