Puppy Care

Breast-feeding puppies need very little care from the time they are born until they are weaned, around the fourth week, more or less: if the mother enjoys a good health, she will keep the puppies clean, warm and well fed, without human intervention. Indeed, the more you leave the mother in peace, the better it will be for the litter. It is only the mother who you should dedicate your care and time to, and that has already been covered in the previous chapter.

Tail-cutting and spur-removing in the corresponding breeds has to be carried out as soon as possible, around the third day in healthy puppies; but don't do it isn't really necessary; as for me, I hate tail-cutting. Don't cover the wounds with iodine or another chemical disinfectant, which usually just delay the healing process and are the main cause of poppy loss. Preferably use the extract of watered-down witch-hazel, which is totally vegetable -- the quantity is 1 teaspoon per 2 of water -- or a vegetable infusion made of elder tree leaves, or Blackberry leaves or whole twigs of rosemary or rue. The way to make this infusion is the following: the two herbs mentioned before cut in fine slices, the quantity is 2 spoons; these herbs preferably have to be fresh although you can also use dry leaves; introduce them in one quarter of a liter of boiling water and let them soak all night; after that, drain them out and use them cold. Completely bathe the injured areas with this infusion. This same herbalist antiseptic treatment can be applied on the umbilical area of the puppies.

Puppies must remain in semidarkness until they open their eyes. Their house-box (nest!) must be clean and well ventilated. Dirty nurseries are a cause of the loss of many newborn puppies that die because of the dirtiness. Breeders tend to have the litters in saturated nurseries, with wooden planks soaked in your rain and impregnated with worms and diverse bacteria. Nurseries that are used for that purpose must be regularly emptied for that period and whitewashed. Having many litters in a row in the same nursery is an invitation to the development of disease in general. A clean, whitewashed nursery is this system to you must use for every litter you bring up. Avoid using sheets for the puppies to lay on; instead, it is better to use newspapers.

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