Puppies – General care

Everyone who handles the puppies should wash their hands before touching them – especially if they have touched other dogs. Many diseases, including distemper, can be transmitted to puppies by someone who has recently touched an infectious dog. All feeding equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and boiled. Visitors should not be allowed in the nursery for the first few weeks.

Keep the puppies clean with a damp cloth or disposable unscented baby wipes. Be sure to cleanse the anal area and the skin on the abdomen. You can rub a little baby oil on these areas and on the coat to prevent dry skin. Change the bedding often to prevent urine scalds. If they do appear, a light application of zinc oxide ointment will help. If infected, apply a topical antibiotic ointment such as neomycin or triple antibiotic.

For the first three weeks, gently swab the puppy’s anal and genital areas after each feeding to stimulate elimination. (This is something the mother would do.) A wad of cotton or tissue soaked in warm water works well. Then dry the puppy.