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How To Hand Rear Puppies

When a bitch is unable to rear her family a foster-mother should be obtained if possible. Failing this, the litter must be raised by hand. It is an arduous and exhausting business, but there is no reason why such methods should not succeed if the owner is willing to sacrifice time and sleep. More than one champion has been reared by hand.

An especially rich full-cream baby milk food should be used (a good one is “Humanised Trufood”). This, during feeding, should be kept standing in a basin of hot water to maintain blood heat. It should be mixed to the consistency of condensed milk and then slightly thinned to resemble very rich, creamy cow’s milk. Add medicinal glucose (one salt spoonful per puppy for small breeds) and give a teaspoonful or more of the mixture to each puppy, using an old-fashioned medicine dropper with a rubber bulb.

It is best to feed each puppy on a covered hot water-bottle; they like to push at it with their feet while drinking. Open the puppy’s mouth, put the dropper in and feed slowly, allowing time for the little thing to swallow and breathe. He may protest at first but will quickly learn to enjoy it. Be careful not to give too much. The puppies should be fed every two hours during the day and every three hours at night. After ten days the night feeds are cut down to one at midnight, one at 4 a.m., and one at 8 a.m. After a fortnight there is no need to feed at night at all. Crooke’s halibut emulsion {not the halibut oil)the emulsion is specially prepared for infants and can be mixed with milk) is excellent and should be added to the feeds from two drops twice daily for each puppy.

The puppies must be kept very warm and if the dam is able to keep them clean so much the better, otherwise the abdomen should be gently rubbed in a circular action until the bowels have acted, and the puppies kept clean with cottonwool dipped in a mild antiseptic and carefully dried with dry cottonwool. A dusting with boracic powder on abdomen and rear completes the process. At three weeks scraped raw meat can be given, as with the normally reared puppy.

Hand-reared puppies usually thrive if kept very warm and fed regularly and punctually. Keep all utensils, medicine dropper and similar articles scrupulously clean, just as you would do for a human baby.

Source by James Hunaban

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