Many people consider newborn puppies as delicate little beans to be handled with extreme caution and care. Then you have some who feel that one should not touch these babies. The question of whether you should touch newborn puppies or not has always been one that people have been unfamiliar with. They do not know how to deal with a new litter.
Some people are also worried that a mother may reject her puppies if they smell human touch. It is something that the birds do a lot. While others feel if you hold newborn puppies, there is a risk you may end up injuring them.
However, touching newborn puppies is not as bad for them as you might consider it to be. So, now we would deal with the theories and myths surrounding this question. Apart from that, we would offer you great advice on the ways to handle newborn puppies.
Could a mother reject her pups if they smelled of humans?
This is the elephant in the room, and it needs to be addressed first and foremost. We commonly assume that a mother may reject her pups if they smell humans. However, this is not true. So, we should not let that particular idea stop us from touching newborn puppies. Quite often bitches are absolutely fine when their human parents touch their babies.
You have to enjoy her complete trust. At times, both the mothers and the babies are immensely vulnerable. So, if she does not trust you, she would not even allow you near the whelping area or the whelping box, let alone the babies.
In some cases, you may even find doggy mommas bringing their kids to their human parents once those babies can stand on their own four feet. It is a sign they love and trust their parents. However, this does not mean a dog mother would not reject her puppies.
Still, it is a rare occurrence. It usually happens for a wide array of reasons rather than because a human being touched them. On the other hand, you would also find dog mothers who would not allow anyone close to their babies. Because of the motherly instincts to protect their babies from all possible threats.
Signs that a bitch is rejecting her babies
Usually, when a bitch rejects her puppies, she would either try to kill them or leave them to die. So, immediately after your bitch has given birth, it would be advisable that you keep an eye on her.
There are clear signs that a bitch is rejecting her babies. In such cases, they stop licking them after giving birth to them. There is an indifference to those babies. There is distress between the mother and the newborns, and at times they try to eat or kill them.
Getting help when you need the same
Is your bitch pregnant? Are you worried about what would happen when the puppies are finally born? In that case, it would be best to get advice from a professional veterinary doctor, especially before the day that she is about to give birth.
Have you spotted any sign that she might reject her babies after they are born? You should not shy away from getting in touch with them over the phone and asking how you should proceed on that day.
How to handle an orphaned newborn puppy?
There are a few things you could try to deal with the situation on hand. Move slowly and deliberately so that you do not frighten them. Run a couple of fingers on their back. Do so gently. It would help them become familiar with you.
If you scoop them up, do so carefully. Never put your fingers under their stomach. Put hands cupped around their bodies. It would help preserve their body temperature. In the starting, wear gloves to avoid spreading harmful germs to them.
How to approach them in a healthy environment?
Let us assume that everything has gone fine when the litter is born. The new momma has not shown any signs of rejecting her bundles of joy. There are no signs that she is stressed, and the family seems happy.
In that case, you should let them be. You could feel immensely tempted to scoop up those little and fluffy jellybeans so that you can shower them with all the affection and love you have for them, but this is the job of a mother.
How do you deal with maternal aggression?
In some cases, bitches become hyper anxious and more aware than they usually are immediately after birth. Let her relax and steer clear of her and her newborns. Create a space where she can stay isolated with her babies. It is better to choose a room with little traffic in your home. She would feel comfortable and also be able to take in the first few weeks of motherhood.
So, to answer the question that we asked at the start of the piece, you can touch newborn pups in most cases. However, be as gentle as you can be. It is always better in these cases to give them a couple of days at the very least before you start to touch them.
It is better to read the body language of the dog. Respect the way she is responding to your presence around her babies. If she shows visible signs of being stressed by your presence near her babies, you should leave them till the situation improves.