I have been bottle-raising orphan litters for over 30 years, for Humane Societies, SPCA's, breeders, and especially veterinarians who have contacted me because they had desperately ill Mother dogs who could not feed their babies.
One of the SPCA's surprised me with a Certificate of Appreciation "For: Care and Mothering of our Orphaned Pups."
Mother is too young herself to take on responsibility of raising a litter.
Mother is too old to properly raise a litter.
Mother is not producing enough milk to sustain the litter.
Mother has an illness which prevents her from raising a litter.
Mother acting inappropriately with puppies, such as savaging them. Although not common, it can happen.
Orphan litter which has no Mother.
We do NOT have a kennel. We believe that dogs are family members, and that’s how we raise baby puppies. They are in the house with us, and we raise them as though they were our own.
Bottle-feeding (I do not believe in tube-feeding) as often as necessary for the health of each individual puppy – whether ½ hour around the clock, 2 hours around the clock or 4 hours around the clock.
A stress-free, clean and warm environment. We do not have any children in the house to cause stress to the growing puppies, the puppies will be handled lovingly and professionally only by my husband and myself. We do NOT use carpet scraps or newspapers or wood chips for bedding - the puppies will be ALWAYS on super soft baby blankets which are exchanged for clean ones and washed every few hours around the clock.
Each puppy will be cleaned thoroughly after each bottle-feeding, and as often as necessary during the day as they are weaning from the bottle to puppy mush.
Each neonate puppy will be stimulated to eliminate during each cleaning.
Newborns will be monitored every hour for the first 18 hours.
Newborns will have iodine applied twice daily to the umbilical cord until it falls off, and then for one or two more days, depending on how fast the area heals.
Puppies will have regular nail trimming
Puppies will be wormed at 21 days of age, sooner if it appears they are wormy.
Owners will be updated via email on a daily basis and kept abreast of the puppies’ condition.
Owners will be allowed to visit provided proper advance notice is given (please remember I have my own dogs and litters and other animals which I am taking care of).
Each puppy will receive individual care and attention, and allowed to feed and wean at his own rate.
Will provide instructions on preparing puppy mush to the new owners.
Each puppy will go home with a puppy packet, including: Health record, suggestions for further wormings, vaccinations, details of how to continue the weaning from the puppy mush to dry kibble, etc.
Will provide additional puppy mush and kibble so the owner can transition the puppy slowly onto whatever kibble he/she uses
I will supply the following items – which will remain with me after the puppies are returned to their owner:
Glass baby milk bottles
Glass bottles used for warming bottles
Assortment of nipples – each puppy will use the type of nipple he does best on
Cardboard boxes to keep puppies in for the first 10 – 14 days, until their eyes open.
x-pen to contain puppies after their eyes open (we do NOT believe in using either crates or kennels)
iodine for disinfecting umbilical cord area
1st worming of pyrantel pamoate (aka Nemex)
infant simethicone drops
light Karo syrup
plain, unflavored Pedialyte
Gerber baby rice cereal
bottled spring water for formula (we do NOT use tap water, either in the formula or in the puppies’ water bowls)
Meyenberg canned evaporated goat’s milk (which runs about $3 a can)
Highly digestible (90% or over) of the highest-quality Puppy kibble
The owner of a litter who needs bottlefeeding can contact me (z_paws4fun at embarqmail.com) and describe the history of both the litter and the Mom of the litter.
The litter owner will set up an account with Dr. Levan at Woodside Animal Hospital in Marysville, OH (about 15 minutes away from our home) with the understanding that any veterinary care administered to the puppies will be billable to the owner. If any veterinary treatment is required, I will attempt contact the owner first, and discuss it with him/her before taking the puppy/puppies to the vet- UNLESS it is an emergency situation. In a non-emergency situation I will call the owner via phone, however if he/she is not available, I will have to use my best judgement. I will have to validate the litter owner's account with the clinic before accepting the puppies.
The puppies will be brought to my home and I do an evaluation of each puppy – which the owner will be required to sign if I accept the litter for bottle-raising.
I will also require a picture of the parents of the puppies – or at least the mother, so I can estimate what group the puppies belong in (small, medium, large, or giant).
The litter owner will sign a contract granting me the authority to take temporary care of the puppies until they are fully weaned.The contract will also stipulate that the owner agrees to accept full expense of any veterinary treatment, if needed, including euthanization, if necessary. The contract will also stipulate that the litter owner releases me of any responsibility or liability.
The owner will pay in full, in cash, and in advance before leaving the puppies in my care.
I will contact the litter owner daily (via email or phone) to keep the owner up-do-date as to the condition and progress of the puppies.
The owner agrees to pick up the puppies when they are weaned and ready to come home. If the owner does not pick up the puppies within 3 days of being told they are ready to come home, he/she relinquishes all rights to the puppies. Please understand that I cannot adopt or keep any puppy which has been abandoned by the owner.
The owner agrees to sign a statement confirming the good condition of the puppy/puppies before taking them home.