Bringing home a tiny puppy can be a very enjoyable experience if each new owner has the knowledge and proper information needed to care for the puppy. A reputable breeder or seller should provide you with as much information as possible to make the transition period go safely and smoothly.
In very cold weather, you need to keep your puppy warm. Heating sweaters are great! If one is not available in the size you need, a sweater can simply be fashioned from a sock with the toe cut out and two small holes cut for each front leg. Make sure you have a heating pad on the low setting placed under the crate or basket in which he sleeps. Make sure the temp is not too hot. It is a good idea to set the crate/basket, only half way on the heating pad this allows the puppy to decide if he is too hot or too cold.
Food (dry and canned) and fresh water must be kept available for your puppy ALL the time, especially during the 1st few weeks in his/her new home. It is also very important that you see him/her eating and drinking. Tiny puppies need to eat about every 3 hours around the clock. Tiny puppies cannot go very long without a meal. You and I get hungry about every 5 to 6 hours. We weigh over 100 lbs. Your puppy weighs 1 to 2 lbs, and he runs out of energy quickly.
If for some reason your puppy decides not to eat, it is imperative to keep a bottle of honey, a couple of jars of beef baby food and an eye dropper or syringe on hand all the time for the first few weeks. This will save your puppy's life in case of an emergency. If you did not see your puppy eating, a good indication is a nice round, full tummy. If for some reason your puppy refuses to eat, and becomes wobbly or lethargic, his/her sugar level has probably dropped and caused hypoglycemia. If this happens, give your puppy (with a dropper) 1 teaspoon of honey every 15 minutes until 3 teaspoons have been given, and then wait 15 more minutes and force feed with a dropper about 1/3 jar of the beef baby food. Continue this procedure every 3 hours until you can get to the veterinarian. Sometimes this is a simple case of fear and depression due to change of environment, however, sometimes there is an underlying problem that requires immediate attention from a veterinarian.
Never change your puppy's diet, unless advised by your veterinarian, and never give your puppy milk, or table food. Some of the things that can be fed safely are plain yogurt, cottage cheese, boiled chicken, turkey, or lean beef. Things should be going smoothly after the first couple of weeks, as you and your puppy will learn your routine together. The main thing is to have regular check-ups and fecal exams done. This will insure you and your puppy happy, healthy times together.
These tips are for the first few weeks, to help your new pup to adjust.
These tips are for the first few weeks, to help your new pup to adjust.
Remember, your health guarantee does NOT cover hypoglycemia, so it is imperative you read this information closely and stay on top of things.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar (sometimes called "sugar shock") is a condition where the blood sugar level drops to an extremely low level due to lack of food, or by using up all stored energy without it being replenished. (Such as when your puppy plays for an extended period of time without eating.) The most common trigger is stress (such as going to a new home).
Teacups and Tiny Toys can be prone to hypoglycemia because they have such tiny digestive systems.
They can only store a small amount of food (energy) in their stomach at one time. Their liver and pancreas which are necessary for digestion and sugar balance are also small and usually underdeveloped as well. Most puppies tend to grow out of hypoglycemia as they get older. As they grow, so do their major organs. This makes them more able to utilize and to process the food that they eat, so it can sustain them for longer periods of time.
REMEMBER: to prevent hypoglycemia, puppies need to eat several small meals a day. It is much easier to prevent by always having a readily available food supply, than to have to treat it once it happens. It is very scary to see a puppy that you love so dearly in "sugar shock."
Symptoms of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can occur without warning in a healthy puppy and can be a very scary thing! So it is best to know what to look for! Your puppy may exhibit one or more of these signs: The first sign that is usually seen is vomiting on an empty stomach. (clear liquid) If your teacup has not eaten in a while, and vomits without acting sick, give them food, Nutri-Cal or Karo syrup immediately! Some other signs are acting listless, weak, tired, sometimes walking with an unsteady gait and drunk, shakiness, falling over, stiffening up, laying on their side paddling with their feet and being unable to get up, and in very severe advanced cases, laying on their side and being totally unresponsive or comatose.
If your puppy becomes hypoglycemic, it is very important that you react IMMEDIATELY!! If the puppy is not given some quick form of nutrition containing sugar (i.e., Nutri-Cal, honey, sugar, glucose, Karo syrup or sugar containing product) to raise the blood sugar immediately, coma and/or possibly death could result.
If any of these symptoms occur, give the puppy a small dose of either Nutri-Cal, honey, sugar, glucose, Karo syrup, pancake syrup or any sugar containing product that is handy. Time is of the essence, so reach for whatever is the closest at the moment. If the puppy is unable to swallow, do not force liquids down its throat as it can get into the lungs and cause asphyxiation. If the puppy is too weak to swallow and take the honey or Nutri-Cal on its own, put it on your finger and rub it on the roof of its mouth. If necessary, pry his mouth open. It may be necessary to give several doses.
(I like to keep a product called Pet Nutri-Drops on hand. It allows nutrition to bypass digestion and be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Very handy if a puppy is too unresponsive to swallow on his own.)
After being given something sweet, your puppy should show some type of improvement and be more alert and responsive within 10-15 minutes. After your puppy feels a little better, remember to give him/her a protein filled meal (any good meat based dog food or meat baby food will do.) to level out it's blood sugar.
**IMPORTANT! If your puppy does not respond with any improvement after the sugar that you have fed him within 10-15 minutes, or appears comatose or unresponsive, take him immediately to the closest veterinarian! In severe cases, if their blood sugar has dropped too far, it is sometimes necessary for them to receive glucose (dextrose) given by a shot or IV. Make sure that you tell your vet that you suspect that your puppy is in hypoglycemic shock and specifically ask for a shot of Dextrose before he does anything else. Unfortunately, many veterinarians are not familiar with treating tiny puppies and/or have never seen a case of hypoglycemia and many puppies have died needlessly while the vet wastes precious time performing routine tests and looking for other things.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DO AS IT COULD MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE OR DEATH FOR YOUR PUPPY!!
REMEMBER: Every minute counts!! Before going out the door to the vet make sure and give some honey, Nutri-Cal or Karo syrup to your puppy. If he is comatose or unresponsive, do not give liquids that he can choke on or won't be able to swallow. Instead, rub a coating of honey or Nutri-Cal around in his tongue and mouth.
How to care for your puppy after a hypoglycemic incident. Every puppy responds differently after a sugar low. The sooner they are treated after the onset of symptoms the faster they will bounce back. Many pups are back to their old selves and running around and playing in a few minutes or a few hours after an attack. But if your puppy has had a very severe case or was comatose before treatment, it could take several hours and even as much as several days for your puppy to be back to normal. Remember low blood sugar causes their tiny bodies to totally shut down, so many pups act very depressed or groggy and some will not eat on their own after a severe attack. To help your puppy recuperate: