Caring For Orphaned Dogs And Cats
Unfortunately, because the mother has rejected them, abandoned them, or died, there are times when we have a newborn animal that becomes an orphan. They are called dogs and cats orphaned animals that are not under the maternal protection and need our help or a surrogate mother, to ensure that they can survive until weaning.
Animals in this condition are unable to defend themselves, so they will depend on the care of a third party to sanitize, feed, protect themselves, shelter from the cold and interact with others.
You must take into account when the care of orphaned dogs and cats, if they are premature, must be intensified in attention to ensure their good development and survival.
Newborn dogs and cats should have an exclusive milk diet for suckling animals.
Normally, through milk, the mother protects the puppies by strengthening their immune system, so they are protected against viruses and bacteria that could seriously affect their bodies.
They must be fed at least four times a day. However, this will depend on how many weeks the orphan has.
Also consider that, if very small, weak or if the puppies have a shorter lifespan, they should be fed every 3 hours to strengthen them and encourage development.
The milk you use to replace the orphans’ food should be warm and given slowly; if you feed them cold milk too quickly, it can cause regurgitation, bronchial aspiration and diarrhea.
Ideally, the substitute you use in food is prescribed by the veterinarian, to avoid adverse reactions.
If the puppy doesn’t want to eat, don’t force it, but if he doesn’t eat for a long time, it can be a bad sign. Orphaned dogs and cats spend most of their waking hours eating, and if they don’t eat properly or regularly, you’d better take them to the vet.
Remember to monitor your bowel movement, if you notice changes in stool color, texture or smell, something is not going right.
Do not use cow’s milk to feed a newborn, this harms them as it usually contains fats and sugars, and the bodies of dogs and cats cannot process them, even when they are already adults, so it is not recommended feed them cow’s milk.
Orphans need a warm and comfortable space. You should protect them with blankets, on a padded base, preferably one that is absorbent.
Keep in mind that the newborn cannot regulate their own temperature, so the cold ends up being a serious threat to them.
When the puppy is only a few days old, you may want to consider adding an artificial heat source.
Under normal conditions, the mother is responsible for providing a microclimate that is ideal for them, but when lacking this environment orphans are more likely to suffer from hypothermia, which could kill them.
Also, these little animals need external stimulation, something that invites them to explore their environment. Although excessive noise, many smells and visual stimuli can generate stress, it becomes positive when dosed, as it helps the orphan’s neurological development.
Animals that do not receive stimulation develop atypical behaviors such as nervousness and aggression.
Contact with siblings is good for them, because it makes up for the absence of the mother. However, orphans tend to suck each other and, as a result, can produce skin lesions.
Orphaned dogs and cats are unable to take care of their hygiene, so they are more exposed to infections.
Clean the puppies’ fur several times a day with a washcloth or a damp cloth, which should be clean, the feces should be removed when they defecate.
The orphan’s caregiver must also be attentive and wash their hands well before handling the small animals, as they can transmit diseases to the puppies through the dirt on their hands.
The m icção and defecation should be encouraged rubbing the belly of them, the backs and the perianal area with a damp cotton because they started doing, voluntarily, only from the third or fourth week of life.
Remember that the dropper, and other utensils you use with orphaned dogs and cats, must remain clean, as it is very easy to transmit bacteria through food.