How Long Can A Newborn Puppy Go Without Eating Before Dying?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

It’s important to know that your newborn puppies can survive for several hours after birth since they still have some nutrients from the womb in them. It gives you enough time to get them to a veterinarian or administer appropriate feed. Although this is a scary thought you should be able to get them through it.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “How Long Can A Newborn Puppy Go Without Eating Before Dying?“.

There is nothing more beautiful more miraculous or more fragile than new life. This is true for both humans and our four-legged friends.

Having a dog that is on the verge of giving birth might have you wondering if she is ready for this new adventure and what you can expect as the human guardian.

What will happen if something goes wrong and she can not feed her precious puppies? Do they have a chance of surviving? Do you know what to do? Take a look.

What Could Go Wrong With Newborn Puppies?

Complications can occur during pregnancy and childbirth. Just like humans mommy dogs can be frightened by this process which causes our bodies and minds to short-circuit.

The genetic programming that somehow gives a new mommy the ability to care for her puppies goes haywire and she rejects her precious bundles of joy.

She may be suffering from some medical condition that causes her not to produce enough milk. While your beautiful dog is giving birth to her puppies complications may even result in her death.

Mother dogs sometimes need to have a caesarian section especially if the dog is a toy breed or a bulldog. It may then be impossible for the mommy to feed her babies in which case you need to step in.

In addition she might also suffer from mastitis which makes nursing extremely painful. As a result she may bite at the pups or run away from them when they try to eat. Another potentially serious problem is birthing breech.

It is possible for one or more of the puppies to become stuck in the birth canal since they are in the wrong position. Both mom and pup may die as a result.

Its important to know that your newborn puppies can survive for several hours after birth since they still have some nutrients from the womb in them. It gives you enough time to get them to a veterinarian or administer appropriate feed. Although this is a scary thought you should be able to get them through it.

The body temperature of newborn puppies cannot be controlled by themselves. Normal circumstances require babies to snuggle up to their mothers while they suckle. Keep your puppies warm with blankets if your mother dog is unable to snuggle with them.

In addition the longer they go without a proper feed the greater the risk of dehydration and hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar levels) both of which could be fatal.

There can be many problems during birth. Provide your dog with a birthing box that is filled with blankets to keep everyone warm as she approaches the time for giving birth. You should also have your car and cellphone ready in case you need to make a last-minute trip to the vet.

How Often Should a Newborn Puppy Feed?

Newborn puppies need frequent feedings at least every two hours. They can only consume a bit of milk at a time because their stomachs are so small. Infants at this age cannot do anything other than sleep and suckle. That’s it. These tiny little fur-babies may nurse for as long as 50 minutes at a time. Poor mommy poodle! As a mother of a young child she really does not get a break during the early weeks of the babys life.

Newborn Puppy Feeding Problems

It is common for puppies to jostle during feeding time. To get where they want they’ll race each other and step on each other. Theres nothing abnormal about it. Nevertheless if they’re jostling so intensely and trying to find a new teat constantly there might be something wrong. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

It might be because mommy dog isnot producing enough milk and the puppies are hungry. If this is the case your mother dog might need nourishing food or supplements added to her diet. If not there might be something else wrong. However the precious puppies may need to be bottle-fed to help them grow.

What is Fading Puppy Syndrome?

In some cases puppies are born seemingly normal but their condition deteriorates within two to ten days resulting in early death. Such a condition is known as fading puppy syndrome which unfortunately happens quite often.

Sometimes the mother dog picks this up and rejects the tiny puppy which is often the runt of the litter. If you recognize this early enough you can still intervene and save the puppy. Nature has a natural selection process.

They reject sickly or dying puppies in the wild because they lack the resources to nurse them back to health. However your newborn puppies did not survive in the wild. Its right there with you so you have the opportunity to intervene.

Although it is often hard to determine the cause of fading puppy syndrome there are four factors that are generally present: hypothermia (low body temperature) dehydration hypoglycemia and not receiving colostrum quickly enough (a.k.a. missing the golden window). What you need to know here can mean the difference between life and death.

If your pup seems lethargic or cold to the touch he might suffer from hypothermia. If you are using a blanket or your body heat begin warming him immediately and gradually. His fragile body will be shocked if hes heated too quickly.

Its possible that some pups can not suckle properly so they do not drink enough milk and become dehydrated. Another risk is a severe drop in blood sugar levels leading to hypoglycemia. This can also occur when feedings are too far apart.

Check the mouth of your newborn puppy if you’re concerned it may be dehydrated. When his mouth feels dry and his saliva is sticky he is dehydrated and in need of immediate medical attention. Every two hours give him fluids (milk replacer or sugar water) from a small bottle or eyedropper. 

It is a severe complication that can kill puppies within hours of onset. The symptoms of this condition include loss of appetite trembling lethargy weakness and seizures. Offer your puppy sugar water every 15 minutes when you notice these signs – three parts water and one part sugar served warm.

By getting enough sugar into his body he will be able to get his glucose levels back in balance giving him a fighting chance.

What we get is colostrum. It is the milk that your mommy dog produces right after the puppies are born and it is important for their health.

Antibodies are passed from mom to pups in the colostrum strengthening their developing immune systems. The clock is ticking however.

During the first 12 hours following birth colostrum can only be absorbed by the puppys intestinal walls. He missed his shot after that which could have permanent consequences for his health and survival.

What Can I Feed Newborn Puppies?

It is your responsibility to help your puppies if anything goes wrong during birthing or if one of them is unable to suckle. If you feed them the wrong things they may die as well so it is important to know what they can and cannot eat.

You should use a colostrum substitute if your puppy cannot get colostrum from his mother. Be sure to read the label before purchasing.

You should look for one that contains probiotics glucose immunoglobulins and essential fatty acids. Drop small amounts of this onto your puppys tongue using a dropper or syringe (without the needle). Allow them to swallow it – it may take a few minutes.

Sugar water or milk replacer are needed for dehydrated puppies. Use boiling water to ensure that all germs are killed. An already struggling puppy should not be exposed to unnecessary germs.

What Is The Survival Rate For Newborn Puppies?

Some statistics about puppy deaths are available even though they are not always reported. According to recorded statistics 8% of puppies die within their first 8 days after birth including 4.3% stillbirths. Certain breeds have a higher mortality rate than others. 

The survival rate of your pups is relatively low so there is a good chance they will survive.


There are many things that can go wrong during pregnancy and delivery. Prepare yourself in case your mother dogs labor pains are imminent.

You have a few hours to step in and administer any necessary interventions if anything goes wrong. Sometimes mommy dogs can not feed their pups or if there is a tiny one that is unable to suckle.

During the first 12 hours after birth you should administer a colostrum substitute and then a milk replacer should work.

Call your veterinarian if you’re unsure of what to do at any point or if you’re not comfortable giving the necessary treatment yourself. You can trust them.

If you want to read more about puppies-related updates read here: Puppies.

How Long Can A Newborn Puppy Go Without Eating Before Dying? (Watch Video)

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