Just as in babies, it's important to learn how to weigh a newborn puppy. Weighing newborn puppies can provide you with important insights into their overall health, well being and progress into their stages of development. If you love your puppies, and you want to make sure that they are at the top of good shape, you must learn how to properly weigh your puppies. You may have many questions such as how many times should you weigh your pupies and when you have to do it and how. Spend a couple of minutes reading this article and you'll be soon a pro in weighing your newborn puppies!
The Importance of Weighing Puppies
Perhaps in the good old days, you were used to seeing puppies raised without the use of scales and all those sophisticated things we see today, but getting a weight on your puppies provides you with valuable information.
Weighing your puppies will help you keep track of their growth and you can recognize early signs of trouble so that you can take action quickly.
You should start weighing your puppies from the first day they are born. Generally, you should expect puppies to gain about 10 percent of their birth weight every day, explains Critical Care Vet. Then, after 10-12 days of age, the puppies' birth weight should double.
Keeping a puppy weight log and chart are valuable tools so that you can keep track of your puppies' development. You should weigh your puppies daily at the same time of the day and you should see regular gains on a daily basis. If you notice at anytime that one of more of your puppies are not gaining weight or their weight is declining, you may want to consult with a vet and see what is going on.
Warning: mother dog may not like you touching her puppies, especially in the very first days. You may want to weigh the puppies in those brief periods of time when mother dog goes out to potty or when she goes to another room to eat.
Ask the Vet: Is My Dog Done Giving Birth?
Whether your dog is done giving birth or not can be challenging to tell considering that it's not unusual for pregnant dogs to take their sweet time in delivering their babies. This is not really a time though for guessing, considering that not all deliveries go as planned.
Using a Personal Scale
To makes things easy for you, you can start using a personal, digital bathroom scale, the same one you use to weigh yourself, but keep in mind that reading from a bathroom scale will not be accurate as using a puppy scale! It may just work OK for larger puppies or puppies who are already big, but won't be useful for small, newborn puppies.
If you do not have a scale for weighing puppies, you might therefore at first attempt to simply use a personal digital scale and measure you own weight. Once you have recorded your weight, you can then step on it while you are holding your newborn puppy. Record this second weight and then subtract from it your previous weight without the puppy. The difference will give you the weight of your puppy, but again, it might not be too accurate.
Using a Scale for Puppies
Using a scale that is not for personal use is the best option if you want to have accurate readings where every little ounce counts. A postal scale or a digital kitchen scale may be suitable, but many breeders nowadays like using baby scales.
If you are lucky to have a scale that is suitable for weighing the puppies and your puppies are overall mellow, you can simply place them on the scale.
Keep in mind that a newborn puppy may be uncomfortable in being moved away from his familiar surroundings and wants to stay as close as possible to his mother and litter mates. It is therefore normal for your newborn puppies to hate being lifted by you and placed on a cold scale.
To keep the puppies from feeling the coldness of the scale, you can place a small mat or blanket over the scale, but again, you will first have to weigh the mat, then the puppy on the mat, and then subtract the weight of the mat. Be extra careful that the puppy doesn't fall off the scale and don't forget to disinfect the scale!
Tip: in order to register the weight of your puppies, you will need to tell one from another. An easy way to do this is using colored identification collars for newborn puppies or using a non-toxic marker to color the nails.