Newborn Yorkie Puppies

Newborn Yorkie Puppies

Has your Yorkie had a litter? Are you planning to breed Yorkshire Terriers? Either way, it’s important to understand the development and needs of newborn Yorkies. Here’s everything you need to know about Yorkie babies from birth through their transitional stage.

Newborn Yorkie Puppies: Your Pup’s Development

All dogs go through rapid development between birth and about six weeks of age. This stage of life is broken down into two phases of development: neonatal and transitional.

Newborn Yorkie or Neonatal Stage

One week old puppy of the Yorkshire Terrier

The first stage of a newborn Yorkie pup’s life is the neonatal stage. This stage runs from the moment your Yorkie is born until you have one week old Yorkie puppies. During this time, a Yorkshire Terrier’s strongest bond is the bond that they hold with their mother. The pup will have no eyesight or hearing at this stage, or any ability to regulate their own body temperature.

Therefore, they’ll have only their sense of smell to rely on, and will be dependant upon their mother and the rest of her litter for warmth. It’s crucial at this stage that a puppy is not separated from its family. If this were to happen, the puppy could very quickly catch hypothermia and die as a result.

For the first few weeks of a puppy’s life, you’ll find them pretty unexcitingly sleeping about 90% of the time. The remaining 10% will be spent nursing and reserving their energy for their growth. It won’t be until they reach around 15 weeks of age that they’ll be able to begin to support their own weight, so in preparation for this you’ll find them developing their coordination and muscles by crawling around their mother and siblings.

Transitional Puppy Stage

Two to four weeks of age sees something of a transitional period, when the puppy’s eyes and ears begin to open and come to life, and their siblings will start to take over from their mother as their main influence.

Once your puppy reaches approximately 5 weeks of age, their eyesight and walking will be almost fully developed, along with their barking and tail wagging as they get more and more social and play with their siblings.

When Do Yorkie Puppies Open Their Eyes?

Around the age of 2 to 4 weeks, baby Yorkies will finally open their eyes for the first time. You should definitely expect a 4 week old Yorkie puppy to have their eyes open.

6 week old Yorkie puppies will will have fully developed their sight and will be eagerly walking about and exploring the world around them.

Caring for Newborn Yorkie Puppies

Newborn Yorkies require a lot of care — but most of it will come from the mother. There isn’t much you need to do when caring for your new puppies until you have a 6 week old Yorkie ready for time away from mom.

Here’s what you’ll need to provide for your newborn Yorkies.

Yorkie Puppies Need a Clean Pen

The first few weeks of newborn Yorkie puppies’ lives will be spent in the box or pen in which they were born, so it’s vital when prepping for their arrival to choose a comfy, clean box or pen wisely. It’s important that this space can provide enough room for the mother to lie down and stretch out in comfort, avoiding the possibility that she might crush the puppies, while also being able to come and go freely while keeping the puppies contained within. You should also be able to access this easily to be able to change out the bedding each and every day.

Until the puppies are able to move around on their own, you can fill the whelping box with newspaper that gives the pups cover and warmth without potentially suffocating them. You can change the bedding to blankets or towels once it’s safe enough. This is especially important if you have a newborn teacup Yorkie as they are even smaller and more fragile than their larger siblings or counterparts.

In the first days of the puppies’ arrival, their mother will clean up their waste. If she’s given birth to a large litter, she may need some help. By the end of the second week, or beginning of the third, the puppies will begin to become more physically active as they star to open their eyes. Once they do start to want to roam, you can move them to a larger pen with plenty of room for them to play. Also, bare in mind that from now on, bathroom clean up will be your job.

The IRIS pet playpen is a good choice because it gives your 6 week old Yorkie puppies room to play together with rubber feet to protect your floors. Just fill it with lots of blankets and padding to ensure your pups are warm and padded by a soft atmosphere.

Newborn Yorkies Need to Stay Warm

As mentioned before, newborn Yorkie puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperatures so they’re reliant on their mother and the rest of their litter for warmth. The AKC (American Kennel Club) strongly recommends that you keep them away from any potentially drafty areas, and in a consistently warm location. On top of them snuggling up with their mom and their brothers and sisters, it’s recommended that you provide an additional source of heat.

You can use an electric heating pad for the puppies with a blanket on top or an infrared heat bulb with a clamp lamp.

The heat lamp should be positioned in a high enough location above the box to prevent any possibility of burning the puppies and their mother, and you should also make sure to keep a corner at a cooler temperature, so that they can crawl over there should they get too hot. During the first five days, you should keep the temperature inside the pen somewhere around 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and then for the next 5 days gradually lower that back down to around 80, continuing little by little, reaching 75 degrees by the end of their fourth week.

Ensure Proper Nursing and Nutrition

In their first few weeks, puppies are relying exclusively on their mother for all their nutritional requirements. Despite seemingly being much less active over the course of this time, nursing expends a great deal of the mother’s energy and she’ll require a much higher number of calories than she would otherwise normally.  In order to make sure that both the puppies and their mother receive adequate nutrition throughout their nursing stage, several servings of a top quality dog food should be fed to the mother throughout the day. Your vet can recommend a good type and amount to be feeding to your nursing Yorkie mommy.

To help your Yorkie produce enough milk for her pups, consider adding high calorie supplement like Tomlyn to her dry kibble or using milk thistle to help boost her supply.

One vital point to keep in mind during this time is the weight of the puppies. You may notice one or more of the puppies being underfed, and you’ll want to keep a close eye on them when it’s feeding time and make sure that the smallest puppies are latching on to the fullest nipples. If you find any puppies crying or whimpering often, then this may be a sign that they’re hungry and require more attention while feeding. You can position the pup at the teat near the mom’s tail where he’ll get the richest milk supply.

If any smaller puppies still aren’t showing any signs of healthy weight gain or growth, pay a visit to your vet. They may suggest that it’s necessary for you to take over and bottle feed them.

It’s also very important to watch out for signs of mastitis in the mother. Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands that can have an adverse effect upon the production of the mother’s milk. A major sign you’ll notice if the mother is being affected by mastitis is swollen red nipples, resulting in a reluctance to nurse. You may even see the mother snapping at her puppies when they try to feed. You’ll want to contact your vet as soon as you possibly can if you start to notice these signs. 

A 4 week old Yorkie puppy will begin to develop his teeth and the weaning process will begin as the mother’s production of milk starts to slow down. Once you start to spot the puppies sticking their nose into mum’s food, it’s time to start making them dishes of their own.

What if My Yorkie Doesn’t want to Stay With Her Puppies?

A common issue amongst all pets that are closely attached to their owners is that the mother may not want to stay with her pups, wanting instead to stay with you, her owner. If this is happening, try relocating the puppies to somewhere where the mother is able to be closer to you while still tending to her litter.

It’s vital that the mother stays with her puppies for the first few weeks as, as we discussed earlier, they’ll be unable to keep themselves warm, and in a worst-case scenario can die as a consequence of the resulting hypothermia. If the mother really won’t stay with them, you’ll want to make sure you can provide the puppies with an external source of warmth. It’s not necessary to heat the entire room to 90 degrees; a simple heat lamp or heating pad will do the trick.

Be sure to keep a close eye on the conditions and the behavior of the puppies. This will give you your best indication regarding whether or not they are comfortable and healthy. If there are any problems, you’ll see lots of crying and restlessness. Otherwise, they should be nice and quiet and gaining weight if they’re warm and content.

How Can I Tell if There’s a Problem With the Newborn Yorkies?

During the first two weeks of a puppy’s life, before their eyes have opened, they should be doing pretty much nothing but feeding and sleeping, and you should be seeing consistent increases in weight. If any of the puppies do appear to be overly restless and noisy, this may indicate malnourishment or infection.

Malnourished Yorkie puppies can be easily spotted by simply noticing that he’s a lot thinner than the rest of the litter. If this is the case, remove the other puppies from the mother and let any underfed puppies get their share first.

Your puppy may also be suffering from hypoglycemia. In this case, he will be weak and prone to fainting. If you suspect a puppy of having low blood glucose levels, you should get in contact with your vet as soon as possible.


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