Whether you are blessed with one newborn boxer or an entire litter, puppy care is basic. Food, warmth and lots of shut-eye are required for health and growth in his first few weeks. But with his eyes closed during this time, he will need monitoring and a little help from you.
Rub a bit of the mother's milk on the puppy's nose, and help him find her nipple for nursing so he connects the two. Puppies must feed within the first 12 to 36 hours to receive the mother's colostrum, which contains vital antibodies and nutrition for his survival. He should be nursing every two hours the first week, with longer intervals between feedings after that.
Check the puppy throughout the day to make sure he is warm and breathing. Newborn boxers sleep constantly and typically make soft sounds in their sleep. Add a towel-covered hot water bottle or heating pad on a low setting to provide additional warmth for your puppy.
Make sure the newborn boxer puppy is going to the bathroom after he eats. As he is unable to do so himself, his mother will lick him to cause the urge to go each day. If possible, wipe this up immediately with a paper towel so he doesn't lie in it or his mother doesn't eat it (a natural occurrence).
Weigh the puppy daily to make sure he is gaining weight; if not, he is either not nursing properly or not getting what he needs from his mother. Puppy formula can be purchased at pet centers to mix for bottle feeding if this occurs.
Visit your veterinarian on day three to have the puppy's dewclaws removed and tail docked, if you choose to have these procedures done.
- If your puppy is not receiving a mother's care, rub a warm washcloth over his bottom to stimulate his need to go to the bathroom.
- It is normal for a puppy to lose weight on his second day; however, he should be gaining weight after that.
- Leave the boxer pup's umbilical cord alone; it will initially look wet, but it will eventually dry up and fall off on its own.
- Talk to a veterinarian immediately if you feel that your boxer puppy's health is at risk or he is not gaining weight.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."