Yorkshire terriers are a toy dog breed with long, flowing hair and a spunky temperament. When they are infants, Yorkshire terriers (also known as Yorkies) are tiny and helpless. Yorkie puppies should stay with their mother and litter mates until 8 or 9 weeks old. Their mother should provide most of the care that the puppies need. Sometimes puppies may be orphaned if their mother becomes ill or rejects them. In this case, human help is needed. At each stage of their infancy, Yorkie puppies need special care, with needs changing slightly from week to week. At 3 weeks old, these puppies have specific needs that should be met to help them stay healthy.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Nesting box
- Heating pad
- Aquarium thermometer
- Dog thermometer
- Pet nursing bottles
- Puppy milk replacement formula
- Shallow pan
- Small food scale
- Cotton balls
Make a nesting box for the puppy. Use a box or bin that can be switched or cleaned easily. Place old towels or T-shirts in the box. Make sure the towels and clothing do not have holes or stray threads that the Yorkie puppies could become tangled in.
Put the heating pad under (not inside) one side of the nesting box so the puppy can crawl away from the heated side if it feels too hot. Hang the aquarium thermometer where it can monitor temperature, but out of the reach of the puppy. Set the heating pad to 23.9 degrees Celsius, which is the appropriate floor temperature for 3-week-old Yorkies.
Feed the puppy four times per day, using replacement puppy formula and puppy nursing bottles. Hold the puppy upright and angled forward slightly on its tummy, not on its back like a human baby. Follow the feeding guide on the puppy replacement formula for how much to feed.
Begin to wean the puppy from the bottle. Put the puppy formula in a shallow pan, such as a baking tray, and place the puppy at the edge of the pan. Help the puppy find the formula and it should start lapping the formula. Alternate this with bottle feeding until the puppy easily laps from the pan.
Track the puppy's temperature. Most dog thermometers are rectal; follow the instructions for your specific thermometer. At 3 weeks old, the Yorkie's temperature should be between 37.2 and 37.8 degrees Celsius. Contact your vet if the temperature is higher or lower.
Weigh the puppy using the food scale. By 3 weeks old, a Yorkie should be more than twice its birth weight. Contact your vet if the puppy is not gaining weight appropriately.
Stimulate the puppy's elimination of urine and faeces using a cotton ball soaked in warm water. Gently rub the cotton ball on the puppy's genital area until it goes. By 3 weeks old, many Yorkies can go on their own. So do this only if the puppy is not urinating and defecating regularly on its own.
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