Q:

How do you take care of a runt puppy?

A:

Quick Answer

Runt puppies are ideally cared for like a regular puppy in that they should be given ample food, vitamins, exercise and vaccinations. However, experts believe that runts of the litter are prone to health problems and should be examined by a veterinarian for any underlying medical problems.

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Full Answer

The word "runt" refers to the smallest and weakest of the litter. In dogs, the runt usually develops in the center of the uterus where it does not get as much nutrition as its brothers and sisters. Due its lack of nourishment while developing in the womb, the puppy will have a lower birth weight and have health problems.

Runt puppies are sometimes rejected by the mother and this complicates the problem as it will mean that the runt will not receive proper nourishment and parental care from its mother. While there may be difficulties when caring for runt puppies, nursing them to health to grow up to be healthy dogs is still possible.

When runts survive for 6 to 8 weeks old, they are likely to survive and grow to full-sized adult dogs, according to experts. Caring for runt puppies does not necessarily require any extra effort from pet owners as long as they get the right amount of food, vitamins and exercise. Regular checkups and vaccinations for the puppy are important and should be followed according to the recommendation of the vet.

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