While you shouldn't hold newborn puppies that often, that doesn't mean you can't touch or take care of them. Newborns should be allowed to socialize, and shouldn't get used to being held too much, but when they need your help, go ahead and step in. One such time is when you have to burp a puppy. If a puppy gets air trapped in his stomach, he could face discomfort or even health issues. Burping him after every meal is a quick and easy way to alleviate that pain, and then he can go right back to exploring and playing.
Pick up your puppy very gently after each meal. While not every puppy needs to be burped after every feeding, doing so for just a minute or two helps release trapped air. Puppies that are bottle-fed are especially prone to swallowing air, and burping them after they eat releases it.
Hold the puppy up against your torso with his stomach pressed against you. He should be sitting upright with his face looking over your shoulder, similar to how you would hold a baby that needs burping.
Gently but firmly rub up and down his sides and back to try to release the trapped air. If this doesn't result in anything after 30 seconds or so, gently pat him on the sides and back. You will eventually hear him burp a little, at which point you can put him back down on the ground.
- If you never get results, your puppy may not need to be burped. The tell-tale sign that he needs it is bloat -- because they are so small, a pocket of air in the tummy is easy to identify. If your puppy has a bloated tummy and you can't successfully burp him, take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images