When Can Puppies Regulate Their Body Temperature?

3 puppies in a basket in the field

Having a puppy puts a lot of stress on any owner. You have to worry about lots of things, and I was there a lot of times. When a mom gives birth, you have lots of questions. And one of them is will the puppies be able to survive the weather or not.

You will realize through this post when puppies learn to regulate their temperature and ways you can keep them safe until they do so!

When can puppies regulate their body temperature? Puppies reach their adult body temperature when they are 4 weeks. However, puppies will not yet be able to regulate this temperature until they are seven weeks old. Starting from this period, puppies can fight slight differences in atmospheric temperature to keep their bodies warm.

If they started sleeping separately away from their mother, they already started regulating their body temp.

Newborns Temperature And When Can They Regulate Their Body Temperature

When do puppies regulate their body temperature?

What is the typical newborn puppy temperature? The normal temperature of a newborn puppy is about 97°F. This is the temperature where you know your puppy is safe and healthy. However, the average adult temperature is 100.5-102.5°F.

This shows that the puppies’ bodies gain more heat with time to reach the adults’ body temperature. While the difference in the temperatures between puppies and adults seem negligible, it is not.

This slight difference is due to the difference in the body’s functions and the dog’s size.

Therefore, a puppy’s body temperature rises each week until they reach about four weeks. At this age, their bodies’ temperature will be around 100°F (Slight differences may occur between different breeds.)

However, puppies will not yet be able to regulate this temperature until seven weeks old. Starting from this period, puppies can fight slight differences in atmospheric temperature to keep their bodies warm.

How To Know when dogs finally started regulating their body temperature?

While we have no direct and transparent way, we can use some tricks to know if puppies are starting regulating their temperature.

First, check the puppy’s temperature at the age of seven weeks old. If you found that the puppy has an average temperature, so this is a reliable sign.

The second thing you can do is to observe your puppies in the box. Typically, if the puppies no longer sleep close to their mom, their temperature started to be ordinary.

Puppies keep themselves around moms to keep themselves warm. Once they stop doing so, the puppies are most likely regulating their own bodies’ temperature.

Usually, the puppies won’t delay regulating their bodies’ temperature. Therefore, around 7-8 weeks, you will have healthy puppies.

How To Know If Puppies Delayed The Temperature Regulation?

A puppy who is continuously looking for ways to regulate his temperature at nine weeks old is dangerous.

While it happens rarely, this puppy probably has severe weakness in his body functions and should have all the required examinations quickly.

If a puppy didn’t regulate temperature by himself, he would start looking for ways to keep himself warm. He will sleep above his brothers or beside his mom or try to sleep near the heater.

If the weather wasn’t cold and your puppy shows weird signs of coldness, he has a problem regulating his body temperature.

What To Do To Keep Your Newborn Puppies Safe

Mom keeping her puppies warm

In this heading, we will cover the best ways to help keep newborns warm if their moms are present. If the puppies are orphaned, then you can jump to the next heading.

If the dog’s mom is there with the newborns, then it’s effortless to help the puppies temperature warm, you can help the mom with simple steps:

  • Set up a controlled environment:

    On deciding the place of the newborns, it’s best to escape open spaces where the temperature is variable.

    Instead, you can put the puppies (with their mom) in the corner of the house or a closed room where the temperature is consistent.

    Make sure the mom can walk around and not stressed as dog moms can harm their puppies or hide them when feeling anxious.
  • Place the mom and the puppies inside a box with low edges:

    Having all the puppies in one place makes it easier for the mom to track them all and clean them.

    However, the edges must have low-height that the mom can start getting in and out of the box when needed. Otherwise, she will be afraid.

    Puppies on ceramics will suffer from lots of bone diseases. That’s why you should never leave them on ceramics by any means. And the box will help keep the bodies waste in one place only.
  • Place towels and newspapers in the bottom:

    It’s best to keep towels to make sure that the texture is soft and comfortable for the newborns and the moms. Also, sheets can help to regulate the temperature inside the box.
  • Add household thermometer in the box:

    It’s vital to keep track of the box’s temperature to ensure that everything is correct and in its place.

    The perfect temperature for puppies is around 85°F and can be about 75-80°F when the puppies have one week. However, a few drops in temperature are acceptable as long as the mom sleeps beside the puppies.
  • Observe how puppies sleep together:

    If puppies feel hot, they will try to relax away from each other and their mom. In this case, you must decrease the temperature by removing some towels.

    Avoid any direct breeze like direct fans, as this can make your puppies frozen. If the weather is too hot that there is a possibility of heatstroke, then you have to place the box in a room with AC. However, adjust the temperature of the AC to be around 75-80°F.

    If the puppies are too crowded in one place in a way that doesn’t seem reasonable, then they are cold. You can use a lamp to add extra heat (Yes, light is more than enough.)

    Ensure the lamp is in a safe place that won’t burn the box or won’t be too near the puppies.

Caring for orphans

Orphaned puppies are harder to care for indeed. You need to set up everything for them.

Caring for orphans puppy

Moms always know their puppies and see if they are cold or hot. Therefore, you won’t need to bother yourself a lot.

But in case of orphaned puppies, the mission is more robust and requires more dedication:

While you need to do what was mentioned before about controlling the room temperature, you also need to provide a constant heat source from the first day.

In the first week, puppies can’t move, and therefore, if you provided them lots of heat, you won’t know if they are hot. That’s why you always need to check their body temperature twice a day.


Have you ever asked yourself how do puppies identify their mother without seeing?

Puppies always move towards the heat source. And therefore, they will move towards their mother and stick to her side.

In the case of orphaned puppies, they will move towards the heat source that you provide. That’s why you need to take care that they might get burnt if they slept near a lamp or a hot bottle of water.

I suggest putting warm clothes everywhere in their box while keeping the heat source a few meters above the box. This way, you will prevent any accidents.

Make sure that the lamp that you provide isn’t touching the clothes. Otherwise, the light may burn the whole box.

I also recommend putting stuffed toys in the box to make the puppies feel that their mother is here. They will probably sleep around the stuffed toys.


While caring for newborn puppies requires a lot of knowledge in different aspects, we only covered one significant point: the temperature.

Puppies aren’t very good at regulating their temperature, and therefore, they can have heatstroke or a shallow body temperature quickly. That’s why you need to take care.

When you have the dogs’ mother present, you can already feel safer as she takes care of them ideally. However, in case that the dog’s mother isn’t here or doesn’t know how to handle puppies, you need to step in and follow those instructions.

Let us know in the comments about the health of the newborn puppies!

And don’t forget to take a quick look at our previous articles:

Erwin Borgers

Hi, I’m Erwin. I grew up with two cats, but I always wanted to have a dog. Since my wife and I lived together, we have Mayla. She is a very sweet King Charles Spaniel. Together we spend countless of hours in the forest near our home. We love to walk together and now I want to share what I learned about walking dogs and what I learned about dog gear with you.

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