When Is It Safe to Touch Newborn Puppies?

It is best to avoid over-handling puppies until after the first 2 weeks of life, but it is safe to touch a newborn puppy right away if the mother is neglecting the puppy or the puppy seems to have problems breathing or maintaining a proper body temperature. Most mothers will handle the tasks of cleaning, feeding and snuggling their newborn puppies without the need for human intervention.

Puppies can spend some time away from the mother and be held gently at around 3 weeks of age, as this is when their vision and hearing is maturing and is an important stage for socialization.