Litter of 4-5 week old puppies, need suggestions please
I am fostering a litter of 4-5 week old puppies and I cannot get ahold of anyone at the shelter that has any helpful advice (or even a nice attitude). I have called and sent emails and nothing. Anyhow, I need some suggestions on how to keep these guys clean. I have 4 males and 1 female that are small mixed breeds. I currently have them in a exercise pen that is roughly 32x64 inches. I have been using newspaper on the ground and keep their food and box on one end and am hoping they will figure out to poop and pee on the other end. I have the food/bedding on the closest end to the room entry so they don't trample through poo to come see me (they are in the kitchen where we have tile floors). They poop everywhere, even in their food bowls. Then they walk in it and their bedding gets poopy and even the baby pen sides are covered in poop. I can keep it relatively clean during the day but oh my gosh, it is messy when I wake up in the morning. I had to just give them all baths this morning because half of them had poop on their heads from I'm sure their siblings walking on them. I have considered buying pee pads but that would get very expensive since the entire floor will have to be covered and changed several times throughout the day.
Is this just because of their age? I know they never got taken out at the shelter and they were so nasty when I brought them home, just permeated poop smell coming from them. My house just reeks and I am hoping no one asks to come over for the next 3-4 weeks that I have them. I know one thing, I need to photograph all of this to show anyone I ever meet that wants to breed their dogs. Totally disgusting! I wish they could wear diapers like babies, lol.
Also, any other tips are welcome. They are on Wellness grain-free dry, puppy milk in a saucer, and are switching from Pedigree canned to something higher quality today until they can eat dry all the time. They are in the middle of being wormed. I am only fostering them until they are 8 weeks old and can go back to the shelter to get adopted. The shelter said they were going to put them to sleep since they are younger than 8 weeks. I have been told they are 4 weeks by one employee & 5 weeks by another so I really don't know how old they are. They all have very sharp teeth and will bite at my pant legs. They play and explore. They snack on the dry food. I do plan to bring them back to the shelter to get checked out by the vet later on in the week as I suspect they have demodex mange and to see if they can tell me how old they actually are.
They are all very cute and my kids are really enjoying helping me out. We do not plan on keeping any of them but my husband & I both know that could change at any moment, lol. The only girl is very tiny and is brindle & reminds me of a chihuahua. Two of the boys are tan with white and the other two are black with white and brown feet. Their mom was a mix that came from a owner surrender of 21 total dogs. She was brindle and resembled a greyhound but small but she was totally a mutt. She had 3 other puppies but a different person took them home to foster. The momma already got put down.
Sorry this is so long!!