How to prepare for Puppies!
When you know you are welcoming a whole litter of puppies home you need to make some changes! Here are some things to remember during the pregnancy and labor stages of your pet to keep them comfortable and to have healthy happy puppies!
- Ensure your mama dog is well fed with a good quantity and high nutrition. You might need to increase and change her diet to help her body prepare for pups.
- Make sure your pet is fully vaccinated and check with the vet before giving her any medications or supplements, even deworming pills!
- You can still walk and play with your dog but remember she needs to not over exert herself which could damage the embryos. Shorter walks more frequently are suggested for pregnant females.
- Get your prenatal checkups done on time! Keep consulting a vet regularly throughout the pregnancy to ensure the puppies are healthy and a normal delivery can be made on her due date. Some breeds may require extra assistance during labor and your vet can help the process.
- Prepare a quiet nesting area for the whelping process. The area should be warm and comfortable, and your dog should be able to get in and out as she pleases but not the pups!
- This whelping box or safe space can be made at home with boxes and blankets or even purchased online. Remember to get your dog used to the box before her puppies or she might choose to have them elsewhere!
- Watch out for signs of labor - panting, lying down, loss of appetite and a drop in temperature and ensure you are prepared to receive the pups!
- Puppy proof your house! Soon the pups will be on all fours and all over your house. Remember it is like expecting not one but many babies into your home and it should be a safe environment. Remove breakables, valuables, electrical wires out of reach and ensure doors and fences are sealed.
- Stock up on some things like : puppy food, collars, water bowls, bedding, toilet training mats, newspaper and lots of toys!
- Keep your dog on a high calorie diet as she is nursing and take her for a checkup after birth and regularly after as well.
You can expect anything between 2 to 12 puppies in the litter depending on your pet's size and breed. The pups should nurse every 1-2 hours, so your dog should be around them a lot in the first two weeks. If you notice your dog isn't producing milk or nursing the pups contact a vet immediately.