Breeding And Care For Whelping MothersMon May 3rd, 2010 @ 11:55 am
DO'S AND DONT'S1. When you first breed your dog make sure you write down on the calendar the date. It will be 58-63 days before the Mother-to-be will start whelping her puppies.
2. Call your vet and make sure he/she will not be on vacation during this important time. Before you breed your dog make sure she is free of worms, has had an update on her vaccinations, has had an X-ray on her hips and elbows and has had them O.F.A. certified.
3. Make sure you do not breed a dog that is past 4 years old without your vets approval. Make sure that she is in very good health. Never breed you dog on her first heat. Never breed a dog without having a X-ray of her hips and elbows.
4. Have the correct size whelping box made for your bitch and make sure the puppies once born, do not get rolled up in blankets or towels or the mother sleeps on a puppy. Set your alarm and check on the mother and the puppies 2 times during the first night. She should have water all the time after the puppies are born. While she is in labor it is good to move the water bowl and food out of the room as she may knock it over when she is being frantic.
PROCEDURES DURING WHELPING
Remain calm. Dogs have been going through this for thousands, maybe millions of years. It is a natural act that is best dealt with respect and calm rather than fear and trepidation.
MOTHER-TO-BE TEMPERAMENT BEFORE AND WHILE IN LABOR, YOUR ROLE DURING LABOR
1. Very nervous.
2. Pacing and crying.
3. Frantic, desiring to go outside.
4. Two people are better than one. Also have a phone near the whelping box.
5. If you are by yourself, have contact with another breeder who has gone through this as it can be stressful for the beginner. The more calm you are the easier it will be on the dog giving birth.
6. Delivery can take from 8 to 12 hours with 6-11 puppies usually spaced about 20-40 minutes apart. MAKE SURE ALL OTHER DOGS ARE OUT OF THE HOUSE DURING WHELPING. THE MOTHER'S REGULAR COLLAR SHOULD BE REMOVED PRIOR TO WHELPING IF POSSIBLE AND REPLACED WITH A CHOKE CHAIN. YOUR DOG COULD BE DEFENSIVE, MAKE SURE THERE ARE NOT ANY STRANGERS AROUND THAT SHE DOES NOT KNOW. THIS WILL CREATE ADDITIONAL STRESS ON THE MOTHER.
7. Remember, remain calm. Project LOVE towards the mother in calm and soothing tones and she will respond. Have towels handy to use in handling the puppies if necessary. Assist the mother by breaking the sac close to the puppies head and placing the puppy close to the mother. She should eat the sac and the placenta (very nourishing for the mother).
8. Make sure the new puppy is crying and the mother is licking it and massaging the puppy with her tongue. If the mother starts to have another puppy before she is finished with the one just born, take the puppy in a towel and place you index and middle finger to support the neck and massage the puppy with the towel. You may have to clear the mucus from the mouth of the puppy or pinch the back of the neck to get the puppy crying. Be careful and do all these movements calmly. (Some puppies are stillborn. This is not your fault, do not get upset with yourself.) If a puppy is born dead take it out of the room away from the mother and put in a box to deal with it later. If you need to do an autopsy by your veterinarian, later place it in the refrigerator in a freezer bag.
9. DO NOT BE SHOCKED if the mother kills and eats her weaker puppies. It is a perfectly natural DARWINIAN ACT.
AFTER CARE WHEN THE WHELPING IS COMPLETE
Change sheets twice a day for the first three day. Wash them with organic soap (in the laundry room) with cold water and dry in the dryer. Keep whelping box clean at all times. Water and food should be easily accessible to the mother at all times. The first day after birth walk the mother on a leash with a choke chain, she will want to run back to her litter. Expect her stools to be black during bowel movements following birth. She will also drop blood for 3- 4 weeks following the birth. NEVER LEAVE HER IN THE BEDROOM FOR MORE THAN 7 HOURS AT A TIME. NEVER SEPARATE HER FROM HER PUPPIES WHEN OUTSIDE. The mother may go through windows to be with her young, so its important to keep them together as much as possible.
Go to our page on Puppies First Night To First Year and see what happen each week and what to do for your litter to grow up healthy and to work with enhancing your puppy's drive.