Tips For Dogs

How to help your dog give birth to puppies

How to help your dog give birth to puppies

Yesterday one of our Yorkshire Terriers or Yorkies had a litter of puppies. Everything went well and she had two girls and two boys. My wife and I always sit with mothers when they give birth. We help with delivery and are on hand in case of problems. I’d like to outline some things you can do to help with delivery.

Be observant of the mother dog’s behavior to know when she is about to give birth. Keeping a careful record of breeding dates will help you know generally when to expect the puppies to be born. A mother dog will behave differently just before she starts having her puppies. She may try to hide from other dogs. This is why many dogs that are outside will go under houses, while dogs inside may just have to go under a sofa or other piece of furniture. Nor are they good places for her puppies. A few days before the expected birth, you should provide her with a place that is isolated from other animals to rest. She needs a quiet place that feels safe. Puppies will need to stay warm for about 10 to 14 days until they can regulate their own body temperature. A small heating pad designed for puppies is best.

Considering the size of the mother, a bottomless box made of 4 equal pieces of 1″x12″ lumber is best for the mother and her babies to lie in for the first 3 or 4 weeks. For Yorkies, I build the box about 28 inches square. For larger breeds, resize accordingly. Sand down any rough edges that could cause injury. Just lay a few layers of old towels on the floor and place the box on top of them. Just use larger towels and you’ll find the box uses its own weight to hold the towels in place. Easy to keep clean and the setup keeps the puppies from getting tangled around the puppies. We use disposable medical bandages as a top layer on the towels. Easy to maintain.

So now you have a bed ready for the mother and puppies. How can we help with shipping? Start with a large, sturdy box or basket for the mother to use for birth. Line it up with disposable pads. Have a few things on hand. Lots of paper towels and some old cloth towels. The towels are there to keep the puppies warm as they are born. Have a roll of dental floss, sharp scissors and a small suction bulb handy. You will also need a pack of bed pads that are sold for making beds for people with incontinence. They are superior to puppy pads.

The mother dog will become quite restless as the time approaches. She may choose to run back and forth and look confused. Her instincts will almost always take over and she will finally stretch and begin contractions. Contractions may last about an hour before the first baby arrives. In most cases, the puppy will start to come out and it will take a few more contractions to come out completely. Reassuring the mother dog that she is doing well and is in a safe place helps her resume contractions. A puppy is usually born with a pouch or membrane covering most, if not all, of its little body. Break the membrane and clean the puppy’s nostrils and mouth so he can start breathing. Very carefully grasp the umbilical cord close to the puppy’s body and then cut the cord about 3/4 inch from the puppy’s body. Still pinching the string, tie a piece of dental floss around the remaining string attached to the puppy. This is to avoid bleeding. If the cord is not bleeding, you may be able to just observe it for a few minutes. You will be quite busy, stop any bleeding and make sure the puppy is breathing on its own.

If breathing is difficult, the nostrils may be blocked with mucus. Use a small suction cup to clean the nostrils and rub the puppy to encourage breathing. In most cases, the puppy will be breathing normally after a few minutes. A puppy that is not breathing may require you to put the puppy’s nose and mouth into your own mouth to give him CPR. Just be gentle, he has a very small lung capacity.

Place each pup in a clean, warm towel with its mates as each is born. Between contractions it is good to place them with their mother. She will lick them to promote circulation and breathing. Monitor the litter in case the puppies start bleeding from the umbilical cord again. Tie another piece of dental floss to the short umbilical cord if bleeding occurs. Some mother dogs make the bleeding worse with too much licking.

Give the mother dog some water periodically during the birthing process. Keep bedding clean and dispose of placentas and other fluids that are shed. Your dog will do most of the work on its own. You are there for support and to reassure her. Other breeders may have their own procedures for helping mother dogs give birth, but these guidelines have given us great results over the past 10 years of raising Yorkies.

#dog #give #birth #puppies

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