When it comes to love, care, and attention, this is something that all dog breeds desperately need from their owner. With owning a dog comes great responsibility, and the same is true for pregnant dogs. Owners who decide to breed their dogs must pay special attention to the pregnant female and take great care of her before, during, and after her pregnancy. Unlike your standard household pet, these dogs need extra nutrition and care. So you must do everything to care for your pregnant dog.
Tips to Keep in Mind Before Breeding Your Dog
There is a lot that goes into pregnant dog care, and before you breed your dogs, you should keep in mind that it is a lot of work and your dog will require a lot of special attention.
When breeding your dog, you should always make sure the female is fully into her heat cycle. Wait at least 5-7 days before breeding her. This will increase her chances of getting pregnant.
Females come into heat twice a year but should only be bred once a year. Females must have a rest period after being bred.
Never breed your dog during her first heat cycle; wait until she is at least until 2 years old.
Dogs should not be bred past 6 to 8 years of age.
How to Care For Your Pregnant Dog Before Her Due Date
After breeding your dog, there are a few guidelines that you should follow before she has her puppies. This will ensure that you have healthy puppies and a healthy mother dog. Pregnant dog care is something you should never slack on, so if you are ever in doubt, contact your vet for advice.
Pregnant dogs need vitamins. There are vitamins, typically called Bitch Pills, which can be purchased through your vet or a trusted pet store. These work in the same manner that prenatal vitamins work for humans. They give the dog extra nutrition and much-needed vitamins since her body will be expending a lot more energy.
Your dog should see a vet at least twice during her pregnancy – once to ensure that she is pregnant, once to make sure everything is ok, and once more (optional) to deliver her puppies. Always seek medical help at the time of delivery, so that everything goes well! Your vet may also recommend more visits and you should always heed their advice.
Provide your dog with access to lots of clean drinking water. This is super important! Your dog will need to stay hydrated and will be drinking more water than usual since she is pregnant. You should provide extra water bowls or bottles to your dog during this time.
Extra food should be given to your dog so that she can maintain a healthy weight. Some breeders opt to give their pregnant females puppy food since it is higher in calories.
You should watch your dog around other dogs. She may become hostile or more aggressive since she is pregnant. Take adequate care to ensure that other dogs do not jump on her. Additionally, you should try to keep small children away who might pick her up and drop her by mistake.
While your dog is outside, she should always be monitored and never left unattended.
Keep your dog separated from other animals and small children. She can be kept in a large crate or play pen, depending on your preference.
What To Do When Your Dog Goes Into Labor
You will have a few warning signs before your dog goes into labor. She will start whining and will become incredibly restless, pacing back and forth. She will begin scratching at things, especially cloth and paper, in order to make a nest of sorts to deliver her puppies on.
Once the scratching has begun, she can produce the litter at any time. When your dog goes into labor, she will typically know what to do. If this is her first litter, it is highly recommended that you take her to the vet.
During the delivery, you need to make sure the puppies do not become tangled in the umbilical cords. It is important that the litter of newborns start suckling the mother. Some puppies, which feel extremely cold and are unable to attach themselves to a nipple, may need immediate medical attention.
Also, if blood has been transferred onto the dog’s stomach, it is important to gently wipe it up with a warm, damp cloth, so it is not ingested by the puppies.
How to Care for Your Dog After Her Delivery
A day or so after the delivery of her puppies, you should gently wash your dog in lukewarm water to cleanse her of any remnants left behind from the birthing process.
She will also continue to need vitamins and access to lots of clean drinking water and extra food. Many owners offer canned dog food to stimulate the dog’s appetite since mother dogs can sometimes become quite picky about what they eat.
It is also recommended to place a heating pad on a low setting somewhere in the area for your dog to lie down on. She should be separated from other animals in a large crate (big enough for her and her puppies to freely move around in) or a play pen.