One of the most exciting things that pet owners experience is when our momma dog gives birth to her puppies. This life-changing moment is equally exciting and nerve-racking at the same time, especially for first-time pet owners.
When puppies arrive, there is a lot of joy, excitement, and relief. With a new litter of pups, you have a lot of work ahead of you. After giving birth, the mother dog also requires special attention. We are here to provide you with essential pointers to ensure that your momma dog aftercare will be as easy as possible.
First things first, you'll have to keep a tight eye on her to make sure she's eating and sleeping appropriately and staying healthy. To nurse and care for her puppies, a mother dog requires appropriate nutrition. A mother dog should be fed high-quality puppy chow as well as a vitamin/mineral tablet. When the puppies are weaned, she should weigh the same as she did when she was bred.
To determine if your dog is pregnant, watch out for a few signs:
These signs can mean that your dog is indeed pregnant, but in some cases, there could be other causes. We recommend that you go to your veterinarian and perform diagnostic testing to get more accurate results.
If you know when your dog was bred, your veterinarian can do belly palpation around the 28-30-day mark if you know the date.
At this stage, puppies feel like little golfing balls or grapes on the dog's belly, depending on how big your dog is. These "balls" are fluid-filled sacks surrounding the fetus. Abdominal palpation must always be performed with the help of a veterinarian, as it can harm the pups if not done right.
When your dog undergoes 25-35 days of gestation, your veterinarian can start performing an ultrasound. Through this procedure, you will have an estimate of how many pups are inside the mom's belly by the amount of heartbeats detected by the ultrasound.
Pregnant dogs produce a unique hormone called Relaxin, and your veterinarian can determine whether your dog is pregnant by extracting blood samples.
X-ray tests should be done at 55 days or more to make sure that the tiny skeletal systems of the puppies would be detected. This text will also show you accurately how many pups are to be expected on your dog's delivery.
Once you have confirmed that your dog is indeed pregnant, you need to make sure that she is healthy during her pregnancy.
If this is your first time breeding your dog, ask your veterinarian to help you on how to care for your dog during her labor correctly. The whelping process is not easy, so you need to be prepared and read and learn what you need to know. Ask for assistance, especially during the stage where the puppies need to keep warm.