How to Help my Dog Care for her Puppies
The arrival of puppies is usually an emotional moment for pet owners, but it is normal to have certain doubts and concerns after seeing our dog so weak after giving birth and having to tend to all her little ones.
As a result, some people wonder how to help my dog care for her puppies. Today at oneHOWTO we'll give you some good advice so you can lend your best friend a hand and facilitate the process.
First of all, you should know that it is normal for new mothers to feel wary and suspicious when someone tries to come closer to their puppies. Your dog's instinct is to protect them, so you should try to respect her space.
During the first weeks of the puppies' lives they will be able to see very little and so will seek out practically blindly a warm place to rest and feed, usually in the area of their mother's teats. A good way to prevent the puppies from moving away from that area and suffer an accident is to enclose the space so that they remain in the area nearest to their mother.
During the first days is very important for puppies to take maternal milk, as it contains all the nutrients needed to keep them healthy; when your female dog has given birth to a large litter, she can sometimes fail to have enough milk for everyone. In that case you can feed them baby food for dogs from the 12th day after birth. Consult your veterinarian about the best mix to do so.
Feeding consumes a huge amount of calories for the mother, and so she should be fed better than ever with a special feed that contains plenty of protein. Do not control portions, give her all the food she wants as she will have more energy and produce better milk.
It is common to see the mother lick the puppies with strength and energy during the first weeks of their lives, especially in the genital and anal area to stimulate the sphincters. If she stops doing this very early on you will need to take a cotton ball with warm water and pass it over this area to help the puppies empty their bowels.
You must perform this task every three hours after the puppies take their milk and until they learn how to perform these functions themselves; this will happen after a few weeks.
Always keep the pups near their mother until they become more independent. If you notice your dog is apathetic, discouraged and has little appetite consult your veterinarian.
If you're looking to find the puppies a new home, remember that they can't be separated from their mother until they are at least three months old. If you need more advice, take a look at our article on how to care for a newborn dog.
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