As a pet owner, you cannot afford to relax even if the delivery goes on without complications. Now it’s onto caring for the newborn pups and the mother. You have a lot of work to do!
Care for The Mom
After the birthing process, tidy up the mother as much as you can, remove any soiled bedding or newspaper from her whelping box without upsetting her. It’s normal for the new mother to spend most of her time with the puppies for the first few days. It may be difficult to get her to leave the brood even for a short period.
However, it is important that she continue to urinate and defecate normally. Do not hesitate to take her out for a short period if she refuses to go on her own. She might want to be away only for a few minutes, and during that time you can clean up the bed and make the whelping box safe for the puppies.
Check her nipples and vulva to make sure there are no problems such as bleeding, foul smelling discharges or any other abnormalities. The discharge is usually a greenish-black color and should lessen significantly after the first couple of days.
Check her teats (nipples) to make sure that they are not swollen, red, hot, hard or tender. If you find anything out of normal, call your veterinarian.
It is common for the mother to refuse to stay with the puppies, particularly with pets that are closely attached to their owners. If the mother will not stay with her puppies, try shifting her and the litter so she can be closer to you.
The puppies’ behavior is an indication whether they are comfortable and healthy. If they are warm and quiet they’re content; otherwise, they will be restless and crying. It is necessary to check the puppies every few hours, to make sure they are all feeding. Any that are crying or appear cold should be placed close to the hind teats and frequently checked to make sure they are not pushed away by the others. The rear teats usually give the most milk.
Make sure the puppies are kept warm. Newborns cannot maintain body heat on their own for a week or two after birth. If the mother does not stay with them, they need to be provided with a source of warmth. The larger the litter, the lower the need for surrounding temperature, since the puppies huddle together and keep each other warm.
During the first two weeks of life, puppies should feed and sleep for at least 90% of the time. There should be a consistent increase in weight on a day-to-day basis. Keep careful records of your newborn puppies’ weights.
A contented litter of plump puppies is the best indication that they are getting adequate food. It is important that any supplementary food be fed at the correct temperature. All commercial products carry detailed instructions regarding preparation and feeding.
It is important to have the mother and puppies examined by a veterinarian within forty-eight hours of birth. He will check the mother to make sure that she is producing sufficient milk and that there is no infection. The puppies also need to be examined to make sure that there are no birth defects such as cleft palates.
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