After your bitch gives birth to puppies, it is now time to care for them. Puppy care is not as easy as it looks. It entails a lot of responsibilities that you need to attend to as a breeder. Dog breeding does not end when your female dog gets pregnant; it is only the beginning.
For the pre whelping preparation, you should have a proper-sized box that is clean and sturdy. Try to incorporate some sort of ‘pig rail’ so that the mother dog won’t smash or lay on the puppies. The female should be able to move freely from one position to another inside the box but it should not be too big because the puppies might get lost in the box’s unused portions. Use a box that is more or less 6 inches longer and a foot wider from the sides of the bitch.
After you’ve chosen a whelping box, get clean plastic and newspapers. Arrange them in layers. First, put a sheet of plastic and on top, place several sheets of newspaper; place another plastic and several newspapers. Make 4-5 layers of plastic and newspaper. When you’re dog is placed inside the whelping box together with her puppies, you will simply roll-off the messy layer of newspaper and plastic. Dispose of it properly and you will instantly have another clean layer of paper and plastic.
Breeders have their own preference when it comes to preparing the whelping box. Some don’t like using newspapers and plastic because the puppies get dirty due to the feces and prints. There are those who use synthetic materials and they place it on top of the absorbent materials. Other breeders prefer to use about 6 inches deep of pine shavings. Well, no matter what you put inside the whelping box, you will still need to ensure that everything is clean from time to time. Get rid of any feces you see inside the box.
Newborn pups should always be kept comfortable and warm. You need to ensure that the temperature inside the whelping box is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit; then you need to decrease it about 2 degrees in the succeeding days. If the puppy chilled, don’t attempt to feed it. If you see any chilled puppy, keep it warm by tucking it under your shirt or even your armpit; you can also put it in a separate whelping box with a heating pad. Put a towel over the chilled puppy but you need to ensure that the temperature is not too high. Observe at the actions of the pups. When they are cold, they cry and clump together. When it’s too hot, the pups separate and try to finds a shade.
If the female gives birth to a lot of puppies, you should prepare supplemental feeding to ensure that all pups survive. You can also arrange shifts for the feeding time of the pups. Purchase a milk supplement for puppies. You can also consult milk recipes and don’t forget to get feeding bottles. However, if the pups won’t suckle, you need to tube-feed them.
Caring for pups requires time and effort especially of you have a large litter of them. Make sure that you know a lot of information about puppy care so that they can survive the most critical times of their life. Help your bitch in caring for her pups.