It’s official: your dog is pregnant and will soon give birth to beautiful puppies. Even if nature is well done, you must be vigilant during this delicate time for her. Indeed, she may experience complications during gestation of the dog, because the bitches are able to give birth to a litter of 4 to 10 puppies on average, variable according to the size of the animal.
Just like for the woman, the preparation for birth is essential and childbirth is a more or less critical moment when the presence of a companion is desirable and extremely comforting. It is therefore important to know how to prepare for the birth, how to help her, but also how monitor health of your bitch and her pups during the first weeks. Ready to start a first dog prenatal class? Breathe in deeply, breathe out, gasp! It will be alright…
The gestation of the dog: quésaco?
In order for your dog to be pregnant, the protrusion should take place about 10 days after the first day of her heat. In the bitch, heat is fairly quickly identifiable: she loses blood, her vulva is swollen and she can be less obedient. The heat takes place approximately every 7 months. Once fertilized, you should know that gestation lasts approximately 2 months depending on the size and breed of your bitch.
For the master, it is essential to recognize the first signs of a gestation to best support the bitch. Usually, the bitch will suddenly see her appetite increase. She’s going to gain weight. His abdomen will gradually become rounded. The most relevant sign is the swelling of the udders. Milk can even come out at the end of gestation. His breath is shorter than usual. Your dog’s character may also change during this time. She may be irritable, tired, or clingy. The first two weeks the bitch may experience loss of appetite due to nausea. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to take him to see a veterinarian.
Equip yourself well before birth
If you know the mating period of your dog, you will be able to calculate approximately the date of birth of the puppies. Everything must be ready a few days before. By the time the puppies go out they are sure to be cold. You must have something keep them warm during the first three or four days: blankets, a bed, a heat lamp, a heating mat, a fan heater, etc.
Childbirth is a painful and distressing event for the dog. You must prepare a comfortable and quiet place where she can feel good. The room should be warm and away from other animals and children. When the time is right, you are going to need terry towels, sterilized scissors, compresses and 70 ° alcohol. It is common for a handler to have to cut the cord of puppies if the mother is unwilling or unable to do so. You must prepare for this eventuality, in particular by consulting tutorials.
From the start of gestation, your dog’s diet should be changed to promote lactation and the development of puppies. The bitch now needs more protein and minerals. In addition, the portion must be revised upwards. Your animal must now feed several hosts in its body. To facilitate its transit, it is preferable to split meals during the day. It is recommended to deworm your bitch at least 14 days before the expected date of birth.
Helping my dog to give birth: our recommendations
On the day of giving birth, it is important to know spot the first signs. First of all, your dog will certainly be worried and more agitated than usual. There are two types of behavior possible: she will try to hide in a place out of sight or she will stick to you. Her vulva is swollen and her breasts let milk escape. You can see the first contractions arrive seeing her belly move. You must remain calm at all times.
Remember that the bitch is able to detect the emotions of her master. You need to stay close to her if she doesn’t push you away. You can caress slowly and speak to her softly to reassure her. You have to be patient, the farrowing can take several hours. You must be prepared to intervene if a complication occurs, for example by cutting the cord or piercing the pouch that encompasses the puppy.
After giving birth to a puppy, a second is already in labor. You can relieve your bitch by cleaning the little ones that come out with a hot towel. If she is showing signs of aggression towards you, stop immediately. Normally if the bitch trusts you she will let you go, but sometimes she can be unpredictable. Take turns disinfecting the umbilical area of the puppies and giving the young mother a drink.
Look after my dog and her puppies after birth: our advice
On average, the bitch will have to breastfeed her puppies between 7 and 8 weeks. Good hygiene is essential. Before each feeding, be sure to udder cleanliness by passing a clean towel over it.
When breastfeeding, puppies will tend to put themselves anywhere and anyhow. The bitch can therefore accidentally run over one. Monitor regularly that the puppies are comfortably installed.
Not all bitches are able to breastfeed. You should plan for this eventuality by purchasing bottles and growth milk to feed the puppies yourself on a regular basis. At the end of nursing, avoid immediately removing the young from her mother, as it is good to let her enjoy her puppies. This is often the time when they will have fun together and cuddle. Let this bond be created for the emotional development of puppies.
The gestation of the dog, the birth and breastfeeding a bitch are hardships for both the animal and its master. Before childbirth, it is strongly recommended to seek advice from your veterinarian. If you are a beginner, associations offer to send a volunteer to assist you. Likewise, if your dog is unable to breastfeed, you can contact animal shelters that usually have breast milk or can help you feed them. So, do not hesitate to call for help for the vital well-being of your four-legged friend.