Table of Contents
The Three Stages of Normal Dog Labour
The actual passing of the puppies lasts a variable amount of time depending on the breed and the size of the litter, usually from 2 to 12 hours with the first puppy.
If you have doubts about how things are going, call your vet. You will have to handle the puppies after the delivery and make sure they are in good shape.
Right After the Whelping of the Puppies
As soon as your bitch is done with delivery the puppies, there are a few things to check and a few precautions to take to make sure the puppies are healthy, the mother is sound and the whelping box is clean.
The puppies are alive and sound.
Once all the puppies have been delivered, you need to make sure each puppy is breathing and sound, you don’t need to touch them, just look at them, and make sure you offer a bowl of water and food to your bitch once she finished licking and cleaning her puppies. She should have everything she needs close to the whelping box so she doesn’t feel like she has to work.
Newborn puppies look ugly.
Most puppies after birth look dirty and ugly at Breeding Business. It is normal. Even if you feel like cleaning the belly button, you need to leave it alone. There is no need for the puppies to have their placenta cut in order to avoid haemorrhage.
Keep the Whelping Box clean.
If you feel like it is the right time, change the whole bedding with clean towels and lining. It is important to keep her whelping box clean and dry so that she doesn’t have to check it often.
Weigh & Check Each Puppy Daily
Keeping a log of their daily size, weight and anything worth recording in a spreadsheet that you can bring to your vet every time you visit is primordial, as is checking on each puppy daily. You can check online to see the weight you should expect right after birth and the increase you should see in the next few weeks.
For the first month, we recommend using a postal scale to weigh your puppies one by one. You can see the trend on a chart if you are tech savvy. You have to wash the scale after each dog to prevent the spread of germs from one puppy to the other.
There are birth weights.
The birth weights of your puppies range.
From 75g to 350g for small dog breeds, from 200g to 300g for medium dog breeds, and from 400g to 850g for larger dog breeds.
As soon as they are fed and hydrated by their mother, you should see a gradual increase in grams.
The puppy’s weight has evolved.
You should watch for a steady weight gain over the first few days. A rule of thumb is that a puppy should have its body weight double every 10 days.
If you notice a small loss or slow gain occasionally as long as the puppies remain active and hungry, you should not worry. If it doesn’t go away, call your vet and bring the puppy.
The New Family should be left in the Whelping Box.
The new family needs peace and a lot of rest, you have made sure that her labour and delivery went smoothly, it is now time to leave them alone and check on them frequently. Inform everybody in the household that everything went smoothly, let them go to have a look, and make sure you limit the traffic in the room to the minimum.
Keep The Room Temperature At Around 30°C (or 86°F)
During the first two weeks, the room temperature is kept at 30C (or 86F), while the puppy’s temperature will increase from 34 to 39C on the first few days. It is not necessary to take the puppy’s temperature, use your hands and gently handle each puppy, one by one.
If you think your puppy’s temperature is slightly lower than what it should be, contact your vet. A cold puppy will be less responsive than its siblings. A quick and cheap way to warm the whelping box up is by using microwave heating pads.
The tongues and ears of overheated pups are redder. If you have installed a whelping box next to a heating lamp, you might want to turn these off or down to a lower intensity level. If the symptoms persist, call your vet.
If your puppies are kept outside, you should invest in a quality kennel heating system.
It’s a good idea to call your vet if things don’t go smoothly. If that’s the case, contact your vet immediately.
A puppy is missing and stuck in a bitch’s uterus, a puppy does not breathe, a puppy seems to be bleeding, and a puppy has an unusual feature.
If you have any doubts about calling your vet, just stay attentive, not intrusive, and don’t hesitate to call if you have any doubts.