Caring for a Dog and Her Puppies

When your dog has delivered puppies, you want to make sure she has a safe and warm place to nurture them. This is a guide about caring for a dog and her puppies.
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May 31, 2007 Flag

Used playpens make a great place for your small pet to have their litter. My sister's Chihuahua had puppies a few months ago and she wanted her momma dog to have a safe place to have them and to keep the pups away from the daddy dog and cats in the house.
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She cut a small hole big enough for the cord to a heating pad to use for the puppies when "momma" needed a break. Also, another good idea is you can drape stuff on the sides for privacy so the momma dog doesn't get to nervous with the other pets looking in. Worked great!

By Sarah from Chattanooga, TN

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May 12, 2006 Flag

Our Border Collie just had puppies. In fact, she had 14 total, but only 11 survived. 11 puppies! Oh my gosh. Thoughts were going through my mind about how we were going to help our "girl" look after them. Our main concern at the time was bedding. Although we had some, having 11 "poopy" puppies, instead of the normal 5 or 6, it would make it difficult to keep the whelping box clean.

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Newspapers are great, but in the colder autumn months in Australia at the moment, I was concerned about keeping them warm. I was going to go to the thrift shop to see if they had any cheap bedding or rags to sell.

When I took our Jessie to the vet to have an examination of her and the puppies, the vet nurse there said we could have the extra bedding they had. They had purchased some new thermo bedding for the vet practice and were going to throw out the old. It was very clean and serviceable, and it solved our dilemma. It was certainly a cheaper alternative. In fact it cost us nothing. So, if you are faced with the same situation, why not visit a few vet clinics in your area and ask them. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Cheers,

By Bev from Rockingham, Western Australia

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Questions

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February 24, 2011 Flag

My Pit Bull just gave birth to 9 puppies, but I am scared that she might smother them or suffocate them while she moves around. Should I move the puppies or let her take care of it herself?

By Lina from Phoenix, AZ

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February 28, 20110 found this helpful
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Hello,

These posts are great answers to your questions. Please keep in mind that the mama will have to eat at least 4 times a day as the puppies will take all her nutrients. She will want a break from them so don't be surprised if she just gets up and leaves them alone. Please make sure she has enough food/water at her disposal 24/7. Watch the puppies to make sure she is not shoving one off to the side and not feeding it. Also, please call your Veterinarian as soon as the puppies are old enough to leave their mom (7-8 weeks old) and make her appointment to have her spay. Good luck.

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October 18, 2016 Flag

My dog just had her puppies last night, a total of 11. Anyways I never planned for her to mate, but it happened. Will they all nurse at once? Or should I pull some out to ensure they are all eating? I'm very new to this and any advice with taking care of them and whatnot will be very useful! Thanks.

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October 20, 20160 found this helpful

We actually had a surprise puppy born throughout the night, so now we are at 12. I check on them every hour or so and it seems they all get in there to eat, but my problem now is that the mom doesn't seem to want to eat. I take her in a secluded room and shut the door with a bowl of food so my other dog doesn't try eating it too but she doesn't care for it.

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March 8, 2015 Flag

My dog had puppies two weeks ago and today she started biting people. This is not her first set of puppies. She was her normal playful self this morning. At lunchtime we went out to check her food and she bit my daughter. We do not mess with the puppies. Then when I went again later on to check her food she bit me. She still jumps up like she wants to be petted like usual, but then she bit me and as I was moving away she was still trying to bite me.

By Linda

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March 10, 20150 found this helpful
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Your mama dog (and you) are the victim of raging hormones. I am guessing that this is just her being extra protective. She will get over it. Keep the stress and commotion around her to a minimum. If it continues after the puppies are weaned, you need to see your Vet.

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February 16, 2015 Flag

My Pit Bull just had her babies and I am worried because she usually has 13 or 10, but this time she only had 4. One died because she was laying on it. It's her third litter; should I be worried?

By Perla from San Antonio, TX

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February 19, 20150 found this helpful
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How often do you breed your female? Does she get high quality food for breeding bitches? Does she have regular veterinary care? How old is she? All these things will affect the number and health of her puppies, as well as her health.

Your dog should not be bred more than once a year. She needs special food for herself and the pups, and regular veterinary care. If you can't provide these things for her have her spayed. Otherwise you may lose your dog and any puppies she may have. There are a lot of backyard breeders out there who breed for money and care little about their dogs. It's a club you don't want to join.

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June 14, 2016 Flag

My neighbor's Pit Bull had puppies 5 weeks ago; a total of 10 in all. She has sold seven of them. She began weening them at 3 weeks. She is keeping three. She won't let the mom nurse the ones she is keeping. Is this safe and legal?

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June 15, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you for responding. I know some states say it is illegal forbpuppies to be sold before 8 weeks. My neighbor mated her dog with a family members dog and only because she needed money. Im just surprised that she would do this to them at such a young age. Do you know what kind of behavioral and or psych problems this can cause. I have two sons and dont want anything to happen to them

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April 3, 2016 Flag

My Pit mom isn't wanting to feed her pups anymore and I can't afford the replacement milk what can I do?

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June 7, 20161 found this helpful

Make your own pup formula. It's easy, inexpensive and good for growing pups

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March 16, 2015 Flag

Can I take my Cavalier and her 2 week old puppies on holiday with me to my caravan 2 hours away by car? Will she be OK?

By Linda

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March 17, 20150 found this helpful
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No, she will not be okay. You must try not to disturb a mother dog and her puppies. If there's too much stress she may reject the puppies and stop feeding them.

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December 6, 2009 Flag

We kind of inherited a pregnant Pitbull. So this is an honest question. Please don't tell me to read up on the breed and all of that or tell me to get rid of her because I don't know what I am doing. If I knew the answers I would not ask.

She had a litter of 8 pups 3 weeks ago. But she is being mean to them, really mean. She was very sweet and non aggressive before the pups were born. What do I need to do?

By Lisa from Northeast, Ga

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December 12, 20090 found this helpful
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There could be any number of reasons why she is 'being mean' to the pups. A little more detail would have been helpful.

If you are handling the pups too much you may be causing the mom stress. When stressed dogs do strange things including killing their young.

It could me that she has no clue what to do. Some dogs just don't. In which case taking the pups away may be the best thing to do. But then YOU will need to take over for mom.

It could be that she knows something you don't, like she may be ill and not showing it yet. She may not have enough milk to provide for all the pups.

Bottom line is it could be anything. If you really DO want to help her and the pups - get the advice of a VET not the net.

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July 5, 2016 Flag

My dog had 5 puppies, but only 1 made it. She's only 5 days old and we can't get her to eat from the mom. Should we start to bottle feed her? And what kind of puppy formula should we get?

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July 6, 20160 found this helpful

You really need to see a Vet. to rule out other problems. He/she can recommend a formula for you.

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June 25, 2016 Flag

My Pit mom isn't wanting to feed her pups anymore. There are 7 puppies and they are 3 weeks old. What is a subsitute that I can use for them to stay fed and healthy? I live in the Tulsa area of Oklahoma. What's the best solution and where would be the best place to look? Thanks in advance.

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June 30, 20160 found this helpful

They have replacement milk you can give them that they sell at the pet store

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January 15, 2016 Flag

I'm having a situation right now. My female Pit, Karma, who is almost 3yrs old just had her first litter of 11 puppies, minus one cuz it died after she gave birth. The first few weeks she was a great mother, but then I started noticing she was being more aggressive with the pups, biting their little heads, etc. Then I noticed her not wanting to sit down at all, I mean at all. I have tried pushing her butt down and she will not budge and now she is falling asleep standing up. I'm assuming all these symptoms are leading to her boobies. They are dry, chapped of course, and at one time bleeding just a very little from the pups sucking so hard. My baby is so miserable. I know she is, I see it in her eyes. I feel so bad for her. What/how can I help her to be more comfortable to lay down are even sit?

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Anonymous Flag
January 19, 20160 found this helpful

From my experience I found it easier to bottle feed if u don't have the patience or time then I suggest formula in a bowl because the mother is done.....I also suggest coconut oil or even olive oil just a little bit.,on mothers nipple to soothe the dryness....also the biting of their heads could just be a mother instinct and if she isn't hurting them she could just be playing .....I am not a professional or a licensed vet.......good luck and enjioy the miracle.....

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December 12, 2015 Flag

My dog is almost 10 years old and has never had puppies. Last night she was having contractions and a bloody discharge. Now 18 hours later she doesn't seem to be having contractions, there are no puppies, but she still looks pregnant and is still having a bloody discharge. I don't know what to do for her, she acts normally. Help?

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December 12, 20150 found this helpful

Something is very wrong here!!! Please take your dog to your vet now to clarify her problem and receive needed treatment. There are many reasons a dog might have what appear to be contractions or shaking but may instead be signs of a stroke, heart attack, nerve disorders, poisoning, etc. Any delay in taking her to your vet will only result in making the problem worse and costing much more.

Please take her to your vet immediately.

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December 7, 2015 Flag

My beautiful Pit Bull had 7 healthy pups 3 weeks ago today. She has been a great new mother. However yesterday one of boobies has started to swell up. She seemed fine. But today I got home from work and it's very large, hard, and she seems in much pain and won't feed the pups. I applied a warm wet cloth to it and got her comfy. But she still won't feed them. She isn't wanting to eat as much, but will eat some and drink water still. Should I start bottle feeding the pups asap?

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December 8, 20150 found this helpful

Call your vet immediately for help for the mother and her babies. If the mother has an infection (most probably), she needs treatment immediately and she will not improve without medical help.

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February 27, 2014 Flag

What can happen if a new mom has her first pups and she doesn't lick them so they can use the bathroom, #2? What can I do to help?

By Robin B.

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March 3, 20140 found this helpful
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Wet a washcloth and wring it out. then wipe the puppies bottoms just like a Mom dog would do.

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February 24, 2014 Flag

My 2 year old female has just had her first litter of puppies, on day 2 she has started whining and whining. I don't know why. Is it possible she has postpartum depression or is she just worried about her puppies because she's new at this and not sure exactly what is going on.

By Robin.B from Holden Beach

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February 26, 20140 found this helpful

when your dog whines it means she is in distress. Considering she just had puppies she may have something going on internally causing her GREAT PAIN. I would get my mama dog to the vet ASAP!!!!

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August 19, 2015 Flag

What do I do if I feel like my mother dog is not properly feeding her pups? How do I know for certain she is not feeding them?

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August 20, 20150 found this helpful

More information, please.

How old are the puppies? How many does she have? How many nipples does she have?

And what have you seen that makes you believe she is not feeding them enough?

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August 7, 2015 Flag

My Pit is pregnant and due to have her litter in 2 weeks. Her nipples are all very red all over the nipples, some worse than others. Is this normal?

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August 8, 20150 found this helpful

I think it is best to have your dog see her vet for diagnosis before pups are born. This pic doesn't show normal paps and if it's an infection, you wouldn't want the pups to become ill or make it painful on their mom while caring for her litter.

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September 7, 2010 Flag

My female Pit Bull just gave birth to 4 puppies about 4 days ago. She is acting really weird. She leaves the puppies and tries to hide underneath the mother-in-law house out back. She has never done this before. Is this common for her to leave her puppies and hide for hours?

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