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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Dog With Her Puppies
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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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We used a kiddie swimming pool for our Dalmatian puppies when they were born. It worked out well due to the sides being tall enough and plenty of room for sometimes up to 13 babies. I believe the mother instinct kicks in when the babies are born. Let mother nature take its course. She will take care of them. Its fun to watch them grow and develop their personalities. We had 4 litters and enjoyed every minute of it. Give the mom higher protein food to help with everyones nourishment.

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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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I looked at the link with the box instructions and didn't like that at all. I have always used kiddie plastic swimming pools. I like them for several reasons. They are the perfect size (since they come in different sizes) and provide lots of space for the growing puppies to move around and play.

2-The upper edge of the sides is smooth and doesn't scratch Mama when she steps out, It also doesn't hurt the puppies who may be "hanging on" to a teat when she's trying to get out. (This sounds odd, but happens many times, and a rough wooden crate can hurt the tiny puppy, and can give him splinters).

3-And last but by far not least, it's extremely easy to clean.

Also, don't worry so much about the Mama smothering the puppies. Yes, keep an eye out and "rescue" ones that she may not even realize she's laying on. But for the most part, let nature take over and they'll be fine.

Don't "separate her" from her puppies. Not ever! When she needs a break from them she will come out of the whelping box. But she will do it when SHE is ready. If you try to separate her from them when she doesn't want to it will only upset her. And she may decide to react in a way that you surely don't want. I've seen otherwise very loving dogs turn and bite their owners because the owner was trying to separate her from her babies. When she's ready she'll leave them for a bit. Otherwise, leave her to take care of them herself.

Finally, one last thing I wanted to mention. Everyone says to make sure she has plenty of extra nutrition and water during this time. This is extremely important. However, do not put the food and water inside the whelping box! Put it next to or near the box, but not inside it. The puppies could get into the dishes and possibly drown or have their noses clogged by the food crumbs. If you keep the food and water next to or near the box then Mama can come out and eat/drink when she needs to without having to go far from her pups.

Also, please do take Mama in for spaying once the puppies are old enough to leave their mom.

Good luck with your new family!

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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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    First, how old are the puppies, and second, how many?

    If there are a lot of puppies, they aren't getting enough nutrition but the mom is tired of trying to produce milk for them all. You will need puppy replacement formula.

    If they are six weeks old, try goat's milk as a replacement. You can get it in cans. Mix with wet puppy food. Try to get them to eat this. You can use less milk and more water until eight weeks old, then just make the food mushy with water.

    If she is biting and snapping at them, you may need to separate the mom and babies starting for about an hour a day.

    And, check that the mom isn't developing something like a nipple infection, causing her pain.

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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?

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      It is possible your dog is having a false pregnancy. She may also have a uterine infection. It's also possible she was pregnant but is miscarrying and the baby won't come out.

      If you don't take her to the vet you may be risking her life.

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      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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        Mastitis is an extremely dangerous condition where the nipple becomes infected. The dog will need antibiotics. You will probably also be required to apply hot compresses to the area.

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        Pit and her litter.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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        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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        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?

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          Personally I would consult your vet or another breeder. They might have some ideas for you on this one. Sounds like her puppies are aggressive when nursing. If this keep happening I'm sure she'll stop feeding them all together.

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          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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            Need more info.

            How old are the puppies? How many?

            How many nipples does the mom have?

            What did you see that made you suspect there is a problem?

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            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?

            dog's belly
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              This doesn't appear to be normal. Your dog may have mastitis or a yeast infection.

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              My dog had only one puppy in this litter. We battled to keep weight on him for the last 3 weeks. We brought him to the vet for IV fluids and a dose of antibiotics. After thinking he was doing better, he passed away last night. How do I take him away from mom? She won't leave his side.

              tiny puppy
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                Dogs' instinct is to keep their den clean, that's why they can be house trained. If you don't remove the puppy, she is likely to "dispose" of the puppy herself. Animals that have litters will recycle the lost nutrients in the placenta by eating it, it same thing with whelp that die soon after birth.

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                My dog had puppies 5 weeks ago. She has been whimpering the last 2 days. I don't know what is wrong. The pups are eating food and drinking water. Please help me. I tried everything to help her.

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                  Does your dog appear thin? Has she lost weight? If so, increase the nutritional value of her food. Don't just feed her more. Some people give nursing dogs puppy chow because it is high in nutrition and calories. Your dog needs both.

                  Check also the area around the nipples. If the temperature seems high or they seem overly sensitive (she yelps or nips you) she could have milk fever, an infection of the breasts.

                  Also, does she have a safe, quiet, out of the way place? Are people messing with the puppies all the time? She could be anxious. The puppies have to get used to people, but don't take them to far away from the mom or play with them more than a few minutes at a time. Don't take them in another room.

                  If nothing really jumps out at you as the problem or if you think she has milk fever a vet visit is in order.

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                  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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                  Wet a washcloth and wring it out. then wipe the puppies bottoms just like a Mom dog would do.

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                  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.

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                  Pets Dogs AdviceFebruary 24, 2014
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