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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February 24, 2011 Flag
1 found this helpful

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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March 3, 20110 found this helpful
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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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October 18, 2016 Flag
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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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October 21, 20160 found this helpful

It's typical for a mother dog not to eat for a day or so after giving birth, so don't let this alarm you. Just be sure puppies are rotated while feeding so the small ones don't become weak as time goes on.

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May 31, 2007 Flag
2 found this helpful

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.

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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July 25, 20090 found this helpful

My mother bred dogs all my life and when I was younger I used to breed them too. Both of us always used a playpen! They are a real life saver for doggy moms and their little families. One thing to specify tho, is that it has to be the kind with the netting, not the wooden slats. Before they came out with the netting ones, Mom used to attach sheer fabric all around the inside of the playpen.

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September 8, 20120 found this helpful

This is wonderful for the female and pups but please be very careful that they can't chew electric cord including the other animals in the house. And the mother can also smell any other animals that come close to her pen. A beautiful little litter may they all find "forever" homes.

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March 8, 2015 Flag
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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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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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Anonymous Flag
December 28, 20150 found this helpful

They weren't asking for a lecture. They needed advice. This comment doesn't help at all.

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February 16, 2015 Flag
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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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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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September 23, 20150 found this helpful

Please don't breed your pit .. There are 2 million unwanted pits a year who are euthanized because people think they want a pit . Then turn them into the kill shelters where they are put to sleep within 3 days .. We are all stressed over the amount of money and time we put into trying to save just one Pit.. It's exhausting. Help us .. Don't create more tragic endings .

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June 14, 2016 Flag
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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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June 15, 20160 found this helpful

I could maybe find out if it's illegal in your state if I knew what state it was, but animal control is so overwhelmed most places they won't go after somebody for selling dogs too early.

I suspect your neighbor is not a good dog owner, so tell your kids to stay away from her dogs even if they seem friendly. I doubt she would go to any trouble to train them or correct behavioral problems.

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April 3, 2016 Flag
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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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June 7, 20160 found this helpful

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

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July 17, 20160 found this helpful

I don't know if this was a planned breeding or not. If it was a planned breeding and you can't afford the formula to take care of the puppies you shouldn't be breeding. Reputable breeders spend thousands of dollars to have health testing done on the dogs they breed. They also study the breed they are breeding and become very knowledge regarding health issues, pedigrees, etc in order to breed the healthiest puppies possible. They breed for the love and the betterment of the breed NOT for money. There isn't much money in breeding dogs if done right. Actually you are lucky if you break even.

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March 16, 2015 Flag
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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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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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March 18, 20151 found this helpful

Don't even think about it.

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December 6, 2009 Flag
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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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December 11, 20090 found this helpful

Not all dogs are natural-born mothers. We had a Neapolitan (Italian mastiff) whose mother killed all but two of her pups. The owner - a friend of hubby's - was too busy to adequately supervise.

Perhaps your mama dog resents the pups for her pain during the birth. That was the case with the friend's mastiff. But enough amateur analysis.

Crystalmitchell has the right idea: if it's practical for you, separate the pups from mama dog as much as possible, except for feeding... that is, unless she's being aggressive toward them even during feeding. If so, you may have to invest in some Mother's Milk and bottle feed.

As for finding those precious pups homes, A neighbor of ours took in a local stray and simply put a large sign outside his home once the pups were old enough to give away. I think they decided to keep one or two, the rest were adopted within a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, with laws being as they are, this may or may not work with pits.

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July 5, 2016 Flag
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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
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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
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My female Pit had her first litter. At first she was a great mother, now she is being more aggressive with the pups, biting their little heads, etc. and she is not wanting to sit down at all. Her breasts are dry, chapped of course, and at one time bleeding just a very little from the pups sucking so hard.

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