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
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.
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.
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!
I have a quick question my dog just had pups a week ago but not she's leaving them and climbing in our bed at night, now don't get me wrong she goes back to them but I worry that they need their mom, now mind you I'm new at this and so is she is her first litter and my first time ever to deal with pups and her being a mommy. I just don't want the pups to die, she's really great at taking care of her three little puppies
The link tells you how to build one for your dog's litter. Pay attention to the picture and you will see a frame made a few inches from the bottom so if the mama dog gets too close to the walls with her body, the pup can have some space not to get squeezed.
If you're not a skilled Tim the toolman kinda person, you can also buy them. Just do a google search for birthing box or whelping box; either one it's the same thing.
Another idea is to get a used baby playpen and place the puppies and mama in it. It's easy clean up, and open one side for mama to get out when she needs too and the sides give a little just in case mama gets too pushy. You can figure a way to close the opening after all are inside. It's washable, portable, foldable and convenient and should work nicely for several weeks.
God prepares everyone for everything, but in this case 9 are pushing things. In general, let mama do her thing; unless you see that one of them is in some type of danger, mom can handle it. Just be sure she's eating well and lots. and occasionally give her a break. Take her away from the pups once a day (if she allows, but keep her close to them) and let her relax without them. You keep an eye on them, finding a way to let her know you're doing that. When she's ready, she'll go back to them. Sometimes the babies just like to lay against a stuffed animal or a something that's been wrapped and warmed in the microwave. All in all, as long as mom doesn't seem completely overwhelmed and worn out, nature will do its thing.
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