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How to Help Your Dog Deliver Puppies
Yesterday, one of our Yorkshire terriers or Yorkies had a litter of puppies. Everything went well and he had two daughters and two sons. My wife and I always sit with the parents when they deliver. We help deliver and are there when there is a problem. I want to share some things you can do to help with shipping.
Pay attention to the mother dog’s behavior to know when the birth will happen. The careful information about the birth dates will help you to know exactly when to expect the puppies to be born. A mother dog will behave differently before she starts having her puppies. He may try to hide himself from other dogs. This is why many dogs that live outside will go indoors while inside the dogs only need to be under the sofa or other furniture. Not a good place for her puppies. A few days before the delivery, you should give him a place away from other animals to rest. A quiet place that feels safe is what he needs. Puppies need to be kept warm for 10 to 14 days until they are able to regulate their own body temperature. A small heater designed for puppies is best.
To make a big mother’s chest, a box without a bottom, made with 4 equal parts of 1″ x 12″ wood is the best for the mother and her babies to sleep in the first 3 or 4 weeks. For the Yorkie, I built a box about 28 inches square. For larger animals, change accordingly. Sand removes any rough edges that may cause injury. Just put a few layers of old towels on the floor and set the box on it. Just use larger towels, and you’ll notice that the box uses its own weight to hold the towels. Easy to clean, and organized to keep the puppies from getting tangled around the puppies. We use disposable medical records as a layer on top of the towel. Easy to control.
So now, you have a bed ready for mom and puppy. How to help with shipping? Start with a large box or basket for the mother to use for delivery. Line it with disposable diapers. There are a few things at hand. Lots of paper towels and a few old cloths. The towels are there to keep the puppies warm when they are born. There is a roll of jewelry on hand along with a pair of sharp scissors and a small eye. Also, you will need a pack of bed pads that are sold in the bed line of incontinent people. They are best for puppies.
Mother dog will be restless when the time is near. He can choose to run back and forth and appear confused. Her instincts will almost always take over and she will eventually stretch out and start contractions. The swelling can last for an hour or so before the baby arrives. The puppy will, in most cases, start to appear and cause a few more things to happen. Assuring the mother dog that she is doing well and that she is in a safe place helps her to repeat the commitment. Puppies are usually born with a sac or membrane covering most if not all of their small bodies. Cut the membrane and remove the puppy’s nose and mouth to start breathing. Pay close attention to the leash around the puppy’s body and cut the leash about 3/4 inch from the puppy’s body. Still pinching the cord, tie a piece of jewelry around the cord to continue the puppy. This is to stop bleeding. If the cord is not bleeding, you can monitor it for a few minutes. You will be very busy, stop the bleeding and make sure the puppy is breathing on its own.
If breathing is difficult, they may be some mucous blocking the nose. Use a small vacuum to clean the nose and rub the puppy to encourage breathing. Usually, the puppy will breathe normally in a few moments. A puppy that is not breathing will require you to put the puppy’s nose and mouth into your mouth to give him life support. Just be calm, it is small in the lung capacity.
Place each puppy in a warm towel with its littermates when each is born. In between contractions, it is good to leave them with their mother. He will lick them to promote circulation and breathing. Keep an eye on the bed if the puppies start bleeding from the umbilical cord. Place another gauze pad over the incision if bleeding occurs. Some dogs cause excessive licking.
Give the mother dog water from time to time during the breeding season. Keep the bed clean and dispose of placentas and other fluids that are removed. Your dog will do most of the work on his own. You are there to support and encourage him. Other breeders may have their own methods for helping mother dogs raise puppies, but these tips have given us great results over the past 10 years of raising Yorkies.
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