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How to Care for Your Dog After She Gives Birth

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When puppies arrive, there is a lot of joy, excitement, and relief. With a new litter of pups, you have a lot of work ahead of you. After giving birth, the mother dog also requires special attention. You’ll have to keep a tight eye on her to make sure she’s eating and sleeping appropriately and staying healthy. To nurse and care for her puppies, a mother dog requires appropriate nutrition. A mother dog should be fed high-quality puppy chow as well as a vitamin/mineral tablet. When the puppies are weaned, she should weigh the same as she did when she was bred.

Step 1: After the dog has given birth, take her outside to urinate and defecate; use a leash and a flashlight if it is dark outside. Keep a watchful eye on her in case she has another puppy.

Step 2: Within five to six hours of giving birth, have the mother dog and puppies evaluated by a veterinarian.

Step 3:  Provide food and water to the dog by placing dishes in the whelping box, as she will not want to leave the puppies. Dishes should not be left in the whelping box, but should be offered to her every two to three hours.

Step 4: At least once a day, change the bedding in the whelping box. The dog will have a thick bloody discharge from the vulva for many days after giving birth, which will progressively decrease in amount and darken over the next two to three weeks.

Step 5: To ensure that mastitis does not develop, check each mammary gland and nipple once a day for redness, hardness, discharge, or streaking color. If mastitis develops, you should see a veterinarian very away. Mastitis can be prevented by milking out the infected gland and providing warm compresses if found early.

Step 6: When the puppies are two to three weeks old, move the dog to a place adjacent to but separate from the whelping box. The mother dog will require a space to rest apart from the puppies while being in close proximity to them.

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