Are you expecting…puppies? Or maybe you weren’t expecting and now you’re the grandparents to a litter of puppies. Surprise!
You not only have a fur baby on your hands but now you’ve got a fur-mama to take care of along with the new crew of furry critters. When your best friend with paws becomes the mother of a litter of pups, how do you take care of them at home?
It’s a big responsibility to care for a dog already but now that they’ve given birth, your dog is in recovery mode just like any post-pregnancy.
Here are some helpful tips and information on how to care for your dog after she gives birth to puppies.
1. First Thing’s First: The Checkup
After your dog gives birth, the first thing you’ll want to do is take the new fur mama and her litter of puppies to the veterinarian for a first checkup. The veterinarian will make sure your fur baby is in good health after the strenuous process of giving birth, and they’ll check to make sure the puppies are in good health as well.
They’ll be available to ask any questions you might have about caring for the litter of newborn puppies and your pooch at home.
2. Keep Mom & Pups Away From Other Dogs
There’s heightened alertness that dogs take when they become a mom, just like other moms. If other dogs get too close to her and her puppies, she might lash out. This is called “protective aggression” to keep her puppies safe.
This doesn’t just apply to other dogs though. Your dog has a natural instinct and radar that’s even more alert after birth, so if there’s a vibe or temperament they’re not liking of makes them feel unsure, they may act out. So that means other people especially kids may face this protective aggression.
3. DON’T Bathe Her Immediately
Your dog is going to be doing a lot of nursing. Refrain from giving her a bath for a few weeks so that the puppies build up some strength and don’t latch onto harmful grooming ingredients. When you do give the new fur mom a bath, use dog-safe shampoos with natural, less-harsh ingredients.
4. Let Her Self-Indulge
For the first 24 to 72 hours after puppy birth, your fur baby might be tuckered out and show no signs of an appetite. That’s normal! But after that period passes, she’s going to want to inhale every bit of food possible. If she wants to eat and eat and eat, let her have at it! She’s rebuilding her strength.
5. Keep Bathroom Breaks Short
Your fur baby is learning how to be a mom right now, so she’s working on her own schedule for the first several weeks after giving birth. There’s a lot of feeding, a lot of sleeping, etc. and it’s part of the routine. She’s working on a schedule she can stick with to take care of her puppies so keep bathroom breaks short so you don’t throw her off.
6. Maintain Grooming for “Sanitary Cut”
To prevent mammary glands from getting infected and to keep them clean, keep up with your dog’s grooming making sure that their sanitary cut is maintained. A “sanitary cut” is trimming around the tail and hind legs to help your dog’s sanitary health.
7. Monitor Discharge
It’s normal for dogs to show discharge after giving birth to pups. This can last for around 8 weeks, but if your notice vaginal discharge that’s yellow, green, or gray, or maybe there’s a foul odor, seek veterinarian assistance as soon as possible.
For more doggie photos and pup-related fun, follow us on Instagram at @joyrideharness. And for a more detailed blog post about finding the best size dog harness for your pup, check out this blog post!