Puppy care is not as easy as it looks. It is a big responsibility to take care of puppies and it takes some work to do it correctly. When your dog gets pregnant, it is only the beginning.
To prepare for the birth (or whelping), you need to have the right size box. It also needs to be clean and sturdy. The box should be big enough to allow the mother to move freely from one position to another inside the box but it should not be so big that the puppies get lost in the unused spaces. Use a box that is about 6 inches longer and a foot wider that the sides of the mother.
After you've gotten the box, you'll need clean plastic and newspapers. Arrange them in layers starting with a piece of plastic; next place several sheets of newspaper; then another piece of plastic and several newspapers. Make 4-5 layers this way. Once the puppies arrive, you will be able to simply roll-off the messy layer as you need to.
Some people don't like using newspaper and plastic. They prefer other methods because the puppies tend to get dirty due to the feces and newspaper ink. Sometimes synthetic materials are placed on top of the absorbent materials. Others prefer to use about 6 inches of pine shavings. Whatever you decide to put inside the whelping box, you will still need to clean it from time to time, being careful to get rid of any feces that you see inside the box.
Newborn puppies should always be kept comfortable and warm. The temperature inside the whelping box should be kept around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to decrease it about 2 degrees in the succeeding days. If you find a chilled puppy, don't attempt to feed it, keep it warm by tucking it under your shirt or even your armpit. You can also put it in a separate whelping box with a heating pad. You can put a towel over the chilled puppy but be careful that the temperature is not too high. You will be able to tell how the puppies are feeling by watching their actions. When they are cold, they cry and clump together. When it's too hot, the pups separate to try and cool off.
If your dog gives birth to a lot of puppies, you may need to help with the feedings to make sure that all pups get enough. You can buy a milk supplement for puppies, or find recipes and make your own. You can buy infant feeding bottles at most pet supply stores. Sometimes, the pups won't nurse. If this happens, you will need to use another method if they are to survive.
Caring for a large litter of young pups requires time and effort. By learning the basics and being prepared for the birth, you are sure to enjoy the experience, and have a healthy litter of pups.
Learn to care for your dog from the very first day you decide to bring him home. Your pet's health is important to us too and we have put together products and information so that you have what you need in one place. You will find access to pet health insurance, products and articles about different problems you could encounter along with solutions to them at http://PetHealthSite.info.
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