It’s not everyone who can boast that they were born in the laundry room, right next to the dryer. However, if you have enough friends on Facebook, we bet someone will be able to say they were born in the backseat of a Volvo.
But since momma dog is about to birth a brood of sweet puppies, there are something’s you need to know to prepare a maternity ward in your home. The reason we mentioned the laundry room is that, unless you have a 1968 Kenmore dryer that rattles and shakes, the calm hum may actually be a soothing noise for the babies.
The Dog Ward
Before the lady of the house gets close to the magic moment, you need to practice good pre-natal care for the girl. That means no strenuous exercises. Vitamins. Healthy food that will translate to healthy newborns. A very, very comfortable place for the miracle to happen. Like a low-hanging box filled first with newspapers, then blankets and finally some old, clean pillows. And make sure it’s in a warm area.
Regular visits to the vet during the cycle are also recommended. Be gentle. Treat the soon-to-be mother like a princess.
Not to say it’s like a human giving birth, but it’s pretty darned close. That’s why periodic appointments with the doctor are mandatory. That will ensure a low degree of complications when time comes to bring a bunch of living things into the brave new world.
If you’ve got other dogs, try to keep them away from mother in those final weeks. Why? The last thing you need on your helpful hands is that this glowing mutt will not pick-up any diseases from an animal that’s beet futzing around outside chasing squirrels.
As we mentioned before, nutrition for your best friend is so important. That doesn’t mean pickles and ice cream. It does translate to extra calories in their food. Again, the expert with the stethoscope knows best. Get recommendations on what kinds of foods, supplements and any other types of medicine the poor babe needs to bring on the joy. It doesn’t just stop after the tiny critters stumble around blindly for the first week. Mom will need to have premium care, food and the like as she feeds her new kids. Even outside of pregnancy in animals, diet is so important.
One thing we’re beginning to discover is that, like humans, too much corn meal intake (or corn syrup in the food) can lead to diabetes later in life. Same with dogs and cats. Look for whole grains that are low in maize. As the babies grow and begin to eat solid food, same lesson. You can add years you a dog’s life by instilling a healthy diet into their lifestyle. Treats? The jury is still out on that, but one thing we do on Sunday afternoons is mix-up a healthy batter of dough and make our own. It’s fresh. Most importantly, we know what’s in the stuff.
Nine Weeks, Not Nine Months
Conception with your mutt happens in a relatively short period of time — like merely 9-weeks. For the first month, it’s O.K. to keep Ms. Preggers on her regular diet. After that, especially in the final month the mother is going to need to eat like a pig. That’s the point when the small babes are forming quickly. Mom will bloat, that’s good. It means that the unborn are getting their share. Expect to see a weight increase in the lady’s size up-to 70%.
Little Babies All Over the Place
The nursing stage is when the puppies depend on their mom for everything. It’s alright to show a little attention to the sweeties. Mom rules, though. You want to socialize the pups, nonetheless, their mother will be showing them the ropes.
Got to have a lot of water near the pen. Don’t want mom to be dispensing powdered milk.
Since you’ve been in good contact with the vet, let the doctor see the little nuts. Set-up a schedule, hauling the puppies in periodically for check-ups, shots and basic ooohh’s and ahhh’s from the staff.
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