A pregnant dog’s instincts will help her respond and get through birthing puppies. The owner should be aware of how to help the dog to make sure that the mother dog and puppies are healthy and safe.
This was not the case when Cici gave birth the first time. It was a wet month in Nairobi, and she choose the worst location to deliver her puppies. With my sisters we tried to relocate her and the kids, we didn’t succeed the first time, the second time and the third. I was wondering what I would do, so we let it go for a few days and when she had finally had enough, she agreed to be moved but it was too late, we lost one puppy and one was very weak to survive.
Sadly we later leant that even the two puppies had died after we moved Cici, so we moved on and so did Cici. Bando, the male dog was still around and I think he did not waste time and Cici was expecting again a few months later. This February Cici gave birth again to four puppies.
I thought of doing an article on this event in Cici’s life, but I was scared what would happen, if it will be like the last time where we loose everything. My first step of faith was to move Bando upcountry, just to create more room for the kids to grow. My sister moved the puppies to the living room, so they enjoyed the light and i am sure they watched the television when they wanted to.
They roamed around the house as they wished, during the day we put them outside for the sun and they would feed while at it. My sisters put up with a lot of their troubles, sometimes I wonder if I would have managed it by myself. My mother dewormed them after six weeks and the whole house was in a mess. Its been four months now, the puppies are doing great.
I am sorry i am not the person to tell you how to care for an expecting dog and the puppies when they arrive, I had very little to do with that, but this experience has been my teacher too, just from a distance. But this few things I have for you:
Monitor the nursing puppies. Make sure the puppies are nursing every few hours during the first few weeks. They should eat every 2-4 hours at minimum. Happy puppies are sleeping puppies; if they are crying a lot, they may not be getting enough nutrition. Check for fat little bellies and clean coats to signal that they are well cared for.
- Try weighing the puppies on a digital scale to make sure that they are gaining weight every day. Puppies should double their weight in the first week.
- Do not disregard a puppy looking skinnier or less active than the other puppies. Just find ways of making sure that you give more care to them. You can give supplements.
Handle the puppies to socialize them. Puppies need healthy socialization to their new world, including introductions to people. Hold each puppy several times per day. Get the puppies accustomed to being touched everywhere on their bodies so that it will not seem strange when they are older.
Wait until your puppies are 8 weeks old before giving them away. Our puppies are more that 8 weeks old now and we haven’t given them away. If you are selling or giving away the puppies, wait until they are 8 weeks old before handing them over to the new owners.
- Puppies should be fully weaned and eating dog food on their own before they leave for a new home.
- Starting a deworming and vaccination program is often recommended before the pup leaves.
I have said I may not be the expert for this, this I have observed from my little time with the puppies. There is a lot you can learn from just caring for this lovely creation, and with the caring, comes a lot of joy.