“My dog is giving birth! The clinic is closed! What can I do?”
This is one of the concerns pet owners posted on social media in the past three weeks.
The clinic is closed.
Don’t panic. You can help your dog give birth at home.
Lisa McQuerrey in “How to Assist a Mother Dog That’s Giving Birth” in cuteness.com, noted “You love your dog and you never want to see her in pain. You might feel helpless while watching your pup give birth to her litter, wanting to jump in and help as much as possible. Keep in mind that birth is a natural process for animals, and your mama dog knows what she’s supposed to do. You can help by providing a safe environment and monitoring and caring for her to ensure there are no complications.”
1. Mama dog needs a warm, safe and quiet location to have her puppies. She may select her own place, which should be cleared of distractions and items that can hurt her. Provide absorbent bedding too.
2. Your vet would have told you mama dog’s due date. Keep a close watch on her as the date nears.
3. Make sure she gets adequate rest and nutrition.
4. Be more loving and supportive.
5. But give her space as she may be preoccupied with nesting.
1. When the contractions begin, she will deliver her first pup within the hour and have one pup every 30 to 60 minutes until she has fully delivered.
2. After each pup is born the mama dog will break its individual membrane and sever the umbilical cord with her teeth.
3. If she doesn’t do these, tie off the cord with dental floss or clean thread, then cut the cord about an inch from the pup’s abdomen. Coat the ends of the cord with iodine.
4. Suction the pup’s mouth. Then towel it vigorously to stimulate respiration.
5. Put the pup close to the mother’s body for warmth and nursing.
6. Even if the pups don’t nurse immediately, they should be near the mother’s body for warmth and comfort or moved to a warm area, like an open, towel-lined styrofoam cooler.
Limit Physical Help
Never pull a pup from the birth canal.
“It’s natural for pups to be born breech, and unless the mother dog becomes feverish or experiences labored breathing, don’t intervene, “ said McQuerrey.
“If you have concerns, contact your vet. Anticipate the mother expelling placentas during the delivery process and count the number to ensure there is one for each pup,” Mcquarrey added.
Please talk to the mama dog in a gentle and comforting way/tone during the birth process. But keep your distance so she seems agitated.
Offer water or a treat like vanilla ice cream which will boost her energy, McQuarrey said.
Continue making the birthing area clean by replacing soiled towels and bedding as necessary and cleaning away placenta and afterbirth.
“The mother may attempt to eat the placenta -- this is a normal act, but not one that is necessary to her health,” McQuarrey said.
Mama dog will be very tired after giving birth, yet she has to attend to her pups who will require her full attention.
“Help your pup become an attentive mother by taking care of her with nutrition and hydration. If for any reason your mother dog is feverish or listless, or if the puppies are not nursing, contact your vet for assistance,“ McQuarrey said.
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