Provide the Best Post-Delivery Care for Your Dog
How do you take care of your dog that has just given birth?
It can prove a challenge especially if this is your dog’s first delivery. Most healthy dogs can deliver without problems, but sometimes, complications arise including increased loss of blood, puppies left inside the mother dog, and loss of calcium stores.
But the most serious problems arise post-delivery, once the mother dog feeds and takes care of the puppies. Post-delivery illnesses include mastitis (infection of the mammary glands), eclampsia (depletion of calcium stores), and anemia (decrease in red blood cells). It can be an immensely tiring and challenging role for mother dogs to care for their puppies, so it is important for you, as a carer, to ensure that your dog and his/her litter is given the best after-care.
How can you guarantee the health of your dog who has just given birth?
Here are some tips for you so you can provide the best post-delivery care for your dog:
1. Provide a clean, safe, and warm haven for your dog and the new puppies
It is crucial for you to prepare a clean, warm, well-lit, and safe area for your dog and puppies to stay. Upon delivery, you can transfer your dog to a well-ventilated area where the mother dog can recover and take care of her puppies. But before doing so, clean your dog with a soft dry towel. Do not bathe your dog just yet, not until she is well-recovered, which will be a few weeks from delivery.
The mother dog should naturally lick the puppies upon delivery, but new mothers are unaware of this and would need the help of a carer. You can clean the puppies with a dry towel, and you should put them back immediately with the mother dog.
Since mother dogs tend to expel fluids upon delivery, you should change the area linings often, at least twice a day. It is important for you to do this for the mother and puppies might get exposed to fluids that can be toxic to both.
For the first few weeks, you should regularly check on your dog for any possible signs of infection. The mother dog is vulnerable to bacteria and infections at this stage, so make sure you are always watchful of her health and her puppies.
It is also important for you to place your dog and puppies in a well-ventilated and warm (not hot) area since they can get cold easily for the first few weeks.
2. Regularly provide fresh water, nutritious food, and vitamins to your dog
It can get particularly taxing for your dog to provide a constant supply of milk for her puppies, so make sure you always give fresh water, nutritious food, and vitamins to your dog. You should be providing three to four times more food than the usual. And supplements that can help your dog stay healthy are calcium tablets and milk enhancer vitamins. Once in a while, you can also give glucose supplements that can help your dog quickly recover from lost calories while feeding the puppies. You should use this with caution though because these supplements contain a high amount of glucose which can cause diabetes to your dog.
Best food sources for mother dogs include puppy food (since these are rich in calories, vitamins, and minerals), human food, liver, carbohydrate sources, and moringa (since this vegetable is a favorite milk enhancer and energy provider for mothers).
These are the top two tips that you should remember when providing post-delivery care for your dog. It is a challenging role to play, but with time and the right amount of care given, you can ensure that your dog and the puppies will remain healthy throughout the feeding process.