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Giving Birth to Pups and dog Whelping


Menstrual Period And Pup or Dog Birth and Puppy Whelping

[ Up ] [ Fleas ] [ Sterilization ] [ Worming ] [ Pup Birth ] [ Behavior ] [ Training ]

From the Editor's experience


Menstrual Period  & Food


The female is on heat for a three week period. During this time she drops blood, depending on the dog it can vary from a little to a lot of blood dropped. So long as you do not let it dry it cleans easily if inside. Outside it will wash away with water. The first week she starts to drop blood but she will not allow mounting. The second week she is very ready and will allow only the male she lives with to mount her and no other dog without a fuss which could then take a few days if she is left with a dog she does not normally associate with. The third week she starts to go off and usually no longer will allow mounting. Blood dropped in the third week is very little to nothing. 


It takes nine weeks from copulation to giving birth which seems to be almost always be in the morning at around 3 to 4 AM and funny enough always seems to be a Wednesday or Thursday. During this time  she must be fed allot of food and good food to build up her calcium and strength for the pups. Dry food for adults is not good or advisable, but the dry for pups at this stage and after she has her pups would be good for her. Chicken necks, and butcher hi protein and calcium mix which is called Mud here is ideal. This has vegetables, chicken mince, bones, rice and is pre cooked. Raw chicken carcasses and animal bones is also ideal calcium intake for her.




The day before giving birth she becomes restless, goes off her food and there will be some holes dug which you usually find after where she planned to have the pups in, never where you planned for her. A few hours before birth she will get you to take her outside and you think she wants to do a Poop or Pee, but it does not happen and you go back to bed. This can happen a few times. Usually you wake up to the sounds of pups screaming and a proud mum. You go to see her and she is happily giving birth and taking care of everything herself. All going well the pup is born and what seems faster than you can see she breaks the sack, eats the sack, cleans the pup, breaks and eats the umbilical cord and so the process is repeated. She normally has 8 to 12 pups, but in some cases it can be up to 13 pups. Eight pups however is a good amount for her to care for.


When things go wrong and the female cannot cope, that is where you are needed to help her and the pups survive. She can give birth but the pups will be dead or not completely come out but can survive if the sack breaks on the way out and you there to help. To go into this further, the moment the pup starts to get born the air is blocked off and it cannot breath until the sack is broken from across its face. Fine if everything is OK but deadly for the pup if mum has problems. The umbilical cord is also usually at this stage broken and the tiny valves that connect to it automatically close leaving the pup to care for itself.




Unless you know your dog it is best to be up and wait with her when she wants to go poop a few times as it is close to time meaning it is going to happen within the next two hours. She will go into labor by giving a few  jerks and shortly after a pup will appear up to its front legs. First thing to do is check with your finger that the sack is broken from its mouth by putting your finger into its mouth (gently). If you feel skin and cannot then carefully but quickly break the sack so the pup can breath then gently grab around the pup and pull it out and as it comes out grab a higher spot around the pup and keep pulling gently. Some come out easier than others. Don't press tightly as this can harm the pup as they are VERY FRAGILE and bones break quick.  To help pull the pup you can gently squeeze mum by pushing back on her and at the same time pull on the pup around its head and front paws. The pup will still be enclosed and tightly bundled in the sack so the legs and body comes out with a sudden swoosh and allot of blood and mess can follow, so do not drop it. The moment it is out place it by Mum and move it with your finger to get it crying and moving. During this time Mum should be taking the remaining sack off it and cleaning it, then as soon as it starts to cry help mum get him to start to feed by pointing him in the right direction.  You got time to clean the mess and change newspaper and repeat the process for more stuck pups. 


After birth of about 5 pups, it could take up to half a hour or a bit more and she can then  have 2 or more. Careful when you think it all over as there could be 1 more. She may want to go toilet and try and poop and it can result in yet another pup half out, so watch carefully if she does as you will need to break the sack so it can breath then help it out.


If pups still have long attached umbilical cords do not worry as it will dry up and fall off. In some rare cases if the valves did not close the cord will stay bleeding in which case you can tie it off a bit (about 4 mil) above the belly with a piece of cotton or similar. 


Hygiene and After Birth


It is normal after a  problem after birth to see blood and mess and to wee blood. Where mum still drops allot of blood  after 2 days I would take her to the Vet for a check  to make sure she has no damage.


Change bedding every day. For the first  3 weeks the pups will rely entirely on Mum. If Mum leaves them for long periods make sure its not for more than a hour and during this time you can put them in a shoe box with some news paper on the bottom and cover them with a blanket so they keep warm. Contented Pups are Quiet or purr while getting comfortable. Hungry pups will scream and cry. When Mum goes off the pups will cry for a bit then cuddle with each other and be quiet until they hungry. 


Pups are born deaf and blind. After a day they have a little hearing but it is very little. They sense mum by heat and smell. A warm pad or hot water bottle will attract them and they will go to sleep on it if mum is not around. Danger is when mum comes back they will remain asleep on the warmth and may miss feeding if mum does not wake them. Pups feed, sleep, poop, eat, sleep and the process repeats. Mum cleans them and actually toilets them as well, some poop without her help, but she cleans them and any mess. She actually maintains a clean environment for them.


After 2 weeks the pups start walking. In the 3rd week Mum starts to stop cleaning so its now human turn to start cleaning poop and so on. Also now  its time for them to go outside into a warm spot with mum as now they are getting too messy and naughty for inside. Mum wont like the idea but she will adapt with help like yell at her to use the kennel and put the pups into it so she goes in. 


Pups need calcium in its early stages. In fact so does Mum while looking after them. Pup dry food, Chicken mince with bones and other pup food contains high calcium. Sandoz from the Vet is also a good substitute to add to food. 


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