A pregnant dog already has an instinct that will help her respond well and get through with the birth of her puppies. As the owner, you should be aware of how to help the dog and to make sure that the mother dog and puppies are healthy and safe.
When dealing with a pregnant dog be sure to take your dog to the vet for a checkup. Schedule an appointment with the vet, so she can check on your pregnant dog. The vet will confirm the pregnancy and check for any complications.
Steps Prior to Birth
Step 1: Nesting area
Make a nesting area for your dog. Provide a nesting area at least a week before you think she is due to give birth. You want to give her the space she needs by putting her in her bed or in a box with towels or blankets for comfort.
Choose an area that is secluded, such as in a separate room, so that she can have privacy and quiet.
Keep food and water in or near the nesting area. Make food and water available near your dog so she has easy access. This will also make it possible for her to not leave her puppies to eat and drink.
Step 2: Enhance milk production
The pregnant dog should eat a high-quality puppy food that is high in protein and calcium in the last 1⁄3 of her pregnancy. This will prepare her body to produce substantial amounts of milk. This should be done until the puppies are weaned.
Steps After Birth
Step 1: Be on the lookout
Delivery time and puppy numbers vary in dogs, You will know all puppies have been born when the mother dog seems calmer and more relaxed and shows no additional signs of straining. She will also become more focused on caring for her pups.
Step 2: Clean the nesting area
Clean the whelping box once the mother dog has finished giving birth to all the puppies and placentas. Gently move the mother and puppies to remove soiled towels and replace them with clean ones. Ensure that mother and pups are all clean, dry and warm in their box. Let the mother become acquainted with her new puppies as she cleans and nurses them.
Step 3: Check on the puppies and the mother
Ensure the puppies are contained and safe and help the new mother outside to go to the bathroom when she feels ready. Wipe her with a damp cloth to help keep her clean. Keep her on a leash or in a contained area to keep her safe.
Step 4: Keep feeding the dog
Keep her food and water dishes full at all times to ensure she gets enough nutrients to keep herself healthy and feed her new brood. Ask your veterinarian what type of food would be best, as some recommend feeding a new mother puppy food right after birth for the added nutrients. Let her eat as much as she wants to keep her strength up so she can offer the best milk to her growing babies.
Be sure to understand that at this point there is not much you can do. Dogs have instincts that take over when they give birth. They pretty much have everything under control.