Though you had planned to have your dog spayed, it didn’t happen before she had her first litter of puppies, and now you have a full house! Before you can place the puppies in good homes, they need to be with their mother for the first two months of their lives. Lifestyle blog The Nest reports that the first 8 weeks of a newborn puppy’s life is absolutely vital to its well-being. It’s in their first two months of life that puppies get the nourishment they need and learn social skills from their mother and littermates. A puppy taken early from its mother and who did not get to form these bonds has a higher chance of not being well-acclimated as an adult. This is why it is very important that we nurture mama and her litter for the next two months.
During this time, you will be cleaning, feeding and loving these dogs. Here are some tips and tricks to keeping the litter happy and healthy.
Taking Care of Your New Fur Family
Having a litter of puppies underfoot, on top of caring for their post-natal mama is a full-time job, and that’s assuming both canine parents don’t live at home! To keep things from getting too crazy, there are five steps you should follow:
Get a whelping box: Also commonly referred to as a nesting box, a whelping box protects the newborn puppies during the birth and in the early life stages. The box keeps the puppies warm and safely contained, protecting them from being accidentally suffocated or crushed by their mother.
Take mama dog for bathroom breaks: New mothers will not want to leave their litter, sometimes refusing meal and bathroom breaks. When this happens, you will need to forcibly remove her from the litter, but only do so for a couple of minutes at a time. Make sure she can still see her puppies during meal and potty breaks.
Take the pups for their vaccinations: Newborn puppies are very susceptible to bacterial and viral diseases. According to the American Kennel Club (AKA) puppies go through multiple rounds of shots during their first year of life. Before your litter can start socializing with other dogs, they MUST get the required vaccinations. If they do not, you risk spreading illness and disease throughout the canine community.
Learn puppy personalities: As every dog lover knows, every dog has its own personality. As the puppies grow and begin to play with their siblings, you will learn which puppy is the most playful, bashful and even stubborn. To help you remember which pup exhibited which traits, you can get an assortment of multi-colored cheap dog collars from websites like HotDogCollars who specialize in selling affordable, quality dog collars. A blue dog collar can mean the puppy is calm, a yellow dog collar can mean nervous and the red collar stubborn. This will also help the puppies get used to wearing a collar at an early age!
Know who is adopting your pups: As someone who loves dogs, it can be hard to comprehend how anyone out there could ever harm such an innocent and sweet creature, but people do. Even high-profile supposed role models have turned out to be vicious animal abusers. Before you place your puppies for adoption, use the adoption guidelines set up by The Humane Society of the United States to make sure your puppies are being placed in good, caring, animal loving homes.
Caring for feeding and loving your fur baby’s own fur children will take a little adjusting to. By following the tips above, you’ll make a good human grandparent.