The preparation for the birth of the bitch

Knowing how to recognize the symptoms that point to imminent childbirth is important, but that’s not all. It is also necessary to ensure that the bitch is surrounded by calm, attention and security to be able to give birth to her puppies serenely.

With the exception of a few individual cases and apart from certain breeds in which birthing must be medically assisted (Pekingese , Chihuahua , etc.), bitches give birth autonomously and naturally . They might need your help if they are giving birth for the first time.

In all cases, it is above all preparatory work that is necessary on your part. You will have to do everything in your power to ensure that your dog gives birth to her young in good conditions. How? ‘Or’ What ? Here are our tips to achieve this.

How do you know if the birth is very close?

Several signs can announce the imminence of the birth in the bitch. In its appearance, its behavior and some of its physiological reactions, there are indications that it is necessary to know how to detect in order to help the mother-to-be to give birth in the best possible conditions.

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  • You notice significant swelling of her breasts in the 24 hours before giving birth. This phenomenon is obviously due to lactation .
  • You also realize that her vulva is dilated and her belly has come down .
  • By taking her temperature, you can see a drop of one degree celsius , which means that parturition should occur in 12 to 24 hours.
  • She may start vomiting towards the end of her pregnancy.
  • It is also possible that her eating behavior is deeply upset: she may completely lose her appetite during the last 24 hours or, on the contrary, start to eat much more often than usual. It’s important to stay tuned to her needs: don’t insist if she doesn’t want to feed (but leave a piece of meat available for her) and give her food if she seems to be asking for it.
  • Your dog will start to lick her genitals and abdomen quite frequently.
  • If she lives indoors, she looks for shelter (under a piece of furniture, for example). If she lives in the garden, she has a tendency to dig a hole .
  • She urinates frequently , which means that the first contractions have started.
  • From the start of labor, she does not tolerate the presence of any stranger. It is also at this time that she loses the mucous plug : a thick, sticky and transparent discharge is then observed.

Prepare a quiet and secure place for calving

It is important to protect your dog and the pups she carries against internal and external parasites before giving birth. Two weeks before this, consider deworming her and giving her a treatment against fleas and ticks , making sure that the products are harmless. Check with your veterinarian on which medications to use and which to avoid.

Then choose a quiet and secure place that could house the birth in the best possible conditions.

  • The place must be away from noise, drafts and comings and goings.
  • Place a large enough birthing box (between 80 and 110 cm depending on the size of the bitch) so that your dog can lie down comfortably and take care of her young from birth. Line her with newspaper, mattress pads and old blankets that you can throw away after giving birth. The box must be easy to clean.
  • Get the bitch used to lying down in this crate a few days before giving birth.
  • Do not let anyone disturb the bitch during the last days of gestation, and even less when the birth is approaching. Other animals and children should stay away from it.

Prepare to intervene when needed

In general, the bitch will give birth in a natural and autonomous way, but you may be called upon to help her, especially if it is her first gestation. If necessary, here are some aspects to prepare:

To read also: The heat in the bitch

  • A pair of disinfected scissors and Betadine to cut the cord if the bitch has not done it herself.
  • A disinfectant solution for your hands.
  • Terry towels to clean the puppies (in case, again, where the bitch did not take care of it).
  • Spare blankets to keep the box clean the days after the birth.

Finally, be aware that you may have to remove the membrane enveloping a puppy if the mother was late in doing so. </p

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