Just like human nursing mothers, the nursing dog requires extra attention so that they can have enough milk for the young ones. You will be required to make a number of changes at your home and your feeding plan to accommodate the newborns and its lactating mother. Here are a few tips on ways to take care of a nursing dog and its young ones.
Be Keen on Her Feeding
The growing pups will suck away plenty of nutrients from their mum. The amount they take from the mother is bound to increase as they grow. As a result, the mother will increase her food intake two to three times in the lactating period.
Contact your vet on the kind of diet that she should take. Most of the time, the vet will recommend a high protein diet. She may also need some vitamin supplements. The dog will also take a higher amount of water than the norm. Therefore, always keep its water bowl filled with clean water to replenish fluids lost through milk.
Keep the Pups safe and Comfy
It is important to keep both the pups and their mother safe, warm and in a comfortable place. Consider purchasing one or two whelping boxes to ensure that the puppies are not crushed by their mother when she is not nursing them.
Change the size of the whelping boxes as the pups grow. However, you may just change them once as by the time they are outgrowing the second set, they are big enough to stay with the mother. Looking for a whelping box? Get one from a company that offers quality boxes.
Resist the urge to show off your new litter to every stranger that walks by the door. This is likely to stress your dog and may have an effect on the dog’s milk production. Moreover, mishandling and touching the young ones with dirty hands is likely to pass on diseases.
Watch Out for Problems
Be checking your pups regularly to ensure that they are nursing well. Healthy pups are active, gain weight and are quite vocal. If any of the puppies in your litter does not look healthy, consider contacting your vet as soon as possible.
It is possible for the dog to develop mastitis. Therefore, consider inspecting the nipples from time to time. The signs of mastitis include hot and hard areas which are usually very red. If you find such signs, discontinue nursing and contact your vet. The vet will assist with the alternative feeding methods until the dog can resume nursing.
Exercise is Vital
Your dog will be spending lots of time in the nesting box until the pups are big enough to play around. It is good to get the dog out of the nesting box a few minutes each day for some exercise. This has both physical and mental wellness effects.
The dog will not take a long walk outdoors for it cannot be away from its pups for long. The puppies will be good in their whelping boxes until they are old enough to go outdoors.