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Earlier in the year, my Kerry Blue Terriers, George, and Baylee had a litter of sweet and adorable puppies. To be exact, they had 7 little Kerry Blue Terrier puppies. As with all newborn puppies they were beautiful little creatures that brought a lot of joy to everyone around them, but like all sweet babies, they required a lot. Before your dog has their puppies it’s important that you are ready and that you know how to prepare for the birth of puppies.
It is important to know that every birth is different and can be unpredictable, so you need to be as prepared as you can possibly be.
How to Prepare for the Birth of Puppies
- Before, I repeat, before your dog goes into labor you need to choose an area in the house that you feel like your dog will be comfortable giving birth. Make sure that you choose a quiet area that has enough space for your dog to pace, has room for an adult and has plenty of light.
- I recommend that you build or buy a birthing box. As puppies are born, this box is a way to protect them while mom is giving birth to her remaining pups. It protects them so that mom does not accidentally step on them and so that they can be in one spot and stay warm. If you don’t know what a birthing box is, take a look at this –> birthing box.
- It’s a good idea to place a heating pad underneath a blanket that the pups are laying on. Keep an eye on the heating pad and make sure that it doesn’t get too hot and that you turn it back on if it auto shuts off.
- Since it’s important to keep newborn puppies warm, we have a floor heater for a majority of the time. If you use a floor heater make sure that it is far enough away from the animals and if it gets knocked over that it has an auto shut off.
- Stock up on old blankets, towels, rags and lot of laundry soap.
- After each pup is born and cleaned by their mom, you need to weigh them and mark them. It’s important that you have a scale, like this ——> one, different colors of ribbon and a notebook that you can document their names and weight in, along with any markings and other concerns.
- When our dog, Baylee, had her last litter of pups, unfortunately, and surprisingly she gave birth to a very underweight pup that had a hard time latching on to her and when she finally did the other pups would knock him off. Since every birth is different, it’s important that you purchase Liquid Milk Replacer that you can purchase ——>here. You will also need to have a makeup sponge, syringe and some baby cereal readily available. The cereal will add calories to the milk and help thicken it up and the sponge or syringe will help with feeding.
- Collect as many newspapers as possible. I prefer to put newspapers underneath the puppies instead of puppy pads. Puppy pads tend to get moved around a lot, therefore not being used for the purpose they are intended for and they are really expensive. If you prefer puppy pads, I recommend —–> these. Make sure if you buy puppy pads that you avoid the ones with the peal and stick bottoms. These are not removed easily.
- I think it’s important to invest in an octagon super yard baby gate that you can find ——–> here. I use this gate for when the pups are inside so that they are contained and when we are outside and I don’t want them to roam I bring it outside. It’s a must-have.
- When the pups start eating solid food they begin to want to play. Make sure that you provide puppy rope toys and tennis balls.
- If you are not administering the pups their first set of shots yourself, you should purchase or find a deep basket. I used a laundry basket and a storage bucket. It was useful until they became too big and wiggly.
- As the pups start to drink water, you’ll need to have water bowls that they cannot step in or tip over. These bowls ——> here, seem to work well. This is the same when it comes to food bowls. In the beginning, I use a big tray so that it’s a little easier to introduce it to the pups.
- I am not sure if I am the only one that does this, but I use a dedicated coffee bean grinder to break the puppy food into smaller pieces so that it is easier for them to eat it.
- Puppies make a lot of messes so it’s important to keep everything clean. Make sure to invest in a lot of paper towels, cleaning solution and a good mop.
- Have your vet on speed dial, along with an emergency vet if it’s after hours.
If your dog is expecting puppies, it’s important that you are as ready as possible. As with the birth of anything, things don’t always go as planned so you have to prepare for the unexpected.
If your dog has had puppies, how did you prepare for the birth of puppies?