Baby Puppies: How Is Motherhood Different for Your Dog?

Baby PuppiesBaby puppies arrive after a short 63 day pregnancy and are completely dependent on your new mother dog who may be exhausted after giving birth, so don’t expect your proud new dog parent to spend much time with you over the first 3 – 5 weeks of motherhood because your dog will be totally wrapped up with the care and feeding of her new puppies and may not have the same playful personality your dog had before giving birth.

This news brief gives you an idea of what to expect when your dog experiences motherhood so you can take better care of your dog and let her take care of her puppies.

Baby Puppies: 5 Dog Behavior Changes for Your Mother Dog

  1. Restlessness – Your pregnant dog goes through a complete pregnancy in 3 trimesters of 20 days before she gives birth.  Compared to the 9 month term for humans, your dog fast forwards through her pregnancy at lightning speed.  You may notice that your dog seems more anxious and restless as her belly expands and she copes with these changes in her body. 
  2. Impatience – Just before your dog gives birth, she may be snippy and impatient.  Your dog will be experiencing labor pains and contractions that can cause moderate to severe pain.  If your dog gives birth at home, be sure that she has a quiet, protected space to give birth to her baby puppies.  Keep other pets and small children away from your dog at this time so your mother dog isn’t stressed giving birth. 
  3. Anti-Social Behavior – While your dog cares for her newborn puppies, she may only pay attention to her litter and ignore you completely.  As a new mother, your dog will be extremely tired due to her recovery after giving birth and the energy she needs to feed and care for her new puppies, who keep her from getting a good night sleep.  Humans are a bit more tolerant because of their social needs to share their new baby.
  4. Aggressiveness – Watch out for your dog’s behavior while she’s nursing her baby puppies. Your mother dog may be a bit on edge and won’t tolerate people when she’s feeding and cleaning her pups.  You may see your dog start to snarl, or even worse, your dog may be ready to attack if she feels that her litter is in danger.  Humans are similar in this behavior when others want to handle their new baby.
  5. Disciplinary Behavior – After the first 3 weeks, your mother dog may encourage her puppies to play with others and be more independent, however your dog is also using motherly discipline to correct her puppies behavior.  It’s normal if you hear your dog bark at her baby puppies, nip at one of her puppies who wants to nurse, or pick up one of her puppies by the scruff of the puppy’s neck and shake them.  Humans are much more gentle and tolerant with their newborn child.

Baby PuppiesKey Differences of Motherhood for Your Dog

  • Short Pregnancy –  Your pregnant dog can give birth to a litter of 5 or 6 puppies after only 2 months.  This short timeframe may have a huge impact on your dog’s behavior.  The good news is that your dog usually reverts back to her usual behavior once her baby puppies are on their own.
  • Short Weening Period – The first 3 weeks of motherhood are all about your dog’s new litter.  Between feeding, caring and cleaning her puppies, your dog may only have time to sleep.  Your new mother dog will spend the following few weeks teaching her puppies to eat food and explore so they can be independent.
  • Behavior Changes – Your mother dog will go through a series of behavior changes through her pregnancy and weening her puppies.  Be aware that she may not allow you to get close to her litter.  This is quite different from humans who love to share their babies with family and friends.
  • Letting Go –  After about 8 weeks, your mother dog is ready to let her baby puppies go which is the biggest difference between dogs Baby Puppiesand humans.  The amount of work and development that occurs during your dog’s pregnancy and weening period should be acknowledged with respect for your mother dog.

What to Feed Your Dog After She Gives Birth

  • High Quality Food – Your veterinarian can recommend the right food for your new mother dog.  Here are the main types of food to consider:  Puppy Food, Yogurt, Cheese, Protein, Fat, Calcium, and Carbonate.  Although your dog may not want to eat immediately after giving birth, you can tempt her with some of her favorite treats.  Your mother dog needs to continue to produce milk to feed her baby puppies.  The best plan is to feed your dog several small meals every day.
  • Water – Liquids are important for your new mother dog to produce milk and stay hydrated. Be sure to have plenty of clean, fresh water available for your dog.

This news brief gives you a clear picture of motherhood for your dog and how it differs from humans so you can take better care of your dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they will understand the behavior changes for their mother dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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