If you have never had the pleasure of owning a female dog that has puppies, you are in for some fun and some hard work. If you think the mama dog is going to go all of the work, you are absolutely wrong! She will more than likely do her part unless she has some unforeseen complications, but there will still be plenty of work left over for you to help her with.
The birthing process is an adventure all on its own. Some females dogs go through the entire thing without making a sound, but others can wail when the pups come out and if you love your mama dog it will break your heart to see her suffer. If you make it through this process without any complications or losing any pups you will have done good. There will be a mess to clean up from here on out. It is not so bad the first several weeks until the pups begin you urinate and other things on their own, then it will be a constant battle to keep their bedding clean.
Making sure all of the pups get nursed equally will also be something you will more than likely have to supervise if it is a large litter, especially if your mama dog is small and has more than four or five pups. They have to nurse every four hours or so and it happens all through the night. Your mama dog will eat two or three times more than normal and this means more trips outside! Don’t be surprised if you are outside at two or three in the morning! She will need to be fed a good brand of puppy chow to help her stay in good health while she nurses. It adds extra nutrients to her diet.
Keeping your puppies warm is also a big deal. You can not cover them up with a blanket because they move around too much and could suffocate if they can not get out. This means you will have to keep the room they are in very warm especially if it is during the winter. Some people recommend up to eighty degrees. If you need extra heat in the room, a quartz infrared heater might be the most helpful because they warm a room evenly and do not get hot to the touch on the outside.
However, no matter how much trouble you have to go through to help your mama dog and the pups along, by the time they reach about four weeks old, you will then begin to feel the joy! Their eyes and ears will be open and they begin to play and run around. It is so much fun to watch them. You might have a very difficult time letting them go when it comes time to find them new homes and do not be surprised if you want to keep every one of them!