I have a pregnant Chihuahua, and I’m concerned about her giving birth soon. What should I prepare to make sure everything goes smoothly?
Preparing for Your Pregnant Dog’s Birth
Congratulations on your soon-to-be canine mom! It’s essential to ensure you provide the right care and environment for her during this time. Here’s a helpful checklist to make sure you’re well-prepared for your Chihuahua’s birth:
1. Transition to Puppy Food
Pregnant dogs require a different diet during pregnancy. Start by feeding your dog a premium-quality adult dog food until she reaches week four of her pregnancy. From there, gradually introduce puppy food (which is high in calcium and protein) into her diet, so she’s eating only puppy food by her last week of pregnancy. For more guidance on choosing the right food, check out our article on the best puppy food.
2. Set Up a Whelping Box
A couple of weeks before your dog gives birth, provide her with a whelping box to deliver her puppies in comfort. The box should be large enough for her to stretch out and have room for the entire litter. Make sure the box is located in a warm, quiet, and familiar area for the mother to feel safe and secure.
Line the box’s floor with plastic sheets, puppy training pads, or newspapers. Blankets, rugs, and towels can also serve as bedding materials, but they must be cleaned frequently. To provide additional warmth, consider placing a waterproof heating pad underneath the box.
3. Create a Safe Area for Puppies
Once the puppies are mobile, ensure there’s a safe, enclosed area for them. Use puppy training pads to keep the area clean and comfortable.
4. Prepare for Possible Hand Feeding
In case the mother experiences difficulties nursing her puppies, it’s a good idea to have commercial milk replacement formulas on hand to hand-feed them. You can use a nursing kit or syringe to administer the milk. Products like PuppyStim can provide a much-needed energy boost to weak or small puppies. Learn more about puppy growth to keep track of their development.
5. Keep Your Vet’s Contact Information Handy
Stay in touch with your vet throughout your dog’s pregnancy. They can help you determine how many puppies to expect and when they’ll arrive. Inform your vet of the due date and make sure to have their emergency contact information just in case. If your dog actively strains for more than half an hour without delivering the first puppy, has a four-hour gap between puppies with active straining, or shows signs of exhaustion while more puppies are expected, don’t hesitate to call your vet.
By following these steps, you’ll help ensure a smooth and comfortable birth for your Chihuahua and her puppies. Best of luck!