Articles Index/Whelping
Posted 12/18/97



This little dissertation is for puppies just out of the hatch, so to speak, that are healthy and active. The mother has been confined to a small area. A crate is preferred as it gives them a sense of security and safety as well as not allowing her to find a spot of her own choosing. Dragging babies around is a no-no. The crate should be up off the ground in a draft-free, quiet area. Bedding should consist of a substance so that both mother and babies have good footing (I use carpet samples); papers are too slippery, may cause added threat of dysplasia with the constant slipping and sliding of tiny feet in the effort to get close to mother for nursing. Puppies get lost in papers and blankets or towels. Also, babies born with paddle rear feet and legs recover much faster with solid footing. This next item is very controversial, but artificial heat such as lamp and pads can be very detrimental. Puppies get their heat source as well as nourishment from their mother's milk. A puppy kept too warm may get lethargic, will not nurse as often as it should, can contract pneumonia, and die without so much as a whimper. Active puppies are usually healthy puppies.

Joan Eckert
ANTIC, Autumn 1985

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