Once a female Miniature Schnauzer reaches maturity, she will go into heat every six months or so, remain pregnant for 60 to 67 days and will typically produce a litter of around four puppies. Dogs often require assistance with whelping. Therefore, it is important that the dog owner educate himself on the items needed, what to expect and how to assist the dog in the birthing process.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Plastic swimming pool or whelping pen
- Pee-Pee pads
- Old towels
- Pointed sharpened scissors
- Bowl of fresh water
- White thread
- Old comforter and blankets
Monitor the mother dog beginning two weeks before anticipated delivery to determine the location she has identified to have her pups. This should be an isolated and quiet spot.
Assemble the whelping pen or plastic swimming pool and place in the designated location.
Place comforter and old blankets in the pool or along the floor of the whelping pen.
Introduce the mother dog to the whelping pen, encouraging her to become comfortable in the location. Approximately 36 hours prior to the start of delivery, the mother will begin preparing the pen for the birth of her babies.
Observe the mother dog closely as delivery time nears. Typically the day prior to delivery she will refuse to eat, her temperature will drop and she will frequently lick her vulva to remove the discharge of her water breaking. As the mother begins to pant heavily, it's a good indicator that the puppies are on their way.
Prepare the pen by laying the peepee pads at the rear end of the mother dog. This will help to catch the liquids expelled during the birth. Remove the dirty pad after each birth.
Utilise a watch to track the time between contractions and puppy delivery.
Monitor the birth of each puppy ensuring that the mother removes the membrane covering and snips the umbilical cord with her teeth. Should the mother not manage this task, the owner should use the towels to tears open the covering, allowing the puppy to breath, then wipe it down with the towel.
Utilising the white thread, tie off the umbilical cord 1 inch above the belly, then cut with the sharpened scissors.
Guide the puppies to the mothers tit as soon as they have been cleaned, encouraging the sucking reflex. This will not only bond the puppy to the mother, but will stimulate contractions for the puppies yet to come.
Completing the whelping process requires accompanying the mother outside to go to the bathroom.
Prepare for the new family by changing in fresh water and allowing the mother dog to sleep while nurturing her pups.
Tips and warnings
- Ensure the veterinarian's telephone number is available during the birth, in case of emergency. Work with the mother for at least two weeks prior to the birth, getting her used to the whelping pen and comforters/blankets she will be laying on. Work with a vet or birthing coach to ensure smooth delivery.
- Ingesting the placenta will cause loose stools in the mother. Mother dogs often want to move around right before birth. Calmly encourage and support her to keep still, eliminating the chance for harming the puppies. Separate all adult dogs while birthing is taking place and for many weeks after.
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