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Advice on Dog Pregnancy
A female dog can be impregnated only during her heat periods,twice a year. They last about three weeks and begin when she is from six to twelve months old. If you don't want her to breed you can either keep her locked up during her periods or have her spayed. Spaying means removing the reproductive organs,and if this is to be desired it is best done when she is between 5 1/2 and 7 months old,before her first period. If she becomes mismated,consult your veterinarian. Mating with a dog of different breed, a larger breed or cur will in no way affect her future litters.
Pregnancy lasts from sixty to sixty-three days as a rule. The first symptom is a swelling of the abdomen which occurs around the fourth,fifth or sixth week. This is usually followed by swelling of the breast around the seventh or eighth week. Sometimes when the litter is only one or two puppies,there may be no change in the mother's figure at all until three or four days before whelping.
THE MOTHER'S DIET IS IMPORTANT. Feeding during pregnancy should be the same as at other times except in quantity. The mother should be given more food toward the end. A mother can transfer worms to her puppies before they are born or while nursing them. Do not allow her to become infested;keep her away from places where dogs have defecated. She must also be kept free from fleas or her puppies may contact tapeworms.
Constipation is something to look out for during the last few weeks. Mix mineral oil in her food.
WHELPING As whelping time approaches,keep the dog as clean as possible without bathing her in a tub. Wash her nipples and abdomen. A few hours before the whelping she will act restless,she may whimper and moan or cry a little. She will pick out a place of her own for whelping...let her do it. Don't try to move her into some spot you think would be more suitable. When she finds her spot,leave her alone. Whelping may take as little as half an hour,or as long as twelve or fourteen hours. To be safe,if your dog seems to be in trouble after four or five hours of pain with no result,call a veterinarian.After whelping clean the mother up and give her a clean bed.