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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First and foremost, I'd like it known that I have never fostered a dog.

You may ask, then, What makes you think you're qualified to foster a pregnant dog?

Secondly, I'd like to make it known that I wouldn't be fostering her if it weren't an urgent situation.

Thirdly, I am not posting this to ask for . . . approval, I suppose. (You'll understand why I said that after you finishing reading). All I'm looking for is information to prepare me for a possible worst case scenario.

I work at an animal shelter. They accept surrenders, but most of their dogs come from pounds. This little lady did, as well. There's no one who can foster her right now, so I volunteered.

What I'm asking is for any advice you can give me, any websites you think may help, or even for some input from your own experience so that I can prepare myself for this.

I understand that I'm inexperienced and that I may not be "qualified", but I'm an animal lover and an avid animal activist, so I'd like to do any and all that I can to help the little lady, if I can.

Any info you can give is welcome. Anything at all.

Thank you :)
 

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I used to work for a grooming place and we took in pregnant mothers from the shelter quite often. The mother dogs are quite capable of birthing their pups on their own. You just want her to have a clean whelping box or area to have the pups. Keep in mind the pups will be in this area for 8 weeks so it has to be large enough to keep them safely contained during that time. You will need lots of news paper for the floor. Start collecting now. Although the mother keeps the area clean you will have to have the paper down to absorb the puppy pee which is a lot when you have 6 or 8 pups. It is a wonderful thing you are doing. You will ask your self what was I thinking at some point but it is all worth it when you place that last pup it their new home. The last one we did I kept the mom.
 

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I don't really have advice but I will say that no one here would judge you for so generously fostering a dog in need. Experience or no, she and her pups need you, and they are lucky to have someone like you to help them.
 

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I would also look into socialising such young puppies to help them develope into good pets.
 

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When my dog got a hold of a neighborhood male we decided not to abandon her or her babies. We tried to keep her confined during her heat, but dogs in heat can be like teens LOL. Anyway, I knew nothing of pregnant dogs so I relied heavily on this website:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR WHELPING

- For a whelping box, we used a kiddy pool that we got cheap at the second hand store, then taped cardboard around the edges to keep drafts out. We cut a place out for the mom to step into and out of it easily without having to hop in.
- use the whelping box as her bed for at least a week so that she gets used to the idea of hanging out in it.
- Watch for an increase of discharge, and then for panting and pacing from the mom. Within 24 hours of the discharge, my girl started panting... first baby was born 4 1/2 later.
- if she has to 'go' outside and it is dark take a flashlight.... first time dog-moms sometimes confuse baby-pressure and poo-pressure, and you don't want one left outside.
- It is best to be with the mom-to-be while she is labor... umbilical cords can get chewed too far, mom can get too tired to push toward the end, puppies can get rolled over... just stay with her and help only if she seems to be struggling. It may be good to scoot puppies to one side of the 'whelping box' while she is pushing another out, but try not to touch if you don't have to.
- keep an eye on the babies to make sure all latch-on. if a puppy does not nurse, it can die.

GOOD LUCK! :D
 

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one more thing... watch for any signs of low calcium in the days and weeks after delivery. The main thing to look for is heavy panting. I can't remember the name of it, but the condition can kill.
 

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Good for you for taking in a pregnant dog!

Have the name, address, and phone number of a 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital at your fingertips. Things can go wrong and do so very quickly, you might need to race her in for a C-section or some other life-threatening complication. (Save up a lot of money in case this happens, things can get costly.)

Not all mothers have good maternal instincts, you have to be prepared in case the mother rejects or even tries to savage her puppies. You might be hand-feeding, burping, pottying, cleaning, and warming 10 tiny pups every two hours 'round the clock for the next month or so.

Find a whelping mentor if you can; someone who is experienced with whelping puppies and who can walk you through it and tell you what to look for should things go wrong.

This link has tons of info about dog pregnancy and whelping including emergencies (scroll down for more links):

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/whelping.htm
 
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I was just reading about the importance of trying to minimize stress on pregnant and whelping bitches. The article suggested that now is not the time for any sort of "corrective" training (many here would argue that correction-based training is never appropriate of course). Basically anything that stresses the dog or asks more of her is something to avoid. She'll be under stress already from the move. Try to listen to her body language and indulge her - if she wants pats and cuddles she gets them, if she wants space, she gets it, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all! We finally moved her in, and just a day after she came in, she went into labor -- 3 days before her estimated due date!!

In total, she has 4 pups. She would've had 7, but sadly, 2 didn't make it and 1 (the runt) had a cleft pallet. The shelter decided to take him from us and put him with one of their fosters who have a few years experience of tube feeding cleft pallet pups. Even without his mothers milk, he's surviving and feeding as strongly as any of his brothers and sisters.

She had a rough start with learning to mother, but she's regularly cleaning up after, feeding, and generally tending to the pups. She's in my bathroom, away from my dogs, and anything else that can distract or stress her or the pups. She's only just moved in, but she feels comfortable enough to walk around my room, and she lets me help with and move the pups to get her bedding.

Shes doing well!! Thank you all again for all the information!!! :)
 

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Thank you all! We finally moved her in, and just a day after she came in, she went into labor -- 3 days before her estimated due date!!

In total, she has 4 pups. She would've had 7, but sadly, 2 didn't make it and 1 (the runt) had a cleft pallet. The shelter decided to take him from us and put him with one of their fosters who have a few years experience of tube feeding cleft pallet pups. Even without his mothers milk, he's surviving and feeding as strongly as any of his brothers and sisters.

She had a rough start with learning to mother, but she's regularly cleaning up after, feeding, and generally tending to the pups. She's in my bathroom, away from my dogs, and anything else that can distract or stress her or the pups. She's only just moved in, but she feels comfortable enough to walk around my room, and she lets me help with and move the pups to get her bedding.

Shes doing well!! Thank you all again for all the information!!! :)

I am so glad to hear that your foster is settling in well and made it through the delivery. Too bad for the ones that didn't make it. At least the four that did will have a fighting chance with you helping their mom! It is good too that someone with experience is nearby to care for the runt.
If it isn't too stressful for the mom, I would love to see pictures of the adorably squirming bundles of cuteness :D
 

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I don't have the knowledge to say anything helpful, but I hope this will be a good experience for you. :) No one will judge you for taking in a mother and her pups when they need a home.
 
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