The moment of child birth for humans is often portrayed in movies and television shows as a comedic event, with the wife screaming threats to anyone within earshot as she endures unbearable pain and the husband honorably but clumsily helping in any way he can. In fact, the husband is often the punchline of the joke – scrambling to get the car, taking a child’s backpack instead of the suitcase, forgetting the mother entirely as he zooms to the hospital, and overwhelmed with anxiety that is somehow comparable in intensity to the labor itself.
When it comes to your dog whelping, do you feel like the first-time dad in a childbirth comedy? Of course dog owners can be men, as well as women who have gone through child birth, but let’s face it, this is a dog not human. Do you know how to help them when they go into labor (called whelping)? Will they go into labor on your bed or some other location where you’d rather not have the mess? What if there are complications?
A doggie doula is a professional that assists you and your dog with whelping, or giving birth. The phrase “doggie doula” can also refer to a service animal that provides emotional support to a pregnant human and monitors and alerts others when the woman is going into labor. However, for the purposes of this page a doggie doula is your dog’s equivalent of a midwife. They assist in the process of bringing new puppies into the world. Similar to a midwife who is not a doctor, a doggie doula is not a veterinarian. However, they have training that is centered on knowing what to do to prepare the dog for whelping and assisting when the whelping begins.
As a pet sitter with vet tech experience I can administer medications to your pet as well as perform whelping services, or professional doggie doula services in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills and other nearby areas in the northeast valley.
Sydney - Doggie Doula offering professional whelping services. Call today.
Female dogs who have not been spayed will go into heat about every 6 months depending on the breed. If they get pregnant during this time, then the gestation period will be about 62-64 days. If you know for sure that your dog has mated and does not start whelping after 64 days then it’s best to contact a veterinarian.
About a week before whelping, your dog may disappear for periods of time or appear confused. They are searching for a whelping place that is safe. If they appear confused it’s because they may have selected a space that is away from you as their owner, and they also feel safe with you so they want to be next to you. This is why whelping could happen on your bed in the middle of the night. The best way to control this situation is to help them pick their whelping place and even set it up for them in a location where they can be safe and near you. This is done with a whelping box that has plenty of clean newspapers and
towels. This will help keep your dog comfortable and absorb the large amount of fluid that is involved. Acrylic bedding can be easily washed if that is something you want to purchase and use for your pet, and it can go over the other materials
As your pet sitter and doula, I can help you set up a whelping box during a sitting session. Hopefully the dog accepts it, but there is no guarantee she won’t pick another place or start to whelp in a place before she can get to the box. It is good to have a veterinarian’s phone number handy in case there are complications. Most veterinarians do not make house calls, and yours may only operate during normal business hours, so it could also be helpful to have an emergency backup- ie. a veterinarian center that is open 24/7.
If there are complications and the dog has to be transported to a vet, then it will also help to have a separate box handy for any puppies already delivered. This should include a heat pad to keep them warm.
It especially helps during whelping if the dog is familiar with the humans helping them. They may especially want you there, but for me to be there as your doula it will also help to have frequent pet sitting sessions leading up to the event itself. Since I provide the same love and care for your pet as you do, it doesn’t take much for me to become best friends with her. Yet, the more time spent prior to whelping the more comfortable she’ll be.
Your dog may not eat the last day of pregnancy, but that can vary. Hopefully she goes to the whelping box, but if she doesn’t it’s best to let her do it where it starts or where she chooses. You’ll want to prepare the new place as quickly as possible to handle the fluids. It’s normal for fetal fluids to be green which doesn’t wash out of the carpet. She may have a bowel movement or urinate frequently. She may vomit. She may lay stretched out on her side; her eyes may dilate and she may stare at you. The best indication that she is starting is her temperature will drop. I can teach you to take her temperature if needed. The first stage of whelping (labor or pre-delivery) can last up to 24 hours. I’m available 24/7 and can come to help whenever it starts.
The second stage of labor is when she actually starts delivering puppies. She may have mild
contractions, shivering or panting. At the first sign of contraction she may like vanilla ice cream or Calsorb for calcium. Some breeds of dogs deliver more quickly than others. If they have a long narrow nose they may deliver quicker than short-nosed breeds. Often the first one or two pups can come quickly but the remaining come later. If it has been over two hours since the last pup was delivered and she is still in labor then it’s best to contact a veterinarian. If the pup is still enclosed in a sac after it’s delivered I will break the sac, and blow on the pup’s nose. Don't be alarmed as this is what's supposed to be done.
Complications in general are not common, but if a complication does happen it’s called dystocia – which simply means abnormal birthing. They are more common in flat-nosed breeds. I can help recognize signs of dystocia and when it occurs it’s best to get the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
There is a third stage of whelping which is delivering the placenta. The process from beginning to end can be several hours.
Mother dog nurses her pups.
If your dog is getting ready to give birth or whelp, then contact me today. I have over 5 years of professional pet sitting experience and vet tech experience, including whelping experience and administration of medications. I’ve also volunteered at an all-breed rescue for six years. I love pets and will help you care for yours whether you need whelping assistance or simple sitting services. My service area includes the entire northeast valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Call 602-818-7771 to schedule an appointment today.
Syd's Pet Sitting - Scottsdale Pet Sitter - Call (602) 818-7771
Dependable and Professional Pet Sitting Services in Northeast Valley
Areas Served: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Arcadia, Tempe, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills, Glendale
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