After breeding your female, it is important to maintain good health. Below is a recommended time table of when testing can be preformed. We also have included recommend deworming schedule and nutrition schedule.
30 days - Relaxin Pregnancy test can be preformed. This is a blood test that checks for a specific hormone, that is only produced if the bitch conceived. Sometimes testing too early will result in a negative result. We recommend if you get a negative result, it may be helpful to more forward with the ultrasound.
30 days - An Ultrasound can be preformed at this time to check viability of the puppies. This checks for conception, and can also check heartbeats of the puppies. Ultrasound does not give an accurate count of the number of puppies that are present. It is difficult to get an accurate puppy count, because dogs have 2 uterine horns, and puppies typically are in both uterine horns.
45-53 days - Radiographs can be preformed when the puppies start of have skeleton development. This will give us a better puppy count, to let you know how many puppies the bitch is caring.
2 weeks prior to whelping - We recommend that you start feeding a premium puppy food (Purina ProPlan, Science Diet Puppy). We also recommend that you deworm the bitch with a veterinary approved safe dewormer.
Make sure you have lots of blankets, a controlled heat source, and a private area for the bitch to whelp. The blankets are for the bitch to nest around in prior to whelping.
You have to make sure that the puppies stay warm, but not too warm or they can overheat. Heating pads are generally not recommended, because they can get too hot. The puppies are not able to move off of the heat source.
It can take up to 4 hours per puppy to deliver, however it is common to have a puppy every 1-2 hours. If the bitch goes longer than 4 hours, it is VERY important to call you local veterinary office or local Emergency After Hours to get veterinary advice. A c-section may be needed.