Raising a litter of healthy puppies is expensive and time consuming, and is something that absolutely should be left to the professionals. However, sometimes accidents do happen. Maybe your dog escaped from the garden, or bolted off on a walk. She might have just disappeared for a few minutes at the dog park and encountered an over friendly male. A few weeks down the line, you notice that your female dog is looking a little round at the middle and suspect you know what’s gone on. It’s not ideal but it can happen, and if you’ve found yourself in this position- here’s what you need to do.
Go to the vet
First things first, if you suspect your female dog could have caught pregnant then you’ll need to speak to the vet. They will be able to do an ultrasound to confirm it, and if she’s carrying puppies can provide you with specific advice. This could include what to feed her, what to do when she starts presenting with labour symptoms and what kinds of things you’ll need to buy. This includes items like a whelping box, and puppy milk and bottles to hand feed the pups if your dog starting struggling. They will be able to check that your dog is in good health so that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Find good homes
It really is your duty to ensure that good homes are found for the pups. The last thing you want is for them to end up in shelters later down the line, which unfortunately happens all the time. You should consider homechecking anyone that wants to adopt a puppy and find out what their situation is. For example, if someone is renting their home you’ll want to check if they have permission to own a dog. That way, it won’t get passed from pillar to post if the landlord finds out and forces them to get rid of it. Once the puppies are born, use collars or this branding idea with puppy bandanas to distinguish between them. That way, anyone interested can choose their pup and ensure they’re collecting the right one once they reach eight weeks old. Finding the right home can be a process, don’t just give them away to the first people that show interest.
Have your dog neutered
Once they have had the puppies and have fully recovered, be sure to go and have your dog neutered. It’s easy to think that the same mistake won’t happen twice, but it’s so not worth risking. You might have found good homes for your puppies but it doesn’t take away from the fact that far too many dogs already exist in the world which is why shelters are so full. Do your bit by making sure it doesn’t happen again. Along with preventing accidental litters, neutering dogs has numerous benefits to health and behaviour and is something well worth having done anyway.
Raising puppies, even to eight weeks old where they can leave for their new homes, is expensive. So many see this as a money making scheme, but between vet bills, food, microchipping and other costs, chances are it will actually cost you money. But go about things in the right way so that you can ensure the pups are happy and healthy and go to forever homes.