So, you are the proud owner of a Doberman litter. Before your little ones find new owners, your job is to make sure they grow up strong and healthy. So, you need to provide Doberman puppies with decent care and proper nutrition. How to feed Doberman puppies and a lactating bitch? When can we completely wean babies from breast milk? How to care for Doberman puppies to ensure their excellent development?
Doberman bitch care after giving birth
As a rule, puppies are born without any problems, but there are situations that require the intervention of a veterinarian. You should warn him in advance that your bitch is pregnant and is preparing to give birth soon, so that he can plan his time in advance and come to your aid at any moment. You must completely trust your veterinarian in everything.
After making sure that the bitch gave birth to all the puppies, it would be nice if the veterinarian did examine the mother and confirm this. If necessary, he will prescribe or will administer antibiotics to her. Try to avoid them, as they are far from harmless to mother-sucking puppies.
For several days after giving birth, you should observe the bitch very closely and measure her rectal temperature every morning. A slight increase in it, up to 38.8 ° C (normally 38 ° C), is a completely natural phenomenon, but higher numbers, like greenish discharge from the loop (vulva), should alarm you and force you to go to the veterinarian. Don’t confuse a green discharge after partum with a slightly greenish discharge during labor. If the first talk about the presence of some kind of infection, then the second – about placental abruption. But if in childbirth the greenish color becomes thick, saturated and accompanied by an unpleasant odor, you should urgently consult a doctor, not to mention if they continue for a day after the completion of childbirth. Perhaps the doctor will prescribe her a course of antibiotic therapy. When caring for a Doberman dog after giving birth, keep the bitch in the birthing box in a calm, quiet environment, separate from other dogs and away from children. Don’t show it to guests. Watch her closely and comfort her with your presence.
Like people, some bitches are good mothers, others are not, and this can cause a lot of serious problems. There are bitches: all the first two weeks after giving birth, they looked after their children with such love that help is simply not needed. But there are dogs who do not accept their puppies and even try to kill them. The only way to keep the litter in such cases is to completely isolate the puppies from the mother and put them to her only during feeding. In addition, the bitch should be muzzled and kept on until the puppies are full. Then they are removed again and kept in a warm place. When the nipples of the bitch again swell from milk, you can put the babies on them again, she will only be glad of it. Often, she even begins to lick the puppies. Sometimes such a dog, thanks to firm and consistent management, can make a good mother, but this requires the use of careful grooming and common sense.
If the bitch is truly unbearable, the droppings will have to be completely isolated; then care should be taken to feed them from a bottle or a gastric tube.
A few hours after whelping, you need to give the bitch a light food: minced meat, cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs are the ideal food. Many dogs refuse to eat outside the birthing box. In a day or two, they themselves will leave the box and come to the nursery kitchen, located next to the maternity ward. It is important to make sure that the bitch can get out of the box to relieve herself, otherwise she will have to be taken on a leash and forced out of it.
Many breeders still cover the floor of the generic box with newspapers. There is nothing worse than watching the puppies make their way to the bitch through the mass of paper, sliding along it with their hind paws. It is better when the bitch begins to prepare for childbirth, and afterwards, throw scraps of torn newspapers on the floor of the box so that she can build a nest for herself, in addition, they absorb moisture and odors well, in particular, discharge during childbirth and in the postpartum period. At the end of childbirth, temporarily remove the puppies from the box in order to tidy up the floor and cover the floor with the same size carpet, suitable for outdoors and indoors. Lay a double bedspread on top of it (it is easy to wash, especially in the washing machine, but while it dries, put another one instead) – it is better if you buy it at a sale or at a flea market, which will cost you much less than in a store. Such a blanket is soft and evenly spreads on the carpet, the puppies, crawling to the mother, do not slide on it, but sucking on the nipples, firm do stand on their hind legs with their tails up. Among other things, litter on such a floor always feels comfortable and confident.
What food is better to feed a Doberman bitch after giving birth
How to feed a Doberman after giving birth is not an idle question. The higher the quality of the mother’s milk, the easier it is for all “stakeholders”, so the bitch should be allowed to eat whatever she wants so that the food does not weaken her.
After the diet, bitches now have milk 45 days after mating and continue to be produced until the puppies are weaned. This diet does not require vitamins or mineral supplements.
The following is how to feed your Doberman Pinscher after giving birth to ensure excellent milk quality.
Morning: Two cups of high-quality food, a pound of ground beef or lean meat, vitamins and calcium (as directed by your veterinarian).
Day: a pound of cottage cheese with two soft-boiled eggs or “in a bag”, you can add canned food.
Afternoon snack: repeat the morning feed, but give canned or boneless chicken meat, and a couple of times a week – a little liver (to awaken the dog’s appetite, if it is reduced or absent).
Late evening: a cup of milk. If your dog loves dairy products, it is better to feed the Doberman morning dry food, soaked milk, rather than water.
What can you feed a Doberman puppy in the first days of life
In the first days of life, feeding Doberman puppies should be nutritious, high-quality, balanced and sufficient in quantity, otherwise developmental disruption will occur, up to its arrest and even death, which happens in most litters. You may think that the bitch has a lot of milk and the puppies look normal, when suddenly one of them dies. You should almost always start feeding them from the very first day and continue to do so for several more days until you are completely sure that each of them is healthy.
If the puppies refuse to feed, it means that they have enough mother’s milk, or it may happen that one or two literally pounce on him. The rest of the mixture can be given to the mother. In general, a mixer is an irreplaceable thing.
Doberman puppies can be fed through a gastric tube – this is done if the bitch almost died, cannot or does not want to feed them herself. You do not know how much food the puppy needs to eat, and therefore, by injecting food from the syringe into the stomach already filled with breast milk, you can easily overfeed it. You can use a regular baby bottle to feed the puppies and offer them your formula three times a day for the first few days after birth until you are sure that none of them need it. In some litters, such complementary foods are simply not needed. It has absolutely nothing to do with the number of puppies in the litter. Often a bitch with one or two suckers has much less milk (or no milk at all), in contrast to a multiple mother, for example, with six puppies. But if one or two puppies in a litter need feeding in order to keep up with their brothers and sisters in development, then your efforts will not be in vain.
Doberman food: how to feed a puppy a month and older
It is necessary to wean the puppies from the bitch by four and a half weeks, therefore, complementary foods should be introduced from 10-12 days, as soon as they open their eyes. How to feed a Doberman at home during this period? This can be finely chopped and very lean ground beef, which is given to each puppy separately, picking up small pieces the size of a meatball for this purpose. The larger the puppy grows, the larger the ball becomes. They must be prepared in advance (in different sizes and in large quantities), laid out on a tray so that they do not stick together, and frozen in the refrigerator, and then put in plastic containers. Thaw some of them as needed. On the first day, the puppy needs to be given one ball, and on the second and the following day – two. Prepare the minced meat by passing it through an electric meat grinder to make sure that there is no fat in the meat, then the puppies will not have diarrhea.
What else can you feed your Doberman puppy when you reach two weeks of age? Many breeders still give their puppies baby cereals, but they are weakening, and when they eat, the puppies get dirtier in it than they eat. From the age of three weeks, begin to teach them to lap, but give special cereals for puppies for this, diluting them in warm water and mixing them with coarse bread or wheat in a mixer to a liquid consistency. The puppies love it, and soon they start to lap well. This mixture is not as sticky as baby cereals and is much healthier. When feeding pets, you should have a clean cloth on hand to wipe the soiled ones in time. First, you need to feed each puppy individually, placing him on his lap, covered with a towel, or placing him on a towel on the floor so that he does not get slippery, and soon we already manage to feed two or three puppies in one bowl.
What to feed the Doberman Pinscher per month to ensure the good development of the puppy? Already at three and a half – four weeks, you can start giving them pressed cottage cheese and soft-boiled eggs (first check that the cottage cheese is at room temperature). Now the puppies have learned to eat on their own. From four weeks of age, you can start adding Science Diet Growth to the meat (you can soak it thinner at first). To make the food more tender, you can pass it through a meat grinder. If puppies refuse commercial food at this age, vitamins and calcium can be added to the food, for example, “Osteo-form” (Vet A Mix Inc.). This should be done with extreme caution, since an excess of them is much more harmful than a deficiency. Just in case, consult your veterinarian first and strictly adhere to his recommendations.
As soon as the puppies start eating on their own, you can reduce the number and volume of feedings for the bitch, for four weeks reducing her diet to the usual (prenatal), two meals (no milk and meat). The more independent the puppies become, the less often they need to be left with their mother, and by the end of the fourth week they are already sleeping without her. The bitch nurses the puppies for several minutes a day, taking more and more rest from them. At four and a half weeks, puppies can receive dry food twice a day, and the amount of meat is gradually reduced to nothing. At noon, you can feed them with pressed cottage cheese and chicken eggs, and in the evening, before going to bed, no longer give complementary foods prepared according to the recipe, but dilute industrial bitch milk with warm water 1: 1.
Proper care of Doberman puppies
For proper care of Doberman puppies, try to take out the summer litter as often as possible so that the puppies can stay in the sun and play enough in the fresh air. Usually, they do this when they are four and a half weeks old, taking into account the weather so that they do not freeze. Cropped their ears at six to seven weeks of age. From the very birth, puppies should be clean – this is an immutable and, perhaps, the most important condition for raising them. If you do not stick to it, you will run into many problems creating them for yourself, for the puppies and for their new owners. Puppies, accustomed from birth to cleanliness in the birthing box, will be easy to teach to recover on the street, they are less susceptible to worm infestation, because you timely examined them for the presence of worm eggs and carried out preventive deworming. It makes no sense to keep the puppies clean if the territory and walking areas of the kennel are infected with endoparasites. Prophylactic deworming of roundworms should be carried out in four-week-old puppies, because if at least one of them has Toxocar eggs, it can infect everyone else. If they do not have worms, then after cropping their ears, you need to examine their feces for the presence of eggs of worms. Before selling puppies, their feces should be examined again.
Clean, wash and treat the enclosures as often as possible, especially the inside (you should do this daily).
Before cropping the ears, the litter should be divided into groups (no more than four puppies). You need to collect them in the pen only for the duration of the games – they need to communicate with peers and in active physical exercise. The composition of the group is not constant, change it every time so that especially active puppies cannot offend anyone. You need to sell your pets at the age of 9-10 weeks.
A huge role in the upbringing of puppies is played by the experience of the breeder, who must know and take into account all stages of their development.