If your dog is due to have puppies then there are some preparations that you will need to make before they arrive. A litter of puppies is a big job for your dog to cope with and although it will come naturally, there is no harm in you planning for the arrival of the litter to help her along. Getting advice from a vet about the care that you should give new born puppies, as well as any specific tips for certain breeds, is always a good idea. The main thing is that the puppies have a healthy delivery and that they and their mother are cared for in a safe and healthy home.
Cleanliness in your home is essential. If the mother and her puppies are sleeping in a basket, ensure that any blankets, towels or newspapers are changed regularly. Although the mother will care for her puppies in terms of cleanliness, be aware that you may need to lend a helping hand with a warm cloth to wipe the puppies down, particularly if she has a large litter. Keep an eye on the new born puppies and monitor their wellbeing. They should be gaining weight rapidly in the first few weeks of their lives. If this doesn’t prove to be the case you should contact a vet, particularly if they seem distressed or whine a lot.
Although it is really tempting to hold the little bundles, remember that the mother needs time to adjust. Avoid excessively petting the puppies in the first few weeks of their lives, as this may upset the mother.