A Rottweiler who is pregnant is an exciting prospect for any dog owner because who doesn't love a bunch of puppies? The care of an expectant dog takes some time and energy to ensure a healthy outcome. A dog's gestation period is typically about 63 days, which means pet owners don't have a lot of time to learn on the job. Instead, study the signs of a pregnant Rottweiler and then prepare your house for a litter of puppies by having the right gear on hand.
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Pregnant Rottweiler signs and symptoms
It may not be obvious at first glance that your Rottweiler is pregnant. Of course, diagnostic testing is the most accurate way to find out (think ultrasound, X-ray, and a blood sample). However, with a bit of sleuthing, you may note that something's afoot. For example, an expectant canine may experience mood swings, showing signs of both irritability and greater affection. She'll also put on a few pounds, and your dog might vomit or eat less that usual in the early weeks (yep, some dogs have morning sickness).
Care when a Rottweiler is pregnant
A Rottweiler who is pregnant needs good veterinary care to bear a litter of healthy pups, and you can help by making sure her kibble or wet food is of the highest nutritional quality. Feed your pregnant Rottweiler her usual amount for the first two-thirds of her gestation (unless her vet tells you otherwise) and then increase the portion until she's consuming 35 to 50 percent more during the last few weeks.
Exercise is important for a Rottweiler who is pregnant, so stick to your usual walking routine, at least until her belly is quite swollen. At this point, don't overexercise your mama to be. Let her dictate the pace, which will likely entail shorter, more frequent, and less strenuous outings. Don't forget to keep your regular vet appointments so your dog's doc can examine her girth and note the puppies' health each time.
Getting ready for puppies
As you near the end of your Rottweiler's pregnancy, discuss with your veterinarian whether your dog can handle a vaginal birth or if you should schedule a cesarean instead. If she's deemed a candidate for whelping on her own, you'll need to gather some supplies to support her during the birthing process. To start, she'll need a large box or plastic kiddie swimming pool in which to labor and deliver. Set it up ahead of time in a less trafficked part of the house so your pet has time to settle into it and get used to the feel.
Line it with newspapers and old towels and keep paper towels nearby so you can clean up the puppies as they emerge. A pair of very clean scissors is helpful to cut the umbilical cords if necessary, though many dogs do it themselves. If you can, get a friend to help during whelping since wiping off multiple animals and keeping them warm can be a lot for one set of hands.
Pregnant Rottweiler complications
Keep a close eye on the timing as your pregnant Rottweiler delivers her puppies. Usually, the pups will come out one per hour, though some dogs push out a few at a time, take a break to rest, and then squeeze out a couple more. If you realize it's been more than two hours between puppies (and you know she has six inside but only five are accounted for, for example), call the vet. You'll also need to get professional help if the number of placentas doesn't match the number in the litter. A retained placenta needs to be removed, and your dog's doc can help.