Your dog just gave birth to 1…2…3… or more little puppies.
It’s important to take care of the pups. But don’t forget Mama Doggo.
She needs exercise. As well as some private time, too.
But wait a minute.
When can you really take your dog for walks after whelping?
In this article, you’ll discover:
- How soon can you walk your dog after she gives birth?
- The reason why a bitch will eat her pup. (Yes, this happens!)
- 5 tips on when to take your dog for a walk after having puppies.
- And much much more…
Table of contents
- When can I walk my dog after having puppies?
- Can I take my dog outside after giving birth?
- 5 tips on when to walk your dog after having puppies
- People also ask:
When can I walk my dog after having puppies?
You can walk your dog after having puppies within 24 to 48 hours after giving birth. Although your dog may not want to be separated from her litter during this time, it’s best that you encourage her to do so so she can properly urinate and defecate.
How soon can you walk your dog after puppies?
You can walk your dog within 24 to 48 hours after whelping.
It’s important that you don’t force your dog if she doesn’t want to go for a walk.
Because at this time, her maternal instinct is telling her to stay with her pups. She’s still protective of them. So she may not want to leave them anytime soon.
“But Petya, how soon is ‘soon’?”
Okay, so here’s a timeframe that shows when it’s advisable to take your dog for walks.
Within 24 hours of whelping
You can take your dog for a short walk just after giving birth.
After they’ve all settled down, of course. And your pooch has finished licking her pups and nursing them.
This is so that she can poop or pee outside if she wants to.
But remember. You should never force her to leave her pups.
Only take your dog if she shows signs that she wants to go out. Like when she stands up when you show her leash. Or go to the door to signal she wants to eliminate.
And while you’re outside, you can ask the other family members to observe her litter. They should check if the little pups are all fine and breathing.
“Oh no. What should I do? My dog cries because she doesn’t like to go for a walk.”
If your dog doesn’t want to leave her litter, then leave her be.
She needs private time to bond with her puppies.
If you force her, she might get aggressive because of her hormonal imbalance.
Oh, and take note that you must also have them checked with a veterinarian during this time. This is to ensure that your pooch and all her pups are healthy.
Based on research, the saliva of dogs has antibacterial properties that help heal wounds and combat certain bacterias.
This is why mother dogs lick and groom their pups after whelping.
Their saliva also strengthens their newborn puppies’ immunity. And prevents them from having diseases caused by E.coli and S.canis.
Your dog should be able to go outside for a walk during this period. Try putting her leash on and encourage her in doing so.
It’s natural for your pooch to hesitate to leave her litter. So take your time with this.
Once she agrees to go out, just go for a short walk. A 5 to 10-minute walk should do. And don’t go too far from the house.
Your pooch might want to come back to her litter sooner than you think. And this is totally fine.
You shouldn’t stress about her walks too much. Because she will go back to her normal behavior after a few weeks.
1 to 2 weeks after whelping, the puppies will become less dependent on their mother. So your pooch will be more comfortable in taking short walks.
Keep the duration of her walks at a minimum.
And make sure that it’s not the rigorous kind of walks where she would have to hike. At this time, light exercises should be enough.
More so if she has undergone a Caesarean procedure. And her incisions are not yet fully healed.
Caesarean delivery or C-section is a surgery. It’s where the puppies will be removed from the bitch’s uterus by cutting through the abdomen, then the uterus.
PetMD says this is done to prevent the death of a pup, in case there are birthing complications.
Your dog’s puppies will start to wean 3 to 4 weeks after they’re born. So at this time, you can take her on more frequent, short walks.
It’s also safe for her and the puppies to play around the yard during this period.
(Light walking exercises are still recommended for a pup who gave birth via C-section.)
You can take your dog on slightly longer walks 5 to 6 weeks after whelping.
During this period, the puppies will start to eat moist food. So your pooch will have to nurse them less.
You can take long walks with your dog 8 to 12 weeks after whelping.
The puppies are completely weaned at this stage. So they can already be separated from their mother.
Watch this video below to see how a momma dog disciplines and teaches weaning to her litter.
During this period, you can take her on her normal walking routine if she can handle it.
If she’s used to walking for 30 minutes to an hour before she gave birth, then she should be fine doing this again.
But if your pooch had a C-section, ask your vet first. Ensure that it’s already safe for her to go on her regular walks.
Can I take my dog outside after giving birth?
You can take your dog outside after giving birth.
But it’s not recommended to do so when she’s still nursing and licking her newborn pups. Wait for them to at least relax and settle down first.
If your dog isn’t showing signs of aggressiveness, you can try putting her leash on. This could encourage her to go outside.
And take her on brief walks only.
She may get anxious about leaving her pups for too long. So keep her walks at 5 to 10 minutes max only.
While she’s outside, have your partner or a family member clean the soiled beddings. And changed them into clean and fresh ones.
“But what if my dog doesn’t want to leave her newborn pups?”
Don’t worry. This behavior is completely normal.
According to a study, it’s in her maternal instinct to provide for the needs of her newborns.
She wants to stay close to her pups to nurse and keep them warm. And guard them in case there are any threats or predators around.
If you take her outside, you must observe safety precautions. This is to make sure that both your pooch and her litter are safe.
Here are some walking tips you can follow.
Read her body language
First, make sure that she’s okay leaving her pups alone for a while. If she snaps or growls at you when you come near them, then it’s not yet time to take her outside.
Wait for her to initiate going for a walk. If she has to pee or poop, she may feel the need to go out.
Avoid other people and dogs
You must also avoid walking her with other dogs. Especially when she just gave birth a few hours before.
She’s still in a sensitive and protective state. So she may exhibit some aggressive behaviors. Not only to other dogs. But humans as well.
Don’t stray too far
After whelping, your dog will want to stay close to her pups all the time. So if you’ll take her on walks, don’t go too far away from the house.
And if she insists on going back, take her back home immediately.
Short and light
Your dog is exhausted after whelping and nursing her litter. So if you want to take her out for a walk, keep it short and light.
Stay away from the grass
It’s best that you avoid the grassy areas in your neighborhood when you’re walking a bitch who just gave birth.
This is because grass or ground covers may have pesticides and insecticides. Which can be harmful to your dog and her pups.
For instance, she may pee and her abdomen area may touch the grass.
The poisonous chemicals in the grass may transfer to her teats. Which the pups will suck later on when she gets home.
Learn more about the dangers of moss and other ground covers by reading this article.
Keep her full and hydrated
You can walk your dog after whelping, just make sure to give her lots of water and food afterward.
Your pooch will need all the nutrients and water she’ll need. Because she’s now nursing her little pups.
Handy tip: Feed her puppy food instead of her normal kibbles. This is because puppy food has more nutrients than an adult dog’s regular food.
5 tips on when to walk your dog after having puppies
#1: Take her on walks when she’s ready
The first few hours of giving birth are the most crucial time for your pooch. During this period, it’s best that you let her lead you. Instead of you leading her.
Let her take her sweet, sweet time bonding with her newborn pups.
So don’t force her if she doesn’t want to go for walks.
What you can do for her instead is to make sure she has ample food and water. Put her bowls near her so she can easily drink and eat.
Some dogs will forget about their housetraining for a while.
To be ready, provide your dog with mats or rags. So that when she wants to pop or pee, she can do it there instead.
But if you want to take her outside to do her business, encourage her to walk by trying to put her leash on.
Or at least show it to her.
The sight of it should entice her to go outdoors.
If she stands up to come with you, take her outside for a quick pooping and peeing session. Then let her come back quickly to her litter.
#2: Walk your dog when she’s not aggressive
You may notice that your sweet pooch will become hot-headed after giving birth.
She may snap and growl at her pups’ poor father. Or bark at other people who come near her litter.
This is because her maternal instinct is at full force. So she’s being protective of her newborns.
If your pooch is way too aggressive towards other people and dogs, avoid taking her on walks.
She may get in trouble. In case she comes across a bigger dog who she sees as a threat.
Your dog wants some peace and quiet
To lessen her aggressiveness and help her calm down, give her some quiet and alone time.
If she’s nursing, don’t let visitors come near her.
Newborn puppies are the cutest thing ever. Especially when you smell their puppy breath! It’s heaven on earth.
This is why your friends and relatives will visit your house often. They won’t be able to resist seeing the newborn pups.
But if you can, ask them to avoid coming to your house first. As fellow dog lovers, I’m sure they’ll understand your dog’s sensitive situation. 🙂
#3: Walk her when her body has recovered
Every dog is different. Some bitches recover just days after whelping. While others take weeks or even months to fully heal.
There are many factors to consider in this situation. Because some dogs have complicated deliveries. Others even have post-birth complications.
This is why you can’t exactly say when to walk a bitch after giving birth.
You just have to observe your dog’s body language. Is she eating well? Does she often feel sluggish?
You must also check for any abnormal changes in your dog’s body. Because most health problems happen in the first few weeks after whelping.
According to Veazie Veterinary Clinic, dogs who just gave birth are at risk for:
You should take your dog to the nearest vet if she’s showing signs such as:
- Loss of appetite.
- Vomiting and diarrhea.
- Decrease in milk production.
- Loss of interest in her pups.
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
If you’re sure she’s OK, and the vet has allowed it, your pooch can do light exercises. Such as short walks and playtime.
#4: Walk your dog when she’s starting to wean her pups
After giving birth, your bitch won’t have much alone time anymore. There will always be puppies sucking on her teats. And wanting to cuddle with her all the time.
So when she starts to wean her pups, you can start to take her out on longer walks.
This gives her some time away from her pups. She can stretch her legs. And have some bonding time with you.
It’s a win-win situation.
Your dog’s having a good time. And you can also help her wean the litter.
Not only that.
You can also check your dog’s body during this time. Look out for any abnormalities. Such as sore and hard teats or high-body temperature.
#5: Try to walk your dog daily to keep her healthy
“How do I get my dog back in shape after giving birth?”
It may be hard for your pooch to do normal exercises after whelping. So during this time, it’s best to leave your pooch alone with her puppies.
Light walks are OK.
Especially if she’s the one who initiates going out to pee or poop.
But if you want to keep her in shape, you have to wait at least 1-2 weeks.
Let her recover from giving birth first. And give her time to rest because nursing a litter is exhausting for her.
Mama doggo needs to take a break, too.
When your dog’s litter starts to wean, that’s when you can start giving her moderate exercises.
This is to keep her blood circulation going. And her mental state stimulated.
But remember that your dog’s tending to her litter.
So taking her on short and frequent walks every day is more ideal. Compared to having long walks at a single time.
If the puppies are all completely weaned, your pooch can go back to her usual exercises. Like running, hiking, swimming, etc.
Note: You must also seek the advice of the vet on when and how often you should exercise your dog after whelping.
People also ask:
Can I take my whelping dog for a walk?
You can’t take your whelping dog for a walk. Especially if she’s already in the process of giving birth.
But if you’re trying to progress your pooch’s labor, you can try taking them on short walks.
This will stimulate her abdominal muscles. And it’ll help the puppies to get into a better position before she gives birth.
Your dog may not want to walk at first because she’s feeling uncomfortable. So you need to put on her leash and initiate it.
(Don’t tug on it. You should be careful with her.)
When walking you shouldn’t go too far away from the house. So when she’s starting to give birth, you can go back home quickly.
How do I know if my dog is ok after giving birth?
You can know your dog is ok after giving birth when she’s not showing any abnormal symptoms.
Within 24 hours after giving birth, she should be able to pee and go potty.
She should be eating and drinking plenty of water as well.
You can have her checked as well with a vet. In case there’s a retained placenta in your pooch’s uterus. Or there are still unborn pups inside her.
After whelping, your pooch should be tending to her litter’s needs.
Because if she’s not interested in them at all, this could mean that she’s having birthing complications.
She may be feeling unwell that she’s not able to nurse and take care of them.
“What could be causing this?”
The common health problems faced by momma dogs are mastitis, metritis, and eclampsia.
That’s why you should know what symptoms you should look for after they give birth.
According to VCA Hospitals, mastitis is the inflammation of your dog’s breast. Which is caused by a bacterial infection due to a dog living in an unsanitary environment.
If your dog has a swollen and infected teat or nipple, you should take her to the vet for a check-up.
Because if not treated soon, there’ll be a build-up in your dog’s mammary gland. Her milk production will lessen. Causing her pups to wean too early and die.
Metritis is a serious condition that often occurs a week after giving birth. It’s caused by a bacterial infection causing the lining of the uterus to become inflamed.
A common symptom of this is a foul-smelling discharge in your dog’s vagina. The dark-colored discharge may include pus and blood.
If not treated, this can cause your dog risks such as:
- Septic shock.
- Blood infection.
Eclampsia is a life-threatening condition in nursing dogs that’s caused by calcium deficiency.
This usually occurs when the puppies are 1 to 4 weeks of age. In which they’re drinking the most milk.
Common symptoms of this are:
- Moving stiffly.
- Being unable to walk.
Warning: Take your dog to the nearest vet immediately if she’s showing the symptoms mentioned above.
How long does it take for a dog to get back to normal after having puppies?
You can’t tell exactly how long it takes for a dog to get back to normal after giving birth.
Because certain factors contribute to this.
Such as the method of delivery, health problems, and after-birth complications.
The vet will first assess them before giving advice. Regarding when you can take your dog again on their usual activities.
Most bitches who just gave birth via normal delivery get back to their old self sooner. Compared to those who’ve had C-sections.
Usually, when all of the puppies are completely weaned, dogs get back to their normal routine. This happens 8-12 weeks after whelping.
Can I leave my dog alone with her puppies?
You can leave your dog alone with her puppies. But only for a short time.
Because of her motherly instinct, your dog will prefer staying with her pups at this time. She has to groom, nurse, and provide them with warmth.
All at the same time.
You see, newborn puppies are unable to keep themselves warm. This is because they haven’t learned how to shiver. And they can’t control their body temperature yet.
So they rely on their mother to warm them up by cuddling. Also by piling up with their siblings as they sleep.
“But, can I leave my pooch alone with her puppies for a whole day?”
It’s not recommended to leave them alone for a long time. Because accidents or other weird situations could happen.
Study shows that the mortality of puppies dying in their first 8 weeks of life is at 17-30%.
And one reason for this is maternal neglect and carelessness.
Some dogs accidentally squash and smother their pups as they’re sleeping.
There are also pooches who refuse to nurse or come near their pups. Causing them to lose body temperature and die.
And yes, a mother dog may also kill her pup. Or worse, eat them or bite their heads off.
This happens when an unstable momma dog is stressed. Because her litter is too noisy or one of her pups is sick.
She will do this to avoid predators from coming and attacking her other pups.
“Oh, my! But I have to go to work. I can’t watch my pooch all day…”
In this case, you can install dog cameras at home. One with speakers so you can talk to your dog.
You can also ask your relatives or friends to watch them for you. But make sure that your dog already knows them. Or else she might get aggressive.