This article titled Miniature Schnauzer birth is an overview in preparing for the delivery of Schnauzer puppies. Information on the gestation period (the time in which a fetus develops) to whelping (caring for newborn puppies) will be highlighted along with our Schnauzer Growth Rate Chart.
A Miniature Schnauzer will carry her puppies somewhere between 56 to 66 days before giving birth to them... ie around 2 months. On average its between 61-63 days. The first 2 weeks of pregnancy, there will be very little or no outward signs that your dog is pregnant. At this point, the changes are occurring internally within the uterus. But soon thereafter, your Schnauzer's nipples will become larger, turn darker, and there will be some noticeable hair loss around the breasts.
Around three weeks into her pregnancy, the little thumps of heartbeats can be heard by using a stethoscope. If you do not own a stethoscope ask your veterinarian if you can listen to the heartbeats during your next visit in which he/she will also perform an ultrasound to verify litter size. This would be a good time to begin preparing a whelping box or a whelping pen at home.
The whelping box should be placed in an area of your home that is quiet, secluded, warm and draft-free. The whelping box (or birthing box) provides your female dog a safe place to deliver her pups. You will want to be sure an introduce your Miniature Schnauzer to the boxed area several days before her due date so she can adjust to it. The pen should be large enough to fit your Miniature Schnauzer comfortably when she is stretched out and the sides should be tall enough to contain an active litter of puppies ~ around 6 inches.
A few days before your Schnauzer gives birth, she will start to build her nest and you may notice her nipples are leaking a bit from the milk production. Another indicator that pups are on the way will be your Schnauzer's lack of interest in her food. This usually happens about 24-48 hours before delivery. About 12 hours before delivery the mother's temperature will drop below its normal 101 degrees to 98 degrees. Take her to her box, get her comfortable, and keep a close eye on her.
Whelping Box for Schnauzer and her Puppies
A whelping box (also called a nesting box or whelping pen) is designed to protect puppies during birth and early life by keeping them safely contained and protected. Prepare or purchase a box with an extension (like the one in this photo) that provides a separate area for the puppies to roam and eliminate. This makes potty training a breeze later on as the puppies are now learning from their mother not to eliminate in the top half of the pen (their sleeping area of the nest).
The sides of the box are designed to be high enough to safely contain the puppies, yet low enough to allow the Schnauzer mother to enter and leave the box comfortably. The bottom of the box (where the puppies play and eliminate) should be lined with specially designed whelping pads, pee pads, disposable diapers, or layers of newspaper to absorb fluids and provide cushion.
Your Schnauzer will probably begin panting and howling before the delivery of puppies. She will lay down on her side and begin having contractions. Now's a good time to call your veterinarian and make him aware puppies are arriving soon. Having the vet clinic on-notice is comforting even if you don't end up needing any assistance.
Most puppies usually emerge from the birth canal nose first, although it is not uncommon to see hind feet first during a delivery. The mother will lick the puppy to open the amniotic sac so the puppy can breathe. If for some reason she does not do this fairly quickly, you will need to intervene. She will then clean the puppy entirely and chew off the umbilical cord.
Puppies should begin suckling immediately after being cleaned up. The puppies receive antibodies from the colostrum in the mother's milk. This will help them fight disease and infection, while their own immune system matures. In the video below, the breeder rubs and dries the puppy to help give it a kick-start. She suctions out any fluid and mucous so the puppy is able to nurse right away. Enjoy this Miniature Schnauzer birth!
Puppy nursing bottle kits are designed to properly care for orphaned, rejected or bottle-fed baby animals. It's a good idea to have a kit on hand in case bottle-feeding is necessary.
Kits with pure gum rubber nipples help simulate the milking action of mother's nipples. Most kits like the one shown include: One bottle with twist-off cap, two to three rubber nipples and a bottle cleaning brush.
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