top of page

Successfully Raising Your Dog’s First Litter

Preparation and Management

Setting up a new kennel and planning for a successful breeding program involves careful selection and meticulous management of both the mothers and their puppies. Ensuring the health and well-being of your breeding dogs is the foundation of raising healthy puppies.

Selective Breeding

Choosing the right dogs for breeding is crucial. Research your breed thoroughly and identify ideal traits in a male dog. It’s often better to start with puppies rather than adults, as adult females may face more challenges when breeding and adapting to a new environment. When purchasing breeding dogs, always ask detailed questions about their history and health.

Health Tests for Breeding Dogs

  • Brucellosis Testing: All new dogs should be tested for Brucellosis and rechecked after 60 days to confirm they remain negative.

  • Parasite Prevention: Deworm new dogs twice with fenbendazole, three weeks apart, to ensure they are parasite-free.

  • Vaccinations: Administer a comprehensive vaccination program, including a 7-way vaccine for adults and puppies to prevent various diseases.

Preventing External Parasites

Inspect new dogs for external parasites and ear mites before and after purchase. If you find any signs of infestation, treat all dogs that had contact with the infected dog to prevent spread.

Growing Healthy Breeding Dogs

To ensure your breeding dogs mature healthily:

  • Nutrition: Feed a high-quality dog food such as Purina or Royal Canin. Avoid grain-free or raw meat diets as they can introduce parasites and bacteria.

  • Supplements: Provide Doc Roy’s Daily Care vitamins and appropriate supplements to support their growth.

  • Parasite Control: Use year-round heartworm, flea, and tick preventives suitable for breeding dogs.

Managing Mating and Breeding

  • Separation: Keep males and females apart after five months to prevent accidental pregnancies.

  • Vaccinations and Deworming: Boost vaccinations and deworming for females at one year old to prepare them for breeding.

  • Breeding Timing: Breed females only after their first birthday and proper health testing. Usually, this occurs around 16 to 20 months of age.

First-Time Whelping

First-time moms can be anxious and need your support. Be present during the first 48 hours, as most losses occur in this period. Progesterone testing can help schedule C-sections if needed.

Preparing for Birth

  • Deworming: Deworm the mother before birth and continue until 45 days post-gestation.

  • Calcium Supplement: Give a dose of calcium gel when labor starts to support effective contractions.

  • Assist with Birth: Help clear the puppies’ airways and assist them in finding the nipples to nurse.

Newborn Care

  • Navel Care: Disinfect the umbilical cord to prevent infections.

  • Dewclaw Removal: Remove dewclaws within the first five days if needed.

  • Feeding: Start offering water and gruel to puppies around three weeks of age.

Deworming and Vaccination Schedule

  • Deworming: Follow a strict deworming schedule with Pyrantel and Fenbendazole to prevent parasites.

  • Vaccinations: Administer the first Parvo vaccine at six weeks and continue with a vaccination schedule recommended by your veterinarian.

Preparing Puppies for New Homes

Puppies are ready for new homes when they are:

  • Over eight weeks old and weaned

  • Vaccinated against Parvo and Distemper

  • Dewormed

Puppy Packs

Send new owners home with a detailed puppy pack, including health records and care instructions. This ensures they understand the puppy’s needs and any future care requirements.

Conclusion To Dog’s First Litter

Raising your dog’s first litter involves careful planning, thorough health checks, and supportive care during the whelping and early weeks of the puppies' lives. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a successful and healthy start for your puppies. If you have any questions or need further assistance, visit or consult with a veterinary professional.

Litter of puppies
Litter of puppies


Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page