Caring for Young Puppies
One element which enters into modern breeding of which we have made no mention, is the changed environment which domesticity brings with it. The dog is no longer a wild creature, and the changes which come with his altered way of living may well enter into and interfere with nature's plans. Even when breeding under ideal conditions, your predictions will sometimes miscarry.
In carefully thought-out matings there are two factors to keep in mind at all times.
- The first is that the pedigrees of the sire and dam must be suitable.
- The second is the health of both dog and bitch at the time of mating, and the health of the bitch all through her pregnancy.
A well-formed litter cannot be expected if this very important group of factors is overlooked. The physical condition of the puppies at the time of weaning will depend entirely upon your care and feeding of their dam. This, of course, does not take into consideration the chance of accidents or infection.
Immediately following their birth until the time of weaning, the puppies are fed on the milk of either their mother or their foster mother. If this milk is not present in the necessary quantity, and does not supply them with the needed food elements, their health will suffer. When it meets these requirements, mother's milk is the ideal food for all young animals, and the milk of a bitch properly fed and cared for will give the best possible results with the puppies.