Birthing is a difficult process for new breeders, but you need to be there to help your Cocker Spaniel get through it all. It’s easier if there’s a vet nearby, however, be prepared with the possibility that you may have to be the one to help your pet through this arduous process. If you are really more practical, it would be less stressful to know when your dog will give birth and if you have already prepared everything for this eventful occasion.
First of all, the whelping box you built for your Cocker Spaniel should be in a comfortable area away from too much noise or activity. For your sake, choose an area that is easy to clean. Let her stay there for a few weeks before delivery so she can get used to the environment and feel comfortable during labor.
Another Cocker Spaniel birthing task to be prepared for is an area where you can put the puppies once they are born. It can be a basket or a box that needs to be adequately warmed, with thick cushions, blankets or a heating pad. If the area is too hot, the puppies will scream loudly, but if they are cold, they will whine. Make sure he is always close to the mother.
Other preparations include having a suitable disinfectant (iodine) nearby and something to tie the navel (some use dental floss). Clean towels, a nasal aspirator, and a scale are also needed. Some Cocker Spaniel mothers may be too tired to nurse after giving birth, so have a milk supplement ready. Have your vet’s number handy to call regarding any complications that may arise.
Observe the dog. They will get restless, changing position, scratching things or digging a nest. If the rectal temperature drops below 98 F, then you have between 2 and 12 hours. If she refuses to eat, labor is definitely near. She will begin to gasp and lick her vulva to relieve herself when mild contractions begin.
You don’t have to worry too much as Cocker Spaniels give birth on their own and they won’t need much help. If you worry too much about the prey, it will get nervous. Again, all you have to do is observe that everything is fine. Abnormalities and complications such as heavy labor attempts can occur without puppies being seen. You just have to know what these are and call your vet as soon as possible.
Once the puppies are out, keep in mind that they will need warmth and food. Make sure they have both or they will complain crying all the time and could lead to their untimely death. Over the next few weeks, monitor your body temperature (97F to 100F is normal) and weight gain. Some women have less breast milk, so be prepared with supplements.
The delivery of a cocker spaniel is exhausting, but you have to remember that dogs have a natural instinct to push and do everything on their own. Your role is to make everything easier for them and make sure the mother and cubs are safe.