Here are some fascinating facts about Dog Mums and their pups:
1. Humans carry their young for 9 months but dogs have a much shorter gestation period of an average of 65 days.
2. Dogs can only become pregnant when they are in “heat”, which generally happens twice a year.
3. Newborn puppies cannot smell, see or hear! The first sense they use is touch, which is why it is so important for pups to stay near their mum.
4. You may see Mumma dog start nursing her puppies while she is still in labour. Even if she’s still mid-way through delivering her litter, she’ll already be nursing and caring for her newborns.
5. The size of a litter depends on the breed, mum’s age and other factors. The largest ever recorded litter was 24 Mastiff puppies in 2005.
6. During their first week, newborn pups spend about 90% of their time sleeping and 10% eating. Not too dissimilar to newborn humans who follow a similar pattern.
7. 24 hours before labour, pregnant female dogs become restless and may start shredding paper or blankets. It’s unclear whether this shredding is a nesting instinct or just a reaction to discomfort.
8. Just like humans, some dogs can experience Postnatal Depression. This can show itself in them sleeping excessively, showing no interest in their puppies and a loss of appetite.
9. Puppies start to move from milk to solid food at around 3 – 4 weeks. Not long after, they will eat a completely solid diet and won’t need mum’s milk anymore!
10. During the first 16 weeks of their life, Mum will help support, protect and guide her puppies as they’re at their most vulnerable and impressionable. From then onwards, their role instinctively encourages self-reliance & independence.
(We get it, Mumma, we get it..)
Looking for more facts about puppies? Continue to be fascinated with these 10 facts specifically about puppies >
Are you a Dog Mum yourself, and need a break?
If you have a dog mum or pup at home who needs some attention, or even a full grown doggo who just deserves some extra attention, book a Mad Paws sitter now for a weekend, dog walk or even for a house visit to give them some belly rubs while you’re out.