After your dog gives birth, she may not be particularly clean -- birthing fluids and mucus may stick to her fur; as she nurses, dried milk can build up around her nipples. Gently bathing your dog after whelping and between nursing sessions can help her remain sanitary and comfortable.
Bathing Your Dog
Your dog will likely be tired after giving birth to her litter, and the pups start feeding almost immediately after birth. Do not tear her away from the pups to bathe her -- instead, gently wipe clean any unclean areas with a warm, wet washcloth. Parkway Animal Hospital of North Carolina advises taking mom and pups to a veterinarian within 24 hours of giving birth to make sure there were no complications -- at this point, you can give the adult a bath. Rinse well to remove residue from the teats. Generally, unless the vet tells you otherwise, you can bathe her as needed, Parkway advises, but leave the nursing family alone for the most part. Use a warm, wet cloth to clean her nipples between feedings, preventing the buildup of dried milk.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.