If your miniature schnauzer is preparing to give birth, you must make special preparations to ensure a smooth, comfortable and stress-free whelping process. You should expect your schnauzer to give birth approximately two months after conceiving, and you can keep track of her labor by regularly checking her temperature twice daily with a dog thermometer. Her normal temperature should remain at 105.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When that number begins to drop, your dog is likely entering labor.
Observe your miniature schnauzer and notice where she spends her time during the late stage of her pregnancy. She will likely choose a quiet, dark or concealed area, perhaps in a closet or under a table, to spend her days.
Set up a whelping box near the area where she spends her time. The box should be wide enough for her to comfortably spread out (approximately 15 to 16 inches squared) and short enough for her to enter and exit as needed, but also tall enough to keep puppies inside when she gives birth. The average miniature schnauzer stands no taller than 14 inches, so try to keep your box around six inches high. You can make a whelping box using cardboard, wood or an old computer box, or you can use an appropriately sized kiddie pool. Some pet supply stores also sell boxes and crates for this purpose.
Fill the whelping box to ensure maximum comfort. Line it with inexpensive sheets, blankets or other fabrics that you will not mind throwing away later. Hilltop Animal Hospital recommends lining the box with disposable diapers in order to create a comfortable cushion.
Eliminate noise pollution in your home. Excessive noise may upset your pregnant schnauzer or cause her stress, so keep the television volume low, close the windows if you live near heavy street traffic, turn off the stereo and avoid shouting. By keeping your schnauzer comfortable, you increase the likelihood of a smooth delivery.
Walk away from your schnauzer as she begins labor and allow her to have personal space. Although schnauzers usually favor human company, they prefer strict isolation during the labor stage and may become highly upset if bothered. When she begins labor, she will begin exhibiting unusual behaviors, like shivering or panting, in addition to her drop in body temperature. Keep a close eye on her at all times but maintain a modest distance.
Watch your schnauzer closely when she begins to deliver, but do not intervene unless you notice complications, like if a pup struggles to exit the birth canal. In some cases a schnauzer pup will struggle to release due to the shape of its firm, rectangular head. In cases like this, you can assist in pulling the puppy free.
If labor lasts more than 12 hours, take your schnauzer to your nearest veterinarian immediately.
Items You Will Need
- Dog thermometer
- Whelping box
- miniature schnauzer image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com