Breeding dogs is an exciting experience. From the time a proper  mate is found to the point that the puppies are born, it is crucial to  take careful steps to make this successful. 

Professional breeders do not breed frequently and will only do so when a  pair is found to be healthy that will ensure the birth of healthy offspring.  

The ideal breeder should have the pair of dogs tested for every possible  disease as well as have all the information regarding the pair’s ancestors and  health records on file. Should a breeder find no problem in the history of the  pair, then the process can begin.  

Dogs normally come into heat twice a year which is every six months. Larger  dogs can come into heat every eight or ten months which usually lasts about  three weeks. Vaginal bleeding is a sure sign that the dog is in heat as well  as swelling in the vulva. A dog’s pregnancy or gestation period lasts between  60 to 67 days. Most dogs give birth after 63 days.  

The only way to determine the stage of the dog’s pregnancy is by keeping  track of time from the day of the breeding. Keeping a record of this on file is  advisable for reference purposes.  

Exactly three weeks after breeding, the mother must be examined to  confirm the pregnancy.  

The dog must be given a formulated and premium brand of dog food for the  duration of the pregnancy and throughout the nursing period preferably with  a strong nutritional foundation.  

During pregnancy, the mother’s food consumption will almost double have  compared to the pre-pregnancy level so increased feeding must be given to  ensure that there is enough for both the mother and the puppies.  

Behavioral changes are to be expected during this time. The dog will  demand far more affection or may experience a few days of vomiting.  

Later on, the expectant mother will search for a secure place to deliver the  puppies. Ensure that a proper place is ready when the time comes. An ideal  place for an expecting mother is a box. Depending on the size of the dog, it  must be spacious enough for the dog to move around and must have layers  of newspaper inside it that will absorb birthing fluids. 

This should also have low sides for the mother to look outside and for the  breeder to easily check if assistance is needed to make it easy to remove  soiled papers without interrupting the mother and the newborn puppies. 

Follow these steps and you should be able to count on a happy birthing  process!