NURSING MOM PROTOCOL
It is sometimes necessary to move nursing moms. Although not ideal, it can be necessary and therefore special protocol must be followed.
Supplies for transport:
- Hand sanitizer
- Paper towels/baby wipes
- Clean and non-perfume smelling bath towel that can be sent with transport (if at all possible, just in case it’s needed)
- Additional blanket to cover crate during transfer from one vehicle to another
- Do not be surprised if Mama does not want to potty – she really wants to just stay with her babies.
- If you have a hot water bottle, that would be wonderful to bring along – fill with WARM water, not hot, and put underneath the bedding to help keep the babies warm
Preparing your vehicle: Please make sure your vehicle is clean from any prior transports! Remove all remnants of your pets and previous transports, including crates, bedding that has not been washed since last exposure to any animals (including your own), food, and/or treats, toys, etc.
This transport must have as little contamination as possible! There are huge risks involved in moving babies this young, but the reality is that it’s necessary to get them to their rescue. These babies are not even old enough for their first sets of shots yet, so they are highly susceptible to illness at this time. The risk of death for them is high if they come into contact with any other contagions that have been left behind by any animals (even healthy ones).
Mama may or may not want potty, but she will only need a small patch of grass. We don’t want her carrying anything back into the crate on her feet or body that could make the babies sick. It’s highly suggested that you wipe her paws off with baby wipes if you can do so before she gets back in the crate with her babies.
Please sanitize your hands before you handle Mama or her belongings or the babies if they need to be moved around. Use paper towels or baby wipes to remove any little messes in the crate. If the bedding is REALLY dirty replace it with your towel as gently as you can. Otherwise, leave the original bedding in there if it isn’t too bad and handle the puppies AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
The pups should NOT be taken out of the crate! Yes, they will be adorable and it’s natural that you’d want to hold them, but we need to keep them safe from exposure to anything!!!!
When stopping and letting Mama out you will need to either help her back in or make sure that she can jump in your car and then walk into the crate. She should not be jumping directly into the crate from the ground since she cannot see where the puppies are from that angle and then we risk injury.
Please listen to Mama and her instincts as a mom! She is a good girl, but if you are reaching in to clean out any crate messes, etc. and she doesn’t seem to like it, please back off from her. Use a calm voice and introduce yourself to her first before reaching toward her puppies at any time. This is not because I fear her biting or protecting them, (which is always possible) but because we need her to endure as little stress as possible in a very stressful time for her and her babies. Her health and well-being is just as critical as the babies!
Too hot is just as dangerous as too cold. Please make sure the puppies don’t get lethargic. It doesn’t have to be raging hot in the vehicle, just comfortable for you will be comfortable for them. Use care to avoid drafts.
If you have any questions, please ask! If I don’t know the answer, I will get it from someone that does. I know that these are specific instructions and I don’t mean to offend anyone, as I know some of you may be seasoned drivers. This is just a very fragile transport with teeny tiny lives at stake and I know we all share the same common goal of making sure that everyone makes it to their destination safely!
Hand off Unless the stop is specifically for feeding or she seems like she wants to get out of the crate, simply move the crate from car to car and continue on. She will be nursing and caring for them so she may only want a drink from a bowl held just inside the crate door.
Feeding stops One driver should monitor the puppies while the other driver takes mom for a little “me” time to eat, drink and potty. If she seems too nervous to do that, then just let her be outside the crate. But make sure the pups can’t get at her unless she seems overly stressed being away from them. That way she can eat during her special stops.