What supplies do you need for dog labor? Whelping can be a stressful time for both mom and owner. That’s why preparing a whelping kit ahead of time can help cut out some of the stress that comes with whelping. Gina and Shelley talk about some must have whelping kit items to have on hand if your dog is expecting a litter.
When Should I Buy Whelping Supplies
I encourage customers to start putting together a whelping kit a few weeks before the due date. It’s always better to be prepared early then add to your anxiety when puppies are on the way.
What Do I Need to Prepare My Dog For Whelping?
1: Digital thermometer. 24 hours before active labor begins mom’s temperature will drop by one whole degree. Keeping track of her temperature at the same time of day for the last two weeks of her pregnancy can tell you when she’s getting close to whelping, so then you know to start getting prepared.
2: Puppy Safe Disinfectant. Keeping the whelping area sanitary protects puppies from bacteria and disease but not all disinfectants are safe to use around newborns. We suggest using chlorhexidine solution, it’s non-toxic and safe for use in whelping and queening areas. When cleaning whelping areas, avoid pine oil, phenols, bleach and quaternary ammonium. They are absorbed through puppy’s thin skin and have been connected to fading puppy or kitten syndrome.
3: Breeder’s Edge Oral Cal Plus Gel Calcium Supplement. We want mom to have effective contractions so she can get her puppies on the ground efficiently. We manage that with a calcium supplement like Breeder’s Edge Oral Cal Plus. It’s a fast act acting absorbing and easy to use during whelping. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if using calcium to manage your whelping is new to you.
4: Breeder’s Edge Repeat Whelping Pad: Whelping pads are liners that are washable and can be removed, cleaned and returned to the whelping box. They are a nice alternative to a blanket that bunches up or moves around and you don’t want your mama’s laying on your puppies or on wet blankets. Most people keep several on hand or layer them so that when one gets soiled they roll it up and the clean one is underneath. The Breeder’s Edge Washable Pads have a leak-proof design and are the highest absorbency whelping pads on the market. They are great to place under mom’s fanny after whelping is done. They absorb the uterine discharge and keep puppies living area clean and dry. You’ll want to use these the first few days.
5: Breeder’s Edge Clean Cut Umbilical Forceps. A forceps is a great tool for clamping an umbilical cord that is
not separating. We recommend having two in case your mom is delivering her puppies at a pretty quick rate, so that you can take care of two puppies born close together.
6: Breeder’s Edge Clean Cut Umbilical Clamps. These plastic clamps crimp the cord and stop infection from getting to the newborn puppy. They also keep mom from over cleaning the baby and making the umbilical cord too short. The nylon clamp clamp will fall off on its own at about five days old.
7: Breeder’s Edge Clean Cut Iodine. You want to have Breeder’s Edge Clean Cut Iodine on hand to disinfect the umbilical cord. We don’t want to chance getting an infection and it speeds up the process of the umbilical stump drying up and falling off.
8: Exam Gloves. Either a nitrile or latex glove keeps your hands from passing bacteria onto the puppies, so it just keeps your skin clean and keeps the puppies from getting any bacteria from your hands.
9: Bulb Syringe. Bulb syringes remove amniotic fluid and clear the throat of the puppy or kitten.
10: Scale. A scale is a good idea, a good quality scale is important. Weigh the puppies right after birth and then daily to make sure they’re gaining enough weight each day.
11: Nursing Kit. A nursing kit with a bottle, nipples, and milk replacer, such as Breeder’s Edge Foster Care, is important to keep on hand. You might have to step in to help puppies that can’t wait for mom’s milk to come in so you have to take charge and feed those puppies and bottle and milk replacers all it takes.
Switching mom to Breeder’s Edge Oxy Momma one week before whelping helps give her the nutrients she needs. It helps her body
stimulate milk production so that when the puppies are born you’re not waiting a day or two for her milk to come in, she’s ready. So milk filled mammary glands after birth will eliminate the need for bottle feeding all together. Mom’s milk is always best.
12: Breeder’s Edge Nurture Mate. Mom’s milk and colostrum are always best, but in addition if a puppy is needing something a little extra we recommend giving the newborns Breeder’s Edge Nurture Mate. This is a colostrum substitute that supports digestion and helps give puppies and kittens the energy they need to nurse aggressively. It also is a good idea to have on hand in case the mom has no milk or something would have happened to her.
If you need help getting the whelping supplies you’ll need, call us at 800.786.4751.
Written by: Shelley Hexom
Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.