“When I got her I thought I’d breed her one to three times, and keep a pup,” Kaylee recalls.
Miss Pickles, a golden retriever, became part of Kaylee’s family in 2021. “My family raised dogs when I was growing up,” she recalls. Kaylee learned from them about all the work it took to be successful dog breeders, and the satisfaction that came from raising healthy pups and finding homes for them. Now she was ready to breed and raise her own litter with Miss Pickles.
In 2023, Kaylee bred her two-year-old golden retriever for the first time. As the pregnancy progressed, Kaylee took her dog to her veterinarian for a routine check and puppy count X-ray.
Preparing for Whelping Success
Kaylee relied on her mom, Lisa, for help in preparing for the approaching litter. With Lisa’s experience as a dog breeder, as well as being a trained Revival Pet Care Pro, she knew that unexpected things can occur during whelping. So, Lisa helped Kaylee prepare for the upcoming puppies by assembling a whelping kit with all the supplies she might need, from whelping pads to calcium for mom, and supplements for the pups.
Giving Birth to Puppies
Near the due date Kaylee started monitoring Miss Pickles’ temperature. When it finally dropped, she noticed Miss Pickles getting very affectionate and cuddling with her. Early the next morning, Miss Pickles’ water broke, and Kaylee started giving her Breeder’s Edge® Oral Cal Plus™, knowing that the calcium would support her contractions. The first puppy was born at 5:40 am.
At this point, Kaylee felt confident. She and her mom Lisa had planned well, and Miss Pickles was healthy, with everything going smoothly. As the first puppies were born, she’d clean them up, keep them warm in a basket, then wait for the next one. She felt things were going well until one puppy was stillborn, a heartbreaking event. While Kaylee felt sad about losing one of the pups, she soon found another live pup coming right behind it. And even more pups. Pretty soon, Kaylee was filling up her basket with clean, squirmy puppies. When Miss Pickles was done at about noon, she had given birth to 11 healthy puppies.
Kaylee gave Miss Pickles Breeder’s Edge® Oxy Momma™ postnatal supplement to help with milk production. Right after birth, Kaylee also gave the pups Breeder’s Edge® Nurture Mate™ for additional colostrum and energy, and Breeder’s Edge® Nurture Flora™ probiotic for newborns to help their good gut health and minimize loose stools.
Feeding 11 Hungry Puppies
But the next night, Miss Pickles started acting overwhelmed. Eleven puppies were hard for her to nurse and clean, and she appeared stressed that they were hungry and whining. Both mom and pups needed a solution quickly. Lisa had prepared Kaylee for this by including a supply of Breeder’s Edge® Foster Care™ Canine Milk Replacer and Breeder’s Edge® Puppy Lyte™ in Miss Pickles’ whelping kit to help keep the new puppies fed and hydrated.
Kaylee and her daughter worked together to help Miss Pickles with feeding and cleaning all 11 pups every few hours. It was a long 3 to 4 weeks of bottle feeding all the puppies. Fortunately, Kaylee’s overnight job at a retirement home allowed her to take the puppies with her to stay on their feeding schedule. As she began to transition the pups to more solid food, Kaylee found that using a blender to break up dry puppy food, then mixing it with the Foster Care Milk Replacer, made a nutritious gruel for the pups, which they ate well.
The Next Steps
When they were old enough, Kaylee began to socialize the pups with some of the residents, as well as her own friends and family. Finally, when they reached 7 weeks old, 10 of the pups went to new homes and Kaylee kept one, just as she’d originally planned.
While she was sad that one pup was stillborn, the other 11 puppies and Miss Pickles were healthy. Kaylee feels her success came from her mom’s help to be fully prepared for all possibilities during whelping, including having milk replacer when Miss Pickles was overwhelmed with all 11 hungry puppies. After this big litter, Kaylee feels that one litter of pups is enough for Miss Pickles, but believes she may get another dog to breed someday, and enjoy another litter of healthy puppies.
If you are going to be whelping your first litter and have questions or need help building your whelping kit, call us at 800.786.4751.