Before the puppies arrive, there are a few items you probably have lying around the house that are helpful and good to have nearby when whelping begins:
Blankets or Comforter: 12 to 24 hours prior to whelping provide big blankets and comforters to help encourage nesting. Once her water breaks and she is in active labor, these should be removed and replaced with an absorbent flat whelping pad such as the Breeder’s Edge® Repeat Pads.
Soap: To keep your hands clean while working with mom and handling newborns.
Notepad and Pen: To record mom’s temperature. Mom’s temperature will usually drop around 12 to 24 hours before active labor. Take her temperature three times per day and maintain a chart for one or two weeks before the due date so you can identify when this drop occurs. For reference, a normal temperature range is between 101° and 102.5° F, while a dog whelping can have their temperature drop to between 98° and 99° F.
Graph Paper or an Excel Spreadsheet: To help with recording each birth.
Towels: A terrycloth towel (not microfiber) is helpful for drying the puppies once they are born.
Cotton Balls: To stimulate urination and defecation if mom is not mothering right away. Gently rub the cotton ball over the puppy’s genitals to simulate mom licking and cleaning the puppies. This action stimulates them to urinate and defecate.
Sharpie®: If tube feeding is required, you’ll need a Sharpie® to mark the premeasured placement on the feeding tube.
Your Favorite Snacks: Whelping can take a while, so make sure you are stocked with your favorite goodies to keep you going!
Box: A box to put the puppies in if you need to go to the vet or keep them in a safe place while you clean the whelping area.
Cell Phone Charger: Make sure your cell phone stays charged. You never know if you will need to make an unexpected call or trip to the vet. In addition, you want a charged phone so you can get lots of pictures of their tiny tails and perfect little paws!
If you have other questions on what you need for whelping puppies, our Pet Care Pros are here to help. Call 800.786.4751.
Welcoming a new litter of puppies is always an exciting time. By taking simple steps to prepare, you are setting yourself and your expectant mom up for a successful whelping experience. You’ve got this!
The Revival Whelping Kit is a one-stop-shop for all your whelping supplies. This easy-to-use, personalized shopping experience features the items that an expectant dog mom and her newborn puppies should have access to before, during and after she gives birth.
Dog Whelping: The Complete Guide | Revival Animal Health
Revival Animal Health put together a complete guide on dog whelping to ensure you have the right information. Learn about how to prepare for whelping.
Calcium for Whelping Dogs and Cats in Labor
Calcium for whelping dogs and cats in labor helps the mom have effective uterine contractions. Learn the right time to give calcium.
Dr. Greer’s Dog Breeding, Pregnancy and Whelping Plan
Plan your dog breeding, pregnancy and whelping with help from Dr. Greer's easy-to-follow dog breeding guide.
Helpful Whelping Supplies
What whelping supplies do I need? As the day of whelping approaches, learn what whelping supplies can be helpful during whelping and the weeks afterwards.
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 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.