Breeding, Whelping

Helpful Whelping Supplies

What do I need for my dog to deliver puppies? As the day of whelping approaches, here are a few whelping supplies that can be helpful during whelping and the weeks afterwards.

Whelping Supplies Checklist

  • Breeder’s Edge® Foster Care Milk Replacer: Give to puppies if they need supplementing. Be sure you have a bottle or Miracle Nipple! Top dress mom’s food with Foster Care the first week if it is needed. Use to flavor food when puppies start to wean for flavor. Puppies know the milk flavor and will start eating the food with it, then back out of the replacer over one week until they are just on food.
  • Bulb Syringe: Commonly called a “snot sucker.” It is great for removing amniotic fluid out of the back of the throat of puppies. A requirement if you are helping birth, especially for kittens.
  • DeLee Mucus Trap: Increase your suction capabilities with the DeeLee Mucus Trap. This has one tube that goes into your mouth and a second tube that is threaded down the newborn’s mouth to the back of the mouth. When using, gently suck on the tube in your mouth while slowly pulling the tube up the newborn’s esophagus and out of the mouth. The mucus and fluid will be trapped in the canister, helping the newborn to start breathing without inhaling additional fluids.
  • Breeder’s Edge® Oral Cal Plus Gel: Use labeled dose when whelping starts. Repeat any time whelping is perceived to be slowing down.
  • Nursing Kit: Great tool for giving milk replacer to puppies or kittens when they need supplements within the first four weeks.
  • Breeder’s Edge® Nuture Mate: The small puppy should be given Nurture Mate once a day for a week, and orphans should get it twice a day for two weeks. Plus, give it any time the puppy is off with GI issues, twice a day until cured.
  • Breeder’s Edge® Repeat Pad: This liner is washable and can be removed, laundered, and returned to the whelping box. You can wash often, but do not disturb the litter too much the first week after they are whelped. Mom will keep it clean, but there will be some amniotic fluid on the material.
  • Chlorhexidine Solution: Use to disinfect around the litter and in the whelping box. It keeps infection and fungal numbers down. Also good for cleaning mom if needed or on a baby that needs to be cleaned up.
  • Latex Gloves: People say it is optional, but you need to cover up to protect mom from your skin bacteria! They can be worn to examine mom if a baby is in the canal or if you are drying off a puppy and getting the membranes off. When the fast work of a new baby is over, you just strip them off and toss them.
  • Breeder’s Edge® Clean Cut Iodine: Tincture of iodine used to dip the umbilical cord. Dip at birth, two hours, eight hours then twice a day until the cord falls off. To reduce the risk of an ascending infection.
  • Breeder’s Edge® Umbilical Clamps: These plastic clamps help to quickly stop puppy umbilical cord bleeding. These small clamps are the ideal size for newborn puppies. The clamps crimp the cord and stop umbilical infection from getting into the baby. They are a real lifesaver on newborn puppies.
  • Breeder’s Edge® Umbilical Forceps: You name it, forceps do it! Use them to clamp an umbilical cord quickly that is not separating so you can get the baby breathing, pull the placenta that is halfway in and halfway out, clamp a vessel that is bleeding and needs to be clamped, and help remove claws. If you do not have two of these in the kennel, get two! You will use them, they are cheap, and they need to be accessible.
  • Breeder’s Edge® Oxy Mate (Use Until Whelping): Assures that there are maximum red blood cells in the baby and healthy mom at birth. The herbs ease whelping and decrease anxiety, preventing tired moms. Tired moms do not mother well!
  • Breeder’s Edge® Oxy Momma (During Milking): Stimulates milk production and maintains vitamin levels in the females so we recover and cycle back. Deficiency does not show up until the next cycle; it is easier to avoid deficiency rather than play catch up. Don’t start early as we do not want mom to start producing milk before birth and risk Mastitis.
  • Thermometer: Keep track of the temperature for the last two weeks. The temp will go down 1ºF, 24 hours before labor begins. If it is down longer than 24 hours with no labor, see your veterinarian.
  • Scale: Helpful for monitoring smaller puppies to make sure they’re gaining enough weight each day.
  • Pooch Pads: Absorbs the uterine discharge, blood and water, giving you another way to keep liquid away from the puppies’ living area.
  • Disinfectants: Keeps the whelping area clean and sanitary, preventing bacteria and disease.
  • Nutri-Drops: Gives the puppy an energy boost to stimulate nursing and extra calories to support early development.
  • Brewer’s Yeast & Garlic: Add to the mother’s food to stimulate her appetite after whelping, giving her the calories necessary to produce enough quality milk.

Whelping Kit Button
The Revival Whelping Kit is a one-stop-shop for all your whelping supplies. The whelping kit is a collection of the items listed above along with a few other items that an expectant mom and her newborn puppies should have access to before, during and after she gives birth.

If you need help choosing what whelping supplies you will need, call us at 800.786.4751.

Article originally written by Donald Bramlage, DVM, Revival’s Former Director of Veterinary Services. This article has been updated/reviewed by Dr. Greer.

Written by: Marty Greer, DVM

Director of Veterinary Services

Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.