Preparing Your Whelping Kit

           Have your car ready in case you have to make a quick trip to
           the vet’s office. Ideally, you’ll have someone to drive while
           you sit with the bitch. Take some towels with you because it is
           very common for the bitch to start delivering with the motion
           of the car. You should protect your car’s carpeting or
           upholstery with a sheet or blanket that can be washed. Make
           sure the car is gassed up and ready to go. If you need to make
           the trip, you don’t want to have to delay for things like that.
    Whelping Box
           A box with sides large enough for the bitch to stretch out
           comfortably. She and the pups will live in the box for the
           first few weeks. The whelping box should have guard rails (also
           called pig rails) extending from the sides to protect the
           puppies from their mother rolling over on them.
           Keep a good supply of newspapers on hand to line the whelping
           box during the actual whelping. As the papers become messy, you
           can just put a new layer down and clean the whole thing up when
           the whelping is over.
    Trash Can
           Keep a trash can on hand for use during the whelping and while
           the pups are growing up. Trust me — puppies are messy!
    Incubator Box
           You’ll need a smaller box on hand to put the puppies in when
           Mom is delivering another puppy. You don’t want the pups to get
           cold so line it with a towel and keep it near a heat source or
           put a heating pad under the towel. A clean laundry basket works
           well for this — and is easy to carry when you need to take the
           pups to the vet for their first checkup.
    Sharp Safety Scissors
           For cutting the umbilical cord.
    Quick Stop Powder
           To stop bleeding, if there is any, after cutting umbilical
           For cleaning umbilical cord end after cut.
    Hemostat forceps
           For clamping off the umbilical cord prior to cutting it. You
           can use two and tear the cord as an alternative to cutting it.
           This helps inhibit bleeding.
    Dental Floss
           For tying off the umbilical cord after cutting it.
    Surgical Gloves
           Use if you have to help deliver the puppies.
    Digital Thermometer
           For checking the bitch’s temperature in the day’s before her
           due date.
    Bulb Syringe
           For helping clear out puppies who are born with problems.
           Puppies always seem to come in the middle of the night and if
           you need to let your bitch go outside, you’ll need to keep a
           close eye on her. A good strong flashlight will make that
    Leash and flat buckle collar
           Same reason as above. If you take her out on a leash, she’s
           less likely to disappear into a dark corner and leave a puppy
           there without your knowledge.
           For timing the whelping and the time between puppies.
           For recording details. The puppy sheets mentioned in the record
           keeping sheet will work as well.
    Rickrack Ribbon
           For identifying puppies. Tie a loose bit around each pups neck
           when you check them out and weigh them after birth.
    Food Scale
           For weighing the puppies at birth and daily thereafter.
    Heating Lamp
           A 100 watt bulb installed with a dimmer switch in one corner of
           the box will allow puppies to move toward the heat if they are
           too cool. The dimmer switch will allow you to control the heat.
           If the weather is very hot, you should keep a fan on hand. This
           is more for the mother than the pups. Don’t set the fan up to
           blow directly on the pups but rather to move the air across the
           top of the whelping box. If the mother is panting a lot in the
           whelping box once she’s finished and has rested, set the fan up
           so that she can cool down and be comfortable with the puppies.
    Whelping Box Pads or Blankets
           While the pups are still in the whelping box, you’ll need to
           keep a blanket or pad in their box. This pad will need to be
           changed twice a day or more, depending on how well the dam
           cleans up after the pups. A piece of fleece with a towel sewn
           to the back the same size as the whelping box makes a great
           pad. They can be washed and bleached to keep them clean. Having
           four on hand will keep you from having to do endless laundry.
           Don’t put these pads in the whelping box until the whelping is

Whelping the Litter