Whelping Supply List

September 18, 2010


When I had my litter, I put the following items in a place near the whelping box where I had easy access to them.  I had a built-in shelf in my room that I laid everything out on.  This helped me out a lot.  So if you have a coffee table or a small table of some kind to put in the room with you, it would be rather helpful.  I would organize each item in order of use when whelping pups.  I am sure that I am forgetting something.  If I remember anything at all, I will amend this list.

  • Thermometer – Use this to check the dam’s temp.  You may have to have it handy to check the pup’s temp as well in case they get chilled.  I also put a thermometer in the whelping box to make sure the temperature stays around 90 degrees.  Do not put a room thermometer close to the lamp as the reading will not be accurate.
  • Safety Scissors.  (Blunt) You want to use these to cut the umbilical cord.  You do not want to use sharp scissors as this can cause their cord to bleed.
  • Iodine.  This helps to dry the cord.  I used this once a day if not twice until the cord fell off.
  • Gloves.  Use these in case you have to help remove a puppy from the mother.
  • Syringe.  I used a bulb syringe (blue) to remove fluid from the throat and nose.  Be easy with this when sucking the fluid from the pup’s throat and nose.  I bought a bulb from the baby department at Wal-Mart.
  • Puppy Training Pads.  I used these in layers.  They have blue plastic backs.  After each birth, I rolled up the dirty pad and tossed it in the trash.  A new pad was then ready for the next newborn.  Once the puppies eyes are open and they are moving around and playing, please do not use these pads.  The puppies can choke on the plastic backing.
  • White Towels.  I used these to help mommy clean the puppies. 
  • Hemostats.  A friend of mine who is a Doctor gave me a sterilized pair of these.  They are great to clamp the cord.  Do not clamp too close to the body.  When cutting the cord with blunt safety scissors, cut on the side of the hemostats that is farthest from the puppy’s tummy.  Leave the hemostats on for a minute or two.
  • Alcohol and sterile cotton pads or gauze pads.  These are used to clean hemostats and blunt scissors after each whelping.
  • Hand Sanitizer.  Use this to clean yourself up after each whelping. 
  • Trash Bags. You will want trash bags close to you so you can throw soiled pads and paper towels away. 
  • Laundry Pail for dirty towels, sheets and/or blankets.
  • Spray Bottle of Vinegar Water.  For cleaning floor and whelping area in and around whelping box.
  • Waterless Shampoo for cleaning mom around her valvular area.  DO NOT USE THIS NEAR HER TEATS.  Wash teats with clean sterile unsweetened water. 
  • Paper Towels and Kleenex.  I have these handy in case I need them for a quick clean up of my hands. Baby wipes work well too.
  • Water Bowl so mother has access to water without leaving the puppies.
  • Heat Lamp.  You have to keep the whelping area warm for the puppies.  The whelping area needs to be 90-95 degrees.  If they get cold, it is not good.  It can be fatal.
  • KY Jelly.  You may need this in case a puppy gets stuck.  It’s better to have it than needing it and not having it.
  • Scales to weigh puppies.
  • Colored Paper Neck Bands to mark pups.  You can get these at JB Wholesale online or Dr. Foster’s and Smith. 
  • Heating Pad.  Wrap baby blankets around a heating pad to keep puppies warm.  Do not get the pad too hot as it can dehydrate the puppies.
  • Baby Blankets.  You can buy packages of receiving blankets from Wal-mart.  They are handy for wrapping around babies and around a heating pad.  You can never have too many of these.
  • Karo White Syrup and Bottles of Sterile Water – Unsweetened.  Babies need energy period.  If by chance mother isn’t producing milk, the puppies will have to get energy somehow.  Use a syringe to feed if need be.  Baby pups may also get cold.  When they do, they shiver to keep warm.  Shivering uses energy. 
  • Wysong Mother’s Milk.  This is a wonderful milk replacement.  I used it to feed my dog during pregnancy.  I used it in the pup’s mush.  I would have a container or two of this on hand in case the mother doesn’t want to feed or isn’t producing milk.  Be prepared for this.   
  • Cot or Bed.  You might as well get comfy.  You are going to be busy for the next several days and will be going on very little sleep.  After whelping is over and mom and pups are sleeping, I highly suggest you take a nap next to the whelping box too!  I slept in the room with mom and pups for the first 3 days and nights.  Dams can and will roll over on a pup.  The pup can die.  It is your responsibility to make sure the pups are safe.  You also need to make sure all teats are producing milk.  If not, you are going to have to rotate puppies to make sure each and every one of them get the required amount of food that they need.  You may also have to feed them a milk replacement such as Wysong Mother’s Milk.
  • Food and Coffee.  You will need both!  Hopefully your whelping room is near a bathroom too.  🙂
  • Surgical Shoe Covers and Disinfectant Spray.  I don’t care who it is.  Please never let anyone, including yourself near the pups and mother (whelping room) without removing shoes and pants.  If someone wants to see pups, have them bring a clean change of pants and change outside the whelping room door.  No shoes allowed in whelping room.  Spray the socks and shoe covers with spray.  Visitors should use disposable shoe covers over their feet and truly should change their pants.  You can carry germs and the parvo virus into the whelping area with you easily.  Parvo is everywhere, even in your own kennel.  Ask your vet.  Even a minute amount will wipe out a litter in a second. 
  • Notebook and Pen or Laptop.  You will want to document each puppy at birth, its condition, weight and such.
  • TV, reading material, iPhone, computer, camera, puzzle books or any kind of entertainment to keep you occupied during your waiting periods between pups.

Wendy Porch
Shadowhill Retrievers