The Dos and Don’ts of Whelping
Prepare for Whelping- Whelping can be an incredibly stressful process for both the animals and humans involved. While dogs are usually entirely capable of getting themselves through these phases on their own, it’s still a good idea to understand the process in case you ever need to assist.
In this article, we will share all the dos and don’ts on how to care for your pregnant dog during her whelping process and welcome those tiny pups into the world.
Do Prepare for Moody Mothers-to-Be
Just like humans, pregnant dogs are going to behave differently.
Some personality changes are quite common in pregnant dogs. However, it is best to keep their lives as close to their old routine as possible.
Make any changes as gradually as possible to avoid putting your pregnant dog through additional stress. Keep in mind that pregnancy can be tough, particularly if it’s your dog’s first litter. Thus, she will need more care and love from you.
Don’t Overlook the Signs of Labour
Your pregnant dog might become swollen and restless or produce a small amount of discharge before giving birth.
Shaking, panting, and even vomiting is normal in such cases.
The water sack is going to appear first and break, followed by the first pup. The afterbirth will probably come next or with the next pup, and you will have to dispose of it properly.
Some things you’ll need for the dog labour stage include:
- Flashlight to take with you as the time of birth comes close.
- Thermometer to take your dog’s temperature. 38 – 39 degrees centigrade is normal. However, if it suddenly falls to 97 – 99 degrees centigrade, you will know labour is going to start soon. Take the temperature twice in the last week of pregnancy.
- Baby Monitors to hear when your bitch goes into labour and to listen to her and her babies later. You can even use a dog camera. This might not be essential, but it can be incredibly useful, particularly for busy dog parents in a larger house.
Do Prepare a Whelping Box
A few weeks before your pregnant dog gives birth, give her a box for her to have her puppies in. The box should be big enough for her to stretch out in and offer sufficient room for a litter of new puppies. Moreover, she should be able to enter and leave the box without any trouble.
Ensure the sides of the box are several inches high to keep the puppies inside and keep the draughts out. Put the whelping box in a quiet and warm area that’s free from distractions, but that’s familiar to the dog as she needs a safe and comfortable place to rest.
At Petnap, we have a range of whelping boxes, including disposable whelping boxes and reusable plastic whelping boxes that you can use for your pregnant bitch. These boxes are available in a number of sizes, so you can pick one that best suits your needs.
Don’t Forget to Keep a Heat Lamp
New puppies often struggle to regulate their body temperature. Thus, if your dog is giving birth during the winters, it’s a good idea to keep a heating pad to keep the pups warm and cosy.
You can check out the vinyl pet heating pad by Petnap to offer the warmth the new puppies need.
Do Have All the Necessary Supplies on Hand
It’s essential to have some supplies on hand to help get the new mother and pups through this process. These include:
- Laundry Basket – This is for the new pups right after they’re born. You’ll want to get them out as soon as you can. However, make sure to place the basket in a spot where the mother can see it and the pups.
- Clean Towels – These will help to clean the puppies if needed.
- Emergency Supplies – Antiseptic solution, rubber gloves, sterile scissors, and dental floss or a heavy thread will help you cut off the umbilical cords. These tools are a must-have for a few emergency situations. In addition, make sure you have phone numbers on hand for your regular vet along with an after-hours emergency hospital, as most whelping usually happens during predawn hours.
- Milk Replacers – If your dog experiences any problems after whelping, you might have to hand-feed the pups. Thus, you should have commercial milk replacement formulas on hand to syringe into the pup’s mouth at regular intervals. If any of the pups are particularly small or weak, formula milk will provide an instant boost of energy. Nursing syringes or kits are imperative for administering milk to the puppies if the new mother experiences any feeding problems.
Don’t Ignore the Problem Signs – Prepare for Whelping
If you notice these signs in the new puppies in the first 72 hours after birth, you might need to speak to your veterinarian. Medical intervention at the right time can save the life of a new-born puppy at risk. Some signs you should look out for include:
- Separation by the mother
- Poor nursing
- Lying with an open mouth
- Lying on the side instead of the chest
- Minimal movement compared to other puppies
- Crying and restlessness despite appearing to nurse.
Do Monitor the Growth of New Born Puppies
After your dog has birthed the puppies, it’s important to monitor their weight at birth, after 12 hours, and after 24 hours to make sure they’re growing. Usually, puppies double their birth weight in the first week. In large litters, two or three of the smallest pups might need help with sucking to help them grow.
Ideally, puppies should gain one gram every day per expected adult body weight in pounds. For instance, a Labrador retriever pup should gain around 2 ounces or 60 grams every day.
If pups aren’t gaining weight at that rate, you should supplement their diet with a formula containing maltodextrin to encourage weight gain.
Wrapping Up on Prepare for Whelping
Birthing can be an extremely overwhelming task for your dog. So make sure you give her the care and attention she needs to help her get through the process without any trouble.
At Petnap, we offer a range of products to help you ease the birthing process for your dog. Visit our website to check out our range.