The Essential Items, Our must have whelping items.

Whelping Box – We went down the DIY route at the start as we couldn’t find anything online to suit our budget-this was our first mistake it sounds very straight forward making a whelping box from wood etc but by the time we actually finished buying all the wood and screws etc we definitely could of saved money buying a purpose made one that would of certainly done a better job also. Update: Our friends really like and have recommended the plastic whelping box from Petnap and this is the box I am likely to buy next time round.

Whelping Heat Mat – You could just use a hot water bottle or heat lamp of course but both options have many draw backs so this is something that we really didn’t mind shelling out a few quid on. You can pick a heat pad up on all the usual places like the online auction sites etc but we have had one in the past I can’t remember how long ago but I certainly can’t find it these days, that too was a Petnap heat pad although they don’t sell the original one anymore they do have some great replacements we ended up buying the giant size from them not a cheap priced item but like I say really wanted to get the best I could as its so important for the pups to be kept warm. We also purchased a small one several weeks later as a back up just safe in the knowledge it was always there if needed.

Digital Thermometer – Started taking her temperature 10 days before her expected due date. When the temperature drops to 37.2c or lower you can usually expect the pups within 24 hrs.  You don’t need any fancy thermometer as long as it works and is accurate.

Puppy Scales – You need to make sure your puppies are gaining weight, it’s very important to weigh them every day, and your best off doing it at a regular time of day for e.g.: 7pm each day, keep a record of each puppies weight from each day for at least 6 weeks. We weigh our puppies every day starting from day one.  There are two key points with this, make sure you have a way of identifying the puppies as they generally all look alike when they are very young and second point is to make sure you use digital puppy scales, analogue scales are nowhere near accurate enough to register very small gains in weight.