Whelping Info – Whether it is your first time preparing for whelping or you’ve dealt with the process many times before, learning more about it will help things move smoothly and prevent any shocks or surprises along the way.
In simple words, whelping refers to the process of a female dog giving birth to pups. In this guide, we cover some important Whelping Info to help you become more informed and prepared.
This section outlines some tips to help you prepare for whelping.
- Set up a whelping box in a temperature-controlled and quiet room. The room should have a door to ensure other pets cannot enter.
- Ensure the whelping box:
- Big enough for the dog to stretch out completely, move around, and enter and exit easily.
- Has a bumper rail going around the inside of the box. The rail prevents the mother from unintentionally smothering or crushing the pup.
- Has solid sides to provide privacy and prevent drafts.
- Is easy to sanitise and clean and has a waterproof floor. Keep in mind that whelping is a messy process, and the fluids are going to stain floors, carpets, blankets, etc., permanently.
- Confine the mother to the whelping area as she might pick a less optimum location to give birth.
- Keep the temperature in the room around 24°C/75°F without any drafts. You might want to offer extra heat but be very careful with that. If you’re using a heat lamp or heating pad, make sure it’s secured in place carefully. There should be no accessible cords or wires. Moreover, the pups and moms should be able to move away from the heat source if they need to.
- Don’t let any other pets inside the whelping room. Some pregnant dogs are comfortable with having humans around. Ask visitors to be still and quiet. If you feel the mother is getting stressed, request the visitors to leave politely.
- Create a whelping kit with all the necessary supplies.
These might include:
- Several dry and clean washcloths and hand towels
- Pair of surgical scissors with a straight and blunt tip
- Bulb syringe
- Unwaxed dental floss
- Lubricating jelly
- Small gauze pads
- Baby scale
- Povidone iodine solution
- Disposable gloves
- Hospital pads
Early Signs of Dog Labour
Early labour is where the birth canal softens and tissues become more flexible. At the same time, the cervix dilates and thins to make it easy for the pups to enter into the lower birth canal. Note that this process does not involve active pushing, thus, it is important to identify the signs of dog labour. This way, you will be prepared when she goes into labour.
- The temperature of your dog might fall 12 to 24 hours before active labour starts. Use a dog thermometer to check their temperature thrice a day and maintain a log for two weeks before the due date arrives. This way, you will know what the normal temperature is and when it falls.
- Close to labour, your dog is going to appear uncomfortable and restless with involuntary contractors that can last anywhere between 6 – 12 hours.
- She will start shivering and panting from discomfort. By now, your pregnant dog should be in the area with the whelping box.
After every pup has entered into this world, the mother is going to need postpartum care. This is incredibly essential for her well-being and health. Here is what you need to do:
- Remove and replace all dirtied material from the whelping box with soft and clean bedding. Repeat this as many times as needed.
- Don’t bathe your dog soon after she has given birth. Rather, clean her gently using a damp, warm cloth. Wait a couple of weeks to give her a proper bath. Using a mild soap, rinse the dog thoroughly to prevent the pups from coming into contact with any soap residue while they nurse.
- Allow the mother to rest quietly and sleep for multiple hours after whelping, while the pups sleep or nurse. When the mother wakes up, she should be alert, bright-eyed, and responsive to her litter.
- Keep your dog on a higher-calorie diet while she is lactating. Ensure she has fresh water and food available at all times.
More on Post-Whelping Info
- Keep the mother and her pups in a quiet and clean area of the house. If there’s too much commotion around her, she can get stressed and ignore her pups. Moreover, create a safe space for her where she can easily rest with her pups while having easy access to them.
- Ideally, new-born pups need to nurse every few hours. Thus, your dog will probably be with them for the first couple of weeks. If you feel your dog isn’t producing sufficient milk or isn’t allowing the pups to nurse, you should get in touch with your vet.
- If the new mother gets sick, call the vet immediately and inform them that she’s nursing, so they prescribe safe medicines if required. Similarly, if your dog is throwing up, has stopped eating, or has become lethargic, or if you notice swelling and redness in her mammary glands, get in touch with your vet.
- Keep an eye out for signs of milk fever or eclampsia. The signs include anxiety, restlessness, panting, increased temperatures, dilated pupils, whining, muscle tremors, etc. This condition can occur in the first four weeks of giving birth. If it is not treated, it can lead to convulsions, limb rigidity, convulsions, and even death. Fortunately, this condition is treatable, but it needs to be diagnosed early.
Wrapping Up on Whelping Info
We hope these Whelping Info gave you a clear idea of what to expect and how to prepare for the process.
At Petnap, we have a vast range of products, including whelping boxes, that you can buy to ensure the whelping process goes as smoothly as possible. You can check out our products on our website here.