Whelping Puppies at home is exciting, although dogs are often more than capable of handling these situations independently, whelping may be difficult for both the people and the animals involved. Therefore, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the procedure, especially if you ever have to supervise a canine delivery. That said, before we get into further depth, keep in mind the following two points:
- The mother dog should undertake most of the effort since she instinctively understands what to do.
- It would be best to stay completely calm now more than ever.
So, if you ever wind up overseeing your first whelping process, here are a few tips to help you deliver puppies successfully at home.
Supplies You Need
It’s crucial to have specific materials to support the mother and her babies during this procedure. So, here is a list of what you need:
To knot umbilical cords after delivering puppies, you’ll need sterile scissors, towels, rubber gloves, antiseptic solution, and thick thread or dental floss. These things are essential for a few “just in case” instances.
Additionally, because you will probably be delivering puppies in the early morning hours, ensure you have the phone numbers for your local veterinarian and an after-hours animal emergency facility available.
Laundry Basket with a Blanket and Heating Pad
Your new puppies should use this as soon as they are born. Get them out of the mother’s path as soon as possible, but be sure to keep the basket and the puppies in sight.
Furthermore, consistently monitor the puppies’ temperature using a rectal thermometer. The puppies will whine and cry if they are too hot or cold.
When delivering puppies, a whelping box is of the utmost importance. In essence, it serves as a comfortable place for the mother to go before, during, and after whelping. Whelping boxes can be purchased from your local pet store, but if you haven’t thought things through, you can use a solid cardboard box with the front cut down so the mother can enter and exit easily.
However, if you want to go the pre-made route, you can consider purchasing a Disposable Whelping Box 24″ X 24″ from Petnap. Plus, these disposable boxes can be discarded when your puppies are grown enough.
Signs of Labour
When the moment comes, be aware of what to look for. So, keep an eye out for the following indicators in your mother dog after the sixty-four days of gestation are up:
- She might throw up or produce mucous.
- She starts to lick her vulva.
- She might claw at her bedding in an attempt to build a nest.
- She might stop eating for up to 24 hours before giving birth.
- She might get agitated or restless.
While some veterinarians disregard a dip in body temperature as a symptom of impending labour, others don’t. The above signs should take precedence over body temperature because some vets believe that a drop in body temperature from the normal range of 101 to 102° F (38 to 39°) to 99° F (37° C) indicates that you’ll be delivering puppies within 12 hours. However, other people do not believe this connection to be as clear-cut.
When to Expect Delivery
There will be a puppy on the way when you witness a grey sac fall from the vulva! Within an hour of the pup’s sac developing, the mother should deliver the first litter. If not, it’s time to phone the veterinarian and ask whether to bring her in. In fact, throughout the entire whelping process, you should also call the vet to update them on the development, usually every fifteen minutes or so.
Whelping Puppies – Helping the Mother
If the mother doesn’t deliver puppies on her own, you might have to help her. Here is what you should expect:
Whelping Puppies – Removing the Membrane
Puppies are born in a thin, plastic-like membrane that must be removed within six minutes to prevent suffocation. The mother usually takes care of this right away. However, you will have to help her by rupturing the membrane if she doesn’t.
Rubbing the Puppy with Towels
When you’re delivering puppies and the membrane comes off, the mother will start licking and grooming her puppy. This will make it cry and breathe. However, if the mother doesn’t do this, you will have to grab a few towels and start rubbing the puppy till it takes a couple of breaths.
Whelping Puppies – Discarding the Afterbirth
The placenta, sometimes called afterbirth, should appear five to fifteen minutes after each birth. The placenta has no other use once the puppy is delivered. In fact, you can throw it away. Furthermore, the mother might also end up eating it. If so, don’t be concerned. Although you shouldn’t let her consume more than one or two of them, it’s entirely normal and won’t damage her.
However, a placenta may not always be born with the puppy. Thus, keeping track of the puppies and their placentas is crucial. So, after the last puppy is delivered, you should dispose of any extra placentas.
Cutting the Umbilical Cord
You will need to cut the cord if the mother puppy doesn’t gnaw through each umbilical cord on her own. If you do, use clean scissors to trim the cord about an inch from the puppy’s belly and knot it off between 1/4 and 1/2 inch from the puppy’s body. In fact, crushing it instead of making a clean cut while cutting will lessen bleeding. After you’ve tied it off, run the end under some iodine or an antiseptic solution in a shallow dish to avoid infections.
Whelping Puppies -Keeping the Puppies Warm
After delivering puppies successfully, take the momma outside and let her urinate. Then, place her with her puppies inside the whelping box after giving it a nice clean. The puppies now need to be fed and kept warm. The mother should take care of both, but if she cannot produce enough milk or rejects some or all of the pups, then it is your responsibility.
The pups will tell you if they are underfed by whining, becoming agitated, or sucking at anything. Using nursing bottles and vitamins sold at pet stores, you can feed them yourself.
Furthermore, the puppies might not be warm enough if any of them are acting sluggish. Body temperatures for the puppies should be close to 97° F (36° C). When their temperature falls below this, consider using a heating pad.
Wrapping Up- Whelping Puppies
This wraps up our list of tips you should follow when it comes to delivering puppies at home. Like any delivery procedure, whelping is a spectacular process. It’s the beginning of a new life. However, it can be taxing on both you and your dog. So, follow the tips mentioned in this article, and you will be on your way to delivering puppies successfully at home without any complications.