So, your dog is going to have puppies? That’s wonderful news! But now you might be wondering what you might need to have on hand for that magic moment. Your dog has her own instincts that kick in when the time is near, so it’s an excellent idea to have the area prepared before she shows signs that labor has begun.
This is a must-have for any dog close to delivery. Your dog will make her nest in the box, getting ready for the birth of her puppies. You can check those whelping boxes at www.petnap.co.uk to see various types of birthing boxes available. The box sides need to be high enough to prevent the puppies from feeling drafts, but there should be a way for mama to go in and out.
Home for the Puppies
As soon as the pups are born, you’ll want to get them out of mom’s way until she’s delivered all the babies. A laundry basket with a flat bottom makes an excellent temporary holding pen. Make sure you keep it close enough that mom and pups can see and hear each other. You’ll want to add a thick towel and maybe even a heating pad to help the puppies regulate their body temperature. When puppies are too hot, they’ll cry; when they’re too cold, they’ll whine. You can adjust the heating pad as necessary. Or, if your basket is large enough, cover half of it with the pad and leave the other half just with a towel. Then, the puppies can crawl about on their own.
Boiling Water and Towels
It’s a cliché you’ve probably seen many times in movies where an expectant mother suddenly goes into labor. Well, you won’t need the boiling water, but a stack of soft, clean towels is necessary to clean off the puppies.
In Case of Emergency
Some supplies you might want to have on hand in case of an emergency include sharp, sterile scissors (you can boil these in water or soak them in alcohol beforehand), dental floss (though not the mint flavored kind), rubber gloves, and some type of antiseptic solution (iodine works perfectly for this). You’ll need these things in case you need to tie off and cut an umbilical cord. But let the mother dog handle this if at all possible; she knows exactly where to bite through the cord. If you must cut it, tie it off twice with about an inch of cord between your ties. It should be about two inches from the puppy’s belly. Then, cut between your ties.
This is perhaps the most difficult part of watching your dog give birth. If you get excited, whether from happiness or worry that something will/is go/going wrong, your dog will pick up on your emotions and it will add to her distress. Talk calmly to your dog so she feels the comfort of your voice. If she’ll let you, you can pat her on the head between deliveries.
Having new puppies is always an exciting challenge! Fortunately, most dogs have easy deliveries because the mom already knows exactly what to do. But arranging a few items in your home before the delivery begins can help streamline the process and keep you calm because you won’t be searching for items you suddenly need.