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Whelping Checklist – What Supplies Do You Need Before Your Dog Has A Litter Of Puppies?

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Raven will have her puppies in less than one week and the question remains: What supplies do you need before your dog has a litter of puppies? Do you have a whelping checklist?

My mother was a huge fan of checklists when we were kids.

As a know-it-all youngster, I always thought I could keep everything well organized in my head, but now that I’m older, wiser, and…eh hmm…more forgetful…I find a ton of value in the “checklist”.

Today, we’re going to put together our whelping checklist so we can be sure we don’t forget any of the important supplies needed when whelping a litter of puppies.

Whelping Supplies Checklist - Raven with her litter of Golden Puppies
Whelping Supplies Checklist – Raven with her litter of Golden Puppies

*We are not veterinarians. All of the information in this article is based on our experiences. If your dog is having puppies then please consult a veterinarian for professional advice.

What Supplies Do You Need Before Your Dog Has A Litter Of Puppies?

This time last year I was running around like a chicken with his head cut off trying to figure out what supplies I needed before Raven had her puppies.

Fortunately, this year I’m more like a bear covered with honey being chased by a swarm of bees. 🙂

Quick Tip: This time last year we weren’t sure what we needed for whelping puppies. We researched the internet and found this deluxe pro whelping kit on Amazon that worked out really well with Raven’s first litter of puppies. However, read on because you need more before whelping your first litter of pups.

I like to think I learned a thing or two since Raven’s first litter.

I didn’t have a whelping checklist for litter number one.

Instead, I researched the internet, watched YouTube videos, chatted with breeders, and hoped I had all the information I’d need to help Raven deliver her first pups.

Lucky for us everything went flawlessly! 🙂

This time around I’m putting together a whelping checklist to make sure I don’t forget anything from last year’s successful whelping and include anything new I learned for this year’s litter of Golden puppies.

Whelping Checklist

Whelping Checklist - What supplies do you need before your dog's litter of puppies arrives
Whelping Checklist – What supplies do you need before your dog’s litter of puppies arrives

Okay, guys and gals. If you like lists then you’ll love today’s whelping checklist!

The Essential Items

Our must-have whelping kit items.

  • Whelping Box – We went online to find a whelping box, but we didn’t really like the price or quality of the products we came across. We (meaning Ali’s Dad) ended up building our own whelping box.

    Update: Our friends really like and recommended the EZWhelp EZClassic System Whelpin Box. This is a product I’m considering when our DIY whelping box starts to wear down.

    Update 2: I contacted EZWhelp and they said this system might now work for a larger breed dog and that you might consider something a little sturdier for Golden Retrievers and larger.

    Update 3: We decided to go with the very expensive Magnabox Whelping Box and we are very satisfied. The Magnabox is very sturdy and easy to assemble. The main drawback is the price. If you plan on using your whelping box for many years I highly recommend the Magnabox.
  • Whelping Mat – You could just use blankets or towels, but we really like the EZwhelp Washable Whelping & Puppy Pad we got from Amazon. We liked it so much we bought a second one recently to make the cleaning process easier.
  • Digital Thermometer – Start taking Mama’s temperature 10-14 days before her expected due date. When the temperature drops to 98-99 degrees get ready for puppies (usually within 24 hrs from what we’ve read) – we have this simple Digger Dog digital thermometer.
  • Heat Lamp – Newborn puppies cannot regulate their body temperature. Last year Raven stayed with her pups and they cuddled up to her for warmth, but we also got a heat lamp to help keep our pups warm. We like the heat lamps with the clamp and attach our lamps to the edge of our whelping box. As I mentioned newborns cannot regulate their heat so you also want to make sure they can get away if they’re too hot.
  • Puppy (Baby) Scale – You want to make sure your puppies are gaining weight. We weigh our puppies every day starting from day 1. We purchased and really like this Puppy/Baby Scale from Amazon. After the litter of puppies, we used it for our newborn daughter 🙂
  • Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer – To monitor the temperature of the whelping box.

Optional: We have a portable air conditioning/heating unit in the puppy room to allow us to better control the temperature of the room. As mentioned earlier, puppies cannot control their body temperature and we want to make sure our puppy room is not too hot or too cold.

Help The Whelp

Our vet and breeding friends advised that we (the humans) help in a few areas when whelping a litter of puppies.

  • Head Lamp – One of the things we did not use as we had ample light since we whelped our first puppy in the late morning (around 10 a.m.) and finished in the early afternoon (around 2 p.m.). However, a headlamp will allow both your hands to be free while shining a nice light in all the little nooks and crannies.
  • Aspiration Bulb – Use to suction the pup’s mouth, nose, and throat. We used to help clear out the airways to help our pups start breathing.
  • Hemostat – Use to clamp the umbilical cord. We kept ours clamped for several minutes after cutting the cord to allow the blood to clot/stop bleeding.
  • Medical Scissors – Use to cut the umbilical cord.
  • Unwaxed Dental Floss – Use to tie off the umbilical cord.
  • Tail Wrap – for dogs’ tails to protect from draining fluids. We did not use it with Raven’s first litter, but it’s included in the deluxe pro whelping kit which I’d recommend you purchase if this is your first time whelping a litter of puppies.
  • Vaseline – for taking a rectal temperature and in case one of the puppies gets stuck.

Keeping Things Clean

What supplies will you need before whelping a litter of puppies?
What supplies will you need before whelping a litter of puppies?

Overall our whelping area got pretty messy, but having these items will help to keep your pup, mama, and the whelping box a little bit tidier.

By the way, you may want to wear some clothes that you don’t mind getting a little messy…

  • Antibacterial Hand Wipes – Clean, clean clean. We’re always trying to keep ourselves and our area clean.
  • Alcohol Prep Pads – On the theme of keeping clean, use these to clean off the hemostat and scissors after each use.
  • Iodine Prep Pads – Use after you cut the umbilical cords to keep the area as clean as possible.
  • Receiving Cloths – Use to grip and dry each puppy.
  • Pee Pads – We used the large pee pads to put under mom to catch afterbirth to try and keep our whelping area as clean as possible during the whelping.
  • Paper Towels – To keep your whelping box area as clean as possible.
  • Hand Sanitizer – Try to keep yourself as sanitary as possible. We used hand sanitizer not only during the whelping but the entire 8 weeks we had the litter at our house.
  • Exam Gloves – We used a different pair of gloves with each puppy again to try and keep things as clean as possible.
  • A garbage bag/can – Last year we just had the garbage bag. This year I’m going to have the bag and can just outside the whelping box for easy disposal 🙂

Puppy Identification

There was a little variation in color in Raven’s litter, but it was still very difficult to tell the puppies apart.

While there is also some variation in size I’m sure it will still be difficult to identify one puppy from the other without…

  • Beard Trimmer – When Raven had her first litter there were some small differences in size and shade of color, but overall it was tough to tell the newborn pups apart. When each pup was born we shaved an area to identify each puppy. For example, left shoulder, right shoulder, left hip, right hip, etc. We’ve also heard you can use nail polish to mark the puppies. We have an inexpensive battery-powered beard trimmer similar to this one
  • Puppy Collars – Not your regular nylon buckle puppy collars. You’ll need something much smaller for your newborn pups. We really like these Velcro Puppy ID bands from Amazon.

Forms & Documents

You’ll want to have some paperwork to document the mama’s temperature to help predict the arrival of the puppies as well as document each puppy as he/she is born.

  • Temperature Plotting Sheet – Tracking Mama’s temperature 3 times a day will help you predict when the puppies will arrive.
  • Birth Documentation Chart – When each of Raven’s puppies was born we documented them individually. Shave mark, color collar, distinguishing features, time of birth, etc.
  • Puppy Weight Chart – We track our puppy’s weights daily to make sure they’re gaining each day. Having a handy chart next to your puppy scale or whelping box makes it easy to do this on a daily basis.
  • Vet and Emergency Vet Phone # – Keep important phone numbers handy including your vet, emergency vet, and friends or family to help. It’s a good idea to have them written down (as well as programmed in your phone) just in case someone else helping can make the call.

Most of these documents come in the Deluxe Pro Whelping Kit for Puppies.

A Few Notes About Whelping A Litter Of Puppies

Last year I chatted with a few breeders, my veterinarian, and a couple of other folks who’ve whelped puppies.

Here’s their advice:

  1. It’s okay for Mama to eat the placenta, but don’t let her have more than 2-3. She could end up with an upset stomach and diarrhea. For the record, Raven ate 3 last time without issue.
  2. Don’t let Mama chew through the umbilical cord. She can sometimes chew it down too far which can cause issues. Instead, crimp the umbilical with the hemostat and make the cut with your scissors then tie off the cords with your unwaxed dental floss.
  3. Use your aspiration bulb to clean out the airways – mouth, nose, and throat.
  4. Use disposable cloth to quickly dry each puppy, make sure he’s breathing then let mama do the rest of the cleaning.
  5. If mama is pushing for more than a half hour without anything happening then contact your veterinarian.

I was completely and totally stressed before Raven’s first litter.

After she delivered 6 beautiful puppies I realized she really didn’t need me there at all.

Dogs are perfectly capable of handling the entire whelping process on their own.

Update: I wrote most of this blog post last week and Raven’s puppies ended up coming early. Two notes I’d like to add:

  • Number 1: As I mentioned dogs are totally capable of whelping on their own. This was proven when I woke up early morning and Raven already whelped puppies on her own. We rushed her and her newborns to the whelping box where the rest of her puppies were delivered.
  • Number 2: Be prepared with all of your whelping supplies well in advance. I  was lucky and had most of my supplies from Raven’s first litter and got all the extras before the puppies arrived. Puppies can come early! Make sure you have all you need weeks before the due date.

Of course, things can go wrong and that’s when it’s good to have your veterinarian’s (or if it’s after hours your emergency vet’s) phone number handy.

I have both numbers programmed into my phone and written down on my “Emergency Phone Numbers” document.

If there’s one thing I learned it’s that stress and anxiety are not good for me, my dogs, or the puppies.

So, to ease the anxiety, be prepared by making sure you have everything you need on your whelping checklist. Then, let nature take her course.

Puppies coming soon!

I can’t wait!

There’s a lot on our whelping checklist.

If this is your first litter then I highly recommend you first check out the Deluxe Pro Whelping Kit for Puppies.

What about you guys? Am I missing anything?

If so, tell me what you have in your whelping kit in the comment section below.

UPDATE: I was recently asked when we start to wean our puppies and what we feed them. We have a whole series on raising our Golden Retriever puppies from 0-8 weeks old.

However, so you don’t have to go sifting through another 8 blog posts we wean at around 4 weeks and start the puppies on Wellness Core Puppy Formula mixed with warm water for about 10 minutes…basically puppy mush. 🙂

Whelping Checklist - Raven with her Golden Retriever puppies lying on her head
Whelping Supply Checklist – Everything we could think of that we need for Raven’s next litter of Golden pups.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. Hi we’re did you get all your supplies from and your whelping box as I have look on Amazon and I can’t find them

  2. Wow! This list was super helpful for a first time litter… We just rescued a sweet GSD girl, only 2 years old and expecting her 2nd litter. We have no other medical history and have no idea what to expect. I am a total planner so I am working hard to get everything we will need. This definitely helped!

  3. So glad to find your site. Our Golden is due in about 10 days. This is our first time whelping puppies….nervous and excited.

  4. Early congratulations on your upcoming litter. Yep, everything went well with our litters. We’re expecting another one in the fall. I hope everything goes well with you and your upcoming litter of pups.

  5. Thank you for your very informative post and links, my mini smooth dapple is in the middle of her pregnancy and I’ve started to order everything in plenty of time. I hope your litter went well in the end? Liz and Helga, England.

  6. I’m glad you found our whelping checklist helpful. What kind of puppies are you having and do you know how many? Best of luck with your litter.

  7. I’d like to say thank you as well for this list, and suggestions. I found it most thorough and helpful. My first litter will be here soon. Much appreciated, Amarillo Texas.

  8. Hi Angie, I did end up getting formula for my second and third litter. In the second litter one of the puppies got sick and started losing weight. We ended up taking him to the vet where he got fluids and antibiotics. Luckily he made a full recovery. In our third litter our runt was tiny and not gaining weight the first couple days so we decided to supplement. She’s doing well. Here’s an affiliate link to the formula and bottle we used: https://amzn.to/303rjBD Our Golden Retriever pups are larger then your Shih Poo’s so you may need a different bottle.

    I’ll update the list with items you might need for the entire 8 weeks. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

  9. I purchased a pool with pvc boarder which I’m excited for. Mama will be able to hop out and will keep the 5 babies in for awhile. My Lily is a Shih Poo. Due any day now. I’m very thankful for these tips. I am still looking for more information on supplies to have on hand after our puppies are born. Formula (just in case) etc.

  10. How exciting! Early congratulations! Keep me updated on how things go. We have a series of posts from Raven’s first litter. If you haven’t seen them take a look at this article: https://puppyintraining.com/golden-retriever-puppy-development-and-pictures-birth-to-1-week-old/

    Let me know how everything goes and your thoughts about the EZ whelp fab system after the puppies are born.

    Regarding the hemostat, when each puppy is born we use the hemostat to pinch the umbilical cord then cut the cord and leave the hemostat on for couple minutes to let the blood clot. I’ve talked to other breeders who told me that you can let mama chew through the cord, but she will sometimes chew it all the way down to the puppies belly and it can make it difficult to get the blood to clot if she chews down too far.

    Good luck with your litter! I’m excited for you.

  11. I purchased the EZ whelp fab system and so far I’m loving it! My Golden is due for her first litter in 10 days. We had the X-ray last Friday and the vet said 9 maybe more. It looks like 12 spines are visible in the pic of the X-ray. We are super excited and a little nervous! Thank you for all the valuable info in your site/blog! reading this is surely helpful! there’s only 1 thing on your list that I haven’t purchased… the hemostat.

  12. Thank you for this information. Sasha (Maltipoo) had her puppies today. This is our first litter. You are right, nature will take its course with or without us. My husband awakened to two puppies and we had two more to go. The only thing I would add for first timers is to keep food and fresh water for momma. She needs and may need for you to assist with pushing it close to her. Also, congratulate her and love on her; remember they are our babies first.

  13. Our puppies are born in a locally made whelping box that we like a lot.
    It is much sturdier and bigger than above mentioned..
    We also move our puppies out of the “box” and make a play yard in the same location (our foyer). Carlson makes a nice system, white metal with gates and only vertical bars since our Aussiedoodles are climbers!

  14. I was super nervous before the first litter. Yes, I had raised 2 rescue litters before Raven’s first, but I wasn’t involved at all during the whelping. Now that we’re on our third litter I’m still nervous (you never know what could go wrong). At least now I have some experience under my belt. Lots of pics coming soon! You may want to check out my social channels too as we will be posting pics and videos on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

  15. OK, after reading this. I’m nervous for you! It sounds like you have everything completely under control, but what a lot to have to think about. I’m looking forward to seeing the puppy pictures.

  16. Our Golden Retriever litters were 6 and 8 and 8 was exponentially more difficult then 6 so I can’t imagine what 12 would be like. We’ve also raised litters when we did rescue, but none bigger than 7. Our first Golden litter got pretty big with puppies ranging from 12.5 to 15.5 lbs when they were 8 weeks old.

    Okay, another question I was going to ask you is how difficult is it to clean poop off the Dura-Whelp Box walls, but since they’ll be out of the box at 3 weeks that shouldn’t be a problem.

    I think you have a great plan and it sounds like you have a nice space to raise the litter.

    Keep in touch. I’d love to hear how everything goes with you and your litter of pups!

  17. I forgot to mention I plan to move my babies around 3 weeks (ab the time we start mush) from the whelping box (it will be removed, cleaned and stored away) and replaced with a playyard type of setting; we will use a extra large heavy duty gated, fenced in area for them for the remainder of their time with me. By 8 weeks they are already weighing in around 15lbs and they have very large litters; mine are both 1 in 12 so I am not sure any size of whelping box would be sufficient amount of space unless I added on the weaning room for additional space. And I’m fortunate in having the convinence my whelping area is our downstairs garage where we have it element controlled and concrete flooring so all messes can be easily washed away in the floor draining. We built and designed it (the house) bc I also work from home and run a lisc daycare so that space (the garage) comes in handy during winter months and we need some ‘outdoor’ type activities 🙏🏻🙌🏻 Anyways I plan on setting up an area for whelping and a bed down there for me to stay with them… and then eventually the gated playyard for them as they get bigger.

    What do you think?

  18. I’m learning to be a better planner. When Raven had her first litter about 2.5 years ago my only worries were my dogs/puppies. Now I have 5 month old twins and an almost 2 year old so life is a little more hectic.

    You’ll have to let me know how the Dura-Whelp Box works for you. I saw that one and my only concern was durability. We were planning to use our whelping box for 4 litters over a 4 year period. I do see the Dura-Whelp Box has a 3 year warranty. One other thing I didn’t mention is my pups chewed the rails and the edges of the entry. Our whelping box is still usable, but I think it might only make it through our 4 litters before we need to replace it.

    One other thing I was just thinking about was when they were older our puppies jumped up against the walls while playing, during mealtimes, and for attention (we did our best not to encourage this behavior). Since the Dura-Wehlp Box is lightweight I wonder if there will be any issues with larger puppies moving, knocking around, or lifting the box off the ground.

    Regarding building your own whelping box. Ours wasn’t totally complete before our first litter. We had 3 walls, but we were still working on the door way wall. Luckily newborn puppies can only army crawl so we were easily able to contain the little guys for the first day by propping an extra piece of loose plywood as the 4th wall.

    I’d love to hear updates on how you like your Dura-Whelp Box and how everything goes with your litter of puppies.

  19. You are amazing. No worries as I am sure you’re busy!!! I’ve bought (or rounded up) everything I can possibly think of for this…I’m usually the one that’s overly prepared or packs to much on vacations or outings. Ha :)) but I can’t ever be to prepared in my mind; two kids, a husband and two CC’s and they all keep me on my toes.

    We did break down and buy a whelping box through DuraWhlep earlier today. They were by far the most reasonable priced compared to some other name brands for 700-1000$. I got the extra large, a few additional accessories for it and another whelping kit (see, that’s what I mean when I say I’m overly prepared; I don’t neeeeeeed two, but I do 😉 extra whelping mats for a little over 500$ and shipping was 70$ of that; so all in all 430$ in supplies. But it’s still considerably less than other brands so I feel achieved in my research. I’m just worried we ran out of time to find prints/plans and build our own!

  20. Early congratulations on your upcoming litter! I’m super excited for you. Thank you, I’m glad our whelping checklist has been helpful to you. When we built our whelping box I mostly relied on my father-in-law’s carpentry skills and designed the box based on pictures we found on the internet. After using our DIY whelping box with the last two litters here are a few things I think we did right and some we did wrong:

    The Good:
    1. We used wing nuts to make it easier to take apart.
    2. We painted it with a glossy paint to make it easier to clean.
    3. We added adjustable door heights so Raven could easily get out, but the pups could not.

    The Not So Good:
    1. The wood warped making it slightly difficult to put back together after we stored it.
    2. Although we tried our design was not very easy to take apart for storage nor easy to put back together. I feel like I could do better if we made a second whelping box.
    3. Height of the box: I think I would have made ours a little taller. At around 7 weeks our pups start climbing out of the box.

    I’ll see what I can do about putting together a list you would need for your litter from 3-8 weeks old. It will actually be a good exercise for me because I want to add to my puppy enrichment environment.

    Good luck with your upcoming puppies!

  21. This has been the absolute hands down most helpful guide/list of things we need to get ready!!! We are first time breeders of Cane Corsos and she’s on day 42!!! We are wanting to build our own whelping box as I’ve read so many reviews and blogs and articles on things people would change or do different with their current whelping box. Did you use a online tutorial? Or did you design it and then make a material list and build from that? I went through your list and ordered everything; with I hope enough time before she goes into labor. It’s getting close.

    I would also be interested in a list of items needed for the post birth 3-8 weeks that are needed. My breeder gave me a list of things I should be considering but I would be interested in what you suggest.

    Thank you!

  22. Congratulations! I’m excited for you. I’d love to see some pics of your little Berner litter. Let us know how everything goes.

  23. Wow! So helpful! Our Bernese Mountain Dog will be birthing for the 1st time in 10 days. We are 1st time puppy Grandparents as well so this was so helpful, informative and comforting!

    Thank you!!!

  24. Amazing information. It all checklist are useful at emergency to pet owner. I know that and i passing from this situation. before i don’t know about the whelping box, after reading some blogs and when i searched about to care puppies, i got it. Thank you for sharing useful article for every pet owner.

  25. Early congratulations on your litter! How exciting! I love Aussies! Our Aussie mix passed this past spring and I still missing him dearly. I have my fingers crossed that your whelping box will arrive in time.

    We met a cadaver dog in training on one of our outings years ago. Do you plan on training all the dogs from the litter to be cadaver dogs?

    Good luck with your puppies. I’d love to see pics if you ever have time to share.

  26. Sigh, I’m running pretty late into this game. Haven’t whelped a litter in over 25 years. And my Aussie is due with 9-10 pups in 2-4 days. I’m just hoping the whelping box (the one you recommended is also the one I ordered since I really liked the design) arrives in time. If not, I’m equipped with blankets, sheets and doggie towels but they guarenteed Monday delivery. The records ideas are fantastic. Thank you for that and the list is so good! Except for waiting for the whelping box, I got the rest of everything covered since I raise sheep and have most of the stuff I need for whelping. So now I’m gathering it in one place and sterilizing them.

    My dogs are cadaver dogs, btw. I bred my little girl to a 6 time international herding champion from a very long line of top flight herding dogs so I’m expecting some exceptional puppies in this litter who will be started as soon as their eyes are open on the scent of human remains. I commend you on your work with service dogs. I, on the other hand, prefer to work with the dead, as they are less annoying then live people! 😉 .

  27. Awesome! Congratulations on the litter! I’m glad the list helped. We’ve been lucky enough to raise mixed breed pups from the shelter and pure bred Golden Retrievers (future Service Dogs). What breed of puppies are you expecting?

  28. Thank-you for the list! It looks very good and a lot of information with it! Expecting my first litter in 3 weeks , so info is very helpful!

  29. Any suggestions for post birth puppy supplies? I’m thinking about the following 8 weeks and what kinds of items I might need. I’m garage/second hand sale shopping for puppy friendly things like, a climbing structures.

  30. Early congratulations on your upcoming litters. I started by volunteering as a puppy raiser with different service dog organizations and branched out from there. Over time I’ve built strong relationships with a half dozen service dog organizations that I’ve been working with for the past few years. If you’re looking for service dog organizations a good place to start is Assistance Dogs International (https://www.assistancedogsinternational.org). You can search for organizations by location on their website. My recommendations would be to try and get involved with the organizations before you donate puppies because unfortunately I’ve had some not so great experiences with some of these groups as well. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  31. Hi! We breed Great Danes and have a litter due in 1 week and another due in 12 days. My question isn’t about whelping, but about your service dog training. We are looking to start donating pups to veterans or to a company who helps find homes for service pups . I would like to know how you started in the service dog department and how you found good companies to work with. Any websites, numbers, etc for me to visit would also be appreciated. I trust word of mouth more than I trust Google…..

  32. I’m not a veterinarian. If you have any specific questions please ask your vet.

    Early congratulations on your litter of puppies! Do you mind me asking what breed you are expecting? I don’t have a step-by-step guide, but it’s something I’ll consider putting together when the next litter arrives. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get you anything in the next 7-10 days.

    Here are a few tips after you dog’s temperature drops. Keep a close eye on her until the litter arrives. A few things I noticed a couple hours before Raven had her first litter was panting and noticeable discomfort. I also believe I witnessed her water breaking, but I’m not a veterinarian so I can’t be positive. When Raven had her first few puppies she was squatting like she was pooping so if you take your dog outside for a potty break make sure to watch her closely to be sure she’s not giving birth to a puppy. Try to get her used to the whelping box days in advance of her due date (if your 7-10 days out you should probably start doing this now).

    Regarding the cutting the cord, I talked to our friend who is a vet tech and has delivered hundreds of puppies. She said to clamp the cord about 2 inches away from the puppy, cut the cord, and leave the cord clamped on the puppy for a couple minutes to let the blood clot. She said if we did this we wouldn’t need to do the tie off. After a few days the cord dries up and falls off. I’ve done this so far with all of Raven’s puppies without problems (knock on wood).

    Let us know how everything goes with your litter of pups!

  33. Thank you for the whelping checklist! Our dog is due in 7-10 days and I will be purchasing everything tonight. Do you have a step by step guide of what to expect after our dog’s temperature drops? I’ve read so many different websites and books, and your information has been the easiest to understand. If you have pictures of some of the steps to have handy would be extremely helpful as well. For example, I think I understand the process for tying and cutting the cord, but seeing a picture of exactly where to clamp and cut would be great. Thank you!

  34. You might want to consult your veterinarian with any questions. I had a list of questions for my my vet and talked to him when we got x-rays to see how many puppies would be in Raven’s litter.

    Okay, that being said we allowed Raven to keep the whelping box clean for about 4 weeks with no problem with her first litter of six puppies. We stopped allowing her to ingest the pee/poop around 5 weeks and did all the cleaning ourselves from then on. We planned to do the same with her second litter of eight puppies, but she started getting an upset stomach (some vomiting and diarrhea) around 4 weeks so we cut her off earlier and started giving her probiotics. Within a couple days her stomach was doing much better.

    During the first couple weeks I changed out the linens at least once a day and now and then had to clean up the puppies. Up until about 4 weeks it’s not bad at all especially if you have a tidy momma dog like Raven. However, around 4-5 weeks we were cleaning up several times a day and it’s messy, stinky, smelly… We also use our Carlson Pet Pen quite often when we’re doing cleanup.

    One other thing…Raising six puppies was way easier then raising eight puppies. Our other friends recently had a litter of ten and I just can’t imagine.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

  35. Good luck in the fall! I’d love to hear all about your experiences after you have your litter of puppies.

  36. Hello,

    I’ve read all of your posts as our golden is due in about two weeks with her first litter. This is the first time I’ve read that the momma will keep the whelping box clean herself – does this mean it’s safe for her to ingest the poop/pee if she gets to it before we are able to clean it? Did you clean the whelping box daily anyways with just general wipedowns and exchanging of linens/pads?

  37. Awesome info Thank you!! We hope to be whelping our first litter in the fall. So excited about welcoming new puppies!

  38. I am not a veterinarian nor animal health expert. If you have any questions about whelping talk to your veterinarian.

    “If mama is pushing for more than a half hour without anything happening then contact your veterinarian.” This is advice I received from a breeder. My interpretation is if Raven was ever pushing for more than a half hour including before her first puppy then contact the vet. Luckily, with Raven anytime she started pushing a puppy arrived minutes later.

  39. I was wondering what you mean by “If mama is pushing for more than a half hour without anything happening then contact your veterinarian.”
    Does that mean the push of her very first pup or in between each pup?

  40. Raising litters of puppies is a blast! The first 4 weeks aren’t too difficult, but the last 4 weeks are a mess…think puppy poop war…

    I just said goodbye to the last one from this litter who is starting his continuing his training with Cascade Service Dogs. Good luck to Charlie!

  41. We said goodbye to our last puppy a couple days ago who’s headed to Cascade Service Dogs. I’m hopeful that Charlie will make a great service dog. Thanks for following their journey.

  42. I’m not planning on being actively involved in delivering or helping deliver puppies, but the information you put together seems very comprehensive! I pinned it just in case I might need it at some point after all 😉

  43. I’ve watched the pups grow up and feel abit proprietary toward them. They are all so lovely. I’m glad you found some promising service dog trainees.

  44. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the advice. We work hard to take great care of all of our dogs. We’ve read that prenatal care, health, and well being of the mother is very important to having well-balanced puppies.

  45. Dog owner gets right way when he is owning and taking care of pregnant dogs at the time of delivery. Mental support of a dog owner helps a dog to gain maximum energy with full motivation of delivering a pup normally.

  46. Good one! I have a Canon Rebel and my iPhone camera to document the moment. I’m also looking into getting a mirrorless camera with 4K video. I’m guessing just about everyone has a smart phone camera, but upgrading to a DSLR or Mirrorless camera can make a huge difference in the quality of photos and video.

  47. What about a camera to take pictures to document the experience! I would totally stress out if my dog had puppies. Glad things went well for Raven!! Can’t wait to see the pics of the new puppies!!

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