Whelping supplies

Equipment         Whelp table supplies         Other supplies         Down-loadable charts, and other information        

*This is a disclaimer...* This is "my suggested" supply and equipment list. I am not a Veterinarian. With that said, I realize that there are many people out there that may do things differently. I am simply hopeful that my information and photos may help new breeders, refresh semi-experienced breeders or just inform those that are curious about the process, I am NOT claiming to have all the answers. I also hope it is nice for those getting puppies from me, that they have an opportunity to know how their baby fuzzball entered the world! This info is based on my large breed, the Rottweiler. Some information may be different for smaller breeds...

Sounds silly but, make sure your car is full of gas and if you need a baby sitter make sure she is on call just in case you need to make that emergency C-section ride to emergency. Also, make sure your phone is charged!

I suggested of where to buy many items, but of course always do internet searches to find the best prices yourself.


Description Where to get them Photos
Kiddie Pool-whelping box: (buy 2 pools) simple, inexpensive, easy use. Cover the first pool w/newspapers and a Q-size sheet (covering over the pool sides & slightly taught) place the 2nd pool (with the bottom center cut out of it) over the first pool. This sandwiches the sheet inbetween both pools which help keeps the sheet taught. Now the Dam cannot wad up the sheet and tangle pups to be accidently laid on. You must be more dilligent watching the very young puppies because this pool-type whelp box does not have pig rails to protect pups from being rolled on by the dam.. $ K-Mart
Durawhelp-whelping box: Easy to store, set up, use, clean, lightweight. This box is my favorite and works so well. $$ Breeder Base
Vinyl flooring: I buy several pieces. You can either buy a large section from one of the big rolls and cut up yourself or individual 6' x 9' pre-cut rolls. I use one under the whelping box to protect the floor. Later I use a roll under my puppy play pen to again seamlessly protect the floor. I usually choose styles that are less slick and with a small amount of texture so puppy can grip better. $ Home Depot
Solid ceramic heat coil/bulb: Is really great. I love them so much more than the glass or red heat lamps. The heat is more even and the Ceramic Heat Emitter (or bulb) provides heat without light. I prefer to control the light with a regular lamp or extended arm clamp type lamp $$ Breeder Base
Heat lamp with floor stand: Breeder-Base sells one that comes with the adjustable holder to extend over the box. It is simple and works well. $$ Breeder Base
Table or clamp-on Lamp: Best when lighting is needed. I have one like this one pictured called an Ott-lite. I like the adjustable arm because I can turn it for direct light and then other times face it towards the ceiling for ambiant light. $ Jerry's Artarama
Heating Pad: I have two electric pads. Make sure that when you buy them, that you do not get the pad that has a safety auto-timer shut off. You can end up with them if you do not read the packaging well. I use one in one quadrant of the box, under the whelping pad or blanket for floor heat. The other heat pad is used in the milk crate for trips to the Vet or individual puppy heat when or if needed. $ Any pharmacy
Washable blankets & sheets: I buy several inexpensive queen sized sheets and blankets from thrift stores to use in the kiddie pool set up or at times in other whelp boxes. By sandwiching sheets or blankets between the two pools keeps them from bunching and loosing puppies when the dam tries to dig everything up. $ Thrift stores
Lt. Blue foam board: This foam board, made by Dow, comes in 4' x 8' lightweight sheets found in the construction end of home improvement stores. It makes excellent insulation for hot or cold between the whelping box and the floor. I also use it under crate pans for other dogs. $ Home Depot
Fleece-like whelping pads: Perfect fleece style mats to cover the whelping box floor. They are durable, warm, and easy to wash. Durawhelp/breederbase has the best. $$ Breeder Base
Milk crate or sturdy box/basket: for occasionally pup transport or safe placement while whelp box is being cleaned. It's also very sturdy in case one trips/falls, the pups will be safe. $ ebay
Newspapers: You may laugh but you need tons! Try a recycling dumpster sometimes at schools. I usually find new bundles, never opened. I have a legal filing cabinet in the kennel and newspaper stores perfectly stacked 2 piles, front to back. $ Recycle dumpsters
Ask Neighbors
Garbage can and trash bags: Kitchen size usually works well enough. I prefer the force flex bags. They really expand and also does a great job without leaks. I place a few in the bottom of the can, so available once I remove a full bag.$
Small sturdy side table: for easy access of whelping supplies during the whelp. I suggest that you cover the table with a towel for any spills and keeping things from slipping. Set up all your supplies a few days ahead of time and place another light towel over top of them to keep dust off. You will then be ready at any time. $
Bed, couch, air mattress: I "sleep/nap" on a wide couch across from the whelping box for at least a full week or two. Make it comfortable you will need it! $
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Whelp table supplies...

Description Where to get them Photos
Paper towels: Paper towels are good for most everything. You will need a lot so I suggest a trip to Costco! $ Costco
Baby wipes: I suggest the more gentle baby wipes over paper towels for the tender puppy bits. Everyone is different but I tried off/generic brands but I still prefer the name brands. They do a better job cleaning desolving poop off if puppy get soils. $
Hand towels: large stack at least 2 per puppy for drying and cleaning puppies as they deliver. $ Thrift stores
KY jelly: If puppy is stuck squirt a large amount up in and around puppy. This is a safe way to help mom get the pup out. To help gently grab slippery puppy, either wear latex gloves or wrap wash cloth or hand towel around exposed puppy. Only pull with contractions and never pull any parts like feet, legs or tail. Joints at this age are gelatinous and severe damage can result if pulled. $ Pharmacy
Laytex gloves: if you need them, if not then make sure your hands are extremely clean, under nails, etc... $ Pharmacy
Blue 2 oz. bulb syringe: My favorite for puppy use, not so stiff and get better safe suction, soft flexible rubber. This is the first thing I do is help puppy breathe. $ Whelpwise supplies
Dental Floss, unwaxed: to tie umbilical cords. Make sure you tie off at least 1/8 inch from the belly, then cut the cord at least 1 inch long. If you tie, cut or Mom chews too close to the belly an umbilical hernia can result. $ Pharmacy
Scissors blunt end: When cutting the umbilical, you want to almost tear it as you cut. To clean of a cut could cause bleeding. You should always tie off the cord before cutting it. I have seen a pup bleed rapidly. Do not panic but quickly get it tied off. $ Whelpwise supplies
Betadine: For antiseptic after you cut/tear the umbilical make sure you clean the exposed end with a betadine soaked cotton swab. Be careful not to get it on the little boy's bits!. $ Pharmacy
Cotton swabs: To deliver the betadine to the exposed umbilical ends. $ Pharmacy
Bias tape: for color neck ties, to identify puppies as they grow. Comes in several colors, and stretchable for safety. Tip: Cut them at the ready before the whelp, about 9" for a lg. breed dog. Trim after tying. I prefer the double fold bias tape. $ Fabric stores
Weight scale: Right after puppy is born, breathing, umbilical tied off, etc... weigh them. You must follow their weights for the first few days and weeks. This can be your first sign of trouble. Make sure you get a good accurite scale. Most Rottweiler pups are commonly born between 8-16oz. I have the Zieis scale shown and am very happy with it. $ Ebay
Cotton warming tubes: filled w/beans or rice, about 15" long by 3.5 " wide. Place this in the microwave for 1 min. at a time to keep newborns warm. It can also act as a brace behind the litter as they push off of it to nurse. Make yourself one in a pinch, just fill a sock with rice. $ homemade
Snuggle safe: An awesome hard plastic disk filled with something that holds heat for several hours after warmed in the microwave for a couple minutes Works very well. I suggest to get two. The directions reccomend that the disk completely cools before re-warming.. $ Amazon
Whelpwise supplies
Pet Nutri-drops: Glucose and multivitamin supplement. Glucose is absorbed without needing to be digested first The perfect thing for stressed puppies or for the bitch during whelping. 6 month shelf life un-refrigerated, 1 year refrigerated. You can also try to find powdered glucose, which stores forever until reconstituted. You can also use Kayro syrup. NEVER use honey! $ Whelpwise supplies
Infant feeding tube: Nice and tiny (5fr or 8fr) clear silicone tube with markings in centimeters. Slides in easily. Cheap, buy more than one. Here is an EXCELLENT YouTube video on how to feed puppy properly by William Schultz DVM NOTE: I caution you to make extremely sure not to feed too much. Better to feed less, than more. More will aspirate puppy and cause death! A new pup's stomach is merely a bulge in a tube not a full stomach shape. Tube feeding is very easy once you get comfortable, but do not tube feed unless you need to, and hopefully have a seasoned person with you the first time. It is a life saver if done properly! Whelpwise supplies
Digital thermometer: Easy and quick to read and it is inexpensive enough to designate for whelping use only. $ Pharmacy
PH test tape: for testing bitches milk ph, for signs of early infection/mastitis. $ Pharmacy
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Other supplies...

Description Where to get them Photos
Milkade: helps the bitch let down milk safely if she is having a hard time producing it. It comes as an inexpensive powder that you mix with water and add to her food. It works very well. $ Happy Jack Milkade
Hand-help doppler: Summit-LifeDop. Worth it's weight in GOLD. $$$ whelpwise
Ultrasound gel: If you use a Doppler, you MUST use proper ultrasound gel only. If caught in a pinch you can use water. DO NOT USE KY or you will ruin the Doppler!. $$$ whelpwise
Lactated Ringers: To administer if dehydration is happening. Use properly only on Vet's advice. $ Your Vet
Bag of kitty litter: Place a thin layer of regular clay kitty litter in a gallon ziploc bag. Place between heating pad and sheet. This spreads the heat across the pad and avoids hot spots that could potentially overheat puppies. $ Pet store
Baby receiving blankets: I love collecting cute ones. I use them for my pups as well as others that are cute to send home w/puppy when they are eight weeks old. They are rubbed on other litter-mates, Dam and household members to take the familiar smells to their new homes. $ Thrift stores
Pedialyte, plain: Get the small "6-pack" style bottles because once opened a bottle is only good for 24 hours. It is not rotten it is just not effective. $ Grocery
Syringe variety: I suggest a 1cc, 3cc, 5cc, 10cc,and have on hand a 60cc. The 1 CC is easier to use on very small doses as well as it would be eisier to have the 60cc for larger application. You may need one for a multitude of reasons. Inexpensive so good to have several on hand. $ Farm supply stores
Ice cream, Vanilla: This is an awesome calcium-rich boost to give the whelping dam between puppies. It will also give them hydration, glucose for energy, and help the parathyroid gland release a hormone from her bones helping her muscles to push. Make sure you buy calcium rich, ICE CREAM and not labled frozen dessert!...you can have some too! $ Grocery
Nutri-cal: For the dam and puppies for her whelping energy and their energy boost if they need it. $ PetSmart
Whole Fat yogurt: For the dam's whelping energy boost. Make sure it is at least 4% milkfat. $ Grocery
Stoneyfield brand?
Meijer brand?
Cabot brand?
Tums: Some people believe in this and others do not. So, the jury is out. Some believe that Tums is also a good source calcium. Some Vets do not believe in it so ask your own Vet. $ Grocery
Goat's milk: Some breeders supplement puppies with 1/2 water and 1/2 goat's milk. Personally I have found it creates more of a problem and causes diarhea. I use the powdered infant puppy formulas only if I need to. $ Grocery
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Down-loadable charts, and other information

Description Where to get them Photos
Doppler chart: If you have a doppler, you will follow your pup's heart rates. Download this chart to easily record the rates on this printable chart. In Rottweilers you want to see above 180 bpm (beats per min.). Dropping into the 170's usually meens the pup is in stress. The average heart rates I see are 190-228. View

Download .pdf
Dam's pre-whelp temperature chart: Start taking your Dam's temperature 3x a day, equally spaced apart, at exactly the same times to try to catch the temerature drop. $ View

Download .pdf
Litter birthchart: Record your entire litter's birth information. View

Download .pdf
Vaccine chart: This is the chart I use to keep track of my dog's pertinent information. I use a three ring binder that I keep updated and the chart is placed in the cover pocket. Inside I have xerox copies of all dog's health and title certificates including a photo on the front of each dog's secion. In the last pages I have a copy of each of my litter records. No matter where I go, a trip, show or Vet's office "everything's in there"! View

Download .pdf
WhelpWise service: Their monitoring service leases a uterine contraction monitor and an ultrasound Doppler for use in your home. Equipment hooks into your regular phone line, and transfers information about labor to our whelping center. WhelpWise is available to clients on service 24 hours a day-7days a week Use of the whelping equipment begins 4-5 days before the expected due date. The WhelpWise service is ALWAYS offered in conjunction with your veterinarian. whelpWise
Dr. Dodd Vaccine schedule: This is the nationally recognized canine vaccine schedule reccomended to Veterinary schools in the U.S. View here
Basic whelp information book: This is a great book to help you understand breeding, whelping and early canine care
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