Essential Dog Whelping Supplies

Dog whelping is the process during which a pregnant dog will deliver her puppies. The pregnancy in dogs lasts around 9 weeks and at the end of the pregnancy, the dog will go into labor. The dog will know what to do, but in order to be fully prepared for the delivery you need to get a number of supplies that will make the procedure easier and stress free.

Dog Whelping Supplies

The whelping supplies should be purchased prior to the estimated delivery date. Your dog may deliver the puppies approximately 9 weeks into the pregnancy, but there may be exceptions also and the dog may deliver earlier or at a later date than estimated.

You need to get the supplies, so that you are fully prepared:

  • A whelping box, which you can purchase or make at home, using a cardboard and a few newspapers; make sure the box is large enough for the dog and have some room for the puppies as well. The box should be clean.
  • Blankets, which will be placed inside the whelping box; the mother and the puppies will need to be warm and comfortable
  • Clean towels, which you can use to cover the puppies after delivery
  • Dental floss, which you may have to use to tie the umbilical cord of the puppies
  • Sterile scissors, for the umbilical cord
  • A pair of rubber gloves, to protect the puppies from the bacteria present on your skin
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bags

Your dog may start preparing her environment for the delivery. She will look for an isolated place that is also quiet. If your dog chooses a spot, place the whelping box in that area. Don’t try to move the dog, as this may cause stress and hinder labor.

Signs of Labor

You should also prepare by knowing what to expect before and during the labor. The signs of labor include:

  • Hiding behavior
  • Restlessness
  • Heavy breathing
  • Preparing an area for the delivery, which may be under a bed, in a closet or close to the dog’s crate
  • Lack of appetite
  • Decreased temperature; approximately 24 hours prior to the delivery, the dog’s temperature should drop to 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit; normally the dog’s temperature is between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The nipples will be very swollen and there may also be drops of milk

Stages of Labor in Dogs

There are 3 main stages of labor in dogs:

  • The first stage starts with contractions, which will be less frequent at first but will intensify as the delivery comes closer; the dog may also vomit and have a transparent vaginal discharge; the first stage may last up to 24 hours
  • The second stage is when there will be visible contractions involving the abdomen
  • The third stage will come 10 to 15 minutes after the second, when the dog will start to deliver the puppies and the placenta.