Our little dog Ginger is getting ready to whelp her first pregnancy. We are so excited and have never gone through something like this before. After all these years we now have to learn about what to do when she is ready to deliver.
The first thing we did was to read up on what to expect. Oh My Gosh! I thought that my pregnancies were exciting! Getting ready for our little girl to Whelp is even more so.
First item on the agenda was to make a place for her to be able to whelp. You can use a cage, which you can use later for training, or make a box. The most important thing for her special birthing place was for it to be large enough for her to be able to spread out. You will want to have some soft towels for her to lay on so that it is comfortable and also easy to clean up afterwards. We introduced this new space to her about a week before her estimated due date. Once the puppies are born, we have a play pen that we are preparing for them.
We then started our list for other items we would need to have on hand to assist her when she was ready to whelp. In order to know when she was getting ready to whelp, we purchased a thermometer in order to keep check on her temp. When a mother is ready to whelp, her temp drops to 99 degrees F and this means that she should deliver in the next 10 to 24 hours.
The next item on our list was some gloves in case she needed help with a puppy coming out that seems to be stuck. When she delivers it should not take any longer than 30 minutes per whelp. If it is taking longer than 30 minutes, or she goes more than 1 hour between each whelp, we have our vets number handy to see if she needs to be taken in for additional care.
We also need to be prepared to assist if she does not break the amniotic pouch and bite off the cord. (This is going to be my husband’s job). So we put together a box of items we might need, like sharp scissors, dental floss to tie off the cord, a self warming crate pad for the pups once they are born.
It is important for the puppies to nurse within the first 24 hours so they can get the antibodies from their mother’s milk, but if she does not have enough milk, we also purchased some substitute milk and a nursing bottle from our local pet store just in case. If we don’t need it we can always return it.
After her last whelp, we plan to take our little mother and her pups to the vet within the first 24 hours just to have them all checked out and make sure everyone is doing well.
We will let you know how it all goes once this major event has happened. We know she is expecting at least 3 and maybe even a fourth.