So you now have a dam who is ready to give birth in a couple of days. Now what? Of course you have to get ready before her due date. But do you know what she needs while giving birth? Here are some of the basic materials you need to prepare before the grand date:
1. Whelping Pen – This is where your dam can give birth. It should be large enough for the dam to stretch out. Make sure also that the dam can come and go if she wants to
2. Weighing scale – Monitoring the weight of the puppies is very important. A puppy should gain weight everyday. If a puppy doesn’t gain any weight, there must be something wrong with the puppy. Seek the help of your vet immediately. It is better to know what is wrong with the pup as early as possible.
3. Towels, rags and newspapers – You need towels to clean puppies. Make the puppies dry. As for the rags and newspapers, you will need it to clean the whelping area. Whelping can be very messy so it is important to keep the area clean.
4. Dental floss – Some uses dental floss to tie the umbilical cord before cutting. But I do not use it anymore. I cut the pup’s umbilical cord by hand. I use my nails to cut the cord to mimick the cutting of the dam when the dam tries to chew it off. Just make sure your hands are clean to avoid infection.
5. Bulb Syringe/Nasal Aspirator – This is used to aspirate fluids from the nose and throat of the puppies. Remember to start removing fluids from the throat first. Avoid the practice of swinging the puppy hard just to remove the fluids in their nose and throat.
6. Milk replacement – Have a milk replacement ready. Milk from dam is still the best milk for the puppies. However, there are times when the dam has sour milk or the dam’s milk is not sufficient if she has a large litter.
7. Bulb or lamp – You will need this to provide heat to your puppies especially if they are in an air-conditioned room. But if they are just on a well ventilated place, you do not need this anymore as we already have a hot weather in the Philppines
There are other items others use like the hemostats, antiseptic or betadine, and many more which I have not included in this article. I just listed those items which I find very important for me while my dam is giving birth. In case I missed an important item, please send me a message so I can edit this article.
Additional tips during whelping;
- Notify your vet of your dam’s whelping date. Have your vet on call during the whelping day. There are times where problems occur in whelping so you need your vet’s help immediately.
- Have a friend come over to help you. It is very helpful if you can have one person to assist you especially when problems arise during whelping.
- Prepare your vehicle in case you need to rush your dam and puppies to the vet clinic.
- Some supplements you can also give your dam during and after whelping are Nutrical and Calcium supplements. I suggest you do not give calcium supplements during pregnancy. It should be given after whelping.
- It may also become handy if you will prepare items needed for tube feeding in case the puppies are weak to suck milk from their mother. This usually happens when the puppies are born prematurely or if the mother was not given proper care during her pregnancy days.
Here is how my whelping area looks like. It is located just beside my bed so I can just roll over and reach the puppies and dam immediately. I can always take a peek easily whenever I hear the puppies crying. I am covering the whelping area with sheets, aside from the lamp, to prevent the puppies from getting cold.
Now, as soon as these things are already prepare, just wait until your dam gets into labor. Good luck on your new puppies!