We discussed in a previous post how best to care for your dog while she is pregnant to ensure the health of both your dog and her unborn pups. Now let’s look at what to do to prepare for the puppies’ arrival.

Assuming all has gone well with your dog during her pregnancy and your veterinarian doesn’t foresee any problems, it’s time to get prepared for the arrival of her puppies. Your dog will naturally seek out a place to give birth that is warm, quiet and feels safe to her.

So the best initial thing you can do beforehand is to either make or purchase a whelping box. The whelping box is a low, enclosed, easily cleaned container that provides a warm, clean space for your dog to give birth. You will also want to have on hand the following supplies:

Newspapers to use for temporary bedding during the delivery and you can throw away after the puppies arrival

Several rolls of good absorbent paper towels for cleaning up.

Bath mats that are non-skid make good bedding for both pups and mom.

A supply of clean dry towels for drying the puppies.

A dog thermometer to use to check your dog’s temperature to determine when labor is iminent.

A clean pair of sharp scissors to sever the puppies umbilical cords.

Unwaxed dental floss for tying the puppies umbilical cords.

Iodine antiseptic you’ll use to clean the pups’ bellies and to put on the end of the umbilical cords.

A hot water bottle or heating pad to keep the puppies warm. Be very careful with the temperature when using either of these that the pups don’t get burned.

A baby scale to weigh the pups.

You’ll want your veterinarian’s phone number and also the number of the emergency clinic. Pre-program those numbers into your phone now.

Next time we’ll talk about what to do when your dog goes into labor.

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