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Whelping Kit


When whelping puppies, it is very important to be prepared. This means having what you need on hand. Here are some supplies and tips you should consider, courtesy of MistyTrails Havanese.


  • Have your vet on call, and phone number handy.
  • Have your vehicle filled with gas.
  • If needed, have a babysitter on call.
  • Ideally you will have a friend on call to assist you, and drive to the vet with you if needed, or to help with children or anything else that may arise.

The design of this box works perfect for pups from 0 to 3 weeks to keep them contained. Sometimes you have to move the opening against a wall to keep them in as they grow. By 3 weeks simply TURN the box over (upside down) so the raised entrance becomes a doorway to the potty area.

  • Whelping box with guardrails (big enough for dam to stretch out) with rails that prevent the mother dog from accidently squashing the pups against the sides). This will be puppies home for 2.5 to 3 weeks, then it will need to be gradually expanded. At 2.5 weeks, a paper potty station needs to be added, and at about 4 weeks, a play area needs to be added. By 6 weeks they need room to run...
  • Newspapers, rags and paper towels 
  • Small, warm box with heating pad for newborn pups (and/or backup hot water bottle for vet travel)
Whelping Puppies

Keep small towels in this box to warm them, some puppies need to be vigorously rubbed with a warm towel


  • Scissors to cut cord
  • Hemostats to crimp cord
  • Un-waxed dental floss to tie cord if needed
  • Surgical gloves and K-Y jelly
  • Thermometer, Vaseline, book and pen
  • Flashlight in case of power outage
  • Ribbons if needed to identify puppies
  • Good quality scale
  • Preemie bottles and canine milk replacer
  • NutriCal for dam and warm broth or canine milk
  • Syringe to syringe fluids into dam’s mouth (or spray bottle)
  • Foamy sleeping bag and pillow to camp beside whelping box
  • Calcium—either Calsorb, vanilla ice cream or some other supplement (vanilla ice cream is awesome between puppies, as it gives them hydration and glucose for energy; a calcium boost will help the parathyroid gland to release a hormone from her bones to help with muscles and pushing)
Whelping Puppies

From left to right

Notebook with numbers and pages for recording dam’s progress, puppy weights, etc., pen, telephone, baby monitor, hand sanitizer, NutriCal, K-Y jelly and rubber gloves, heating pad, Vaseline and thermometer, scale , Mamalac and bottle, alcohol, scissors, floss and hemostats,  ribbon, heat lamp.


Courtesy of MistyTrails Havanese


Although this section is based on a whelping of an English Mastiff, it also contains good general whelping information on large-breed dogs. You can find more whelping information in the links above. The links below tell the story of Sassy, an English Mastiff. Sassy has a wonderful temperament. She loves humans and adores children. An all-around mild mannered, wonderful Mastiff, Sassy, however, is not the best mother toward her puppies. She is not rejecting them; she will nurse them when a human places them on her to feed, however she will not clean the pups or pay any attention to them. It is as if they are not her puppies. This litter is getting mom’s milk with major human interaction, manually giving each and every pup what they need. In return, the pups will be super socialized and will make remarkable pets, however the work involved is astounding. It takes one dedicated breeder to keep this situation healthy. Thankfully this litter has just that. Read the links below to get the full story. The pages within include a wealth of information that everyone can appreciate and benefit from.


Whelping: Close-to-Textbook Case