Whelping List

Yes, I actually do use this list.  I check off each item as I place it in the whelping area.  It takes me about a day or two to put everything together. I use a rolling plastic box with three-tiers (can buy at Targets or Container store -- meant to be for children's toys) to store things between whelpings.   I dedicate these supplies to whelpings and just freshen things up from year to year.

This list is quite extensive and you may not need to use every item on it.  I've explained my usage of everything.  I hope you find it useful.

Medical Kit:
I place all these supplies in a plastic box that can be locked in my medicine cabinet between whelpings. 
For listening to momma's heartbeat -- or checking for babies heartbeat. When recording number of heartbeats per minute, time for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. Puppies' heartbeats are VERY fast!
Lactated Ringers Solution w/line set
Use to rehydrate mother or puppies. Also use as base for sugar-water solution for weak puppies.  It is unusual to have to rehydrate the bitch -- use only on vet's advice.
Betadine, diluted in spray
bottle (or squeeze bottle)
General skin cleaning. Bottles of diluted solution make cleaning up faster. Discard diluted solution after use and make up new solution with each whelping.
4" x 4" sterile gauze sponges
General cleaning. May also be used to grab a stuck puppy.
surgical sponge
One side is smooth and soft -- the other side is slight abrasive. Used to clean skin around incisions -- or vulvar area. May also be used to remove skin deposits from nipples pre-whelping.
chlorhexidine towelettes
To clean scissors or hemostats before use. May also be used on hands.
Alcohol Wipes To cleaning scissors or other supplies.
Hemostats or forceps For clamping umbilical cords before cutting.  Leave forceps on for few minutes to minimize bleeding from stump.
Whelping Table Equipment:
I place all these supplies on a baby changing table I keep in the whelping area so they are easily accessible during and after the whelping.
paper towel
small trash bags, large trash bags
Small trash bags for heavily soiled disposals. Large trash bags for everything else.
For small clean-ups or use on hands.
laundry basket
For soiled linen.
zip loc bags - small and large
For storing small things.
spray bottle of disinfectant
For cleaning floor of whelping area and whelping box.
spray bottle of self-rinse shampoo, slicker brush, wash cloth
For cleaning up mom.
heating lamp or small ceramic heater For keeping the whelping area warm. I use a 75-100 watt regular light bulb in a metal reflector, or a ceramic heater on low placed 4 feet from the whelping box.
water bucket w/clip
For momma.  Leave close by so she doesn't have to leave the puppies for long.
Misc. Fasteners
I keep a bag of snaps, hand clamps (all sizes), blanket pins and binder clips on hand.  I use them to fasten everything from blankets, to lamps to paperwork and personal reminders.  Start collecting them now --they come in handy.
Whelping Kit:
I place these supplies in a separate box on the whelping table. I want to be able to get to them easily during a whelping. These are the supplies I use on newborn puppies.
For checking mom's temperature.  In extreme cases (chilled puppies), you may need to record their temp.  I use a digital thermometer.
Thermometer covers
Plastic covers to protect the thermometer from being soiled.
Children's Safety
To cut and trim umbilical cords. These scissors should not be too sharp or they could cause the cord to bleed.
dental floss
I use the unwaxed kind. I tie lengths of floss in loops and place in a zip loc bag. The loops are doubled over and tied as close to the puppy's body as possible.
bulb syringes
For removing amniotic fluid from the puppy's nose and throat.  Get several sizes.
tincture of iodine
Helps in drying out umbilical cords. Use twice daily on cords until they fall off and continue to use on umbilical site for one more day.  You can get the decolorized kind so it doesn't stain fabric.
latex gloves
Apply gloves before reaching in to pull out stuck puppies.
K-Y jelly
For general lubrication (gloves) or apply around stuck puppy if birth canal is dry.
hand towels or surgical towels
For reviving and drying off newborns.
Incontinence pads I use these pads to whelp on.  Because they have plastic backs, they make cleaning up easier.  You can also use them under the fleece in the whelping box after the whelping is over.  Never use after the puppies are up and around and could potentially chew the pads.
Puppy Box
This is the box you use to place newborns in. I use a corrugated plastic mail box (the type the mailman uses to sort mail) or a corrugated plastic cat carrier.
Heating pad
Wrap in flannel receiving blankets and never raise temperature above low.
Flannel receiving blankets
Warm and cheap
Hand towel
I use a hand towel over the blankets when the puppies are young to keep the blankets from getting stained.
Bag of kitty litter Place a thin layer of regular clay kitty litter in a gallon ziploc bag.  Place between heating pad and flannel blanket.  This spreads the heat across the pad and avoids hot spots that could potentially overheat puppies.
Whelping box equipment
I use a 3'X3' plastic children's wading pool, thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant and hot water.  If you use a wooden box, clean with disinfectant after applying a fresh coat of scrubbable, latex, child-safe paint or other suitable wood sealer.
3'x3' pad for under box
I place this under the pool to cushion it and keep the pool off the floor.  This also makes the pool easier to heat.
old blanket
I use this in the box before the puppies are born -- for mom to sleep on.
Fleece covers for pool I place the fleece completely over the pool -- well over the sides so the plastic is completely covered.  I secure the fleece to the box with binder clips placed at 6" intervals.  You can pull the fleece tight, which will keep the puppies from getting under momma
room thermometer
I place this on the floor of the whelping box.
Puppy Feeding Supplies
I prefer to make homemade formula*.  If you prefer a store-bought formula, you can skip this section.  In any case, have some formula, or the ingredients on hand BEFORE the whelping.
several cans evaporated milk
You may substitute goat's milk, if you prefer.
whole fat yogurt
If you can not get whole fat yogurt, substitute part fat.
As large as possible.
bottled/sterilized baby water.
Do not use the sweetened kind.
French Tube (7 or 8)
For tube feeding.
20 cc syringes w/20 g. needle
For tube feeding.
Additional supplies
Misc. Stuff
Whelping forms
Place these in a small binder or on a clipboard.
For the humans:
Video tapes, books, food, coffee, champagne.
Whelping information
Your favorite books, articles, and/or magazines should be on hand.  Hopefully you won't need them, but having them there is always a comfort.

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