Basic Whelping Supplies

My basic list of whelping supplies that you need, will not be as long as most!  This is because I no longer take my female’s temperature, so therefore, do not use a thermometer.

If you decide that you do want to monitor your Golden Retriever’s temperature before whelping, then a regular human thermometer is what you will want to purchase.

©Photo Courtesy of Ron Washburn

whelping suppies, Golden Retriever caring for her puppies

Also, since I have found a much better way to cut umbilical cords, I do not have a need for scissors and dental floss. Again, these 2 supplies are optional depending on how you decide to cut the puppy’s cord.

A whelping box is an absolute must! There are various options and types to consider, but make sure you have her  box ready about 10 days before she is due.

Newspaper will be one of your most important whelping supplies!

You will needs lots of newspaper.  Matter of fact, there is no such thing as too much newspaper! Start asking every person that you know to start saving it for you!

As for whelping pads, you might want a couple of them, but I only use newspaper.  I have found that newspaper is a good enough grip for the puppies footing, and blankets can be very dangerous.

When I do use pads, I only use them for about 3 days and I make sure they do not have any type of frays, tears, or holes in them anywhere.

The best whelping pads are geriatric pads that are used in hospitals.  I find mine at small factories or stores that sell rags.

Newborn puppies squirm around quite a bit, and they can easily squirm into a fray or hole and strangle themselves.  They can also get underneath the blanket and then get squished by their momma.

When a dog is nursing and taking care of her puppies, the blanket gets bunched up and therefore, she doesn’t have a clue that a puppy is trapped underneath the blanket.

I really advise against using them.

newborn Golden Retrievers nursing

Other whelping supplies that you will want to have, is a heating pad, but do make sure that the heating pad does not cover the whole area of the box. 

If the puppies get too warm, they need to be able to squirm off onto a cooler spot.

If you need to take the momma to the vet for a check up or for any other reason, a heating pad is a must for the puppies while she is gone.

Also, your heating pad will need to be sewed closed, as again, a puppy can and will squirm up inside the protective cloth covering and then die when it can not get back out.

More supplies include several dishcloths or washrags.  These will be used to wipe a puppy down with after you have gotten it out of the membrane sac.

Next on your list of whelping supplies is a digital scale.  This will be used for weighing the puppies soon after birth, and then periodically to make sure they are all gaining weight.

You will need exact weight on each individual puppy when you start their wormings, which begins at 2 weeks of age. You can find a digital postal scale almost anywhere.  Get one that weighs up to at least 10 pounds, although 25 pounds would be better.

Other supplies you will need, are several different colors of ribbon for identifying each pup.

©Photo Courtesy of Ron Washburn

whelping supplies, Golden Retriever and her 2 week old puppies

It is a good idea to have bottle feeding supplies on hand, such as some puppy milk replacement formula and at least 1 bottle.  These are sold in kits and this is not something you want to have to run to a store for, after it is needed.

It is best to have a starter kit on hand such as this Esbilac Emergency Kit by Pet Ag. Then, if you need to bottle feed several, or all of the puppies, you can buy more formula and bottles.

Do keep in mind, that you do not need an individual bottle for each puppy.

So, that’s the run down on the basic supplies that you will need. 

Here’s the short checklist of supplies for you:

  • ribbons for ID bands
  • digital scale
  • dishcloths, washrags 
  • blankets
  • newspapers
  • puppy milk replacement formula
  • puppy bottles
  • heating pad
  • whelping box

Optional Whelping Supplies:

  • thermometer
  • dental floss
  • scissors

Those are the basic whelping supplies you'll need!



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