Whelping puppies can be both exciting and challenging, especially for first-time breeders. Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you navigate the process:

Prepare a whelping box: Choose a quiet, secluded area for the mother to give birth. The box should be large enough for her to move comfortably but cozy enough to keep the puppies contained.
Gather supplies: Have clean towels, blankets, a heating pad, a thermometer, sterile scissors, dental floss, iodine or chlorhexidine solution for umbilical cord disinfection, and a scale ready.
Emergency contacts: Keep your veterinarian’s contact information handy in case of complications.
Monitoring the Mother:
Watch for signs of labor: These may include restlessness, nesting behavior, panting, and a drop in body temperature (usually below 100°F or 37.8°C).
Stage one labor: This is the early phase where the cervix dilates. It can last for several hours and may not be very noticeable. For more information please visit Puppy nestje
Stage two labor: This is when active contractions begin, and puppies are born. Each puppy is usually born within 30-60 minutes of strong contractions.
Assisting with Delivery:
Keep the whelping area clean: Change soiled bedding promptly to prevent infection.
Provide assistance if necessary: If a puppy is stuck in the birth canal for more than 30 minutes with strong contractions, or if the mother appears distressed, it’s time to intervene.
Gently pull the puppy: Use a clean towel to grip the puppy and guide it out with gentle traction. Be careful not to pull too hard, as this can cause injury.
Break the sac and clear the airways: If the mother doesn’t do it herself, use a clean towel to remove the sac from the puppy’s face and gently rub its body to stimulate breathing.
Post-Delivery Care:
Ensure each puppy is nursing: Puppies should start nursing within the first hour after birth to receive colostrum, which provides essential antibodies.
Monitor for complications: Watch for signs of distress such as difficulty breathing, weakness, or failure to nurse. Contact your vet if you notice any concerns.
Weigh the puppies daily: Monitoring weight gain can help ensure they’re thriving. A gradual increase in weight is normal.
Caring for the Mother:
Provide a comfortable environment: Ensure the mother has easy access to food, water, and a quiet place to rest with her puppies.
Monitor her health: Watch for signs of infection, such as fever, discharge, or lethargy, and contact your vet if you have any concerns.
Gradually increase her food intake: Nursing mothers require extra calories and nutrients to produce milk, so adjust her diet accordingly.
Follow-Up Vet Care:
Schedule a postnatal check-up: Both the mother and puppies should be examined by a veterinarian within a few days of birth to ensure everyone is healthy.
Discuss vaccination and deworming schedules: Your vet can advise you on when to start vaccinations and deworming for the puppies.