Whelping Instructions

Pregnant Dog Care

Whelping Area:

  • When you house a pregnant dog it is important to ensure that she has a quiet place to hang out and prepare for her puppies. pool
  • We will provide you with a small plastic swimming pool that can be used as a whelping box.
  • Line the whelping box with rags and old towels and reusable puppy pads
  • Place the box in a dark, quiet area of the house. This can be a basement, a closet, or a spare bedroom with the shades drawn.
  • Allow the mother to freely come and go from her whelping area
  • Keep other dogs away from her whelping area so that she knows it is her place to deliver.
  • Give her lots of love and affection in her whelping area and help her to feel safe with you.

Taking Her Temperature:


  • Take the dam’s temperature using a rectal thermometer twice per day
  • A normal rectal temperature for a dog is between 101 and 102 degrees
  • When the dam’s temperature falls to 100 degrees, she is in labor

Whelping (Delivery)

  • While we hope that a dam will deliver in her whelping box, sometimes mama dogs choose someplace else to deliver
  • Keep an eye on her once her temperature starts to fall and encourage her to go to her whelping area
  • Some dams want their people to be present at the birth and will cling to your side
  • Remember giving birth is scary for all creatures. Stay with her and encourage her
  • Have extra towels, your nose sucker, and some hot water bottles on hand
  • When the first puppy emerges it will still be in the amniotic sac. Do not interfere unless you need to. The mother will rip away the sack, chew the umbilical cord away, and clean the puppy
  • Do not touch the puppy unless you have to! Sometimes the dam will move around while preparing to birth the next puppy and accidentally sit on the newborn. Gently move the puppy to a safe location next to his mother
  • Typically puppies are born 15-30 minutes apart
  • With the birth of each puppy, the dam will get more and more exhausted. This is when you need to really watch and make sure that she is cleaning her babies off and cutting the cords
  • Sometimes it will be necessary to help her by cleaning the puppies with a dry towel and sucking any excess fluid from their nose
  • If a puppy appears to be born dead, vigorously rub the puppy with a towel and suck any fluid out of the nose. More often than not, this will revive a puppy
  • Do not attempt to clean up the mess until at least 12 hours later

Videos: Newborn Puppy Cleaning  and Whelping a Puppy


  • More often than not a dam will do all the work herself. You can sit back and watch the miracle of birth
  • If a dam starts to smell (like the worst smell you have ever experienced) and the odor does not go away in a few minutes, call Aron or Aisha, and take the dam to the emergency vet
  • If a dam appears to be pushing for more than 2 hours, call the emergency phone number on your magnet, and take the dam to the emergency vet
  • Very rarely a dam will require a C-Section to successfully deliver her puppies, but it happens
  • If a dam is bleeding or experiencing anything else alarming please call Aron or Aisha, and take the dam to the emergency vet