10 Last-Hour Whelping Tips

My German Wirehaired Pointer, Bobbi, is only a few hours away from whelping! Her temp dropped last night, so now I’m just waiting for hard labor to begin.
(If you take your girl’s temperature regularly, you’ll notice when her temp
drops. It’s a sign that hard labor is coming in 12-24 hours)

Well… now what? I am excited
and nervous, but I have everything set up, all the essentials ready, and
Bobbi is comfortable in her nesting area.

Rather than just pacing, here are some *useful* last-hour tips.

10. Cut and file your nails!

I like mine a bit longer on the thumbs and index fingers so that I can rip
open sacks, but the others short to minimize scratching the babies/mom.
Also, you want them short if you’re wearing gloves- they can break.

9.  Freeze a few meals.

You don’t want to have to leave your bitch alone for very long
before/during/right after whelping.  So do what I do and make/buy a few
meals ahead of time. It’s easier to just grab something from the freezer,
rather than cooking a meal and doing dishes.

8. If you can, sleep.

You’re about to be very busy. While your bitch goes through Stage 1 Labor,
try to get some sleep. My girl is really clingy and needy while whelping, so I usually expect to be with her
throughout the puppies’ delivery. Even if it’s not your regularly scheduled
sleeping time, it can be really beneficial to take a nap or sleep.

 7. Go get ice cream! (Or other calcium-rich treat)

If you haven’t already, go get some calcium-rich treat for the soon-to-be
mom.  Giving her oral calcium (as in ice cream) helps support natural
contractions and helps give her energy for laboring.

6. Call your Vet.

Sometime during this period will probably be office hours for your vet.
Call the office and just let your vet know that your bitch’s temp has
dropped, and pups should be arriving. This way, your vet knows to be “on
call” for emergencies, and you can set an appointment to have
exams/dewclaws done in a few days.

5. Prepare a Lube Tube.

You should have gotten Vaseline, feeding tubes, and syringes, but now’s the
time to combine them. Fill a syringe with Vaseline or other lubricant, and attach to a
feeding tube. In case of a stuck puppy, you’re going to want to be able to
quickly insert the tube, which means you need it pre-assembled.

4. Start Warming Everything.

Make sure the A/C vents are closed or the heater is on, because you don’t
want the babies getting cold. Turn on the heating pad and put some towels
on it- that way the towels and puppy area will be warmed and ready.

3. Prep for “Outdoor Adventures”.

Your bitch may insist on going outside numerous times during labor. You’ll
want a lead, flashlight, and a few towels ready to take out the back door
when your girl demands it. Often this “outdoor adventures” only yield a pee
or poo, but she could also whelp a pup or pass a placenta. You need to be
ready for a pup, so make sure the towel is warm and you are alert.

2. Get Gas!

If something goes wrong, you may need to quickly take your girl to the vet.
Make sure you have a full tank of gas and some bedding down in your car.
She probably will be leaking some sort of fluid, and I doubt you want that
on your car seats.

1. Get out your whelping clothes!
Similar to painter’s clothes, you need something that you won’t mind being
stained forever, and/or you can throw away afterward.

About BredByBitch

Hello! My name is Dani, and I've been in the "dog world" since I was 8 years old. My mother raises and breeds Irish Wolfhounds, which was my introduction to the show ring. I showed in Junior Showmanship for many years before aging out and getting my first German Wirehaired Pointer. I live in Tucson, AZ with my German Wirehaired Pointer, Luke. Luke is my man, from my first home-bred litter of wires.

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2 Responses to “10 Last-Hour Whelping Tips”

  1. Kathy Dialy Says:

    Hi Dani

    I live South of Tucson and I am expecting my first litter. I have Doberman Pinschers. I was wondering if you know anyone who has a whelping service in this area or that might be able to help me with the whelping? I live an hours drive from my vet so I’m a little nervous with my first time. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You!


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