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  • Writer's pictureSacBulldogs

What it takes to raise a Litter!

Puppies sucking their mothers milk
English Bulldog puppies

Whelping Supplies 101

Its no easy task, nor is it a cheap one to bring little pitter patter fur babies into the world. A lot of misconception is the mother (dam) will be able to do everything & know everything! A lot of people are sometimes in shock to learn that puppies aren’t left in a dark room in a box with some hay flooring and the mother. Surprisingly they don’t just magically emerge at 8 weeks old ready to sell!!! It’s just not the case. The bulldog breed (lets leave out the term the heartbreak breed! Scary!!) Aren’t a simple dog, they DO require quite lot of human involvement if your going to be successful at seeing your babies thrive.

So anyone who thinks they can work and come home and tend to puppies and leave them to their own defence…. Might want to book their pups in for desexing NOW! First things first, got 8 weeks booked off if this isn’t already your day job? Great! Lets move on.

Having a litter can be a wonderful experience & If done right, the mother will be extremely grateful for your help and it will be a bonding experience that brings you closer than ever before.

But getting ahead of myself. Your thinking “Jade, what the HELL DO I NEED?”

Well my friend I hope you have been saving because this is what you are goanna need to do and buy….

First off the room! -

You need to clear an area or have a space that the other fur kids don’t have access to!

Whelping boxes are for mummy to be and not your sire to be marking, or other girls trying to commandeer it!

She will want privacy, so if you cant block the room off with a door you are going to need to look at a few options.

If you have to use a lounge room if you don’t have a spare bedroom you need it to not be drafty.

You could build a pen / cubicle around your whelping box, you can buy great cage puppy pens from eBay for around $35-$40 that fold up and connect together to make them bigger or a decent hexagon size, you could simply drape sheets on them to offer mummy privacy screens so she can adjust to her whelping area without the others eyeballing her. If your handy you may be able to build a cubicle with a door and latch so she has her very own room.

I prefer a room separate from the main areas as I don’t want to risk contamination and it’s easier to control the room temperature.

I usually pop in a baby gate and bobs ya uncle …BUT get at least 1 or 2 of those puppy playpens. they are a lifesaver when they start becoming bigger and you need areas to move them around when you need to clean out their whelping box or room and get them some fresh air out on the grass for some play.

The box

it doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to do the job! I have seen people use plastic kiddy shell pools for instance. Plastic is easier to clean, if you have a wooden one built try have it made with the wood that has the plastic paint like coating on it… wood is absorbent and when they start smearing shit everywhere its just goanna get stained and soak in… mmmmm bacteria

If your like me and you have a bad back, I like my box big enough so I can sit in to help mamma breast feed, epically important if you have a large litter, you have to get creative to get every baby on a nipple and staying on there! This gets difficult if you have to lean over a wall. So make it big enough mammas can spread out comfortably and feed and you can sit in there and help without getting too cramped up. Hell if you can sleep in your whelping box even better! Its great to have a door way cut out the whelping box, don’t make it too high that she cant lift her legs and boobs over, she will be very sore after the c section but u also need a little ledge or a door u can put back in to stop pups from falling out…


For the first 2 weeks nearly I don’t leave the pups in the box with mamma unattended, unless you can really trust mum, it helps to have a tub! Just a plastic container from your local Kmart or cheap shop something like 50 cm x 40 cm with deep enough walls that babies cant climb out when bedding is in there or whatever you find! After I have finished feeding pups, epically after mum has just come out of a C-section. I put pups in a tub and let mum rest.

Its easier to keep them warm with a heat disc on one side and towel over the top with a little opening to let excess heat escape and get some air (don’t cover it completely of course a smaller box will heat up quickly and they might get too hot)

Bulldog clips are handy! Clip them over so the towel doesn’t drape into the tub and your set. (If it drapes in trust me they will climb on top of the towel even though they cant see!)

They are just goanna curl up on the warm side and sleep or move under the opening if they are hot for fresh cool air.

Mum will probably appreciate having some time to rest, she is going to be very unsure and out of it so let the groggy-ness wears off and gives her time to adjust.

Keep the pups in her sight but I usually put up on top of a secure cupboard or unit that she can’t pull them down on jump up on to.

My girls learn pups are safe in the tub and I will carry the tub and put on the ground and put puppies in her whelping box for feeding, when she is finished feeding and cleaning I put back in the tub and put up and let her rest.

The tub when kitted out is what I take to the vets to bring my puppy’s home in.


So you’ll need multiple soft baby blankets, Kmart is great for this

I prefer the soft fluffy baby fleece ones while so young but the pet fleece ones will do the job also!

Buy like 20 if you can!!

I also buy little cheap flannels for rolling up and putting under puppies to help them reach the top shelves of nipples and build molds to help other pups from falling off! Remember you only have 1 set of hands!

You will be changing bedding! Have lots of washing liquid on hand!

You’ll need to buy egg foam mattress- you can get this from the likes of target and regular stores. I usually buy a king roll, cut 2 squares to fill out my whelping box and double layer it. This prevents pups from becoming swimmers by creating uneven soft flooring and its comfy!

I also cut out a little square for my tub. Again sometimes handy to have extra for when u got to wash it and it rips in the machine…

You’ll need wee mats and a shit load – check out eBay, buying in bulk does pay off. I put wee mats under the egg foam mattress and on top … to try have it last a little longer between washes.

Then I fit bedding over the top. A fitted sheet is super handy epically the soft flannelette kind…it fits over the box and reduces pups from rolling into cracks or hiding under blankets. The problem is mum is goanna want to nest and rip it off and it will probaly do your head in her scrunching up your entire skillful bed making but it is what it is.

Other handy bedding is vetting bedding.

Its like that fluffy looking polyester sheepskin you can get off eBay with the green back, water goes straight though to the wee mats underneath and it stays dry on top. It last wells, washes well and you’ll find Kmart fleece blankets don’t scrub up as well as removing shit from the vet bedding. Makes great bedding to line your entire whelping box with as well or double up on one side for a fluffy bed. Anyways order some and get the good scissors out and cut it up to suit.

Remember Its better to be over prepared then stuck with newborns desperately waiting for things to arrive or out shopping.

I hope this has been helpful to some who are about to embark on raising puppies for the very first time or perhaps have had multiple litters before.

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