Our whelping plans started two years ago with establising essential item in preparation for whelping in any season with our two bitches Bonnie and Boo. Then, finally with a successful surgical AI mating the final touches were put into play. (A huge shout out of thanks and appreciation to Dr David Riordan BVSc and his team at Holbrook Vet Centre)
Our setup was simple, lots and lots of towels, newspaper, pee pads, Lilcracka Whelping blankets, electric blankets, whelping pen, other essentials items and the restructure of our living/dining spaces. Most importantly was having access to an on-call veterinarian to assist if needed, which of course, we did. Forever grateful to Dr Anita, who went above and beyond, Dr Andrea and the dedicated team at Wagga Veterinary Hospital.
While “Boo” thought it would be a good idea to have pups in the middle of winter the reality is that so much more effort is required for puppies to not only survive but thrive in the 0 to -4 degree temperatures.
Armed with the knowledge that our first litter would be during the coldest days/nights, we setup the pen three weeks out from the expected due date and let Boo enjoy the comforts of being inside. During this time we tested the heating of the gas heater and radiant heater to maintain a constant temperature. Not looking forward to the upcoming gas and electricity bills…eek!!! We were set.
The first week, as advised by so many breeders was indeed the hardest. The concern of, have I got the temperature right, along with the lack of sleep put me into hibination until Graeme and I found our rhythm. After the third day I did the early night shift then at 2-3am Graeme took over. Haaaaa sleep!!
The second week after the first was a breeze. Temperature was evenly distributed and the puppies were thriving and Boo was becoming an excellent mum and no more squashing attempts when they cried or squawked…
Even though we lost a pup, not because it was winter, we are so grateful to have been blessed with two gorgeous fur babies, a brindle boy Argos and a fawn girl Ava. Both are thriving and living a great life through the winter months in our home with all the love and support from our family.
Until next time… bless… Karen out