Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Central Virginia
I don't like heat lamps for pups--I have an old heating pad that doesn't have an automatic shutoff and I put it under a towel where the pups can go lie on it if they are chilled. Some people recommend seedling grow mats -- http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-MT10006--19-1-2-Inch-Seedling/dp/B0001WV010/
Keep mom and pups out of drafts--create a "fort" around the whelping box/pen if need be, and keep the room temperature where she is above 70 degrees, if you can. I don't like to keep the room too warm, though, because that can lead to dehydration and make mom uncomfortable. Make sure mom feels safe and secure whereever she is. If she is restless, she may need more calcium. Yogurt, goat's milk, and cottage cheese can all be good calcium sources for mom. You can also give her Tums to help supplement her calcium. She will need and want to drink lots of water while she is nursing, so add water to her food and keep water accessible to her at all times. For the first 1-7 days, she may hardly move away from those pups--I've had bitches that I have to literally take by the collar and lead away from the pups to get them to go potty. After a few days, though, they'll be more comfortable going outside for short potty breaks. Do not play ball with mom during these periods, but do freely give her affection if she asks for it.
If a heat lamp is the only option, you can get a ceramic "bulb" that is used to warm reptile pens--it puts off heat but no light.
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