Our Whelping Room
In 2019 we sold our house and traveled the United States in our bus for two years with our children. We visited 37 states and had an amazing time. But as our kids got older, we decided it was time to buy a house. One of the qualities we were looking for in a house, was space to raise our puppies. When a house in Cedar Falls IA went on the market, and I saw the huge bonus room it had, I knew we had to have it. We put an offer on it that same day, and officially moved into it in April 2021. Our house used to have an indoor pool. It has an attached room that is 1,000 sq ft and absolutely perfect for our puppies. These were the photos of the room in the listing.
Can we agree this space is phenomenal? So spacious, bright and cheerful. The perfect room for Momma's and puppies! These days it looks a little bit more like this..
We don't have any puppies right now, but have a Momma due tomorrow, so her pen is prepped and ready for her delivery! As puppies get older, we assemble play-yards in the room so the pups have lots of room to run and play. When it's warm outside, the puppies spend a lot of time outside on our turf area. Some people ask, 'why the pens?' And that's a great question, and there are actually a few different reasons. First off, dogs are naturally den creatures. If they were to have their animals in the wild, they would have them in some kind of enclosed area. A den, cave, etc. Think of coyotes, foxes and wolves. Momma's do not want to have their puppies out in the open and exposed. Some would think a Momma would be move comfortable to have her puppies close to her people, say in the living room or kitchen of the house. But in reality, being in the midst of that everyday chaos is overwhelming and stressful for a Momma dog who wants nothing more than peace, quiet and solitude with her babies. The pens help give our Momma's that den like atmosphere, and the blankets on the outside of the pen help that even further. The other reason we have pens for our Momma's, is to protect our puppies. Some dogs will perceive another dogs puppies as competition, and will kill the entire litter if given the chance. In the wild, there may not be enough resources (think food) to feed TWO litters of puppies, so a Momma will kill the other litter, in order to guarantee that her litter will survive given the limited resources. This is instinctual and in no-way means a Mom is aggressive or mean. It is purely instinct. But - because of that, our Momma's are always kept separate from each other to ensure all of our puppies are safe.
So what's inside the pen?!
All of our pens have Dura-Whelp whelping boxes in them. Each box has a heater, carpet pads, and washable hospital pads. This area is prepped for a Momma to deliver her pups. The machine washable pads are stacked on top of each other, and as Momma delivers, we can take off the top pad as it gets dirty, and a fresh clean is already underneath. These pads are washed and sanitized after, and can be reused over and over again. They don't always look the prettiest (because blood tends to stain!) but they are clean and sterile and work wonderful for whelping. Inside our pens we also have clean water and food buckets for our Momma's. A nursing Momma drinks quite a bit more than a non-nursing Momma, so cold fresh water is always available. Her food bucket is filled every morning with her kibble, vitamins, salmon oil and anti-diarhea medication. An added dog bed is also provided, though most Momma's rarely leave their whelping box the first few weeks, choosing to spend all of their time with their new puppies. However, it is important to us that a Momma ALWAYS has the ability to get away from her puppies if she wants. She may need a break, some down time, or just want to rest without lots of little mouths trying to suckle her. The white concrete floor (although hard to keep 'looking clean' because it's white, is incredibly easy to mop and sanitize as needed.
On each of our pens we keep a clipboard with a picture of Momma on it, and info about her puppies and litter. This ensures each Momma is always put back in the right pen incase our kiddos are helping, we have a babysitter over, or an assistant is here..etc.
Our whelping cart is outside the pen, ready for our Mommas due this week. Our whelping cart has all the items we need during a delivery.
We are excited to welcome TWO new litters due this week! Our whelping room has been empty for a few months and we are ready to have it filled with the sounds and sights of puppies again! Thanks for taking a peek into our whelping room!