When setting up a place for your pregnant dog to whelp her pups, you want to choose something comfortable for your momma dog, safe for her puppies and easy for you to clean up. Options abound, but you want to find the best that will suit your needs; newspaper, puppy pads and flat linens are common choices.
Newspaper and puppy pads are ideal bedding. They are cheap and disposable, and they lay flat. There is less risdk of newborn puppies getting tangled, as they could with items such as towels. You will have to dispose of the newspaper or puppy pads daily, if not multiple times a day, so the fluids do not soil the babies or, worse, begin to mold or harbor fungi and bacteria. Once puppies become mobile, many breeders will switch from newspaper or puppy pads to towels, sheets or a bathroom mat.
Avoid using wood shavings and straw as bedding for new puppies. You can use wood shavings once the puppies are 4 weeks old; sooner than that and shavings can get stuck in their throats. Pine and cedar oils are alleged to cause neurological damage to puppies; if you're going to use wood shavings, aspen is the better choice. Straw is hollow and can harbor mites and other bugs, so it's best to avoid it altogether when raising a litter of puppies.
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