What Bedding to Use for a Dog That Is Going to Have Pups

by Whitney Lowell
    Create a safe whelping box for momma dog and her puppies.

    Create a safe whelping box for momma dog and her puppies.

    George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    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 or Puppy Pads

    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.

    Bedding to Avoid

    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.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Whitney Lowell has been writing online since 2007. She writes for a variety of online publications and across a wide range of topics and niches. She has experience with animal rescue, dog training, pet health and breeding reptiles.

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