My Grandson about to kiss the puppy!  
Here are some of the questions I have had in the past - and my answers
Here is my grandson about to kiss my Whippet puppy Timmi - who is NOT asleep - just trying to be!
Question:
I have a 7 year old whippet named Chelsea, and she is pregnant for the third time, about how long is her gestation period going to last? Do you know? I've been looking all over the internet and I cannot find the answer to my question anywhere. And if you could answer it would really help me out. Thanks.
Answer
The gestation period for any dog is 63 to 65 days.
I can't understand, since you write that Chelsea has had two litters already, that you do not know this by now? Maybe you have taken her over from a previous owner? This is a very big responsibility, so if this is your very first experience with a bitch and her puppies, I strongly recommend reading some books on the matter.What is written about other dog breeds also will apply to Whippets. So I were you, I would buy one or two really good dog books about the matter. If you don't want to spend the money, then maybe you can borrow from the library? Or borrow from dog friends - or get advice from Chelsea's breeder - or any other breeder? Read everything you can get your hands on!
Although Whippets in general are easy whelpers, (their small heads are an advantage!!) there CAN come complications at any birth and even with the most experienced of mothers.
A large puppy can get stuck, or if your little mother is not in perfect health, she may need help with the last few puppies etc.
There's so much "unknown" for you that you had better learn as much as possible beforehand.
You also need to know how best to feed Chelsea while she's expecting, so she is kept in good heath and so the puppies get the best possible nourishment. and she is as fit as possible for an easy birth.
This will be her last litter as at 7 years, a bitch should not be bred from again after she is 8.

You should also get to work lining up some potential puppy buyers. Friends and family first - and maybe you'll be keeping one or two for yourself? Whippets are not EVERYONE'S taste and can be hard to sell. You may even want to have a few put to sleep at the vet's after birth? A mother usually only can successfully feed 6-7 pups. Some whippet bitches can have up to 9 puppies.
If you've only a few good homes wanting your puppies, then maybe you would only want to keep 3 or 4?
It is common practice to cull a litter. A very hard decision, but mostly a very necessary one. One must think of the future and most of all, the welfare of the puppies.

PLEASE, whatever you do, don't sell them to a pet shop!

I know you have these outlets for unwanted animals in America - luckily it is forbidden by law to sell cats and dogs in a pet shop here in Denmark.This is the law because it is so cruel to sell to/from a pet shop. They cannot be loved and cared for properly (at the pet shop) at a time when they are most vulnerable and needing expert care and training. All sorts of unsuitable people can get tempted by seeing a cute puppy in the window - and then what? This is the start to many an unhappy dog story. It is also against the law here in Denmark to sell puppies under 8 weeks of age. This is to protect them from being sold before they are ready. You have a great responsibility to find good homes for each and every one of Chelsea's puppies.
You also need to read about weaning the puppies, when and how to gradually introduce them to "proper" puppy food.
You also need to be collecting tons of newspaper together as you will need plenty of fresh newspaper every day - once the puppies start moving about and "doing their business" somewhere in the corners of their enclosure!
Mom will clear up after them the first week or so, but after that she cannot and will not be able to cope!
And you'll be amazed at the cleaning up work for YOU! So plenty of newspapers that are easily replenished several times a day, is a must!
Good points to help you:

You need a good veterinerian. You will do well to get Chelsea to a good vet. so he can give her a health check and worm pills etc. so her puppies aren't born full of worms. THIS IS VITAL.

It would be great if you know a friend who has plenty of experience in having puppies, so you can ask a million questions AND when Chelsea starts giving birth, you might get very worried and it is wonderful to have someone who can answer your worries and give good advice based on their own experience. Best of all is if someone would come and be with you at the time of the birth!
This is VERY comforting.
But first and foremost: you must read all the books you can get hold of and "educate" yourself about the whole exciting business!
Good luck!

If anybody has any further questions regarding the above, or wants to discuss things in greater depth, you are welcome to mail to me at:
janetfm@sighthound.net

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