How Long Are Dogs in Labor


Giving birth can be a frightening, confusing and painful experience for both the dog and the owner. Understanding and understanding normal labor and delivery, as well as appropriate pregnancy care, can assist make the procedure go more smoothly and help you understand what is normal and when it is time to get the veterinarian involved.

How Long Are Dogs in Labor


In the bitch, a female dog, pregnancy lasts 63 days. Knowing the exact time of conception, nevertheless, is hard considering that a bitch can be responsive to the male prior to and after ovulation. For this factor, the time from breeding to delivery is usually somewhere in between 58 to 70 days. Your vet can assist narrow this time frame by analyzing the cells of the vaginal wall.

Be aware that just because your bitch reproduced does not imply she is pregnant. Some dogs will even show signs of pregnancy and not actually be pregnant. There is a phenomenon in dogs known as false pregnancy or pseudocyesis. For verification of pregnancy, an assessment, with ultrasound and perhaps X-rays by your veterinarian, is suggested.


Once pregnancy is verified, appropriate care of the mother-to-be is essential. Prior to breeding, ensure she is up to date on all her vaccinations. It is not recommended to vaccinate your dog during pregnancy. Likewise, make certain she is dewormed and tests unfavorable for a bacteria called Brucella. This bacteria can cause abortion in dogs and is also contagious to people.

After reproducing and conception, most bitches do well during the first 4 to 5 weeks of pregnancy and do not need any unique treatments. Things begin to change during the last trimester (week 5 to 6). The infants begin to quickly develop and this leads to a considerable dietary drain on the mom. At this time, you might want to consider gradually altering her diet to a development type diet or a food particularly produced pregnant or lactating bitches. Continue this diet throughout the remainder of pregnancy and till the pups are weaned. Vitamins or other supplements are not advised nor required. With a proper diet, your dog will receive the appropriate amount of nutrients. Excessive quantities can really result in abnormality.

Do not begin feeding your dog a higher calorie food before the last trimester. This can result in weight gain and fat deposits. This has the possible to cause trouble in maintaining the pregnancy and can result in problems delivering the pups.

Getting ready for Delivery

As the time of delivery techniques, you might want to make a whelping box to supply a safe and tidy area for your dog to provide. Whelping boxes are meant to be quickly accessed by the mother but escape evidence for the brand-new arrivals. You can use wood, Formica or any structure material that is simple to clean. Make package big enough for the bitch to comfortably extend. Make sure the sides are simply low enough for the mother to step over and position the box in a warm, dry, draft-free area. If possible, attempt to choose a peaceful and secluded area. At first, place newspapers on the bottom of package for simple clean up. When all the puppies are born, location blankets or towels to provide some footing for the pups. Know that you must get the bitch used to the whelping box before the birth. If not, she might make her own choice on where to have the puppies– and this might be a closet, a pile of fresh clean laundry or perhaps in the middle of your bed!

An additional suggestion is to have your dog analyzed by a veterinarian towards completion of pregnancy. A comprehensive physical exam, together with ultrasound or X-rays can help determine the number of young puppies you can anticipate. This way, you will know when she is done delivering and not just in another resting stage between pups.

Labor and Delivery

As the time of delivery techniques, two times everyday monitoring of the bitch’s body temperature will help inform you to the impending birth. About 24 hours before the start of labor, there will be a temporary drop in the body temperature. Normal temperature is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Twenty-four hours prior to labor, the temperature can drop to 98 to 99 F.

Labor Stage I

After the temperature drop, stage I labor begins, characterized by uneasyness and stress and anxiety. You might see panting, pacing, refusal of food and maybe vomiting. Nesting habits starts. This is the time to put her in the whelping box (ideally she is already accustomed to package). After getting settled in the whelping box, you might observe her dragging clothing or material to the area to form a comfortable bed. You may want to remove any clothes as whelping starts or these pieces of clothes may be completely stained.

This stage of labor usually lasts 6 to 12 hours. At the end of stage I, the cervix is completely dilated. If your dog has not started whelping within 24 hours after beginning stage I labor, veterinary support is recommended.

Labor Stage II

Stage II labor is specified as the part of labor when the puppy is delivered. Visible contractions begin. The abdomen tenses and the bitch starts straining. This action will appear much like the bitch trying to have a bowel movement.

The first young puppy needs to be provided within 1 to 2 hours of the beginning of contractions and straining. Veterinary help is highly motivated if the first puppy is not provided within 2 hours after the beginning of contractions.

After delivery of the puppy, the bitch might go into a resting phase that can last up to 4 hours. Active straining will start again and more young puppies will be provided. If you understand there are extra young puppies yet to be born and the resting duration is longer than 4 hours, veterinary assistance is needed. This resting phase may not happen after each delivery. Sometimes, a number of pups may be born rapidly.

Labor Stage III

After delivery of a young puppy, the bitch may enter stage III labor. This is the time when the placenta, after birth, is delivered and normally happens 5 to 15 minutes after delivery of the puppy. If multiple young puppies are born quickly, a number of placentas may be expelled together. After the passage of the placenta, the bitch will return to stage II labor. She may continue the resting stage or start contracting. Throughout whelping, the bitch will fluctuate between stage II and stage III labor till all the pups are born. It is extremely important to track the number of placentas. There must be the exact same number of placentas as pups. If a placenta is maintained in the uterus, the bitch will ultimately become quite ill.


As soon as the puppy is born (whelped), the mother ought to right away begin cleaning the puppy. She ought to begin strongly licking the pup, remove him from the amniotic sac if still present and chew the umbilical cord. The bitch might even ingest the placenta. This is not necessary and, often, can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Trigger removal of the placentas can help you monitor how many placentas she has passed.

Those young puppies that are born still in the sack requirement immediate help. If the mom does not open the sack and start cleaning the puppy, it depends on you to assist. Tear the membrane of the sack and begin cleaning up and rubbing the pup with a clean dry towel. Cleaning other puppies may be essential if the mom is not showing much interest in her babies. Connect off the umbilical cord about 1 inch from the belly wall using string, thread or dental floss. Cut the cord off on the other side of the tie. Tidy and rub the puppy strongly till you hear weeping. Place the young puppy back with the brand-new mommy and ensure she enables the pups to nurse.

Being prepared to help and understanding newborn young puppy care is vital to help the mother and her babies through these first steps of life.

Also read: Dog’s in Labor: What to Expect


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