"Even if this isn't the first time your dog goes into labor, every delivery is different from another so you'll never really know what will happen."
After your dog's stud session and confirmation that she is pregnant, she will give birth within an average of 63 days. For most pet parents, dog labor and giving birth is both a milestone and a nightmare.
Even if this isn't the first time your dog goes into labor, every delivery is different from another so you'll never really know what will happen. That's why it's best to be educated on how long it normally takes for a dog to give birth and take enough precautions in case of emergency.
SIGNS OF DOG LABOR
To determine whether your dog is already going into labor, watch out for the following:
- a drop in body temperature (rectal temperature will drop below 100 F (37.8 C), usually an hour or two before whelping
- lying on one side
- yelping or any cries showing signs of pain
- labored breathing in dogs
- vomiting and loss of appetite
- watery vaginal discharge
- vaginal bleeding
- begins to look for a safe place for whelping
HOW LONG ARE DOGS IN LABOR?
Delivery varies and yes, it takes time. It varies from one dog to another and from one breed to another, too. Generally, slim-headed dogs, like Dobermans and Collies, complete delivery fast. While round-headed dogs, such as Bulldogs and Pekingese, experience more difficult deliveries.
On the first stage of labor, your dog's cervix will begin to dilate to prepare for giving birth. Your dog will pant, vomit, lay on one side, etc. During the second stage, active straining happens and the first puppy will be delivered 2 hours or so after the first stage.
Some time later in the second stage, a grayish-blue slimy looking sac will emerge from the dam's birth canal. This sac contains the puppy. Following the puppy, the mother will expel the placenta and may eat the placenta and then eat the sac, tearing it from around the puppy. This stage normally lasts 12 to 24 hours until all pups are delivered.
The average time interval of delivering one pup after the other is 30-60 minutes. But it can vary and can be up to 4 hours or so. As long as your dog is resting comfortably, there is nothing to worry about.
The third stage of labor involves ensuring there are no puppies retained inside and all placentas have been delivered.
SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR FOR AN EMERGENCY
If your dog is constantly straining and pushing for more than 30 minutes and no puppy is ever delivered, it is time to contact your vet. Also, look out for these signs of emergency:
- your dog fails to go into labor 24 hours after her temperature drops
- no puppy has been delivered a few hours after your dog passes a green or brown discharge
- you see your dog is only having weak contractions and you know there are still more pups inside
- you see a part of the puppy at the vulva entrance and your dog is straining but puppy doesn't come out
- your dog has episodes of seizures
- your dog experiences fever, lethargy, and weakness
If you notice these signs in your dog, it is best that you take her to the vet as soon as possible for appropriate treatment and management.
Your dog going through labor and delivery can be scary and satisfying at the same time. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to prepare and be educated ahead of time on what may possibly happen. Being well-educated will help you and your dog avoid any complications.
"If your dog is constantly straining and pushing for more than 30 minutes and no puppy is ever delivered, it is time to contact your vet."