The average dog gives birth 63 days after mating (the typical range is 58 to 71 days). Start taking your dog’s rectal temperature twice to four times a day, starting approximately 55 days after breeding, to find out exactly when she will be due.
Stage 1: Preparing for birth
Your dog’s birth canal will relax and broaden as she gets ready to give birth, and her puppies will turn around and position themselves correctly. Whelping preparation typically lasts 6 to 12 hours, but it can take up to 36 hours (especially for a first time mum, or a nervous dog). You might observe your dog at this point:
- becoming agitated
- Covering up
- less food
- (If she frequently vomits or you are worried, call your veterinarian)
- Digging, pacing, and surrounding her whelping box, “Nesting”
- mild contractions with a small amount of red or brown mucus coming from her vulva (but not straining)
Your dog should begin to relax right before she begins to give birth, ideally in her whelping box.
Stage 2: Giving birth
Your dog will start having intense contractions and feeling the need to exert herself once she is ready to give birth to her babies.
- The first puppy is frequently the one whose birth takes the longest; if contractions are mild, it may take two to four hours, but if they are vigorous, it should only take 20 to 30 minutes.
- Each puppy will have a space of time between them that can be anywhere from five minutes to an hour. This interval between puppies is typical as long as your dog is relaxed and not exerting themselves.
- Contact your veterinarian right away if your dog has ever struggled and experienced painful contractions for 20 to 30 minutes without advancing or giving birth to a youngster.
- Although most puppies are born head first, some do so as well.
- Puppies are born in a tiny sac that their mother will remove to give them access to air.
- Your dog should expel an afterbirth (placenta) after every pup, which they frequently consume. The structure that gives the puppy oxygen and nourishment while it develops in the womb is the placenta. Although a placenta should develop roughly 15 minutes after every puppy, they don’t always appear in that order (i.e. a few pups may be born before their placentas are passed). In the weeks after whelping, a condition known as “metritis” may manifest if not all placentas are passed. Avoid letting your dog eat too many placentas if she has a large litter because doing so might cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- Your dog should be at ease, relaxed, and licking her pups until her contractions begin again between each one.
- During whelping, your dog’s vulva will release some clear or bloody fluid; this is typical. But a lot of blood isn’t typical.
- Following the birth of a puppy, you might see a tiny quantity of green-tinged discharge; however, a thick green discharge without a puppy can be problematic.
- The majority of the time, your dog won’t need assistance during labor, so it’s preferable to monitor her rather than try to examine or assist her.
- Too much interference can lead to issues after birth. It is advised to call your veterinarian if you are concerned that your dog is having difficulties giving birth.
- From the beginning of contractions/straining, it typically takes 3 to 12 hours to deliver the entire litter. Although exact timing varies, most dogs deliver their entire litter within 6 hours.
- A issue becomes far more likely the longer the process goes—never more than 24 hours.
- Your dog will probably be quite hungry and exhausted once she has given birth to all of her babies. She will need to feed, bond with, and relax with her pups. Ensure that they are in a peaceful, comfortable environment where they won’t be disturbed.
- After whelping, if your dog isn’t at ease and relaxed, there’s a chance that she can reject her puppies and refuse to nurse them.
When do dogs give birth each year?
Domestication has impacted our canine companions’ lives in many different ways, and it has also had a significant impact on reproduction. This has resulted in significant alterations to dogs’ whelping and heat cycles. The separation of dogs from gray wolves is thought to have occurred around 15,000 years ago, when they first began to frequent human settlements.
Contrary to gray wolves, which are often monogamous or only reproduce with one partner, females of red wolves go into heat in the late winter to ensure that pups are born in the early spring and have enough time to develop into healthy adults before the next winter.
Dogs’ reproductive systems have experienced significant alterations. Dogs are no longer monogamous and have evolved to be promiscuous, with females going into heat twice a year and essentially at any time thanks to increased resources, better care, and less exposure to the harsh elements of the wild.
Maturity in Dogs
Dogs typically reach adulthood early. For instance, female dogs may reach sexual and physical maturity between the ages of 7 and 10 months (although this does not mean they should be bred during their first heat), whereas wolves often do not reach this stage until they are about 22 months old. Male wolves are more discriminating and monogamous than male dogs, who are perpetually fertile and promiscuous. According to Steven R. Lindsay in his book Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, the male wolves’ testicles even experience atrophy when they are not in the breeding cycle, making them infertile (Iowa SP, 2000: Vol. 1).
Many breeders view this propensity for domesticated dogs to accept any sexual partner and be promiscuous as “a characteristic of domestication.”
So, do dogs have a puppy season? Evidently, no. Male dogs are eager to mate whenever a female dog is in heat, and female dogs have bi-annual breeding cycles. Due to this, puppies can practically be born at any time of the year. There are a few exceptions to this rule, though.
A dog can breed at 57 days old.
Yes, dogs are capable of experiencing false pregnancy, which can resemble labor. Some dogs will begin nesting habits, have swollen bellies, and even start producing milk.
Yes, the mother dog delivers her litter in one horn first before moving on to the next.
In response, puppies can be born as early as 59 days, however this is not the norm. Consider that a dog typically gestates for 59 to 63 days on average. Puppies born earlier than 58 days may struggle in general because they may not be fully mature. Verify the temperature of your dog. Within 24 hours of the temperature falling below 99 degrees Fahrenheit, your dog ought to give birth.
Depends, is the reply. The dog might have been exhausted if there had been a lot of playing before and traveling to the stallion required effort. The stress of visiting a new location may also make a dog more exhausted. To be cautious, it is best to take the dog to the vet if it is acting strangely, acting lethargic, or not eating.
How long does a dog give birth?
Since 2014, Dr. Caroline Romeo has worked at AREC. She has completed extensive studies in both radiography and ultrasonography because those fields are among her areas of interest. We adore her methodical and considerate approach to animal care. She explains what to watch out for when a dog is giving birth in the sections below.
During the first stage of labor, the body is preparing to begin delivering puppies. Although you can’t see it, your dog’s uterus will be contracting and likely causing some discomfort. Typically, the initial stage lasts 6 to 12 hours. Your dog can appear agitated, pant, shiver, pace, nest, or want to go somewhere quiet. In the initial stage, some dogs don’t exhibit any behavioral changes.
The enjoyable aspect of giving birth to puppies is the second stage of labor. 3 to 12 hours is the typical duration. Abdominal contractions are seen at this stage. The clear fluid that may leak from your dog’s broken waters will be visible. Before giving birth to her first puppy, your dog may exhibit weak and infrequent straining for up to 2 hours (or at most 4 hours) during a typical labor. Usually, the mother will tear the membrane covering the puppy while it is still inside, lick it all over, then gnaw through the umbilical cord. To allow the puppy to breathe, the mother may occasionally need assistance. Although it is possible for a delay of up to three hours between puppies, the next ones are often delivered every 30 to 60 minutes. Once the first puppy has been born, a green-black discharge is typical.
The placentas are expelled during the third stage of labor. This frequently happens during the second stage; the placenta of each puppy normally dies within 15 minutes of delivery.
It’s crucial to provide a calm environment free from distractions so that your dog can give birth to her puppies. Without adding to her stress, which could cause her labor to end, you should be able to observe your dog enough to know that she is safe and that her labor appears to be normal.
My dog is giving birth. She might be having issues, in my opinion. Should she visit a veterinarian?
There are numerous causes why why issues can arise during childbirth. These include puppies that are too large to exit the mother’s pelvis and uteruses that are not contracting sufficiently to allow for the passage of the pups. After the first few puppies are born, problems could arise while still waiting for more to be born. Consult a veterinarian as soon as you can if your dog is having labor issues or if you’re not sure if everything is going according to plan.
Among the causes to get in touch with your vet are:
- By two to three hours following the break of your dog’s waters, no puppies have been born.
- Your dog has been weakly, erratically straining for two to four hours without giving birth to any puppies.
- Your dog has been vigorously straining for 20 to 30 minutes without giving birth to a puppy.
- Between the last two puppy deliveries, more than two hours have passed.
- For more than 12 hours, your dog has been in the second stage of labor.
- Before the first puppy is delivered, a significant amount of green or black waste is expelled.
- massive blood loss at any point during delivery
- Your dog appears to be in overall poor health, has collapsed, or is displaying signs of acute abdominal pain.
- The vulva’s green, black discharge smells bad.
- The puppies seem strange
- Within four to six hours, not all placentas have been passed (although this can be difficult to tell as some of them may be eaten by mum)
- The latest breeding occurred more than 72 days ago.
Depending on the reasons why your dog is unable to deliver all of her puppies regularly, different birthing problems require different treatments. The optimum course of action for each patient can be determined with the use of an examination, blood tests, ultrasounds, and x-rays. In some cases, providing your dog pain relievers to speed up labor may be sufficient to keep her from giving birth to more puppies. It is occasionally possible to remove a puppy that has become caught in the birth canal so that labor can proceed smoothly. In other cases, attempting medical treatment puts both the mother and the puppies at risk, necessitating a Caesarean Section operation. In some cases, it may be okay to wait until medical intervention is no longer necessary to allow labor to progress normally before performing a Caesarian operation.
Bring any recently born pups with you if you need to take your dog to the vet, and make sure they are kept very warm since they are unable to regulate their own body heat as newborns.
Yes! In order to get all the information you need on how to care for your dog throughout and after pregnancy, it is crucial to contact with your regular veterinarian as soon as you learn that your dog is pregnant. With the correct guidance, there is a lot you can do to support your dog’s pregnancy and labor while keeping them healthy.
The greatest thing you can do to maintain the health and happiness of both mum and pups is to be ready, understand what is normal and what is odd, and speak with a veterinarian right away if you suspect your dog may be having issues.
How can you predict when the pups will arrive?
Keep an eye out for labor signals as the due date for your dog grows closer. A few days prior to whelping, pregnant women may stop eating and begin trying to establish a “nest”—hopefully in the whelping box.
Nearing delivery, a lot of pregnant dogs begin to pant heavily. Rectal temperature often drops from a normal temperature (100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit) to 99 degrees or even lower 8 to 24 hours or more before delivery. Many pregnant mares may not eat at all or may eat very little.
When giving birth for the first time, abdominal contractions are often sharpest and most frequent. They may also be accompanied by straining and groaning. When there is a puppy in the delivery canal, you might see the water sac emerge, and the first puppy should be born in about an hour.
Each puppy is born with its placental membrane still attached. The mother frantically kisses the puppy, pulls the membrane off, and occasionally eats it. Puppies cannot survive for more than a few minutes before their oxygen supply runs out, so if she does not remove it, you will have to. It could be necessary to rub the puppy until you hear him cry using a fresh towel.
As the bitch cleans her puppies, she should also cut the umbilical cord. If she doesn’t, it’s your responsibility to cut the chord and knot it off with some unwaxed dental floss about an inch from the belly. To avoid infection, you should apply iodine to the abdomen of each puppy.
Some dogs give birth to their puppies one after the other, while others could give birth to a few puppies first and then take a break before giving birth to others. You should contact your veterinarian if there is a break that lasts longer than two hours. Additionally, you need to count the placentas. For the mother, a retained placenta can be problematic. A normal whelping typically lasts for around the same number of hours as the number of puppies in gestation. Therefore, it should typically take 6 hours to complete a litter of 6.
If the mother is in the process of having a huge litter, don’t forget to give her water to drink and to take her outside so she can relieve herself. She’ll require frequent urination. Don’t leave her unattended and bring extra towels because they sometimes pass a puppy while they are outside. The puppies should be kept warm in their whelping box during this period, with a thin cloth covering them to keep them from getting cold.
The mother should have all of the puppies positioned along her tummy, and you should keep an eye on her to make sure she lets them all nurse within a few hours. Make sure the puppies are all breathing correctly and feeding by keeping an eye on them.