Having a pregnant dog is a lot of work. The reward is a litter full of cute little puppies. Some people will want to have a litter of puppies because they want to sell them. While other people just end up with a pregnant pup by accident. Whatever the case may be, dealing with a pregnant dog can be a lot of work. There are a lot of things that you should know when your dog goes into labor.
How to Prepare
If you have a pregnant dog, the last thing that you want to is to be unprepared. The dog birthing process doesn’t require nearly as much equipment and comforting tools. However, you will want to make sure that you have everything ready when the time comes. When your dog is reaching the end of their pregnancy, you should go ahead and set up an area that is comfortable and relaxing.
You will want to have a whelping box. This box can be cardboard or wooden, and it must be big enough for the mother to stretch out in. Plus, it needs to have enough room for the new puppies. The actual size of the box will depend on the breed of the dog. In the box, you will want to put down newspaper or puppy pads that will act as a bedding material. They are very absorbent and can be easily replaced. You will also want to have plenty of food and water available for your dog.
Signs of Dog Going Into Labor
When you first realize that your dog is pregnant, you should start to do your research. You must know the signs of labor, so you know when your dog needs help. One of the first signs would be a drop in the mother’s body temperature. After their body temperature drops, labor will begin anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after. Once your dog is reaching the end of her pregnancy, you will want to take her temperature twice a day with a rectal thermometer.
When a dog is reaching their due date, they may feel restless and try to seclude themselves in a quiet area. Many mother dogs will also experience loss of appetite, as well as scrabbling their bedding in the day leading up to labor. Many times your dog will enjoy the whelping box that you have set up for them. However, there is a small possibility that they will want to lay somewhere else. If they decide to lay elsewhere, then you should let them do what they are more comfortable with.
Steps of Dog Labor
There are three steps when it comes to a dog giving labor. In the first stage, the uterus and cervix will prepare for delivery. This happens when they have smaller contractions that may not even be visible to you. Your dog will also be very unsettled and restless. They may even shiver and pant, this is all normal. The second stage of labor is when the puppies will be born. It normally lasts between three to twelve hours. Although there are some cases where it can take up to 24 hours.
The mother’s body temperature should also start to return to normal, and you will be able to see strong contractions and clear fluid. When the puppies are delivered, it will normally be on a 20-minute cycle. Once the puppies are born, the mother should bite the sacs and umbilical cords before she starts to clean them. The third and final stage of labor would be just to observe your dog and make sure that she is healthy. You will want to encourage her to eat and drink.
Helping Your Dog Give Labor
Your dog will have to do a lot of work on their own. However, there are some ways that you can help. You will want to be there during the whole process. You should try to encourage them to do most of the work on their own. Although you might have to help get the puppy out, you should never try to tug it out. You also may have to help cut the umbilical cord. To get the most clean-cut, you should use dental floss. You need to help clean the puppies; you will want to use soft towels or even paper towels. If your dog gets too exhausted or they are trying to be too aggressive with their puppies, then you will need to intervene.
Complications During Your Dog’s Labor
There are a few different complications that can happen when your dog gives birth. Certain breeds have a lot of problems when it comes to giving birth. These breeds include boxers, English, and French Bulldogs. If your dog has a narrow pelvis, then they are likely to experience some complications. Uterine inertia is when the uterus is no longer able to contract and push the puppies out. This can happen during any time throughout the labor. If there is a developmental defect or death of a puppy in the uterus, it can make the birthing process a lot more difficult.
What to Do After Labor
After your dog gives labor, you should make sure that there is plenty of food and water available. You will want to make sure that they are comfortable and caring for their puppies. They should be cleaning them and nursing them. If they are having trouble producing enough milk, you will want to get some puppy formula.
Giving birth to a whole litter of puppies can be a lot of work for a dog. Even though they can give birth on their own, they shouldn’t have to. As an owner, you will want them to be safe and healthy throughout the pregnancy and the birthing process.