How to know when the dog is about to give birth?

The parturition time in dogs is biologically termed as Whelping time, and this time describes the act of delivering pups in dogs. When the dog is pregnant and its time of gestation is about to complete, the owner will need to be aware that anytime the whelping can be started in the dog, they will deliver pups. 

But the question is how to know when the dog is about to give birth? Here in this guide, we will discuss the signs that the pregnant dog signals indicating that the whelping time has approached and the dog is about to give birth.

What signs to follow when a dog is going into labor soon?

When the dog is about to parturate, they will sense it and show certain signs like they will stop eating food and will be less interested in even in their favorite dog food. The vulva of the whelping dog will be extremely swollen ad red, and the dog will start licking their vulva. And, when you see the grayish, shiny sac drooping out through the vulva, it is a sign that the first water bag has broken and the whelping is very, very close. Eventually, the clear watery discharge in large amounts will come out of the vulva, indicating the ultimate time of parturition in the dog. 

The female dog whelping signs includes:

  1. The first sign of to be labor in dogs is the sub-normal body temperature. When the dog is about to whelp, their body temperature decrease and the labor process will start after 12 to 24 hours of decrease in body temperature. In order to check the body temperature of your to be mother dog, you should measure the rectal body temperature of the dog twice a day. When the gestation is at its end, the dog’s body temperature measurement becomes even more important to determine the expecting pup delivery time.  
  2. In the final week of pregnancy, the mother dog will show restless behavior, panting, and will schedule themselves in an isolated area. 
  3. Loss in appetite is the other sign of the whelping time in the pregnant dog. The dog will stop eating 12 to 24 hours before the labor induces.

How long is a dog in labor before pushing?

The dog generally the labor lasts for 3 to 12 hours. It is recommended to interfere very little in the whelping process of the dog unless there is some complication in delivering the pup. In the case when you feel that the dog is facing complications while delivering the pups, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Also, it is recommended to approach the veterinarian before the whelping process start so that the animal doctor can respond fast in the case of complication. 

In general, there are three stages of whelping in dogs:

Stage 1st

In the first stage, the cervix and the uterus will get ready to deliver the pup, and there will be a start of small contractions which might be invisible. 

In this stage, the vulva will swell and will be ready to deliver the pups. 

In this stage, the dog will be very unsettled and restless and will pant and shiver. All these signs are perfectly normal, and thus no need to worry. 

Stage 2

The second stage might take 3 to 12 hours, and it is the stage when the pups pass out of the birth canal. The rectal temperature of the mother dog will get back to normal, and they will soon deliver the pups. 

The greenish brownish discharge indicates that the placenta has separated, and the pups will be out of the mother within 2 to 4 hours. If it takes a long time, consult the veterinarian as there may be some complications. 

The contraction in the uterus will be visible and clear fluid will come out of the vulva following by the first pup within 20 to 30 minutes of the onset of the second stage.

The next puppies will deliver within the interval of 20 to 30 minutes. But it is also common for the mother to rest up to 2 hours in between the delivery process. In the rest time, there will be no contractions. Consult your doctor in the case when the mother dog is taking rest for more than 2 hours. 

In dogs, the pups deliver with their tail first, so do not panic in this case. Gently encourage the mom to deliver. 

Also, it is common for the mother dog to chew the cord and free the pups from the sacs and the umbilical cords in dogs. 

Stage 3

In the last stage, the placenta will pass out of the mother dog after delivering all the pups. 

Check that the number of placentae passed outside should be equal to the number of pups. If you suspect that some placenta is still inside the mother dog, consult the veterinarian. 

In this stage also, the panting and the shivering in the mother dog are absolutely normal, so do not panic.

How to induce labor in dogs?

It is never a good idea to induce labor in a dog unless there is some complication. It is recommended to let the dog alone handle the whelping and interfere as little as you can. But in the case when you find that the dog has shown all the above signs but is unable to deliver pups, in that case, there is a need to induce labor in the dog. 

Massage the abdomen gently. Be careful while massaging the dog’s abdomen, as a single hard push can lead to damage to both the pup as well as the internal organ of the dog. Simply tap or massage on the top of the vagina as it is the most effective natural way to induce labor in the dog. 

In the case when the dog is still facing complications in delivering, consult the veterinarian. With the help of oxytocin injection will induce delivery in a dog. 

How to tell if the dog is dilated?

When the dog stops eating habits and rejects foods, it is the time when the dilation of the cervix starts in dogs. In the first stage of labor, when the uterus contraction starts, there will be further dilation of the cervix, and with an increase in contraction, the cervix will dilate more.  

The bottom line

So this is a complete guide on the whelping of dogs. After the dog delivered all the pups and the whelping stages completes, provide your furry baby with something to eat and drink. Please provide them with the usual dog food that they used to eat during their pregnancy time. Also, provide them with some energy source along with a lot of water to drink as the whelping stage was very stressful for your canine buddy. Take care of the newborn pups as well. 

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