For starters, you should know that pregnancy in dogs lasts approximately 63 days (56 to 69 days). Toy breeds may deliver a week earlier while large breeds often deliver later.
While it can seem scary to watch a dog giving birth, it needn’t be. Your dog knows exactly what to do!
You’re just there to assist if momma gets overwhelmed or too tired to welcome her puppies to the world.
Following is everything you need to know about a dog giving birth including:
- The 3 stages of dog labor.
- Household supplies that you should have on hand –in case you need to assist with the puppies’ birth.
Stages Of A Dog Giving Birth
Stage 1: Contractions begin, and the cervix becomes dilated and softened.
This may take up 12 to 24 hours. You may or may not even notice Stage 1 taking place. Some dogs don’t give any indication that they are in Stage 1 labor, while other dogs may pant, whimper, or even try to hide. If you notice your dog is in Stage 1 labor, now is a good time to get her into the whelping box.
Stage 2: The mother dog actively pushes the first puppy out.
Once the first puppy is out, the mother dog should remove the amniotic sac from around the puppy’s head. If the she doesn’t remove the sac within a couple of seconds, take the puppy and remove the sac yourself. This sac must be removed in order for the puppy to start breathing on its own.
Stage 3: Delivery of the placenta.
For each puppy your dog gives birth to, she will also deliver a placenta. Stage 2 and Stage 3 go hand-in-hand. Sometimes a dog will give birth to 2 puppies and then the 2 placentas.
Supplies Needed To Assist A Dog Giving Birth
There are a few items you will want to have handy when you dog is ready to give birth.
The most important thing is a whelping box. The whelping box is somewhere the mother dog can go that is quite and stress-free.
The other items you will want to have ready are just in case you need to in case you need to assist mom in any way.
- Infant’s Nasal Aspirator (bulb syringe) – To suction the puppies’ mouth and nose if you had to remove the sac from the puppy.
- Towels – To rub down the puppies after they have been born. If mom hasn’t already taken care of them.
- Dental Floss (unwaxed) – To tie off the umbilical cord 1 inch from the body
- Sharp Scissors – To cut the cord past the dental floss
- Providone Iodine (scrub solution) – To dip the end of the cut cord in to the iodine