August 15, 2019

What to do when your dog is giving birth

Dogs, just like people have health needs and these escalate towards the time when they have to give birth. You must know your options so you can help your dog through labor.

Dogs are excellent human companions. When it comes to breeding they specialize in multiple births. In 2004, a Neopolitan mastiff in the UK broke the world record and gave birth to a litter of 24!

They had to be born via the cesarean section. Not all of them survived, one was stillborn whilst three others died in the week to follow. Who doesn’t love to cuddle a puppy? Dogs, just like people have health needs and these escalate towards the time when they have to give birth. You must know your options so you can help your dog through labor.

What do a dog’s nipples look like when pregnant

Have you ever wondered how you get to know if your dog is pregnant? It helps you prepare adequately for your new family members. If it comes as a surprise you may not be able to give them the care they need immediately. The dog’s gestation period is between 56 and 70 days, which is very little time for you to prepare and help your dog through it all. This means that you have to act fast.

Since dogs give birth to multiple puppies at a time, you need to make sure that you are prepared for all of them. There are certain ways that you can use to tell if your dog is pregnant. One of the telltale signs is exposed to nipples or enlarged nipples. When your dog is not pregnant, it usually has small inconspicuous nipples. When she falls pregnant her nipples become more noticeable. You will also notice that the areolas also become more rounded. The nipples can also change in color, becoming a darker red color which is a sign of increased blood flow. Sometimes the dog’s breasts will leak milk.

Other signs also include the most obvious which is a bigger belly As the puppies begin to grow, the dog’s belly with enlarge. You may also begin to notice nesting tendencies. Another sign that your dog may be pregnant, is if your dog changes behavior all of a sudden. She may want to be closer to you more than usual or she may want to be alone. Your dog may also be seeming more sluggish and napping more than usual.

How do you know when your dog is about to give birth?

Your dog going into labor is an event you need to be prepared for. You will need to be able to tell that your dog is going into labor if you want to effectively help her. Speaking to your vet about what to expect can help you brace yourself for the big happy event.

In the last weeks of pregnancy, you may notice your dog shred and collect soft materials for her litter to sleep on. She’s creating a soft comfortable bed to welcome her little ones into the world. Another sign that she may be going into labor, is a drop in her body temperature. It will take about twelve to twenty-four hours for labor to begin.

You may also notice her being restless at night and shuffling in her blankets, almost as if she is failing to get comfortable, labor is not far off after this. If you’ve already made a nest for her, she may move it. Allow her to do this. She is simply doing this to be more comfortable.

Your expectant dog may lose appetite in the days leading up to labor. She may also begin to pant heavily

How can I help my dog give birth?

When you see her building a nest, you can lend her a hand and put the materials she needs within her reach. You can use a cardboard box and line it with blankets so that it is soft and comfortable. Make sure that the nest is placed in a place with good temperature, room temperature usually works well. Try to make it secluded and comfortable enough for both mother and puppies.

Most dogs do not need human help to give birth. But as a pet owner, you must do your bit to ensure that it goes smoothly. Make sure that you have all the necessary supplies. Be on standby. Your role is to help if necessary, otherwise do not interfere unnecessarily. She is wired to do this on her own.

When the puppies are born, they are each encased in individual placental membranes. The mother will usually take this membrane off as soon as they are born, but if she does not, you must do it for her. This is because puppies can only survive for a few minutes in there before they suffocate. The mother will also usually be the one to clean up her puppies and also cut the umbilical cord. If this does not happen, you will need to do it as well.

When wiping down the puppies, use iodine so that you can prevent any infections that can be harmful and even fatal for the puppies. Make sure the cord is cut about 2 inches away from the puppy. Also, watch to see that all the placentas have been birthed and none is remaining in the mother. This can be very dangerous for the mother.

How long does it take a dog to give birth?

A dog can take up to 12 hours to give birth. Labor for a dog is in three stages. The first being pre-whelping where you begin to see the signs of the onset of labor. This then progresses into the delivery of the puppies. After every thirty minutes or so, a puppy is born. At this stage, the mother will need to push about two or three times for the puppy to be born.

The mother will normally break the amniotic sac herself and simultaneously clean the puppies but in the event, this doesn’t happen, you need to lend a hand. Once the puppies are born, you need to make sure that there is no remaining placenta in the mother’s belly. The total amount of whelping time is usually between 6 and twelve hours.