A dog’s delivery can become quite an event at home. Knowing what is to come is essential to ensure that the experience will be as lovely and safe as possible.
As is also the case with humans, a dog’s delivery is laborious. But nature is clever and the mother knows instinctively what she needs to do. You only need to have ready an area where your dog feels comfortable, clean towels in case they are needed, and then there are a few things to keep an eye on.
Between 55 and 65 days will go by from the time of conception to the delivery date. In the meantime, as the pregnancy advances your dog will feel a little heavier than usual; even so, you need to keep taking her out for walks (they will more than likely be short outings but more often). Once this time has passed, you should prepare an appropriate space for the birth itself, somewhere away from the daily hustle and bustle of the house.
SIGNS THAT THE
BIRTH IS IMMINENT
There are a series of signs that will help you to know that the time is very near. You will see that your dog:
Gets somewhat anxious and restless.
With regard to the family, they can behave in opposing ways: either trying to be alone or, by contrast, seeking their support much more than ever.
Frequently licks her vulva.
For two days beforehand, her body temperature can go down to below 37-37.5 ºC.
Stops eating and can even be sick.
Approaches the previously prepared spot and moves it round constantly.
Some milky secretion appears at her breasts.
You will see that, when contractions begin, your dog breathes much more quickly and you will notice that her waters have broken because she discharges a transparent liquid. From that moment, it is important that the first pup appears soon, due to the risk of suffocation. Once they are out, the mother will cut the umbilical cord and will lick the pup to stimulate breathing. The placenta and other fluids will be ingested by the bitch, which will stimulate the production of prolactin, the hormone that induces the flow of milk. Dogs have multiple births, which means that after the first you need to be prepared for the arrival of the others.
To verify that she has finished littering and that there are no pups left inside her, you should touch your dog’s abdomen. Through the skin you will easily notice the hard mass of the pup if indeed there are still any to be born. When the time of the delivery comes, let nature take its course and allow your dog to push her pups out by herself. However, if you see that for some reason she can’t do it alone, there are simple practices that will serve to save a puppy’s life. If you see that a pup is stuck inside you can take it in both hands and pull outwards gently but firmly, making use of one of the mother’s contractions.
The delivery can be a very long process, because the pups can take up to an hour or longer to come out. You should be vigilant: if two and a half hours go by, or if you notice contractions without a pup appearing, inform your vet urgently.