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Whelping your Dog

How to Prepare Your Dog for Whelping

Whelping your Dog

Whelping your dog is a normal process for dogs. Although most dog owners prefer to have professionals take care of everything from breeding to final delivery, there are certain pet parents who want to deal with matters on their own. In case you are one of those people who want to take care of their dog as they give birth, there are certain things that require consideration.

You should be ready for labor and delivery throughout the 57-65 day gestation period, including getting a whelping box. Also, you should spend this time researching the answers to any and all questions that might arise in your mind with respect to dogs and their pregnancies as well as whelping.

Here are some answers to the most common queries that arise in people’s minds:

The Age at Which My Dog Can Get Pregnant

From the time they turn six months old, or later for large dog breeds, female dogs go into season. This indicates that a dog is viable and that it typically draws males for mating.

How to Identify a Pregnant Dog

Four to five weeks after conception, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian to determine if your dog is pregnant. The veterinarian could be able to feel tiny bumps inside her womb becomes equivalent to table tennis balls if she’s at ease. To determine that she is pregnant or not, one can also have her scanned (at about 25 to 30 days).

Remember that a scan only provides a cross-section at any one time, therefore it is impossible to determine the precise number of puppies. However, whether the dog is pregnant with a small litter or has a well-muscled tummy, it could be challenging to determine just by looking at her. Her belly may also grow like it would during a woman’s pregnancy.

Whelping your Dog, How Long Do Dog Pregnancies Last?

Dogs typically give birth after 63 days. The time on the calendar is when she ovulated, not when she was mated. It can be challenging to determine the exact due date for a dog because canine semen can stay in the womb for a maximum of seven days, but you can plan ahead. It is challenging to determine what stage the pregnancy is at given the range in dog sizes.

Knowing the average time of pregnancy helps you get things in order because you understand when the due time is around the corner. Much like human deliveries, the birth of puppies and the duration of pregnancy can vary depending on many factors. There are chances that your dog exhibits signs of labor before or after the average time span stated above.

Whelping your Dog, How Will I Be Able to Tell Once My Dog Is Ready to Give Birth?

You might see your dog prepping the location she has chosen to give birth to her pups during the first stage of labor, known as nesting. For the initial 24 hours, she can seem restless and her body temp will dip. Additionally, she might not eat and have clear or watery vaginal discharge.

In case you are having difficulty ascertaining whether the dog is ready to deliver the babies or not, it is best to consult a veterinarian at the earliest. Delaying the process or risking things can put both the mother and her kids at risk, which is something that you may regret later.

What Can You Anticipate?

Even though childbirth is as natural as it gets, there are certain things you may anticipate witnessing when your dog gives birth. The yelling and groaning while lying on her side is normal behavior and there is nothing to worry about in this case.

Puppies emerge through the vaginal canal in a tiny sac of fluid, which will rupture. The mother dog will typically bite the umbilical cord after the puppy is delivered, and the placenta will typically follow within 15 minutes.

In order to replenish the nutrients lost during delivery, mothers instinctively devour the placenta. This gives them the energy they need to give birth to the next litter of puppies. Avoid interfering, even if it makes the mother unwell; she will quit when she’s had enough.

The mother will typically take a maximum of two hours off between offspring.

When Should You Ask a Veterinarian for Medical Care?

There are some red flags you should watch out for. The healthy delivery of your dog’s puppies will be ensured if as a pet parent, you consult a veterinarian as soon as you notice a problem. If there is a green discharge but no evidence of puppies. This can mean the placenta has detached from the womb and a pup will soon be born. Calling the veterinarian may be necessary if there are no signs of a puppy.

  • Pushing a baby for more than 30 minutes while putting forth a lot of effort,
  • If another puppy isn’t born for much more than 2 hours,
  • If she appears fatigued or ill.

How Can I Determine When Labour Is Complete?

Even if a dog has rested and ceased straining while giving birth, it can be difficult to determine when it is complete. This is especially if you are unsure of the expected number of puppies. A vet can identify if there are any problems by scanning her tummy or by doing an X-ray.

Whelping your Dog, What If She Needs a Cesarean Section?

A veterinarian will examine your dog and determine whether a caesarean section is advised. If the expecting mother is having trouble giving birth naturally. For the period when there are no puppies impeding the delivery canal, they may occasionally try an injection to induce contractions. Puppies becoming stuck are more frequent in brachycephalic breeds because of the size difference between the head and the pelvis.

In order to execute a caesarean section on a dog, general anesthesia is required, and as with any operation, there are dangers. Some veterinarians will propose to spay her concurrently if this pregnancy was unintentional in order to stop further pregnancies. After recovery, the mother and the puppies need to be closely watched. This is because the anesthetic may have left the mother feeling disoriented.


Preparing a dog for whelping isn’t just about getting your pet ready but also about prepping yourself. This includes research and collecting all the items you will need, including a whelping box, heating pads and a bunch of towels for cleaning up any mess that’s left behind.