Pregnancy and delivery in dogs

A bitch is pregnant for an average of 62 days. In general, the larger the nest, the shorter the pregnancy period. If the bitch only carries 1 or a few puppies, the pregnancy is sometimes so long that the puppies become too large and are at risk of dying in the uterus due to a lack of nutrients. There is also a chance that the puppies can no longer be born naturally. If your is pregnant for more than 67 days, it is wise to go to the vet.

The fruits are felt in the uterus when the is pregnant for 24 to 32 days. From that moment on, an ultrasound can clarify whether or not the is pregnant. Only after 45 days can it be determined with certainty how many puppies the is carrying. At that point, the skeletons of the puppies are developed far enough to be visible on an X-ray. Since X-rays can be harmful to the development of the puppies, it is not recommended to take X-rays if there is no medical reason for this. Furthermore, it is important that your dog does not take any medication during pregnancy. So de-worm and de-flea the bitch even before the beginning of the heat.

It is important that a gets used to the place where she is going to give birth a few weeks before giving birth. This should be a quiet place, because if the dog becomes stressed, it can have a negative impact on childbirth. Furthermore, it must be spacious, comfortable, draft-free and easy to keep clean. It is also advisable to put an edge around it so that the puppies can not just walk away. Most breeders use a throwing box for this. You can buy these in the store but also put them together yourself.

A few days before giving birth, the mammary glands begin to swell. As soon as the becomes restless, does not eat much more, regularly has to go outside and build a nest, it does not last much longer. About 12 to 24 hours before giving birth, the temperature drops by 0.5 to 1.5 degrees, which is often accompanied by shivering. It is therefore advisable to measure the temperature a number of times during pregnancy so that you know what the normal body temperature is. Always do this around the same time, due to the natural change in body temperature on the day.

As soon as the lies in her throwing box with the tail off her body, panting a lot, often licking the vulva and finally sprinting, then she has started giving birth. The time that childbirth lasts varies per dog. The dilation phase lasts on average 12 hours and then a puppy is born between 15 and 45 minutes. It is important that you stay with your dog to keep an eye on everything and possibly help (e.g. removing the membranes). The umbilical cord can be disinfected with some Betadine. When the umbilical cord continues to bleed, it is important to tie it off with firm yarn (disinfected in spirit / alcohol).

Call the vet as soon as:

  • The bitch over time is
  • 30 min presses without claim (45 min with the first puppy)
  • 1-2 hours weak presses without claim
  • 2-3 hours not squeezed while there are still puppies in the womb
  • The bitch appears sick (vomiting and diarrhea around childbirth is normal)
  • Stinkling, strangely colored outflow or losing a lot of blood from the vulva