This is followed by stage 1 when the dam starts experiencing uterine contractions. Firstly, know that a pregnant dog will be more patient, less active and will spend more time resting. This is the way … There are three stages to canine labor. Also, she will probably be subject to mood changes because of changing hormones level. But the good news is that doctors can do a lot to delay an early delivery. Contractions in female dogs typically start about 48-72 hours before she delivers her puppies. Normal body temperature is about 100-102°F. She may exhibit nesting behavior, so make sure she knows where her whelping box is located. Other signs include digging outside and scratching furniture such as the bed. One of the first signs of impending labour is a drop in mum’s body temperature from 38.5°C to 37°C – labour usually begins around 12-24 hours after that. The normal gestation period for a dog is approximately 63 days (give or take 7 days) from the time of breeding. Dogs give very clear signs that they are soon going into labor. There are three stages of labor, stage 1 is the longest and occurs when the cervix begins to thin and dilate. In any given case, you can watch for these warning signs indicating that your dam is going into premature labor. Dogs often become restless, relentlessly pacing around the room, and they may start shivering. These signs indicate that real labor is about to start within 24-48 hours. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for the birth. Step 4 The first stage of dog labor takes place when the dog’s first contractions take place. We know how complicated human pregnancy can become, so we assume that pregnancy and labor for dogs is just as complicated. Effacement: Thinning of the cervix. Having a good idea of what’s normal for a dog in labour will allow you to spot signs of trouble early. Be sure to give her plenty of water during this time. Before labor, the lower part of your uterus called the cervix is typically 3.5 cm to 4 cm long. It’s ok to help her move wherever she wants, but don’t try to force her into the location you desire. Try to cancel any plans you have within the next 24-48 hours so you can stick by her side when the time comes. These fluctuations correspond with your dog’s changing hormones. If it feels harder than usual, that means she is having contractions and her body is getting ready to deliver. In fact, 85% of dogs give birth within 24 hours after their body temperature drops below 100 degrees. We had just adopted a two month German Shepherd pup (about 3 months at the time of training) and we had questions about how to ensure we trained her properly at an early age. There are three stages of labor, stage 1 is the longest and occurs when the cervix begins to thin and dilate. Birth can get messy, and because of that, you might prefer your dog to give birth in an area that’s easy for you to clean. She’ll stop eating. A few days before she goes into labor, her mammary glands will begin to enlarge. Stay by her during this period to offer comfort and support. You can make this prediction by working with your vet and looking for signs at home that your dog is about to whelp. If your dog easily becomes exhausted or is spending more time napping, it may … This goes back to the first survival instinct we discussed above. Early signs of labor Signs of labor may vary with each dog, but most dogs will start panting heavily and become restless and shiver. Your normally hungry girl loses interest in food. Watch the dog closely for signs that she has gone into labor. There are other ways to tell if the puppies are coming. You can move the puppies to the whelping box post-birth. Around this time, monitor your dog for signs of early labor, like a loss of appetite, whining, and pacing, which can last for 24 hours. The contractions last up to 16 hours, and are marked by behavior changes, as well as sometimes vomiting or vocal noises. However, it is one of the harder tasks to implement because folks feel so guilty about using the crate in between potty breaks. Your veterinarian may be able to see swelling of the uterus. Puppies also bite each other all over. As labor begins, your cervix softens, shortens and thins (effacement). If that's what she wants to do, put lots of old newspapers down — it's a good idea to subscribe to a hard copy a few weeks beforehand if you otherwise receive your news digitally — and hope for the best. If you are concerned, remember our team of vets are available 24/7. Early pregnancy can be difficult to detect. Being prepared is fundamental so that you can recognize early signs of trouble. Remember, momma’s primary focus is on protecting herself during birth and protecting the puppies after birth. First Stage Labour. 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