LC Pet Works Pets How to Tell if Your Dog Is Having Contractions

How to Tell if Your Dog Is Having Contractions


How to Tell if Your Dog Is Having Contractions

As a dog owner, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that indicate your dog is going into labor. Recognizing the onset of contractions is crucial in ensuring a safe delivery for both the mother and her puppies. Here are some key indicators to help you determine if your dog is having contractions:

1. Restlessness and nesting behavior: Your dog may become increasingly agitated and restless as she prepares for labor. She may also start to create a nest-like area by scratching at bedding or rearranging blankets.

2. Temperature drop: A few hours before labor begins, your dog’s body temperature may drop below the normal range of 101-102.5°F (38.3-39.2°C). Keep a thermometer handy to monitor her temperature regularly.

3. Loss of appetite: Your dog may lose interest in food as labor approaches. This is a natural instinct and nothing to be alarmed about.

4. Increased urination and defecation: As the puppies move further down the birth canal, pressure on the bladder and rectum increases, causing your dog to urinate and defecate more frequently.

5. Abdominal contractions: When labor begins, your dog will experience rhythmic contractions of the abdominal muscles. These contractions will become progressively stronger and closer together as the puppies move closer to being born.

6. Discharge: You may notice a clear, watery discharge from your dog’s vulva before she starts actively pushing. This is a sign that the cervix is dilating and the birth is imminent.

7. Visible straining: As your dog enters the active stage of labor, she will begin to push and strain to deliver each puppy. You may see her arching her back and bearing down during contractions.

See also  When Cats Eyes Are Big

8. Puppies being born: The most obvious sign that your dog is having contractions is when you see the birth of a puppy. Typically, there will be a short break between the birth of each puppy, during which your dog may rest and clean her newborn.


1. How long do contractions last in dogs? Contractions usually last between 10-30 minutes per puppy, with a resting period between each one.

2. Can I help my dog during contractions? It is important to let your dog handle the birthing process on her own. However, if you notice any signs of distress or abnormality, contact a veterinarian immediately.

3. What should I do if my dog has strong contractions but no puppies are being born? If your dog is actively straining without any progress, it may indicate a problem. Consult your veterinarian promptly.

4. How many contractions should a dog have before giving birth? Dogs usually have several contractions before each puppy is born. The number may vary, but it is generally around three to four contractions per puppy.

5. Is it normal for a dog to have contractions for a long time? Each dog’s labor can vary in duration. However, if your dog has been having contractions for more than two hours with no puppies being born, seek veterinary assistance.

6. Can contractions be painful for dogs? Just like in humans, contractions can cause discomfort for dogs. However, the pain is typically manageable and natural for them.

7. Can dogs have false contractions? Yes, some dogs may experience false contractions, known as “false labor.” These contractions are usually not as intense and will not result in the birth of puppies.

See also  Dog Skin Moves When Touched

8. How long does the entire birthing process usually take? The entire birthing process can take anywhere from 6 to 24 hours, depending on the dog and the number of puppies she is carrying.

By familiarizing yourself with the signs of dog contractions, you can provide the necessary support and care during this crucial time. However, always remember to consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns or if complications arise during the labor and delivery process.

Related Post