How To Tell When A Dog Is In Labor

How To Tell When A Dog Is In Labor


When your dog becomes pregnant, you might be wondering what the process is and how you will know when she’s in labor. There are several key signs that your dog will exhibit as she gets closer to the birthing process. These include:


  • Dogs will pick a spot to give birth.
  • Dogs will clean their nest.
  • Dogs will move their puppies around.
  • The dog will stay in the nest and be very protective of her puppies.

Contractions and muscle contractions.

  • Contractions are painful, and they can last for up to an hour. If you notice your dog experiencing contractions, it’s time to contact your veterinarian right away.
  • Contractions can be felt in the abdomen. They’re usually accompanied by a change in breathing, such as deep breathing or panting with wide open mouth, and sometimes the abdominal muscles will contract very tightly during each contraction.
  • Contractions can be felt in the vaginal area. The whole region around the vagina may become swollen and distended (this includes both sides), which is called “dilatation.” You may also notice a small amount of blood-tinged discharge coming out of her vagina when she goes outside, or mixed with other secretions if she’s already had puppies before!
  • Contractions can be felt in the rectum. If you press on your dog’s anus while they’re contracting during labor (you might not want to do this!), there could be some resistance—if there isn’t any resistance then something might be wrong! This means that her cervix has already started dilating enough so that there isn’t much room left between itself and its opening; however if there IS resistance then it might mean either one thing: firstly that she hasn’t gone into labor yet at all (and/or secondly because it takes longer than usual) so keep checking back every couple minutes just incase – but really should never happen unless something like this happens where suddenly everything stops working suddenly after being fine for hours before hand…

Vaginal discharge.

Vaginal discharge is a sign that the dog is in labor. This can be clear, or white and smells like amniotic fluid. If it’s bloody or has an odor it could be a sign of infection; check with your vet if this is the case.

Swollen vulva.

Swollen vulva. This sign is not always present, but if it is, it’s an indication that labor is imminent. However, swollen vulva can also be caused by other issues (such as a vaginal infection), so even if your dog has this symptom, there are some other things you should do before assuming she’s in labor. If you notice swelling around your dog’s private parts and aren’t sure what to do about it, call your veterinarian for advice; besides being swollen from pregnancy or giving birth, the area could be sore due to a foreign object or infection—both of which require treatment from a professional vet!

Lost appetite and other general signs of sickness.

One of the most common signs of labor is a loss of appetite in your dog. It’s very normal for dogs to lose their appetites during the final few weeks of pregnancy, but if you notice that she has lost her appetite and stopped eating completely, it could be a sign that she is in labor. In addition to losing their appetite, dogs may also experience other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.

For example: “I had just finished my dinner and was about to go upstairs when I noticed my dog wasn’t eating her food anymore.”

A dog will give you some obvious clues when she is about to give birth, but if you miss them, you are in for a shock!

If a dog is about to give birth, she will show signs of it. A dog will give you some obvious clues when she is about to give birth, but if you miss them, you are in for a shock!

The first thing that happens before a female dog gives birth is that her water breaks. The rupture of the amniotic sac causes fluid (lochia) to leak from her vagina and puppy mucus membranes and placenta may also be expelled during this time. It is important not to get in the way of this process as it helps stimulate contractions which will help push the puppies out more quickly.

Next comes contractions: these are internal muscle movements that occur at regular intervals and force the uterus to expel its contents through the vagina; in this case—puppies!


If your dog starts to go into labor, it’s important to remember that she is not alone! You should be there for her through the entire process of giving birth, but don’t worry if there are complications. If you need assistance, contact a veterinarian or emergency animal hospital immediately.

Takeaway: Any female dog can give birth at any time during their reproductive years; however, they usually start having puppies between 6-10 months old. If a female doesn’t get pregnant after being bred once (or twice), it’s best to allow her some rest before trying again—otherwise she could develop an infection called pyometra which can lead to death if untreated quickly enough.

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