Signs A Dog Is Going Into Labor Soon


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It can be difficult to tell when a dog is going into labor, which is also called whelping.

Many owners are worried about whether or not their dog is in labor, and whether they will know what to do when the time comes.

In this blog post, we will outline some signs that a dog is going into labor soon.

We will also provide tips on how to prepare for the birth of your puppy!

Preparing for your dog to give birth

How long dogs are in labor

Usually, dogs are pregnant for about 63 days. About 30 days into your dog's pregnancy, it is recommended to bring her to a vet for a checkup and advice.

At this time it would also be good to get the vet's contact details - you never know if you'll need expert advice during the birth, or an emergency situation.

Help your dog with nesting

  • Provide a comfortable and safe place for your dog to give birth. This could be an indoor kennel or an outdoor sheltered area.
  • Make sure the space is warm and draft-free.
  • Line the bottom of the space with soft bedding, such as towels or old blankets.
  • Alternatively, you could also create a whelping box in your home - which is basically an enclosed padded box with blankets.

This can help create a safe and soft environment for your dog to give birth in!

Monitor your dog's temperature

Keep track of your dog's normal body temperature leading up to labor. Once she goes into labor, her temperature will start to drop slightly. You may also see signs of arousal, such as panting and restless behavior.

If the rectal temperature exceeds 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius), this suggests that infection has developed and you should seek veterinary help immediately.

Have extra help ready

  • Make sure you have someone who can help your dog during the birthing process.

This person should know how to check for signs of distress and intervene if necessary.

The birth is usually uneventful, with no signs of difficulty.

However, emergency situations such as a breech birth or complications can occur that require immediate attention from a veterinarian or veterinary technician.

  • The average delivery takes about two hours, but it could be as short as 20 minutes or take up to 24 hours!

If there hasn't been any progress after three hours of labor pains without signs of pups being born in between them then call your vet immediately.

This might mean something has gone wrong, and could be a medical emergency.

Signs a dog is going into labor soon

The dog will start nesting

This means she will be moving blankets, pillows, and other objects around the house.

One of the most common signs that a dog is going into labor soon is when she starts to nest.

This means that she will start to gather items in her mouth and carry them around as if she is preparing for her puppies to arrive. She may also try to bury her food or toys.

She may become restless and pace back and forth

If your dog is pacing back and forth, it means that she's uncomfortable. It can also mean that she needs to go outside to relieve herself more often than usual.

In this case, just make sure to monitor her a bit more closely in case of any possible issues arising, and be ready to step in and bring her to the vet if necessary.

She may have a decreased appetite and weight loss

If your dog is eating less than normal, this could be an indication that she's about to give birth soon.

This is because puppies require a lot of nutrition for their development inside the womb, so if they eat less food now it might not be enough later on when they need it most!

Your dog's temperature may be lower than below normal

A dog's body temperature will drop when labor is imminent.

This is because the puppies will need to be born into a cool and stable environment. So if your dog's temperature has suddenly dropped, it could mean that she's going into labor soon!

Panting and drooling more than usual

Panting and drooling more than usual signs that your dog's hormones are changing as she prepares for birth. This can take anywhere from 24 hours to a week before delivery happens, so don't worry too much if your dog exhibits these signs.

Just keep a close eye on her and be prepared for the big day!

She will produce more milk than usual

This is a sign that the puppies are getting close! Her milk will start to flow in preparation for her babies.

If you see signs of milk production, it means that labor is imminent and your dog will soon welcome her puppies into the world.

Her water intake will increase

This is because she is preparing to give birth and will need more water than usual. Keep an extra bowl of fresh around so that you can refill it when needed!

You may also notice signs like panting or drooling as they anticipate what's coming next in the birthing process. These are signs your dog might have started labor.

But haven't yet seen any signs such as nesting behavior or pacing back forth between rooms - all very common signs leading up until delivery takes place within 12 hours after onset signs!

If these symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, contact your vet

The puppies' movement will become more noticeable

The puppies will start to move around in the womb as they get closer to being born.

This can be detected through a veterinarian's examination, or by feeling the dog's stomach yourself.

You may also start to see signs of labor soon after this happens.

Seeking attention from owners

Dogs may become more needy in the days leading up to labor.

They may want to be near you more often, or they may start following you around the house.

This is because they are looking for comfort and support as they prepare to give birth.

Vulva enlargement

The vulva will start to enlarge as the puppies get closer to being born.

This is a clear sign that labor is happening, and you should contact your vet if it persists for more than 24 hours.

There may be mucous or bloody discharge from the vagina

This is another sign that labor is starting soon.

The discharge will become thicker and more noticeable as labor progresses.

Keep an eye on it and contact your vet if there are any changes.

If there's a small amount of blood, it's also normal - however, if you begin to see excessive bleeding and your dog beginning to pant heavily, something is definitely wrong and you need to call your vet immediately!


Contractions are one of the most obvious signs that labor is beginning.

If you notice your dog having regular contractions, contact your vet right away. They will be able to tell you how far along she is in the birthing process.

Nausea or Vomiting

Some dogs may experience nausea or vomiting in the days leading up to labor.

This is because their bodies are changing and preparing for birth. Keep an eye on it and contact your vet if there are any changes.


Remember that pregnancy, like in humans, will cause a lot of body transformations and will be a stressful time for your dog.

Just make your dog as comfortable as you can, and watch the miracle of birth happen!

P.S. Also remember to keep your vet clinic on standby in case of anything, or to call them to let them know your dog successfully delivered!

P.P.S Remember you'll need to train your puppies too, but not too early!

about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.

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