How Do I Know When My Dog is Ready to Give Birth?

More on PawNation: Dogs, Giving Birth, Lifestyle, Pregnant Dogs, Puppies, Safety

The good news is, you don't have to pack an overnight bag for a hospital stay, decorate a nursery in pinks or blues, or worry about health insurance. The even better news is, your dog's about to expand your happy family with a litter of adorable puppies!

The bad news? The event of your dog giving birth can freak you out a bit, and of course, you'd rather not sacrifice your favorite rug in the process. So how do you know when your dog is ready to give birth? Be alert for the following:

–Check your calendar. The gestation period for dogs lasts 63 days, give or take a couple days on either side. The smaller the breed, the more likely it is to deliver sooner. Larger breeds deliver later.

–Take your dog's temperature rectally. When it reads at or very close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, your dog's going to give birth within the following 24 hours. (Normally, a dog's temp is between 101 and 102.5 degrees.)

–Contractions are not only uncomfortable to a dog, they're unfamiliar and therefore confounding. Any signs of discomfort or restlessness -- including vomiting, not eating, pacing, whining, panting and shaking -- are signs that the contractions are underway. This stage can last up to 18 hours. If possible, provide the dog with a dark, quiet room of its own at this time, or a towel-lined box.

–Look for an oat-colored discharge. This is your dog's water breaking. Next stop: Puppyville!

SEE ADORABLE "NEWBORN PUPPIES" BY TRAER SCOTT:

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Puppy lover

My dog has been pacing,whining,and barking but it seems as if she doesn't want to have her puppy's when we are home like last time she had her puppies when we left the house for a couple of hours. So are we supposed to leave the house so she can have them or what?������ so confused

October 15 2014 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hannah Golden

My dog was walking out of my room. And i saw a big clear puddle is my dog in labor? and nothing is happing she is panting and keeps on looking at her hind end and licking you know where? she is also some what shivering and keeps on staring at me??

December 23 2013 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tonya

My chihuahua is pregnant and she seems restless her temprature is 100.1 is she going to have pups soon???

July 03 2012 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Seth

what kind of thermometer do weuse

April 03 2012 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Seth

can u take its temperature orally

April 03 2012 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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