If you are a pet owner and you have a pregnant dog you will want to read this content. Signs a dog is going into labor soon are well-known and they can be frightening for some dog owners. For others, they can be ordinary and nothing special. The truth is that there are just a few signs that will be noticeable before your dog will give birth. But, there are more signs that can be seen a few days or even weeks before going into labor. To give you the best explanation, we are going to reveal all 11 signs. Let’s start.
Signs A Dog Is Going Into Labor Soon
1. Lower Body Temperature
Your dog must have a body temperature of 100–101 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is around 97 degrees, it may be one of the signs that your pet is going into labor. Keep in mind that we are referring to the rectal temperature. The only issue here is that the body temperature will be around 97 degrees Fahrenheit a few times during the pregnancy. If you see this reading 2-3 consecutive times labor is within 24 hours. This is one of the most accurate signs a dog is going into labour soon.
2. Lack of Complete Loss of Appetite and Possible Vomiting
This is one of the signs that is also accurate and can be seen in all dogs. One or two days before going into labor, your dog will stop eating. It is possible that if she eats, she will throw up everything she ate. This happens because puppies inside are preparing, and they will press different organs, some of which will cause bowel movements, others will cause vomiting, etc. This is a very accurate sign!
3. Lethargy or Your Pet Is Extremely Tired
Carrying puppies inside is a difficult task. Your dog will likely be tired and spend most of the time resting. But, as the date comes closer, she will be even more tired. It is common that a dog will lie down the entire day before going into labor.
4. She Will Pant Excessively
Dogs will pant all the time. But, in this case, a scenario she will pant a lot, and then she will take a short break and start again. This actually means that the labour has already started. You can tell when this sign is present. If your dog does this when the temperature is not high, you will know what to expect.
As you were able to see, most dogs will lie down and wait for labor. They will not move very much. But there is a different possibility here. Your dog might be anxious. This obviously means that she is scared or anxious about the labor and that the date is very close. You can usually notice this type of behaviour 24 hours prior to labour or a few hours before. While other signs are more common, this one isn’t. It can still happen, so we had to include it on the list.
6. She Will Start Producing Milk
As you already know, dogs will feed their puppies with milk. The milk production will actually start before giving birth but it doesn’t have to necessarily. In some dogs, it starts after giving birth. Anyway, you can tell when labour is imminent by looking at the breasts and nipples. If these are swollen and there is occasional leakage, labour will start soon. The only issue with this sign is that you cannot tell accurately when your dog will go into labor.
7. Your Dog Will Start Nesting
Dogs will start nesting before going into labor. This simply means that she will start making a “nest,” or a safe and sound place where she will give birth. This can be anything and look like anything. If you have provided a nesting box for your pet or something similar, your pet may skip this step.
In general, dogs will start nesting 4-5 days before they go into labor, so you will basically know when this is going to happen. As soon as a dog starts sensing that she will go into labor, she will start the nesting process.
As we mentioned at the beginning, the body temperature of your pet will drop before going into labor. But it will jump quickly when labour begins. You can see your pet shivering. She is cold, and this is perfectly normal. Keep in mind that once you notice this, labour is going to occur very soon. This is one of the most accurate and common signs a dog is going into labour soon.
Yes, dogs obviously have contractions as well. You will notice this in the form of ripples. Keep both hands on the stomach of your pet and follow the movement. You will see that the muscles are contracting faster and faster. This is a sign that labour has begun or will begin very soon.
When labour starts, your dog will start pushing. This is perfectly normal, and all female dogs know how to do it. For you, this may look like she is taking a poop. However, this is a serious sign, and it means that labour has begun. You will soon be able to see puppies coming out.
11. The amniotic Sac Will Become Visible
This is a sign that can tell you labour has begun, and soon you will see puppies. An Amniotic Sac will start coming at the rear of your dog and you can see it. It is actually the final sign here and the one that is obvious. If you didn’t notice any of the previous signs, you will notice this one.
In Addition Things and Signs You Need To Know
All of what we have explained above is common and will occur in 99% of cases. But, there are some other signs that are either present too late or dong happen all the time. Keep in mind that one week before going into labor dogs will not show any signs. They will act normally and there will be no changes in their behavior. All the signs will start appearing at least 2-3 days before going into labor.
You are probably wondering about the water and when it will break. In humans, this is a sign that labor has begun. In dogs, not so much. It will usually break once your dog starts pushing puppies out and as such, there is no need to mention it here as one of the signs.
Another thing you need to know is that yes, dogs will have a discharge from the vagina. This will happen 2-3 days before going into labor. If the mucus contains blood, it is green or black in color you will have to contact your vet immediately. A foul smell is usually present if the mucus has these colors. It is possible that there is some complication present and your dog needs professional help.
There is one myth we must explain here as well. Many people claim that dogs will give birth only during the night. This was true. See, wild animals usually do this during the night. There are fewer predators at night and it is much safer for them to do this then. But, dogs are not wild animals anymore and they don’t have to worry about predators. This simply means that your dog can go into labor at any given moment and yes she can give birth during the day.
A good thing is a fact most dogs will give birth without any complications or issues. A bad thing is that in some rare cases complications may occur. The most common of them all is a puppy that got stuck. If this happens, you will need to use a towel and wrap it around the puppy. Wait for the next contraction and pull it out slowly and gently. You will be able to help and resolve the problem.
A second issue is when contractions stop. This may happen suddenly and without any reason. Once this happens, there is no way you can start them once again. You will need help from a vet. They have medications that can induce contractions once again and the labor will be continued.
You can induce labor when you want (at the end of pregnancy of course). This is done via Oxytocin injections and it is usually done if there is some issue or a problem. C-section is possible as well but it is done only when your dog is in danger or puppies are. These are expensive procedures and for some dogs who usually have issues with labor mandatory.
The Final Word
Here you were able to see all the signs a dog is going into labor soon and now you can prepare better for the situation. This is going to happen and now you can tell when. These signs are very accurate and they can be seen in most cases. Make sure to see a few of them and you will be able to deduce when your pet is going into labor.
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