Generally, female dogs give birth on their own without the need for any human intervention. Therefore, if you ask how to help your dog go into labor, in a high percentage of cases the answer will be that the best help is to do nothing. But, just in case a complication arises, we will explain the signs that tell us that a bitch is in labor, what the normal course of labor is like and what problems should alert us to call the vet.
If you consider that your dog needs you to intervene and, therefore, you are interested in knowing how to help your dog go into labor if she cannot, read on to find out all the key points.
- 1 How does the labor of a bitch begin?
- 2 How do I know if my dog is having contractions?
- 3 How to help your dog go into labor if she cannot
- 4 Other tips to help your dog go into labor
- 5 How to make a dog go into labor early?
- 6 How do I know if my dog has finished giving birth?
How does the labor of a bitch begin?
If you want to know how to help your dog go into labor, the first thing is to acquire the basic knowledge about giving birth in this species. The bitches have a gestation of about 62 days. Although it is not an exact science, we can count on labor to begin around those days.
Any considerable delay should make us consult with the vet. The monitoring that this professional makes of the pregnancy and adequate care are factors that add up to successful births.
It is very common for bitches to deliver at night. This fact and the subtlety of the signs of its onset make us often meet directly with the puppies already born. If you are interested in how to know if your dog is in labor, you must carefully observe the bitch, always without overwhelming her.
Shortly before giving birth, she stops eating, she is restless, she can scratch the ground and will look for her nest. These signs will be the same in the birth of a first-time bitch as in that of an experienced one. Although externally we do not notice much more, the body of the bitch will begin to experience contractions that will become more intense until they culminate in births.
How do I know if my dog is having contractions?
During labor, the bitch will feel contractions of two types. In the first phase, which may go unnoticed, the contractions will gradually expand the exit of the uterus so that the puppies can reach the outside. Some bitches may express discomfort.
In the second phase, the contractions intensify and at that moment it is possible that we detect that the dog is breathing with agitation, panting, licking her vulva, visibly pushing, and even vomiting, unequivocal signs that she is having contractions.
How to help your dog go into labor if she cannot
The contractions culminate in the birth of the first cub, which will be followed by his siblings. The time between each puppy is usually about 15 minutes, although it is not an exact science and there may be a delay of up to two or more hours without implying pathology.
In these cases, in which the delivery proceeds normally, as we have pointed out at the beginning of the article, our intervention will not be necessary, so we can limit ourselves to observing to ensure that the bitch is well and no complications arise.
My bitch doesn’t stop pushing, what do I do?
If we observe that this time elapses and the bitch does not stop pushing, it may be because there is some difficulty that prevents a new birth, such as a bad position or a very large size of a puppy. Any of these factors will not allow its birth even if the dog pushes.
In no case is it a problem that we should try to solve ourselves, much less can we leave it unattended. It is an emergency and if the vet cannot reposition the puppy, they will have to perform a cesarean section.
My bitch is in labor and does not push
Another situation is that the dog is in labor and does not push. This can happen because the uterus is not able to generate effective contractions or because it is already tired after exerting for a long period of time.
This situation is also an emergency.
The veterinarian can administer drugs to stimulate the uterus to work, but if this does not work, the delivery will have to end with a cesarean section.
As you can see, how to help your dog go into labor is to call the vet in situations where the bitch is not able to do it herself.
Other tips to help your dog go into labor
To help a dog to give birth, besides observing to act quickly in case of any of the above problems, the only thing we can do is promote a relaxed environment and avoid any stressful stimulus for the bitch.
On the other hand, in general, the puppies are still in the placenta at birth and it is the mother who is in charge of breaking it so that they can breathe. To do this, they usually eat it, so we should not be alarmed if we see this happening.
Now, if the dog does not break the sac or has difficulties doing so, we can intervene. In fact, we must do it to prevent the puppy from dying, since if the sac is not broken it will not be able to breathe.
So, we will break the sac with our fingers, remove the puppy, and cut the umbilical cord (using a pair of sterilized scissors) if the bitch does not. If the puppy is born outside the sac, it is usual for the bitch to expel the placenta almost immediately afterwards. If she doesn’t, we will have to visit the specialist.
Once the puppy is born, if the bitch does not approach him so that he can feed, we can bring him closer to his mother so that he can, as long as she allows us. Although female dogs rarely do not allow their human family to approach or assist them in childbirth, it can happen occasionally, so it is essential to respect them at all times.
How to make a dog go into labor early?
The births are triggered, under normal conditions, when the puppies are ready to go out and survive outside. There is nothing that can force this maturation. Therefore, no home remedy is going to cause the dog to go into labor nor is it advisable to try.
If you really want to know how to help your dog go into labor, what is going to contribute the most to this is the creation of a relaxed environment where the hormones that must be activated during labor can work without being inhibited by stress.
A different situation is the one we discussed in the previous section. When the bitch is already in labor and the vet administers a drug to reactivate it if it seems that the uterus is not doing its job. It is a veterinary procedure that only this professional can do.
How do I know if my dog has finished giving birth?
Finally, to know how to help your dog go into labor it is important that we know the signs that indicate that the delivery has concluded. After the birth of all the puppies, we will see that the dog remains calm. The little ones will also be relaxed and sucking. Approximately a couple of hours have elapsed since the last puppy came out and the bitch makes no labor effort.
An aid to confirm that all the puppies have been born is to have carried out the veterinary follow-up during the gestation. In this way, using diagnostic imaging, we may have a fairly accurate approximation of the number of fetuses that the bitch is carrying. Thus, we will only have to count to see if the puppies born match our estimate.
It is also important that, if we can count the number of placentas, they correspond to the puppies born. A placenta that stays inside the uterus can cause problems in the postpartum period. Of course, if the bitch continues to push without giving birth to any puppies, is restless, or shows any other indication that something is not going well, that is a reason for a veterinary consultation.
Important: This article is for informational purposes only. We always recommend that you go to a trusted vet with your pet first.