Pregnancy is always a time of joy, of bringing a new life into this world. It is easy for humans to tell when a woman is going into labor as most of the time we know the symptoms. However, when it comes to dogs it is hard to tell, especially, because you cannot understand the language of your beloved pooch. And the worst and scary part is that you don’t know how to handle the situation as you are absolutely clueless, unless you have handled it before. Normally, in a female dog, the gestation period is 63 days. But, it’s hard to tell the exact time of conception. So, you can expect the delivery to be somewhere between 58-70 days. It is always good to get a veterinary check done to see if it’s getting the right proportion of nutrients. During this time, it may also try to hide in various places of the house trying to nest. Approximately, 6-24 hours before birth your pet might begin shivering, pacing, panting, trotting, clawing the floor, moving around in circles, and looking for a place to nest. So, it’s time to be the mid-wife now and comfort and help your dog during its delivery.
Tips On Comforting Your Dog While In Labor
- Make your pet as comfortable as you can. Speak comforting endearments and keep uttering its name. It’ll comfort your tense and nervous pooch.
- Its eyes will dilate, it’ll refuse to eat even its favorite food, become uncomfortable, discharge mucus, and it’ll stare at its butt, and even lick its vulva. There will also be a drop in the body temperature. All these are signs that the birth is about to take place.
- Line up its box with clean towels, bed sheets, or newspapers. Try to keep the noise levels down because your pet will require some privacy.
- Keep the human contact to a minimum, even though there may be many admiring and supportive onlookers.
- Placing its favorite toy or blanket will encourage it to use the whelping box. In case it refuses to use its whelping box then move it near to the place where your pooch has chosen to rest. After its puppies are born, move them to the whelping box. This will encourage it to follow.
- At the time of labor, it is imperative to know all the danger signs, when you’ll have to call for the vet immediately. Some of those signs are the passage of dark green fluids at the time of delivery, straining without delivery for more than 1 hour, or if the birthing mother shows signs of weakness, restlessness, and nervousness for 30 minutes after labor stops, or shaking, trembling or vomiting, days or weeks after the delivery. Should any of these signs appear, call the vet immediately.
- During dog delivery, there is really no cause for human intervention. Dogs, generally, can take care of themselves. However, there are some times when you’ll need to assist your dog, as a mid-wife, for safe delivery.
- If you notice that during the birthing process, a puppy seems to come only half-way out, despite straining by the mother, then you have to take immediate measures. Ask someone to hold your pet’s head, and then gently grab the puppy with a clean fresh towel, and pull firmly. If the puppy does not slide out immediately then call the vet right away.
- If your dog is too tired and weak to tear off the amniotic sac and the umbilical cord then start peeling the sac, working from its mouth towards the tail. You can clean the mucus from the mouth with your fingers.
- Rub the puppy vigorously for several seconds with a clean towel. This will keep its heart beating, and help to adjust with the environment.
- To cut the umbilical cord, tie a knot with a sewing thread. Tie another knot just above the first knot. Cut in between the spaces with a sterile scissor.
- Once your dog is through with the birthing process, give it some time to rest. Keep its watering bowl nearby, so that it can quench its thirst whenever it feels like.
- After some time change the newspapers, and lay fresh ones. During the first few days, it might be protective of its pups, so keep visitors away or least to a minimum.
- Make sure it has an adequate supply of food and water close to its whelping box, so that it can comfortably take care of herself without having to go far.
- Allow it to go outdoors to relieve herself when it feels like or if it uses the bathroom, help it.