How to Prepare a Dog Giving Birth to Puppies

A dog giving birth can require a bit of help from your part and you will need to get some supplies so that the puppies and the mother can be assisted in these crucial moments. Knowing what happens during the delivery can also help you be prepared.

Prepare the Delivery Area

The delivery area is important for the mother’s comfort. If she is not comfortable, complications may arise and she may not be able to deliver the puppies.

Choose an isolated, warm room for the delivery (the mother may already have chosen the room herself) and get a delivery box, which can be made of cardboard, plastic or wood. Make sure the box has an opening at one side. Put a blanket in the box, so that the dog is comfortable.

Get the Necessary Supplies

The supplies you will need for a successful delivery include:

  • Clean towels or cloths
  • Rubber gloves, if you will get involved in the delivery
  • Water, as the mother needs to be hydrated
  • Scissors for the umbilical cord
  • Thread or dental floss to tie the umbilical cords after being cut

Stages of Labor and Required Assistance

The labor in canines has 3 stages. The first stage will last up to 2 days and will be signaled by the dog licking her genitals. The cervix will be dilated periodically, but the dog is not ready for the delivery. She will refuse to eat, but will need water.

During the second stage of the labor, the dog will experience contractions. You will notice that the cervix will be constantly dilated. Keep your dog calm and offer her water and soft pillows and blankets. If the dog feels any threat or stress, she can stop the labor.

The last stage of the labor is the delivery, which should be assisted by you or a vet.

The Delivery

During the delivery, you will see that the puppies will start coming. The frequent contractions of the cervix will help the mother deliver the puppies. Expect the first puppy within 40 minutes after you notice the first contractions. If there are no puppies after 2 or 3 hours of contractions, you need to be assisted by a vet, who can provoke the delivery.

After the first puppy, you should expect a puppy every 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure you count the puppies and the placenta. For each puppy, you need to have a placenta. The placentas need to be expulsed, or the mother can get a serious infection.

If a puppy is stuck and needs help to get out, pull gently, but make sure you wear gloves.

The umbilicus of each puppy will have to be cut with a sterile scissors. Some dogs will cut the cord with the teeth, but if your dog doesn’t do this, use the scissors. Tie the cords with floss, making a strong knot just 1 inch above the abdominal area of the puppy. Tie a second floss and cut between the 2 ties of floss. The remaining floss can be removed after 10 minutes, after the blood has clotted.