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How to Calculate When a Pregnant Dog Will Go Into Labor

Updated November 21, 2016

Skilled dog breeders can predict within a day when their canine will go into labour. They recognise certain signs, analyse conception dates, and recall past performances for that particular dog. For the run-of-the-mill dog owner, however, deciding when your dog will go into labour can be difficult. This guide will help the average dog owner calculate when new puppies will arrive based on statistics and behaviour.

Grab a calendar and estimate when your dog was in heat. Count 10 to 12 weeks after that and you will have a rough due date. This method is to be used when you have absolutely no idea when conception took place.

Calculate about 63 days after conception. If you know when your dog bred with another dog, the labour usually occurs between 56 and 72 days later.

Roll your dog's teats gently between your thumb and forefinger to see if you can extract any milk. Dogs begin producing milk a couple of days before they go into labour.

Use the thermometer and check your dog's temperature rectally. If it is below 37.3 degrees C, labour should happen within 24 hours.

Check on your dog several times throughout the day and night. If she circles, stands up, and sits down a lot, labour is imminent.

Tip

If you don't want puppies, spay or neuter your dogs.

Warning

Dogs naturally like to give birth alone. You can be present during labour, but be sure to be discrete so that labour does not slow down.

Things You'll Need

  • Calendar
  • Rectal thermometer
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