How do I know if more pups are inside when my dog gave birth?

Written by lynn anders
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How do I know if more pups are inside when my dog gave birth?
Larger breeds tend to have larger litters. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

A female dog's gestation lasts about two months. Since a female dog may deliver one to 10 puppies in a normal litter, depending on the breed and breeding management techniques used, it can be difficult to know when a mother has finished delivering. You can use a combination of observations and signs to help know if your dog's labour is progressing well.

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  1. 1

    Feel the outside of your dog's abdominal cavity with your hands. With gentle pressure, you may be able to feel the shape of any puppies still in the womb.

  2. 2

    Check around the puppies and mother for the placentas. After delivering each pup, the mother should also deliver a placenta for each puppy, reports Dr. Bari Spielman of If you do not see a placenta for each puppy shortly after delivery, this could indicate your dog is having a difficult labour and may not be able to deliver all her pups.

  3. 3

    Time how long your dog strains and pushes without producing a puppy. Pushing and straining for more than an hour without delivering a puppy is a sign that a puppy may be stuck in the birth canal. Veterinarian Ron Hines recommends getting veterinarian assistance should this occur.

Tips and warnings

  • Mother dogs will eat the placentas, so counting placentas is not a foolproof method of evaluating the progression of labour.
  • Take your dog to a veterinarian immediately if you are concerned that your dog is having trouble delivering all of her pups, as this is considered an emergency.

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