Signs of a Dog Ready to Have Puppies

Your pregnant dog starts acting strangely. She seems nervous and is not eating, leading you to wonder if something is wrong. If she's in her ninth week of pregnancy, there's probably nothing to worry about, she's just getting ready to have her puppies. If your dog is pregnant, you should be prepared for and aware of the signs that your dog is about to become a mother.

Nesting Behavior

Even if you've made a nice whelping box for your dog, as her due date nears, she will exhibit nesting behaviours. This can include moving the bedding from the whelping box to another area of the house where she is comfortable, digging at the bedding to rearrange it or becoming protective of her bedding. This behaviour can happen anytime during pregnancy, but will become more pronounced the closer she gets to her delivery.

Nervous Behavior

As the delivery time nears, your dog will start acting odd. She may seem nervous or stressed and start pacing. Other nervous behaviours include physical symptoms such as heavy panting, whining or shivering. These are good indicators that she is already in labour.

Changes in Eating

Your pregnant dog will probably be eating more during her pregnancy to provide her body energy to producer healthy pups. Just prior to giving birth, some dogs' appetites decrease. Watch for this decrease in eating. If she doesn't deliver within a few days of this behaviour, take her to the vet for an exam. Always keep fresh water out for your dog.

Temperature Change

If you're able to take your dog's temperature, this will give you a strong clue of when your dog is about ready to give birth. Take your dog's temperature on a weekly basis before you think she is due. This gets her used to the procedure and gives you a baseline temperature. Most dog's have a temperature between 38.3 and 38.8 degrees C. When her temperature drops to 36.6 to 37.7 degrees C, she should give birth within the next 24 hours.

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About the Author

Based in Portland, Ore., Tammie Painter has been writing garden, fitness, science and travel articles since 2008. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as "Herb Companion" and "Northwest Travel" and she is the author of six books. Painter earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Portland State University.