Ask Dr Claire
I’m not sure if my dog is going to have her pups or not?
A dog’s pregnancy is considered to be 63 days in length (but this can vary slightly).
When your dog’s due date is approaching, it’s good to start monitoring her temperature (best taken from the rectum in dogs). Normal temperature is 38-39.2 degrees celsius, and in general when we see a temperature drop to 37.5 degrees celsius we expect that labour will start within 24 hours.
Your local veterinarian can take a blood test (serum progesterone) which together with temperature monitoring can give you a good idea of when she is close to whelping (giving birth).
A comfortable area should be set aside for whelping and raising her puppies. She needs to feel at home and relaxed in this area and she should be able to come and go as she likes while the puppies must remain confined.
In the first stage of labour we often see heavy panting, refusal of food, stretching, laying down, generally being restless, nesting, and a very tight abdomen. Dogs can be in first stage labor for many days but you need to be in regular contact with your veterinarian to make sure things are progressing ok.
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