Proven Step By Step Ways On How To Induce Dog Labor

February 15, 2017

A pregnant dog will have many of the same symptoms that a pregnant woman has. Once the pregnancy progresses, they become uncomfortable with the added weight. They can also have complications due to the the puppies being carried too long or being too big. In most cases, the dog owners will want to try and induce labor in order to avoid these complications.

While it would be better to put the dog under the care of a licensed veterinarian, there are also ways that you can use to induce dog labor or to help facilitate labor at home by using all-natural home remedies.


When Should Dog Labor Happen?

Most dogs usually carry puppies from 58 to 68 days. Once you know the breed, you can track when the labor should happen. You might not want to risk inducing labor early.

When Should A Dog Labor Happen?

It is very helpful to have an X-Ray of your pet at around 45 days to confirm the due date and check the number of puppies there are.

After that, you can start taking rectal temperatures, which normally drop two degrees before labor begins. Watch these temperatures to check for signs that the dog is starting to go into labor.

When To Induce Dog Labor?

  • If the dog's temperature has dropped, and it's still not in labor 24 hours later, it is time to try natural induction methods.
  • Do not be overly concerned unless the dog is over 65 days pregnant.

Steps To Induce Dog Labor

Having puppies is one of the most enjoyable parts of owning a dog. For most dogs, labor and delivery are a very smooth process, although problems can arise occasionally.

If gestation lasts more than 65 days, or the health of the dog is declining, then you will need to induce labor. This can be a challenge but it is worth the time and effort if the result is a litter of healthy, happy puppies.

Steps on How to Induce Dog Labor

Follow the steps below to induce dog labor:

Step 1

Schedule an appointment with the vet to have the dog examined.

  • The vet will examine the abdomen to feel for the puppies, take blood to make sure that the dog has adequate nutrition, and listen with the stethoscope to check that the puppies are alive.
  • The vet will also advise on what signs to look for once the dog goes into labor and tell you how to care for the dog during the birthing process.
Step 2

Ask the veterinarian for a prescription of Oxytocin.

  • This is the hormone released in normal pregnancy which tells the dog's body that it is the right time to start labor. This will cause the uterus to start contracting and push out the puppies.
  • It is injected intramuscularly with the use of a syringe and the vet will show you how to administer it to the dog properly.
Step 3

Set up the whelping box inside a quiet area at home.

The dog will begin nesting a few days prior to giving birth. Therefore, prepare a delivery spot that's intended for the puppies. 

  • Line the whelping box along with clean bedding and encourage the dog to relax inside the box and to make it her own personal space.
  • You could also include some favorite toys so that she feels at home there.
Step 4

Observe the dog closely for the signs of labor.

  • Licking of the genitals, restlessness and a reluctance to eat are some of the signs that she is within 24 hours of labor.
  • Start taking the temperature of the dog twice a day during day 60 and watch for a drop in baseline temperature.
Step 5

Monitor the labor of the dog to identify whether it is properly progressing.

  • The first puppy must be born within an hour of the initial labor signs.
  • If the dog is uncomfortable, restless, and their contractions are not strong enough to birth a puppy, then it is the time to inject the dose of Oxytocin. This will stimulate the uterus and make the contractions a lot more forceful to help the dog expel the pups.
    Inducing labor with a dose of this drug will help to speed up the process and prevent the loss of any puppies due to stalled contractions.
  • If the first dose of Oxytocin does not have any effect on the contractions, you could administer another dose 30 minutes later.
Step 6

Massage the abdomen of the dog once labor seems to have slowed down.

  • Rubbing the dog and the puppies could put her at ease and relax the muscles, which will help labor to proceed.
  • You must not rub the dog too hard, however, or forcefully push down on the abdomen since this could injure the dog and the puppies.
Step 7

Encourage the dog to walk if it seems uncomfortable.

  • Slip the collar and lead on and gently walk the dog around the home, staying near the whelping box should she need to lie down.
  • The exercise should relax the dog and it could help the puppies to settle lower into the birth canal and stimulate the necessity to push.
  • In addition, exercise stimulates the pituitary gland so that it releases a lot more hormones to help speed the birthing process.
Step 8

Leave the dog alone once labor begins.

  • The first puppy can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or two to appear, but the remaining puppies will come in quick succession.
  • Make sure that the dog cleans the puppies and severs the umbilical cord between the puppies.
  • If the dog is having trouble or the puppies are coming too fast, you can help the dog by breaking the sacks and then drying the puppies in clean, warm towels.

Consider these proven step-by-step that make the birthing process easier and faster, and watch this video for ways to speed up dog labor.

When To Ask A Veterinarian For Help

You must not worry if the dog does not want to eat during the process or isn't thirsty, as it could be feeling very uncomfortable..

If the temperature has dropped and you have tried walking and massaging the dog, and this method does not work at all, you should await for about 24 hours and then take the dog to a veterinarian. The vet will prescribe pills that can aid the dog or will help it to deliver the pups right there at the surgery.

But Then Again, Patience Is Important...

In most cases, canine labor can last for hours. If you remain patient, you will be rewarded with a stream of wriggling, new warm bundles of life appearing from the mother.

How to induce dog labor

However, silly acts brought about by impatience will lead to death, blood, and suffering.

  • You must not get the dog to stand on its hind legs and it is not smart to start pulling the pups out. Damage to the birth passage of the dog can lead to excessive bleeding and a higher chance of infection.
    The puppies might be harmed or even killed if large, clumsy fingers squeeze them and pull them apart from the natural course of the birthing process. However, the step-by-step ways to induce dog labor that I've just explained should be considered at anytime.

Did you find the article interesting? If the answer's yes, then feel free to post your comments, suggestions and queries below.


About the Author


Hi, I’m Sara and I would like to thank you for checking out my blog. I have been around dogs since I was kid and I cannot imagine life without one. So now, I am sharing with you the knowledge I have accumulated over the years and hopefully it helps you too.

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