How Long can Birthing Last for Dogs?

golden puppies

Once a dog becomes pregnant, it only takes about two months for it to give birth.

If you have a pregnant pooch, it is crucial that you learn everything you can about this process.

This information will help you take care of your dog during this very delicate period of time.

Three Stages of Birthing for Dogs

The Beginning of the Birthing Process

Once the canine birthing process begins, it might seem like your dog is ill. These animals often vomit during this stage of labor. They might also pace back and worth for up to twelve hours. This is the time in which their cervix begins dilating.

Pushing for the Puppies

The second stage in this birthing process will require your dog to consistently push so that the puppies can come out. Sometimes a female dog will push out a couple of puppies and then take a break for up to four more hours. This is your dog’s way of easing the immense strain on their body. All of the puppies have usually come out of the mother within 24 hours after this stage has started.

The Placenta

Once the puppies are all out of the mother, she will expel the placenta from her body. This usually only takes about 10 to 15 minutes. If your dog still hasn’t pushed out any puppies after two hours of pushing, it is time to call your veterinarian.

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How to Tell if Your Dog is in Labor

If your dog is pregnant and close to the two month mark, it is important to keep a close eye on it. There are certain signs that your dog is going into labor that you will need to be aware of.

Most dogs have a tendency to go off in a desire to be alone when they begin going into labor. As mentioned above, you might notice your dog vomiting or beginning to pace around a certain room in the house.

The best way to confirm if your dog is going into labor is to take its temperature rectally. If this process has begun, it should be have a temperature of about 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that you keep taking its temperature for a full week leading up to its pregnancy.

Creating a Relaxing Space for Your Dog

It is very important that you make a point of creating a relaxing space for your dog while it goes through the birthing process. This can simply entail a cardboard box with thick blankets (make sure they are clean). You also want to have plenty of towels on hand, as things can get messy very fast.

You will need to make sure that the box you have set aside for your dog to give birth in is large enough to accommodate the puppies as well. The box should also be tall enough so that no mischievous newborn puppies can get out. 

It is essential that your dog have a comfortable place to give birth, as this process is already very physically and emotionally taxing for it.

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chihuahua birth

Tips to Follow When Your Dog is in Labor

There are a number of tips that can help you and your dog get through the birthing process without any issues:

Stay calm

One of the most important things to remember is to stay calm. No good will come from panicking or worrying needlessly. Just take a few deep breaths and focus on helping your dog in any way possible. The calmer you are during all of this, the better off she will be.

Make sure Help is Available

There is a chance that you might need some help if there is a problem with the birthing process. It is a good idea to have the after-hours number for your veterinarian just in case. This way you won’t have to frantically try to look it up. Keep this number posted on the refrigerator.

You might also want to have a family member available to help if the need arises. The fact is that delivering puppies can be a bit overwhelming if you are doing it by yourself. Having a friend or family member at the ready can make things a lot easier.

Remain Close by

While your dog might instinctually want privacy while it is in labor, you will need to stay close by. The entire process can over 24 hours in some cases, so you’ll need to make sure that you or another member of the family is nearby at all times.

If there is any complication during the birthing process, it is imperative that you take action immediately. Your dog might not let you know it, but your presence will most likely give it a certain amount of comfort during this stressful time.

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Talk to Your Vet Beforehand

It is a good idea to speak with your vet well before your dog goes into labor. They will be able to give you some idea as to how like it is that any complications will occur. While it is impossible to predict every possible scenario, this is a vital part of being prepared for what is to come.


  • When a dog starts the birthing process, it often starts pacing around and/or vomiting.
  • Make sure that you take your dog’s temperature in the week leading up to when it is supposed to give birth.
  • The first stage of this process can take up to 12 hours for the dog to get through.
  • The second stage (hard labor) can take up to 24 hours.
  • The final stage of this process involves the dog pushing out the placentas.
  • You’ll need to make up a comfortable place for your dog to lie down while it goes through this process.
  • It is important that you or a family member stay close to your dog at all times while it is going through labor.
  • Keep the after-hours number for your vet close by just in case.
  • Speak to your vet beforehand to find out if you should expect any complications.