The first sign that labour is imminent is a drop in your bitch’s body temperature. When her body temperature drops to between 36 and 37°C, labour should happen around 12 hours later. In this time, she may be restless but this is normal.
From this point, the next stage of labour begins, the birthing of the pups. Your bitch will begin to strain before starting to give birth to the puppies and in between each puppy being born, she may rest. If she rests for longer than two hours, it is time for assistance from a vet. Staying alert and aware of her condition throughout the whole birth and knowing if she needs to be seen by a vet is vital to a safe and healthy birth.
Another option, if you aren’t confident with the dog birthing process, would be to use Canine Scanning’s whelping assistance service. Even if we are just there as a reassurance for first-time breeders, or for assistance throughout the process, we are more than experienced to offer help and advice. We offer a very hands-on service and are experts at keeping the bitch calm throughout the whole birth.
We must stress that we are not vets, however, being with dogs day in and day out, we are able to pick up on signs of a struggle and recommend veterinary intervention when necessary.
For more information, please visit the whelping assistance page, or contact us directly.