Helping a Dog in Labor

Of course, you want your dog to have a happy and healthy life. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to understand what happens when your dog is in labor, so you can help her. Here’s how:

Signs Your Dog Is in Labor

If your dog is in labor, there are a few key signs to look for. First, they will likely become restless and agitated. They may also display behaviors that are not typical of them at other times—for example, your normally laid-back dog may decide it’s time to chase squirrels or roll around in the mud.

Second, you should pay attention to how the dog looks: if she seems unusually swollen in her abdomen or vulva area, it could be a sign she’s about to give birth. 


Prepare a place for the dog to give birth. While most dogs will be fine giving birth in their regular living space, there are some cases where this could be dangerous. If you’re not sure whether your dog needs a more controlled environment, talk to your vet about it.

Prepare a blanket or towel for the mother to lie on during labor and delivery. She may want something soft under her belly as she pushes out each puppy, so make sure it’s clean and free of rips or holes (towels generally work better than blankets since they’re less likely to bunch up underneath her body). It shouldn’t be too thick—you want her to be able to move freely without feeling trapped—but should also provide enough padding that she doesn’t get injured by hard surfaces like concrete floors or tile walls if she chooses not use your designated birthing area.

Prepare food and water bowls for both momma-dogs & babies; puppies have high caloric requirements at this stage & need lots of protein from momma’s milk! Warmth is important too: don’t let them get cold! You’ll also find that many pups like having their own bedding too rather than sharing with other siblings or getting into trouble from playing around too much before naps time every day during early development stages 🙂

Comforting a Dog in Labor

To help your dog through labor, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Remain calm and relaxed.
  • Make sure the area is comfortable for her to lie down on (if she will let you).
  • Don’t force her to do anything; let her take it at her own pace.
  • If you’re not sure what’s happening, ask for help from a veterinarian or animal shelter staff member who has experience with dogs giving birth. They can tell if there are any problems that need attention immediately.
  • Don’t worry if the dog doesn’t like you; this won’t affect how well she does during labor since dogs in heat don’t require human assistance to become pregnant or give birth (as long as they’re healthy). Just treat this like any other day between two friends—and remember that no matter what happens during delivery, it’s still an exciting time for both pet parent and pet!

Assisting With the Birth

The birth of a litter of puppies can last anywhere from a few hours to several days or even longer, but it is usually quick and relatively painless for the female dog. It may take some time for her to get comfortable with her new babies, so it’s important that you help her feel safe and secure while they are getting used to each other.

If this is your first time helping with a birth, you should expect that she will be restless and nervous as she enters labor. She’ll likely pace around the room or lie down on the floor in different positions during contractions. She may also pant heavily between contractions or lick herself where her puppies will soon be born.

Once she has begun pushing out the first puppy (either by pushing forward into a squatting position called “keeling” or by dropping onto all fours), help move any towels from under her so they don’t become soiled when the birth begins in earnest—and then stay nearby until all puppies have been delivered!


Hopefully the birth goes smoothly and you have a healthy mother and puppies. Now that your puppy has arrived, make sure to keep them warm and give them plenty of love. Your dog will appreciate it!