A pregnant dog can experience many of the same symptoms as a pregnant woman. As the pregnancy progresses, they become uncomfortable with the added weight. They also can have complications from carrying the puppies too long or if the puppies are too big. Many times, owners want to try to induce labor to avoid those complications. While it is better to out your dog under the care of a licensed veterinarian, there are ways to help facilitate labor at home with all-natural home remedies.
When Should Labor Happen
Dogs typically carry puppies from 58 to 68 days. If you know when your dog bred, you can track when labor should occur. You would not want to risk inducing labor early. An X-ray of your dog at around 45 days will be very helpful in confirming due date, as well as checking for the number of puppies that your dog will have. Then you can begin to take rectal temperatures of your dog. Before labor is set to begin, the temperature normally drops two degrees.
When to Induce
If your dog's temperature has dropped and 24 hours later, she is still not in labor, then it is time to try natural inductions methods. Unless they are over 65 days pregnant, do not be overly concerned. Start off with squeezing two to three of your dog's nipples to get milk flow. Rubbing the nipples also creates a flow of hormones that will help to begin the process of birthing. Then take her on a short walk, stopping for many breaks. Once home, you can give her gentle stomach massages. Massages should not be too deep or too hard as that may harm the babies.
When to Call the Vet
Do not worry if your dog does not want to eat through this process, she is very uncomfortable. Do not worry if it seems that she is not thirsty either. If her temperature has dropped, and you have tried to walk and massage and it does not seem to work, wait approximately 24 hours and then take her to the vet. The vet will be able to prescribe pills that will help her or he might help her deliver the puppies right there.