Natural Ways to Induce Dog Labor

By Bryan C. Booth

The negative effects of inducing labor are far more serious than waiting a few days more. Many people, faced with a miserable dog seemingly bursting apart it's so fat with puppies, sometimes panic and act unwisely. Running, belly massages, standing on hind legs and feeding alcohol are all traditional methods that often cause more trouble than they supposedly try to solve.


Labor is often induced in dogs when the puppies are all forced up against the birth passage. Some people try to hurry the process by strongly massaging the female's stomach forcing the puppies downward. Although a massage might be a good idea, such a forceful one at this stage is not. A lighter massage would ease your dog's discomfort and make you feel better. But to push so hard into the abdomen so as to actually move the puppies may harm both puppies and the internal organs of the mother.


Keeping your pregnant dog from adequate exercise can often lead to complications in the birthing process. So it is important to give the expectant mother plenty of opportunities for exercise. Also, increased pressure on the bladder from pregnancy may cause some dogs to use the bathroom more frequently, which makes the exercise even more welcome. However, it is not wise to let the dog run excessively. The practice of inducing labor by hard exercise like running, playing fetch, jumping or standing on hind-legs will often cause a confusion of umbilical cords and jamming of puppies together. This can cause the prenatal deaths of puppies and sickness from septis in the mother.

Patience is Important

Sometimes canine labor can last for hours. Patience is rewarded by a stream of new, wriggling, warm bundles of life appearing again and again from the laboring mother. Impatience, and the silly acts brought about by impatience, is often rewarded by blood, death and suffering. Do not get mother to stand on hind legs, nor is it smart to pull the puppies out. Damage to the dog's birth passage will lead to excessive bleeding and a higher chance of infection. Puppies can be killed or harmed by large, clumsy fingers squeezing them and pulling them apart from the natural process.

Herbal Excesses

Most dogs, when faced with approaching labor, will stop eating. This is one of the signs to look for when seeking a clue about canine labor. Attempting to feed the animal any food at this time is against the dog's own natural urges. Even water may be spurned by some animals. That's okay---offer water, but don't be upset if it is not lapped up. However, some people try to fill their dogs stomachs to "force" the puppies out or think that laxatives or oils fed to the dog can somehow affect the reproductive system. It won't work and it may harm or cause the dog pain. The act of feeding alcohol to a dog may actually stop the process of labor, leading to possible death of both puppies and mother.


The key is to trust your dog and the natural rhythms that control the birth process. The joy of watching new life taking the first breath or feeling the warmth of its mother's fur for the first time is a wonder. All good things take time, and the same is true of puppies. Canine pregnancy can seem to last forever, but doesn't. Sometimes, during labor, it seems hours between each new puppy, but, in reality, it is only minutes. If there are concerns about a dog's pregnancy or the delivery of the puppies, it is important that a trained and experienced vet is called to examine or attend the mother. If not, enjoy the entire process, for as long and as uncomfortable it might be, there is that magical reward at the end.