Prepare for Your Dog's Whelping
Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn, Doug Collins, karishma and 18 others
Your dog shares your living space with you. This means that he or she requires quality health care as much as any family member does. Proper health care for your dog should be provided on a regular basis. You and your veterinarian should constantly work together to make sure your dog is always free from any type of ailment or injury. Canine healthcare is given with extra consideration for female dogs, especially if it's her first time getting pregnant. If you have a female dog that has been bred in the past couple of months, you can look forward to her whelping soon. Whelping is a challenge to both dog and owner. Understanding everything about breeding your dog is one of the essential responsibilities in preparing for the whelping stage.
- 1 Considerations in Breeding
- 2 Monitor your Dog for Signs of Pregnancy
- 3 Proper Care for your Dog During Pregnancy
- 4 Preparing for the Whelping Stage
- 5 Dog Pregnancy Timeline
- 6 Stages of Labor: Whelping
- 7 Some Possible Scenarios to Prepare For
- 8 Puppy Care
- 9 Tips
10 Questions and Answers
- 10.1 65 days pregnant and my dog's belly has become narrow? What is this?
- 10.2 Chihuahua Pregnant Symptoms.
- 10.3 Are there any changes in week one of canine pregnancy?
- 10.4 My dog is restless and panting; going back and forth to the whelping box.
- 10.5 63 days pregnant and lying round shivering? What is wrong? What should I do?
- 10.6 Day 57 dog pregnancy licking vulva?
- 10.7 Dog 49 days pregnant leaking clear fluid.
- 10.8 Pregnant dog belly dropped, and milk sacs are forming?
- 10.9 My dog is about 8 weeks today, and her body temp is 99.4. Should we start expecting her to go into full labor soon?
- 10.10 Are dogs' vaginas supposed to get bigger when pregnant?
- 11 Comments
Considerations in Breeding
Before you even think of breeding your dog, ask yourself first if you are truly ready to handle the responsibilities of caring for your pregnant dog, and for the puppies she is going to have. If you think you can't because you are too busy, then you have the option of spaying her before her heat cycle. On the other hand, if you want your dog to experience the wonders of motherhood, and if you are prepared to help with this endeavor, then breeding would be the right path. The following are some considerations you should have when it comes to breeding your dog:
- 1A responsible pet parent should know who fathered the litter. This will give you an idea of what traits the puppies will have when they are brought into the world. It would be best to see the lineage of the father and of your dog as well. Purebred dogs have registration papers to back up their bloodlines. If they are mixed breeds, you can understand the traits by knowing about the father. Join the handful of dog owners who responsibly monitor their female dogs during their estrus or heat cycle. Your dog should not be tethered outside of your home when she is in heat. This will attract every off-leash male dog in the neighborhood. Even strays would take the opportunity to breed. Keep her inside and only let the preferred male of your choice to mate with her. A close neighbor's dog or a relative's dog is an ideal choice because you know the dog's physical and behavioral traits. It is a sure way of preventing any unnecessary diseases that could affect the puppies or the mother as well.Advertisement
- 2Be aware of her heat cycle. Your female dog has already started her cycle the moment you notice blood coming from her genitals. It may manifest through stains on her bed or gravitational drops on the floor. Ideally, female dogs should be bred from the ninth to the 11th day of her 21-day heat cycle. This is usually when the female dog's discharge becomes a bit lighter or almost pink rather than deep red.Advertisement
- 3Keep your female dog in an area where her blood can be easily spotted and cleaned. Usually, marbled, wooden, tiled, or vinyl floors are the best types of surfaces for female dogs in heat. These surfaces are very easy to clean and the blood does not stick to them.
- 4Always keep her bedding clean. Your female dog's bedding should always be clean to prevent skin infections, especially around the genital area. She should have no infections at all once she is bred.
- 5Update her vaccinations before breeding. All her vaccinations should be updated before she is bred. Once the breeding is successful, no vaccinations should be given to her because these might affect the fertilization of her eggs and the development of the puppies.
- 6Provide fresh water all the time. During the heat cycle, your female dog will continue to bleed, even if she has already been bred. Give her water at all times to replace the blood she has lost and to support the formation of the amniotic sac.
- 7Give her proper nutrition. This involves a balanced diet and daily vitamins. Good food and supplements will allow her to stock up on the necessary nutrients that she, and her possible puppies, need.
- 8Do not walk your female dog after breeding. Walking can be stressful, especially after breeding. She should rest and fertilization should be given the chance to transpire.
Monitor your Dog for Signs of Pregnancy
Once your dog has been bred, you have to keep an eye on your dog. Signs of pregnancy will soon manifest. Below are some of the common signs of dog pregnancy:
- 1Increased appetite and weight gain. Once your female dog has been bred, you should observe her closely. You will notice that her eating is more frequent than usual. This results in weight gain. It means that she is already nurturing developing puppies in her belly. You can confirm the weight gain by weighing her every two weeks after the breeding.Advertisement
- 2Enlarged nipples. You will also notice that her nipples are becoming much larger than when she is in the non-pregnant stage. They appear to be longer, slowly swelling up to accommodate milk production.
- 3Enlarged vulva. Observe her vulva. It will slowly swell up and become more elastic in preparation for giving birth.
- 4Urination and defecation are more frequent. As the puppies grow inside your female dog's belly, her urinary bladder and large intestines become more and more compressed. This results in more frequent urination and defecation. This will become even more frequent when her gestation has progressed.
- 5Take note that these signs can also be present during false pregnancy. It is imperative that the veterinarian confirms your dog's pregnancy by means of palpation (28th day of gestation) and X-ray. Gestation in dogs only takes an average of 63 days. Birth can happen five days before or after the 63rd day of gestation.
Proper Care for your Dog During Pregnancy
Once the pregnancy is confirmed, you should concentrate on providing the best care possible. This includes proper nutrition and safety for your pregnant dog. The following are some pointers to consider:
- 1Increase the frequency of feeding. This will supply your dog with the ideal amount of nutrients she needs to support her pregnancy. She will begin to eat more about five weeks before the whelping stage. The amount of food should be increased at a gradual pace. Frequent, small meals should be given to her so that she won't experience any abdominal discomfort from eating too much food at one time.
Preparing for the Whelping Stage
Now you know that whelping is going to happen soon, you have to prepare yourself and your dog for it. It will take a significant amount of time, so you have to consider the following as part of your preparation:
- 1Set up the whelping box. A few weeks before your dog is expected to give birth, you should prepare her whelping box - where she will be having her puppies. It should be situated in an area that is comfortable, clean, quiet, dry, warm, free of draft, and away from other dogs in the house. The size of the whelping box depends on the size and the breed of your dog. The whelping box should have enough room for your female dog (dam) and her puppies-to-be. It should first be lined with newspapers because this makes it easier for you to clean up when they are soiled. It should also have low sides so that you can easily reach inside.
- 2Prepare your whelping materials. Whelping needs you to have the complete presence of mind. It also requires you to have foresight for the needs of your dam. Here are some of the supplies that you need to acquire for your dog's whelping:
- Newspapers for lining the whelping box.
- Digital thermometer to check the dam's temperature.
- Mats or bedding to keep the dam and the puppies comfortable and warm.
- Extra bedding to replace the soiled bedding.
- Hemostats to hold the umbilical cords.
- Surgical scissors to cut the umbilical cords.
- Iodine to clean the newborn puppies' abdomens.
- Paper towels to clean the whelping box.
- Warm water and small towels to clean the dam and the puppies.
- Heat lamp to help keep the puppies warm and to help you and the dam monitor them. It will also encourage faster healing for the dam.
- 3Be mindful of the whelping room's temperature. The area where the whelping box is situated should have a stable and favorable temperature for the dam and the anticipated puppies. Heat should be carefully monitored. The whelping box should have an area where there is less heat so that the dam has the chance to provide body heat to her puppies, especially when she nurses them. As the puppies grow, the heat should be reduced. Puppies have higher metabolism as they mature. It would be best to maintain 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the whelping room to make them and the dam comfortable. There should be a thermostat in the room to help you monitor the ideal temperature. Take note that the whelping box should be comfortable for the dam so that she won't have to transport her puppies elsewhere.
- 4Place waterproof and chew-proof heating pads under the blankets. If you can get your hands on a waterproof and chew-proof heating pad to place under the bedding, it would be very helpful as a stable heat source for the dam and the puppies.
You will notice behavioral changes in your dam when labor is about to happen. She will lose interest in her food and will be nesting in her whelping box. Her normal temperature of 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit will drop to 99 degrees or even lower. About a day after you notice the temperature drop, she will go into the first stage of labor. At this point, she will be restless and will frequently pant.
Dog Pregnancy Timeline
To help you prepare for your dog's successful whelping, here is a dog pregnancy timeline that you can consult after breeding her:
First Week of Pregnancy
- Puppy development: This is when fertilization happens. The developing embryo is resistant to any possible environmental interference during first stages of development.
- Changes in the dam: She may have morning sickness and possibly changed in personality.
- Care for the dam: Feed her normally. Check any supplementation or medications that the vet may have prescribed before giving them to your dam. Do not administer live vaccines or apply any parasite treatment.
Second Week of Pregnancy (8 to 14 days)
- Puppy development: The embryos will now enter the dam's uterus. By the week's end, the puppy embryos will be 64-cell.
- Changes in the dam: She will still have possible symptoms of morning sickness such as vomiting.
- Care for the dam: Same as the first week.
Third Week of Pregnancy (15 to 21 days)
- Puppy development: By the 19th day, the embryos implant themselves in the uterus.
- Changes in the dam and care for the dam: Same as the second week.
Fourth week of pregnancy ( 22 to 28 days)
- Puppy development: The spinal cord and the eyes are starting to develop. The faces are starting to form. The fetuses grow to about 14 to 15 millimeters. Development of the organs begin. This is the stage when they are susceptible to any defects. On the 26th to the 32nd day, the vet might palpate the puppies or feel the dam's uterus for the puppies.
- Changes in the dam: Clear vaginal discharge may start to appear.
- Care for the dam: The vet may palpate her uterus for the puppies. Strenuous activities should be limited. A hard-boiled egg or ¼ cup of cottage cheese should be incorporated into her food on alternating days.
Fifth week of pregnancy (29 to 35 days)
- Puppy development: Claws, whisker buds, and toes start to develop. The fetuses are starting to look like small dogs. The eyelids have already developed. Their gender can already be determined. The fetuses are 18 to 30 millimeters in length. The development of organs is complete. They are not resistant to any more interference with their development.
- Changes in the dam: You will now notice her genitalia swelling. She will start to gain weight.
- Care for the dam: Gradually increase the amount of food that she eats. Change her food to puppy food because she will need more energy. Add an extra meal to her normal number of feedings. Give her multivitamins. Fluid has already filled her uterus so palpation won't be possible anymore.
Sixth week of pregnancy (36 to 42 days)
- Puppy development: Skin pigments start to develop. Fetuses are estimated to be 45 millimeters long and weigh about 6 g. Fetal heartbeats are now audible through a stethoscope.
- Changes in the dam: Her nipples are larger and darker by now. Her abdomen continues to grow bigger.
- Care for the dam: Add a hard-boiled egg or cottage cheese to her food every day. Continue to give her an extra feeding every day. She should start sleeping in her whelping box by now.
Seventh week of pregnancy (43 to 49 days)
- Puppy Development: Fetal development and growth continues.
- Changes in the dam: She will start to shed abdominal hair. She will look more pregnant now.
- Care for the dam: Increase the amount of food slightly. Prevent her from roughhousing. You can subject her to X-rays to see how many puppies she is going to have.
Eighth week of pregnancy (50 to 57 days)
- Puppy development: The puppies can be felt moving around in the uterus when the dam is at rest. They could come out prematurely by this time.
- Changes in the dam: You could squeeze milk from her nipples by now. She is now very large compared to her non-pregnant size.
- Care for the dam: Add a moderate luncheon for her.
By now, you should notify your vet of the latest status of your dog. The clinic staff should be aware that you would be calling at any time especially during an emergency concerning her labor or overall status. Also, check your whelping supplies.
Ninth Week of Pregnancy (58 to 65 days)
- Puppy Development: Development and growth of the fetuses continue.
- Changes in the Dam: She will be nesting more. She will start stressing out (manifested by pacing and panting). Her temperature may drop to 98 to 99.4 degrees Fahrenheit any time and the puppies will be born 24 hours after. She will start to lose interest in eating.
- Care for the dam: It is best to start taking her temperature on a daily basis. Stay by her side during labor and assist her in whelping.
Stages of Labor: Whelping
This is the moment you've been preparing for. By his time, you should consider the following as your dog starts labor:
- 1First stage of labor. This stage may be unnoticeable and usually happens 12 to 24 hours after the dam's temperature drops to about 98 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops to 97.9 degrees Fahrenheit, then you have about two to 12 hours to labor. The dam usually stretches on her side, trying to get more comfortable. She probably wouldn't want you to leave her. She may defecate or vomit because of the pressure she is experiencing. She may also experience frequent urination before labor. Your dam will also lose interest in food and may prefer a secure spot like a closet. Her vulva will become even puffier and she will have a mucous discharge as well.
- 2Second stage of labor. Your dog may go to the whelping box you made for her or she might go to any place she would want to deliver her puppies, such as your bed or a couch. She will start digging. She will be having more contractions so expect more frequent urination, vomiting, or defecation. She may also start to pant and shiver. Your dog will be frequently examining her vulva, licking it constantly.
- 3Third stage of labor. Presentation and breaking of the water sac or amniotic sac. Digging, panting, and shivering becomes more intense. Contractions become closer and stronger. She will push and grunt. If the pushing happens for more than 60 minutes, you have to take her to the vet. Normally, it only takes five to 10 minutes for the dam to push out each puppy. You have to pull out the puppy if it is in breech presentation (tail out first) and it is only half out. If the puppy isn't out in a few minutes, the puppy will drown.
Some Possible Scenarios to Prepare For
Anything can happen during whelping. With this in mind, you have to be prepared. Here are some scenarios you should watch out for:
- 1Stuck puppies. This is a common problem you should be ready to face. The puppy should be pulled out with dish soap or KY Jelly, especially if the amniotic sac is already broken and the puppy is breathing on its own. If the dam is too exhausted to push out the rest of the pups, a C-section might be in order. Immediately bring your dog to the vet when this happens. Remember, when the puppy is stuck the puppy should come out.
- 2Uterine rupture, hemorrhage, or torsion. This is caused by too much blood passing from the vulva. You should take your dog to the vet immediately.
- 3Pre-eclampsia or eclampsia. Also known as milk fever, this usually happens 10 days after giving birth. It could happen to a dam that gave birth to a large litter. Milk fever is more frequent in small, toy breeds. This is caused by calcium deficiency. Signs and symptoms are shaking, convulsions, weakness, spasms, muscle tremors, twitching, and rigidity. This is an emergency case, so you have to take your dam to the vet when this happens.
- 4Uterine inertia. This is a condition brought about by too much calcium in the diet during the dam's pregnancy. Calcium supplements should only be given during labor.
- 5Two pups competing. There may be a time when there are two puppies trying to come out at the same time. You could adjust the delivery yourself but you should call your vet for a more experienced hand. Usually pushing the other puppy back will enable the other one to slide into the cervix and both will be delivered properly.
- 6Green colored discharge. This indicates that the placentas have separated early. You should notify your vet when this happens. Sometimes, the puppies come out soon after but sometimes they don't. Green discharge should only be present after every puppy is born.
- 7Contractions suddenly stopped. The dam may experience exhaustion from pushing too long. You could stimulate harder contractions by feathering. This is done by placing your finger into the cervix. You then stroke the inner top part, right under her tail. You should put your finger in as far as possible and move it like your calling someone to come to you. Your palms should face upwards.
Below are some of the basic things that you have to prepare for when each puppy comes out successfully:
- 1The moment each puppy comes out, help the dam break the amniotic sac so that the puppy can breathe on its own. Immediately give the dam the placenta for her to eat. It will give her strength to continue with her labor. Do this with every puppy that is delivered.
- 2Clamp the umbilical cord with hemostats. Cut the umbilical cord and clean the puppy's abdomen with iodine.
- 3Position each successfully birthed pup to one of the dam's nipples to feed. The feeding will help stimulate more contractions for the succeeding deliveries. The colostrum in the milk will give them the necessary antibodies that they need to fight against possible infections now that they are out of their mother's secure uterus.
- 4Keep the puppies warm and close to the mother. A strong bond has to be established. Keeping them close together will also help regulate the body temperature of the puppies.
- 5If there is a stillborn, try to revive it for 30 minutes. Shake and stimulate it so that it may start to breathe on its own.
- 6Call your vet. Have the pups checked five to six hours after they have been delivered. Your vet will make sure that there are no pups or placentas left in your dam. The puppies will also be checked for any deformities such as cleft palate.
- Always communicate with your vet about the progress of your dog's pregnancy.
- Be aware of any spike in the dam's temperature 10 days after the puppies are born.
- Isolate your dam from the rest of your pack when labor is near.
- Separate your pregnant dog from the others during feeding so that they won't get overfed while your dam gets fed more.
- As best as you can, maintain a sterile environment during whelping so that the puppies or your dam won't contract any infections. Disinfect whenever you clean up the whelping box.
Questions and Answers
65 days pregnant and my dog's belly has become narrow? What is this?
This is something terrible and you should immediately take your dog to a Vet. Dogs are pregnant only for 65 days and hence, something is seriously wrong with your Dog. You shouldn't delay taking you dog to the vet.
The average dog pregnancy is 63 days and they can go into labor as early as 56 days up to 66 days after their first ovulation. One week before dog delivery their vulva will begin to swell and relax in preparation for delivery and may also exhibit discharges of fluid, which is pretty normal. In regards to your query, your 65 day old pregnant dog's belly suddenly become narrow. This is not normally seen in healthy dog's labors because during this day, the pregnant dog's belly should be fully dilated. The breaking of the water in pregnant dogs prior to giving birth is approximately one cup of liquid with a pale tea-color, which will not usually make a big difference in the size of their pregnant bellies. If the water breaks, delivery will begin within 1 to 2 hours. If your 65 day old pregnant dog exhibits any of the following signs, you need to immediately bring her to a veterinarian for proper medical intervention:
- Your pregnant dog does not show any signs of dog labor during her 60 to 66 days pregnancy period. These include panting, restless, pacing back and forth.
- The discharges are yellow, green and have a foul odor (signs of infection).
- Her body temperature increases to above 103 degrees Fahrenheit (sign of infection).
- If her water breaks, and delivery has not proceeded within 1 to 2 hours.
- Your dog vomits or extremely lethargic.
- Dehydration may also make the belly of your pregnant dog narrow.
Chihuahua Pregnant Symptoms.
An increase in the appetite, frequent urination, enlargement of the nipples, nausea, and a grumpy nature are all symptoms of a pregnant Chihuahua. A Chihuahua usually whelps in a period of 9 weeks and it is ideal to call for professional assistance during the whelping.
The following are the early signs of Chihuahua pregnancy:
- Decrease in appetite.
- Decrease in activities.
- Nipple growth and intensification of color.
- Behavioral change (too affectionate, wants to be alone).
I suggest you check with the vet to confirm the pregnancy. Sometimes, the symptoms above could also indicate an illness.
See more questions like this: My chihuahua I think is pregnant she is attached to me more then ever her belly is getting bigger and bigger yet she hasn't been eating that much and she sleeps a lot problem is can she have a home birth the father of the puppies is a mini doberman?
Are there any changes in week one of canine pregnancy?
The most common signs seen during the first month of dog pregnancy will be a change in the size of nipples and also a change in the appetite of the dog. Also, the dog might want more attention than usual or might want to be left alone. Look for changes in the behavioral pattern of the dog. If you see any of these changes, take the dog to the vet immediately.
The following are the changes that you will see with your dog within the first week of being pregnant:
- Change in appetite (less or more).
- Change in behavior (wants to be with you a lot, or the exact opposite, sluggish, lack of energy).
- Nipple changes (they get bigger).
NOTE: if you see the symptoms above with your dog and you have not confirmed the pregnancy from your vet, visit your vet as soon as you can, because the same symptoms can appear for dogs that are ill.
My dog is restless and panting; going back and forth to the whelping box.
Apparently, your dog is having trouble littering. You should call the vet immediately and also ask him what you should do until he makes it to your place.
There should be something troubling your dog. It is either that she is having a problem littering or she does not feel so good. So you should call a veterinarian to have them look at your beloved dog.
Your dog is restless, panting and going back and forth to her whelping box because your dog is exhibiting the signs of labor which means she's about to give birth within the next 24 hours. The normal number of days in dog's pregnancy period ranges from 60 days up to 64 days (63 days average). The first stage of dog labor is that her cervix begins to dilate, followed by painful uterine contractions, that makes your dog more restless, exhibit panting, shivering and pacing back and forth. The first stage of dog labor is the longest of the three stages of dog labor and usually takes about six up to eighteen hours. You can take your dog outside so she can relieve herself, give her whelping box pillows and clean blankets to make her nesting place warm and comfortable, make sure that she has plenty of water to drink beside her whelping box and provide a quiet and calm environment to make her labor less stressful.
See more questions like this: How can I tell if my dog is in labour
63 days pregnant and lying round shivering? What is wrong? What should I do?
Usually, shivering and restlessness occur when the dog is about to give birth. You need to check the temperature of your dog. If it is less than the usual temperature then, your dog is about to litter. Also, since, your dog is shivering it could also be possible that she has a fever. In that case, you should call a vet.
The normal pregnancy in canine is about 60 to 64 days with an average of 63 days (9 weeks)which is relatively shorter than human. Based on your query, your 63-day pregnant dog is laying around shivering because she is about to give birth. The rationale behind it is the cervical structure on your pregnant dog begins to dilate followed by uterine contractions, which are perplexing and painful to your pregnant dog. Your dog will appear restless and uncomfortable, and some of the symptoms include panting, pacing or laying around and shivering or shaking. Below are some helpful tips for you to do during the labor of your pregnant dog:
- Provide comfort. Providing comfort to your dog as much as possible is imperative to make her labor less stressful. Provide pillows or blankets for warmth and comfort.
- Provide a Calm and Quiet Environment.
- Provide a Box or a Whelping Box. The whelping box serves as her nesting place for her labor. Without a box or a whelping box, your pregnant dog will try to find a similar place like your couch, bed or any place inside or outside your house.
- Prepare Clean Bed Sheets and Towels.
- Make Sure There is Enough Water Nearby for Her to Drink.
Canine labor has three stages and your dog's symptoms fall under the first stage. The uterine contractions last about 6 to 18 hours.
To sum it up, your 63-day pregnant dog is laying and shivering because she is in the first stage of labor, and the best thing for you to do is to provide a quiet, warm and comfortable environment for your dog to make her labor less stressful.
Day 57 dog pregnancy licking vulva?
The dog wants to clean her vulva and hence, she is licking it. As dogs get close to littering, the vulva leaks and they want to clean it. Do not worry, your dog is fine and is going to litter soon.
The normal pregnancy cycle of dogs, 60 - 64 days, is much shorter than human gestation. When your dog's pregnancy reaches 57 days, and onward, her discharge frequency will increase and is an indication that your dog is about to give birth. Regarding your query, your dog licking her vulva during her 57th day of pregnancy, primarily because she is cleaning it and instinctively preparing herself to give birth. At this stage, your beloved pregnant dog needs utmost care, and you need to monitor her body temperature continuously. If her temperature drops to about 97 - 99 degrees Fahrenheit (taken twice in 12 hours apart), from her normal temperature of 101 - 102 degrees Fahrenheit, delivery should begin within 24 hours. Moreover, you should have made her a whelping box that will serve as her nesting area to give her as much comfort as necessary for her to give birth.===Where to check for puppies on a pregnant dam?===
If you are planning on checking the pregnant dam by touching her stomach, then you should just gently touch it because if you press too hard you could harm the puppies inside her.
Sometimes puppies on the stomach of dogs just may vary in the positions inside, so the best way to check it is by going to some vets and do some check ups and x-ray.
Here is a site that contains some x-ray samples of a pregnant dam.
Dog 49 days pregnant leaking clear fluid.
Your 49-days pregnant dog is leaking clear fluid discharges because it is one of the usual symptoms of canine pregnancy. The average canine pregnancy is about 63 days or even as early as 56 days or as late as 66 days old. The discharges with pregnant dogs can manifest as early as 4 to 5 weeks, and these regular fluid discharges are clear, stringy and odorless. Some abnormal fluid discharges you should be wary of are smelly, pus-like and bloody discharges because they may indicate internal injury or infection. If any of the above abnormal discharges have been noticed, immediately bring your pregnant dog to your nearest animal clinic for proper medical intervention.
Pregnant dog belly dropped, and milk sacs are forming?
The average gestational period for dogs is about 63 days or 9 weeks. In the 9th week, your pregnant dog's belly begins to drop because the puppies are now bigger and gravity pulls it making the pregnant belly sag. The greater the number of puppies inside, the greater the sag of the belly. Moreover, in the last week of your dog's pregnancy, the dog's mammary glands will become more active producing more milk in preparation for her delivery, and you'll also notice some milk discharges. Additional signs indicating that your dog is about to give birth are restless behavior, increase in panting, loss of appetite, and sudden drop in her body temperature. Once your pregnant dog's milk sacs appear full, delivery will begin in the next 24 or 48 hours. Make sure you have prepared her a quiet birthing and warm area to deliver her puppies.
My dog is about 8 weeks today, and her body temp is 99.4. Should we start expecting her to go into full labor soon?
This is her first litter and she is a small dog.
Yes, you should be expecting puppies within the next 24 hours after a temperature drop like that
Are dogs' vaginas supposed to get bigger when pregnant?
A female dog's vulva will swell when pregnant. This is a totally normal part of your dog's pregnancy.