Delivering Puppies – Ten Quick Steps

1. Stay calm

Delivering puppies can be effortless at times so don’t panic. Large breeds are particularly easy.

2. Confine pregnant dog to a good location.

The first concern when your dog is delivering puppies is the location of the mother. A drafty cold area out of arms reach is the worst place a dog can have puppies. If your dog is currently in labor confine her to a location that is draft free, warm and easily accessible to you.

3. Get phone number for your vet or local emergency vet (for after hours).

See end of article for national emergency vet directory.

4. Gather supplies

Needed items include scissors, floss (or hemostat), heat pad, petroleum jelly, hand towel, calcium, (tums, vanilla ice cream, or dog supplement) fyi- Calcium aids in birthing contractions of dogs

5. Keep Mother calm

Limit the number of people and animals that are around the delivering mother. Stress from a crowd can put your dog out of labor for hours. Threatened mother dogs have been known to kill their puppies.

6. Once mother starts pushing or puppies start emerging give her the calcium

Calcium will help strengthening contractions; thus, making delivery quicker. Crush one tums and put in mothers mouth or use calcium paste supplement (recommended). or offer vanilla ice cream. If mother delivers several puppies then stalls you can give her some more calcium later.

7. Assist delivery

If the puppy emerges from birth canal halfway and then is stuck there for more than a few minutes you may need to apply the petroleum jelly as high up the birth canal as your finger can reach. (if possible use syringe to get jelly into birth canal). With the hand towel gently pull on puppy to assist birth. If puppy does not completely emerge within 10-15 minutes call your vet for advice, you may need to go to the vet.
Tip- if two puppy sacs appear in the birth canal at the same time and you cannot push one back in then you must go to the vet, your dog may need a c-section.

8. Cut and clamp the cord.

Tie dental floss as close to the puppies body as possible or clamp on hemostat. Cut the cord a half inch away from the floss with scissors. If floss comes undone, simply retie it. If you cannot get the floss tied don’t panic, the bleeding should stop on its own.

9. Keep puppies warm and dry.

Turn your heat pad on low and place puppies on it. Keep the area as dry and draft free as possible after birth is complete.

10. Monitor puppies and mother.

Make sure that all the puppies have started nursing within a few hours of birth. Maintain a warm, dry, stress free environment. If the mother starts shivering and shaking uncontrollably she may be in pre-eclampsia, extreme calcium shortage, you must contact your vet.