Signs that a dog may be ready to have her puppies include a drop in temperature and enlarged mammary glands. The dog's behavior may also indicate nearness to giving birth, as Daily Puppy points out, with the pregnant dog displaying nesting behaviors or relestlessness.
According to Daily Puppy, the best way to figure out when a dog will deliver her puppies is by taking her temperature twice a day. A dog’s temperature should be between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. When her temperature has dropped below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, her labor may start in approximately 24 hours. In addition, a dog's mammary glands look enlarged a few days before delivering her puppies.
Along with physical changes, a dog typically begins behaving differently as the birth approaches. Daily Puppy explains that nesting behavior may begin in the beginning of a dog's labor and may last six to 12 hours. A dog about to give birth may also be restless, may display shaking, or may try to hide. Some dogs also never leave their owner’s side when the time to give birth approaches.
Once a dog starts to give birth, the owner may have to help with any problems, according to Daily Puppy. For example, a dog may need help if she does not removing the amniotic sac around the puppies’ face. The birthing process may not be easy, and owners should call veterinarians if they do not feel competent to handle it on their own.