Most of the time, female dogs deliver their puppies without human intervention, states veterinarian T.J. Dunn, Jr. for petMD. First, the female dog delivers the water sack, and then the first puppy arrives within an hour. If the dog does not deliver, contact the veterinarian for instructions. Also call the vet if the dog is more than 65 days pregnant.Continue Reading
Each puppy arrives with a membrane that must be removed, explains Dunn. Give the mother dog a few seconds to a minute to remove it. If she does not, use a towel to wipe it away. The puppy comes attached to an afterbirth; remove the afterbirth, leaving about an inch of the umbilical cord, or allow the mother to eat it. The mother should then lick the puppy clean. Use a towel to rub the puppy dry and stimulate breathing if the mother dog does not clean it.
The mother dog will continue to labor, delivering a whole litter in as little as two hours or as much as 20 hours, notes Dunn. The mother should deliver second and subsequent puppies within half an hour of laboring with contractions every minute. If she fails to deliver, it is time to call the veterinarian. The vet may ask you to bring in the mother dog for medical intervention.Learn more about Veterinary Health