Giving birth is one of the most wholesome memories for a female, and it’s a new and exciting experience for the people and families involved during this process.
If you have a dog in your house and she’s about to deliver babies, it can be joyful yet stressful for the pet parents, as not many pet owners have experienced anything like this.
Dogs, as they have lived in the wild for years, rarely need help in the delivery process, and they successfully deliver babies without many complications.
You can know when the whelping process of a dog has ended by their behavior, and it can sometimes be tricky to know if the dog has given birth to all the babies or if there is still a pup to come.
In this article, we will understand how to know if the last puppy has been delivered if a pup is stuck during the whelping process, and what happens after a cute lil pup has taken birth.
This read can be exciting and emotional, so be cautious and grab your tissues. Let us begin.
Table of Content
How do You Know if There are Still Puppies Inside?
A dog is pregnant for approximately 63 days, and between the 39th and 50th day of the pregnancy, a veterinarian will do an ultrasound or an x-ray to determine the number of litters she will give birth to.
According to that, observe the whelping process (labor process in dogs) and count the babies she has given birth to; this will help you to know if there are still puppies inside.
Remember to let the dog get steady and calm before you try to count the babies, as they can be very protective and aggressive near their newborn pups.
How do You Know When a Dog has Delivered her Last Puppy?
Observing and carefully monitoring the dog during a whelping process is extremely helpful in knowing whether the mother dog has delivered her last puppy or there is still more to come.
As said before, an ultrasound before the birth can tell you almost the exact number of litters your mother dog is pregnant with, and matching them with the number of babies born can tell you if there is another baby to come or if that is it.
Another way is to see how the mother dog behaves; if she is calm and stops panting and gasping, she has delivered all the babies. She may get attentive to the pups born and tries to clean and feed them, which is a sign the delivery process has ended.
Carefully observing the whelping process helps you know if all babies have been born. During whelping, many body parts and organs of a mother dog are in process, and the process, like in every species, can be tiring.
Sometimes, the female dog gives birth to pups continuously without pausing or gapping. And in some, they tend to rest and take a pause during delivery, and that is called a whelping pause.
They may take breaks during the whelping process to gather back all the energy and hormones, like parathyroid, to deliver a baby again in some time.
It is crucial to understand when there is a whelping pause taken and when the whelping process has ended to fully know when a dog has delivered her last baby.
A whelping pause may last from five minutes to 48 hours, as there is no exact time frame.
People often confuse this whelping pause with some complication in delivery, which is not the case. If you think the baby is stuck and the mother dog is trying to deliver but could not, contact a veterinarian immediately.
What Other Ways can You Conclude There are no More Puppies?
If you cannot manage to get an ultrasound or an x-ray or any such diagnosis before the birth, you can still find out if the female dog has ended the delivery or if there are more puppies to come.
Although the other methods to detect if babies are still inside a mother dog can not be entirely conclusive, you can always try.
Similar to humans, after delivering all the babies, a female dog would get calm and stop whining; this is an affirmative sign the whelping process has now ended.
You can check if the contractions have stopped; if they lay down quietly and do not seem to be in pain, they are now done delivering.
If their stomach seems stiff and in continuous motion or heavy breathing continues, they are still in whelping process.
If she is done delivering pups, she may get attentive to the newborn and try to clean and feed them, but still monitor them for 2 hours as they take breaks between delivery.
If, after two hours, they again seem anxious and nervous, they are preparing to deliver again. Call a vet for a check-up if they do not deliver but are anxious even after hours.
What Happens After the Last Puppy is Born?
When the female dog is done delivering, and after the last puppy is born, it will release the placenta; this is the final confirmation that the labor is done.
There will be one placenta for each pup born; if two pups are born, there will be two placenta. Wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes to ensure an exact number of placentas; if not, call a veterinarian immediately.
Your veterinarian will give her hormonal discharge medicines, maybe an oxytocin injection, to release the remaining placenta. If the placenta remains in the body for a long, it can cause dog infections like Pyometra in the uterus.
Dogs are sometimes gross and generally eat the released afterbirth things; this may cause you to miss the placenta count.
After all these procedures are done, and everything is calm, check if an umbilical cord is still attached to the pups; if your mother dog does not attend to it, you should cut it and tie it off.
If you are unsure about what to do or not to do during the whelping process, it is better to ask for a professional’s help. Call on pet clinic or your vet, and they will send someone over to check.
From the start of contractions, it takes around 2 to 15 hours to deliver the first baby; after that, each puppy will be born after a 30 to 60 minutes gap max.
Feed them a nutrient-balanced diet. Puppy food with high calcium and protein of the highest quality is highly recommended.
A sign that a dog is going into labor is their desire not to eat and refusal in any activity. It is essential to keep the dog hydrated at this time as they will need a lot of energy to deliver pups.
When your dog is in labor, and they deliver babies, it is one of the most beautiful experiences for a dog owner. During this process, being attentive and caring to the mother dog is essential.
This article will help the reader understand how to know if the last puppy has been delivered or if some complication has occurred, like if a pup is stuck during the whelping process, and what happens after a cute little pup has taken birth.
We hope this article was informative for you and your pet’s health. Stay calm during this amazing process, and prepare yourself for the new family members.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.