Canine Gestation & Labor – Q & A

Canine Gestation & Labor – Q & A


How many puppies can a dog have in one gestation?
The number of puppies it can have is related to the dog’s breed and the female. Large breeds can have up to 13 or 14 puppies. Mediums sized dogs can have up to 5 puppies per gestation.

How long does a dog gestation last?
It lasts from 56 to 60 days.

How do we know if a female is pregnant?
You can have a vet doc examine the dog. An ultrasound scan from the day #21 or x-ray on the day #45 can reveal it and can tell how many puppies it is carrying.

Can a female have puppies of different parents in the same litter?
Yes, female mating with different male dogs in the same heat can deliver puppies from different parents at the same time.

Can an abortion be performed?
Yes, but the dog should be precisely shot during the first 10 days after mating. There is no method that allows us to see if the dog is pregnant 21 days before it mates, so there is a chance that we are giving the dog a shot for nothing.

Does abortion lead to any risks?
Abortion can lead to uterine infection where pus appears on the female’s vulva.


How do we know the exact day for labor?
It is difficult to determine the exact date unless the mating was provoked. On the day of labor, the female appears anxious, breathless and wants to hide.

How do we have to take care of labor?
It would be best to leave the dog alone in a box with covers.

How long does labor last?
Approximately 36 hours from the first puppy to the last one. Only an x-ray can tell us if there still puppies inside.

What must we do in the case of any problems?
Call the vet, but DO NOT pull the puppy out.

Do the umbilical cord must be cut?
It is preferable, since some females can hurt the puppies if they pull the cord too hard.

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