The typical amount of time it takes for a dog to birth one puppy and the next is around thirty to sixty minutes. It is also not unusual for dogs to go up to 4 hours between pups, though this length of time could also be a possible sign of birthing difficulty.
With that said, how long it takes for a dog to actually give birth between puppies will vary depending on their breed and whether or not they have had any prior pregnancies.
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Knowing What to Expect
If your dog is expecting, knowing the time it takes for her to give birth from one puppy to the next will help breeders and dog owners alike to spot any troubling signs of labor. The time between puppies can be an indicator of the difficulty your canine may be experiencing and whether or not she will need medical assistance.
As previously mentioned, on average puppies will arrive anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes of one another, with your dog taking occasional resting breaks that can be up to four hours long.
How long of a break she may take between puppies and how often will depend on how large a litter. Dogs will birth anywhere from a single pup to up to ten, sometimes more, depending on their breed and any previous pregnancies they may have had.
Labor tends to be longer for first-time mothers, as well as for breeds who have wider heads that make labor more taxing on the mother than breeds with slender heads, like a collie. Nevertheless delivery can take up to twenty-four hours with puppies spaced out anywhere from thirty minutes to four hours.
How Long is Too Long?
This will range depending on whether your dog is in active labor or resting labor.
- When your dog is in active labor, thirty minutes between puppies while straining and pushing can be an indication of difficulty and a sign that you should seek veterinarian assistance.
- If your dog is resting between pups and showing no signs of pushing or straining for 4 hours or more and you are unsure or know that there are still more puppies inside, then she may be experiencing complications and should be seen by a vet.
- If labor lasts greater than 24 hours.
Find Out Litter Size
In order to be well prepared and ready to act if your dog is experiencing difficulty with labor, a visit to your veterinarian can shed light on how big a litter to expect so that you know when to get help.
At six weeks pregnant, a gestating puppy will have developed enough for an X-ray to be performed by your veterinarian. The X-ray will allow your vet to count and inform you of how many to expect.
By knowing this, if your dog happens to go four hours of inactive labor and puppies are still unaccounted for, you will be able to seek the medical assistance she will require. You will also better avoid compromising the health of your dog by assuming that she is done without this prior knowledge.
No X-ray? How to Tell if There Are More Puppies
If your dog is in labor and an X-ray was not performed to determine litter size you may be wondering how to tell if your dog is resting between pups or is done giving birth.
There are a few things you can try at home to determine whether or not you should seek medical assistance if your dog is going too long between birthing.
- You can try gently feeling your dog’s abdomen to see if you can feel any puppies that may still be in there.
- After each puppy your dog gives birth to, she will pass a placenta within five to fifteen minutes of them. If your dog is in between pups but a placenta has not passed then she may be having difficulty and still have puppies to birth. If this is the case seek veterinary assistance.
- Try timing active straining between one pup and the next. Prolonged straining and pushing can indicate that a puppy may be stuck inside the birth canal.