Can puppies come early?

Premature delivery does occur in dogs but it is not as common as you might think. Often these so-called premature deliveries have actually been an error in recording the mating dates or a miscalculation in gestation period (period of pregnancy), which is usually sixty-three (63) days.

As an experienced dog breeder, I am often asked the same question: can puppies come early? It is a difficult question to answer because the expected delivery time of the puppies is determined by several factors, including the breed of the dog, the health of the mother, and the size of the litter. In this blog post, I will be discussing the various factors that can affect the expected delivery time of puppies, as well as their possible implications. Additionally, I will provide some advice on what to do in the event that puppies arrive earlier than expected. By the end of this post, readers should have a better understanding of when puppies can be expected to arrive and how to prepare for their arrival.

Symptoms of Early Contractions and Labor in Dogs

Contact your veterinarian right away if you believe your dog is about to give birth, especially if it is more than a day or two early. Some common signs include:

  • Drop in body temperature
  • Restlessness
  • Lying on side
  • Anxious and clingy
  • Whining or other signs of pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils or staring
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Types

    We classify pregnancy loss according to the stage of gestation:

  • Early Embryonic Death – occurs before the embryos have implanted into the wall of the uterus. The dead tissue is usually reabsorbed and the pregnancy may go undetected. We wont know a pregnancy has occurred and there will not be any contractions or labor.
  • Spontaneous abortion – may occur at any time throughout a pregnancy. The fetal tissues are expelled from the uterus.
  • Premature birth – puppies are born before they are fully developed. If they are alive upon birth, they often need intensive care if they are to survive.
  • While some dogs prefer to give birth alone, others have no issues doing so with someone present. Some people might even feel more at ease around a reliable human companion. If you can, provide both options to your dog. Do not administer any medications to your dog while she is pregnant without first talking to your veterinarian. This includes flea medications and vaccinations. Tell your veterinarian that your dog is pregnant if they are treating your dog for anything. For instance, as long as you tell your vet about the pregnancy, you can let them deworm your dog while she is expecting.

    Call your vet right away for guidance if your dog is still a preterm and has bloody vaginal discharge. At 30 days pregnant, you might think about taking your dog to the vet for a checkup to make sure the pregnancy is developing normally.

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    To detect fetal death or abnormal positioning of fetuses, which may result in a challenging delivery, ultrasound imaging will be used. But an ultrasound will also enable your veterinarian to see the fetal heartbeats and obtain more specific fetal information. Your veterinarian should perform a necropsy on the puppies if they are stillborn or pass away soon after birth in order to determine the exact cause of death.

    Premature contractions that result in preterm delivery of puppies can occur in a pregnant dog, or dam, due to a number of conditions. Early labor can be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, the loss of one or more fetuses, ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances, injury, malnutrition, a change in environment/moving, and essentially any stress that can put a dog in mental or physical distress. A dog breed may occasionally be genetically predisposed to premature labor.

    She Is Digging and Scratching at Blankets

    When the due date draws near, expectant parents spend more time settling in at home, preparing the nursery, and getting cozy in anticipation of the baby’s arrival. Dogs go through the same nesting behaviors, and you may notice she digs or scratches at bedding or blankets, says Best Friends Animal Society veterinarian Megan McCarthy.

    She might even move her blankets or bed around the house in search of a place to greet her kids. McCarthy advises animal owners to let their pregnant dog go through these motions because it can reduce her stress.


    Can my dog give birth at 55 days?

    Pregnancy can last anywhere from 56 to 69 days depending on the breed, with smaller dogs typically giving birth a little earlier. The pregnant dam, or bitch, may experience a drop in body temperature and occasionally lose their appetite as labor progresses.

    Can puppies be born at 57 days?

    Dog gestation periods, also known as pregnancies, typically last 57 to 65 days on average. You should keep a record of the exact date of mating when planning a breeding. If there are two matings, note the dates and anticipate birth to take place 63 to 65 days after the second mating.

    What is the earliest puppies can be born?

    63 days for gestation (pregnancy), although puppies can be born between 58 and 68 days. Your veterinarian can feel the abdomen to determine if a pet is pregnant between days 26 and 35.

    What causes puppies to be born early?

    Early labor can be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, the loss of one or more fetuses, ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances, injury, malnutrition, a change in environment/moving, and essentially any stress that can put a dog in mental or physical distress.