What Temperature Does a Dog Go Into Labor

What Temperature Does a Dog Go Into Labor?

As a dog owner, it is important to be prepared for any situation, including the birth of puppies. One common question that arises is, “What temperature does a dog go into labor?” Understanding the signs and stages of labor can help ensure a smooth and safe delivery for your furry friend.

The average temperature of a pregnant dog is around 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 39.2 degrees Celsius). However, a few degrees drop in temperature can indicate that labor is imminent. This drop, known as a “temperature drop,” typically occurs 24 to 48 hours before labor begins. It is essential to monitor your dog’s temperature regularly during the last week of pregnancy to anticipate the arrival of the puppies.


1. How can I measure my dog’s temperature?
To measure your dog’s temperature, use a rectal thermometer specifically designed for animals. Apply a lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, to the tip of the thermometer, gently insert it into your dog’s rectum, and wait for a minute or until the thermometer beeps.

2. Is a temperature drop the only sign of impending labor?
No, a temperature drop is just one sign. Other signs can include restlessness, nesting behavior, loss of appetite, vulva swelling, and even a change in behavior.

3. How long does the temperature drop last?
Typically, the temperature drop lasts for a few hours, and labor will commence within 24 to 48 hours. However, every dog is different, and some may experience a longer or shorter interval between the temperature drop and labor.

4. Should I contact a veterinarian immediately after the temperature drop?
It is not necessary to contact a veterinarian immediately after the temperature drop. However, it is wise to inform your vet about the situation and seek their guidance on when to bring the dog in for an examination.

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5. What if my dog’s temperature doesn’t drop?
While a temperature drop is a common indication of impending labor, not all dogs may experience it. If your dog shows other signs of labor, such as nesting behavior or restlessness, it is best to monitor her closely and consult with a veterinarian.

6. Can I assist my dog during labor?
In most cases, dogs are capable of delivering their puppies without human intervention. However, it is crucial to be present and provide a calm and supportive environment. If you notice any complications or prolonged labor, contact a veterinarian immediately.

7. How long does labor usually last in dogs?
The duration of labor in dogs can vary. On average, it takes between 6 to 12 hours for a dog to deliver all the puppies. However, it is not uncommon for labor to last up to 24 hours, especially for first-time mothers. If you have concerns about the length of labor, consult your veterinarian.

Being knowledgeable about the signs of labor and having a veterinarian’s guidance will help you ensure a safe and successful delivery for your beloved dog and her puppies.