Most dogs deliver their puppies without complication, however it can be quite convenient to have a precise idea of when to expect your dog to give birth.
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Step 1The gestation period for dogs is between 59 and 63 days long. So if you know the precise day the dogs were bred, you can have a general idea just from looking on your calendar as to about when she will have her puppies. As she gets closer to her due date, you'll notice your dog will occasionally investigate for "places" that might be likely whelping spots. She may "nest" ... scratching up the back of your closet or beneath the bed. Hopefully, you will have provided her with the perfect safe and secluded place in which to deliver, but you're going to be ahead of the game if you can predict the exact day that she will whelp.
Step 2The trick to knowing when your dog will whelp is in taking her temperature every day, twice a day, the last week or ten days of her pregnancy. Take her temperature with a rectal thermometer, as close as possible to twelve hours apart, twice daily. A dog's normal body temperature falls between 100.5 and 102.5. So, every twelve hours, take her temperature and note it on a graph. You will see slight variations based upon the dog's activity level.
Step 3When your dog's temperature falls to 99 degrees or below, she will have her puppies within the next twenty-four hours. This is the value in taking her temperature every 12 hours ... by having done so, you are much better able to precisely pinpoint the range of time in which she is likely to whelp!
What I have described here is what is typical for the vast majority of dogs. There are exceptions. If you have any reason to think your dog might be in trouble, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian.