Does the Temperature Always Drop Before a Dog Gives Birth?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    Your dog's temperature falls below 100 degrees Fahrenheit shortly before labor begins.

    Your dog's temperature falls below 100 degrees Fahrenheit shortly before labor begins.

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    While most dogs do not require assistance during delivery, your being there when your dog delivers is important in case an emergency arises. Luckily, your dog’s temperature is a natural indicator of impending labor; it will always drop before the onset of labor. As your dog’s due date approaches, monitor her temperature daily to help pinpoint when the puppies will arrive.

    Canine Temperatures and Labor

    The normal rectal temperature of a healthy dog is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The gestation period for a dog is between 58 and 71 days. During the final week of your dog’s pregnancy, begin taking her temperature two to four times a day. When your dog’s temperature falls below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, labor should begin within 24 hours.

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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