What Is The Longest Time Between Puppies Being Born? A Guide

Dogs under labor require special attention and care – which most canine parents find quite challenging.

Confused beginners get stuck at almost every stage involved and have thousands of questions in mind that need addressing. What is the longest time between puppies being born

As someone who has guided my dog through three successful labors, I have much to share on the matter. Keep scrolling for my answers on how long between each puppy.

What Is The Longest Time Between Puppies Being Born? 

longest time between puppies being born

How far apart are puppies born?

Usually, the longest time between puppies being born (within safe territories) between newborn babies is two hours. Of course, this number is just the maximum benchmark; the exact time required varies across different breeds.

By illustration, small breeds (Chihuahua is the most typical example) have quite small litters, resulting in faster deliveries with only 15 to 20 minutes in between.

Meanwhile, larger dogs in labor – like my Great Dane – need 45 to 60 minutes for each puppy.

Such an extended interval allows my dog enough time to rest and restore her energy before going in for the next rounds.

Although an excessively long gap is not unusual, 3 hours should be the final stretch on how far apart can puppies be born.

Anything beyond that means troubles are at play, indicating severe complications with the mom’s uterus or the puppies getting stuck.

As stressed above, size does play a role in deciding how much time between puppies being born.

Hence, smaller dogs going through long labor gaps are generally more worrying than their bigger counterparts.

You should immediately bring them to a vet or hospital if that is the case. Putting it off only worsens the pain and even puts the dog at potential risks.

What If The Puppies Take Too Long to Come Out? Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

The most likely cause behind stalled labor is uterine inertia – in which your dog cannot birth all her puppies due to the uterine’s incapability to expel and contract fetuses.


Unfortunately, you cannot detect any noticeable symptoms.

One of my dogs went down with uterine contractions once or twice – but she did not seem distressed on both occasions.

I only realized something was wrong when she stopped her labor entirely after delivering two puppies – despite the remaining fetuses in her uterus.


Several reasons might trigger this problem, including:

  • Obesity
  • Uterine muscles fail to respond to hormonal signals
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Lack of exercising
  • Obstructed reproductive tract
  • Puppy oversize
  • Wrong fetal positions in the reproductive tracts


A consultation with veterinarians must be scheduled as soon as possible. Your dog’s previous history and general health should be carefully considered by the veterinarian.

The dog will be placed in a quiet, safe space – one of our attempts to restart her labor. While at it, the doctor performed initial examinations to check her blood level, hormone, rectal temperature, etc.


Uterine-strengthening drugs are prescribed based on the dog’s preliminary diagnosis, with repeated injections under constant supervision to track the overall progress.

As your canine gets thirsty quite fast, vets will use intravenous fluids during the injections to administer the drugs and keep her hydrated at the same time.

Uterine muscles also demand sufficient glucose and calcium levels; should your dog exhibit traits of glucose/calcium deficiency, clinics will suggest intravenous therapy.

And what if the dogs fail to respond adequately to drugs and medicine?

In that case, cesarean surgeries are the only option left; choose early timings to alleviate fetal pressure and prevent the puppies’ premature death.

How To Take Care of A Pregnant Bitch To Ensure Safety for Its Future Puppies?

time between puppies being born

Nobody wants mishaps to happen on G day. And the best way to prevent that disaster is to take proper caution right at the start of her pregnancy period. Keep all of my tips in mind, and you are good to go: 

Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition is the most crucial factor in a smooth and no-hassle canine pregnancy.

Since my pet was already healthy and consumed good-quality food on a daily basis, I did not have to change the diet for 2/3 of her gestation period.

The veterinarians also agree to keep the food amount unchanged; increasing it at this early stage could have been harmful.

However, as the pet’s weight increases during a few weeks, you should gradually add more to her daily food until she eats 35-50% more than average.

Large meals might cause severe discomfort, which is why these changes must be small and slow – but frequent.

Proper Exercise Distribution

Too much exercise during her first couple of gestation weeks does more harm than good. It’s best to limit excessive activities for your dog during this critical period to enhance the embryos’ implantation.

Once two weeks have passed, normal exercises are allowed until her belly enlarges.

In this last trimester, my dog and I returned to square one: only light, non-strenuous exercise.

Regular and shorter walks are better for her, as she needed enough energy restoration to feed nutrients for her pups and carry them around.

Visiting The Vet Before The Due Date

Before the breeding day, take your dog to a vet for prenatal checkups.

Usually, there will be two suggested options by the vet: 

  • Fecal exams to inspect intestinal parasites
  • Deworming the dogs with appropriate medications and dewormer. The process ideally should start in the 3rd trimester (40 days of pregnancy) to decrease the hookworms and roundworms in newborns and give them room to grow.

To stay safe, consult  your vet about what treatments to carry out if emergencies occur on labor day – and set up plans with your pet sitters and family members accordingly.

Other anatomical and mechanical concerns will then be examined to prevent problematic whelped litter.

Remember to discuss with your vet whether cesarean surgeries or normal births are better for your dog.

Once, my dog getting pregnant was an accident – rather than something my family had anticipated.

So if you encounter the same issue, I suggest asking the vet about future precautions (ex: spraying) to sidestep another unwanted pregnancy.

What Is The Best Way to Assist Your Dog During Its Labor? Tips to Take Note

how far apart are puppies born

As the birthing process goes on, do not just stand around and watch; try to make the process less painful for your canine! I have seen enough success with these simple methods, listed as follows: 

a. Use iodine to disinfect her umbilical cord and prevent infection. If the bleeding persists, tie or clamp the cord to cease the bloody fluid.

b. While the mother canine is still busy with her pup, you can be a helpful assistant by removing the amniotic sacs around her. Do that every 30 seconds to give the puppy some breathing air.

c. Pick a suction device or cotton swab to remove secretions from her mouth and nose. Another option is to turn the puppies upside down, support their heads, and let gravity pull down the secretions.

d. Rub the puppy with a towel after cleaning off the secretions; such moves resemble a mom’s licking.

e. Remove excess placentas if the dog ingests too many of them. Otherwise, diarrhea may ensue.

f. Check the number of placentas after each delivery (supposedly one for each pup).

Bring your canine to the vet if these numbers do not add up (and you are certain she hasn’t eaten them); the vet will inject her with oxytocin to expel the placentas.

g. Place the pups in a clean, nice box to keep them warm. Also, that way, the mom would not lay on her puppies accidentally while carrying on with her labor.

h. Put the newborn puppies near their mom’s nipples to feed them during birth intervals.

i. Whenever my dog struggles with her deliveries, lubricate her birthing canal using K-Y jelly; chances are her pups are getting stuck there! 

k. Lend the mother a helping hand by gripping her puppy gently at the neck. Rotate the puppy one or two rounds to help him get expelled.

FAQs on Birthing Issues

What Should You Do After The Puppies Are Born? 

After the birth of puppies, lean the mom with a dry cloth, then keep the entire litter of puppies in a quiet room away from the neighbors, children, and other dogs.

Can Puppies Be Left Alone After Birth? 

They can, but not for long. During the first few months, check on them every 2-3 hours to ensure nothing goes wrong. And if they fight, click here to learn what to do.


My guide has discussed the longest time between puppies being born, aided by other relevant tips to guarantee the most seamless puppy delivery.

The first few times can be hard, but practice makes perfect; soon, you will get used to it. 

Hope my readers find this article helpful and informative! If you need more clarification on how long between puppies during labor, please get in touch with me and my team.


Photo of author
Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

Leave a Comment