Pregnant Dog Belly Dropped: A Sign When Your Dog Is In Labor

As a dog owner, it’s essential to understand the signs that your furry friend is about to give birth. One of the most significant indicators of an impending delivery is when your pregnant dog’s belly drops.

My article will discuss what a pregnant dog belly dropped means and what other signs to look out for as the beautiful experience approaches.

Is Pregnant Dog Belly Dropped?

pregnant dog belly dropped

How can you tell if your dog is close to giving birth? When a pregnant dog’s belly drops, she is getting ready for the stage of labor.

As the dog’s uterus contracts and the puppies begin to move into the birth canal, the weight of the puppies will push down on the dog’s belly, causing it to drop.

This is a visible sign typically noticeable to the dog’s owner, veterinarian, or anyone familiar with canine pregnancy.

How Long After A Dog’s Belly Drops Does Labor Start?

The time between a dog’s belly dropping and the start of labor can vary depending on the individual dog and the breed.

Some dogs may start delivery shortly after their belly drops, while others may take a few more days.

How early can a dog go into labor? In general, however, it can be expected that labor will start within 24 to 48 hours after the dog’s belly drops.

Common Signs of A Dog In Labor

when do pregnant bellies drop

Knowing the reliable signs of pregnancy in dogs can help you be prepared and support your furry friend.

Belly Drops

Does a dog’s belly drop before labor? The “belly drop” is one of the most visible symptoms when a dog is going to give birth.

This happens when the dog’s tummy changes shape, sinking lower and becoming more pendulous.

The sign is related to the weight and location of the puppies within the uterus, and it indicates that labor is near.

However, it is crucial to note that not all dogs go through this bodily transformation before giving birth, and some may go into labor with no evident exterior indicators.


Your pet seeks a pleasant and safe place to give birth in nesting behavior. She might begin gathering blankets, dry towels, and other soft objects to make a nest-like setting.

Moreover, some dogs may begin digging to create a den-like environment. This is a normal instinct in dogs since they want to ensure that their puppies are delivered in a safe and warm zone.

Hence, it is necessary to provide a nesting area for your dog, such as a whelping box or a comfy spot in a quiet room.

Body Temperature Dropping

A dog’s average body temperature ranges between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

As the labor approaches, her rectal temperature may drop by a degree or two. This decrease indicates that labor could begin within the next 24 hours.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that not all dogs experience this temperature decline, and it may not be a reliable indicator of actual labor onset.

Therefore, giving proper care and monitoring other signs of labor is essential.


Is my pregnant dog in labor if she is shaking? Shivering can also signal that your dog is in delivery.

Due to hormonal shifts and muscle contractions, the dog’s body may suffer tremors or chills as it prepares for delivery.

These tremors might be moderate or severe, depending on the animal. If the shaking is painful or lasts extended, it is critical to consult a veterinarian.


During the early stages of labor, some dogs may experience vomiting and nausea due to the release of prostaglandins, hormones that help soften and dilate the cervix.

However, if your dog is otherwise healthy and shows other signs of labor, vomiting could specify that delivery is coming.

Losing Her Appetite

A decrease in appetite may occur several days before the onset of labor, but some canines may refuse to eat just a few hours before giving birth.

It is important to offer small, frequent meals to the dog during this time to prevent them from becoming too weak.

If your pet goes more than 24 hours without eating, taking the puppies to a nurse for a physical exam is recommended.

Enlargement Of Mammary Glands

In this period, a dog’s mammary glands will begin to enlarge and prepare for milk production. As labor approaches, the mammary glands will become even more swollen and firm to the touch.

In some cases, the nipples may even start to drip milk, which clearly indicates that the dog is close to giving birth.

Take care of the milk glands and ensure they do not become red or inflamed, as this can be a sign of infection.

Hardened Abdomen

When the dog’s body prepares for delivery, the uterus contracts, and the abdomen may become firm or tight to the touch.

This is a specific part of the labor process and shows that the dog is getting closer to giving birth.

It is of the utmost importance to observe the dog throughout this time regularly and to speak with the vet if the abdomen remains stiff or tense for an extended time.

She Wants You Around More Or Less Than Usual

Your dog may display changes in behavior, such as wanting to be around its owner more or less than usual during the intensive time.

Some pets may become more clingy and seek their owner’s attention, while others may become more independent and prefer to be alone.

This behavior change results from the dog’s instinct to seek a safe and comfortable place in the stages of pregnancy.

My Dog’s Belly Is Getting Smaller During Pregnancy: What Does This Mean?

Does a pregnant dog’s belly drop

If your dog’s belly is getting smaller during pregnancy, it may show a problem such as a miscarriage or resorption of the fetus.

However, it is also normal for a dog’s belly to decrease in size in the last few weeks of pregnancy as the puppies prepare for birth and move into position.

If you are concerned about your furry friend’s pregnancy, it is better to ask a veterinarian. They can perform an ultrasound exam or other tests to determine the puppies’ health and pregnancy status.


How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?

Dogs’ gestation period is approximately 63 days, although it can run from about 58 to 68 days, depending on the breed and size of the dog.

Can A Dog Give Birth At 57 Days?

Yes, a dog can give birth at 57 days, although it is considered a bit early.

However, if your pet shows signs of labor at 57 days, monitoring her closely and seeking veterinary assistance if necessary is important.

What Materials Do You Need To Prepare Before Your Dog Goes Into Labor?

Before your pet goes into labor, you should prepare materials such as:

  • Clean towels
  • Sterile scissors
  • Bulb syringe
  • Heat source
  • Clean bedding
  • Gloves
  • Calcium supplements

Also, having your veterinarian’s phone number in an emergency is important.

When Do Pregnant Dogs Get Milk?

Pregnant dogs typically begin to produce milk during the last week of pregnancy, though this varies depending on the particular dog. 

Some dogs may start making milk a few days before birth, while others may not have milk until after delivery.

During this time, it is critical to continually track your dog and get in touch with the vet if you have any concerns about her milk production or the health of her puppies.


A pregnant dog belly dropped is a clear sign that she is getting ready to give birth.

While it’s essential to keep an eye on this physical change, monitoring any behavioral changes in your dog is equally important.

By being aware of the symptoms and signs of labor, you can ensure that your furry friend has successful pregnancy and delivery.


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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!

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