Golden Retriever Labor and Delivery — Expect the Unexpected!

Are you a first-time dog owner with golden retriever labor and delivery that’s about to come around? It can be overwhelming and also frustrating because you don’t know what to expect at first. Although you know that it’s going to happen but you are just unprepared once it happens. Don’t worry, the only thing you have to keep in mind is to be prepared and focus on what’s about to come.

This article will give you tips and details about the golden retriever labor and delivery. This is perfect if you are a first-timer who is about to witness a litter in a matter of days, weeks, or months. Experienced pet owners are also welcome this in for quick refreshment or something new knowledge that wants to be learned.

Prepare Yourself

The important thing you need to do is to prepare yourself by educating yourself. There’s no better way to face the inevitable situation than educating yourself. Of course, it’s normal to be anxious and get frightened when you are expecting puppies.

But as a first-timer, you need to learn as much as you can on what’s about to expect. More particularly if you are a first-timer. That said, familiarizing yourself with the golden retriever’s birthing process and planning ahead is something you can do and the last thing you should do is worry.

Recognizing the problems as early as possible is your advantage. This is because you can become calmer and think logically which makes the chances of delivery much safer.

What you need is to scour every resource you have regarding the stages of labor and you should also determine the complications if something uneventful might happen.

Given the fact that each canine breed has its own vulnerabilities and complications. Also, each dog has its own unique whelping and birthing process, so embraced the unexpected.

Above all, the ultimate keyword you should know is preparedness as they are essential in delivering the litters safely and with ease. This is one of the best ways to prepare your golden retriever for labor and delivery.

Gestation Period

Generally, an all-female dog breed has a gestation that lasts up to 63 days. Determining the exact delivery time is still difficult find out. But the usual time frame of delivery is usually between 58 to 70 days. Although your local veterinarian can help you narrow the time frame by examining the female dog.

Also, be aware the there are still chances that your female dog is not pregnant but feeling pregnant. This phenomenon is known as pseudocyesis or false pregnancy. In order to confirm that your female golden retriever is pregnant, they can undergo a series of examinations like X-rays but normally it’s the ultrasound that they are using.

Giving Pregnant Golden Retriever A Proper Diet

It’s vital to watch out closely your pregnant golden retriever’s diet aside from her puppy bump. Because it’s important to give her a proper diet because her puppies rely on the mother dog’s diet.

If your dog has an improper diet, there can be complications and discomfort while on her pregnancy period. There are some things you should remember while your golden retriever is in the labor and delivery process.

Some Tips:

Never give them treats or scraps — Your goal is to feed your pregnant golden retriever highly nutritious food on a regular basis. Avoid giving them any dog treats or ant scrap food that aren’t necessary for your dog’s diet. Remember, that you only need to feed what’s adequate for your golden retriever female dog no more no less.

Avoid feeding them puppy food — Although this is common sense, there are still pet owners who change their pregnant dog’s kibble food so drastically to the point that they are feeding them puppy food which is not appropriate for a mother dog. Again, stick to the suggested regular adult food. I repeat It’s not advisable to change your bitch’s diet in a drastic manner.

Give him plenty of water — Make sure that your female dog has enough water. Check the water bowl very often. Make sure it’s clean and there’s enough water for the pregnant dog to drink. You need to keep them hydrated at all times.

Feed your dog only small meals instead of bulky meals — The reason behind this is your pregnant dog has already full in the abdomen. Feeding her large meals will only create discomfort which can eventually lead to complications if you keep on feeding her in large amounts of meals.

Feed them high-quality kibble food — Investing in premium quality and wholesome kibble food is a perfect meal for your pregnant golden retriever. The fact that high-quality kibble food has more quality ingredients and jam packed with nutrients and vitamins that your dog needs. Giving them low-quality kibble food is like putting them in danger.

You should be wary of their diet and also watch out for any dog food that has GMOs, preservatives, synthetic ingredients, meat by-products, and fillers. These ingredients can ruin your dog’s diet and even her pregnancy process.

Golden Retriever Labor and Delivery

As your pregnant golden retriever nearing its labor and delivery, you are going to need to monitor her at all times and watch for changes. Check the body temperature at least twice as this can help you notify its impending birth. A day before the labor, your female dog will have a drop in her body temperature which is a sign of near birth. The normal temperature should be 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. And prior to the labor (which is 24 hours), the temperature may drop 98 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, be prepared.

Stage One of Labor

The moment the temperature drops, the labor is expected to happen anytime soon. Your dog might feel lethargic and anxious. That said, for several hours, you will notice your dog’s pacing, refusal of food, panting, and sometimes vomiting. This will be followed by a nesting behavior.

While your dog is in its nesting behavior, this is the time to put her in the whelping box (you should train her to get accustomed to the whelping box beforehand). In some cases, they will try to drag some piece of fabric or pieces of clothing into her whelping box.

The initial stage will normally last 6 to 12 hours. At the end of the initial stage, your dog’s cervix is dilated. This means it’s stage 2 of their labor.

Stage Two of Labor

Moving on, this next stage is the right moment where the puppy is going to be delivered. There begin visible contractions. The female dog feels the strain. his kind of behavior may be likened to an irregular bowel movement.

The first puppy is about to deliver in 1 to 2 hours prior to the straining and contractions of the female golden retriever. If you cant handle it properly, you can call your vet for assistance and for a care delivery process.

After the delivery, the female dog may enter into her resting phase which lasts up to 5 hours. If there are expected puppies, active strains continue to persist and will begin again. You should know the estimated puppies by having your female dog take an ultrasound early on, so you are aware of the golden retriever labor and delivery are finished.

That’s why you can ask for some aid from your vet for further assistance. Although some female dogs will not have their resting phase. Because in some cases puppies are rapidly delivered. So, it will depend on the female dog’s scenario.

Stage Three of Labor

After the puppy is born, the female dog will enter stage three of labor. This stage is where the placenta is being delivered which normally occurs between 6 to 15 minutes after the delivery of the puppy. After the delivery, the mother dog will enter stage two of labor again. It will depend if the mother dog will continue in contraction or will continue her resting phase. The stage of 2 and 3 labors will continue if there are still puppies in the mother dog.

You should watch out for the number of placentas. The number of placentas should tally with the number of puppies. If the placenta didn’t come with the puppy, it will be a problem for the female dog.

Finally, the Whelping Stage

By the time all the puppies are delivered, the female golden retriever will immediately clean the puppy. This process is removing the amniotic sac if still present and she will also chew the umbilical cord. This is the stage where the mother dog will start cleaning serving as the puppy’s first-ever bath in the world.

You can also aid your female golden retriever by cleaning her newly born puppies, that is, if she’s okay with touching her puppies. After this, you will eventually hear the puppies crying. You can assist and nurse the newborn puppies in order to help the mother if need be.

Other Tips You Need to Know While Your Dog is Pregnant

Have them Get Light Exercise

This is vital when your dog is in its first month of pregnancy. It’s actually great for them to have exercise in order to prepare them as they undergo the process of labor and delivery. But keep in mind, no more heavy exercise for them, they should be given light physical activities only.

These are some of the light exercises you need to consider: Don’t bring them if you are going on long walks or jog. Have them play fetch but don’t throw the ball too far it will cause them too much exhaustion. Have them walk with you with a maximum of five short walks within a day.

Your pregnant dog should be well-rested for the last 2 to 3 weeks prior to her delivery. Because the last weeks are going to be essential for the health of the puppies and the mother also. There will be complications or worse, puppies could die if the mother gets hit too hard or bumped somewhere on the abdomen part.

Avoid Taking Any Vaccinations

The only allowed treatments are heartworm treatments and topical flea treatments, other than that, make sure your female dog doesn’t receive any vaccines or any treatments unless it’s permitted by your vet. Otherwise, don’t make a silly move that can harm your golden retriever and her puppies.

That said, make sure that you consult with your vet before giving any treatment or any sort of medication. Although it’s generally safe to have your golden retriever some vaccinations during their nursing period. The only thing you should be concerned about is your dog’s up-to-date flea and heartworm treatments. Because these can pass down to her unborn puppies. But be sure to talk with your vet all about it.

Take Your Pregnant Golden Retriever to the Vet If Necessary

Don’t ever try to play a guessing game with your pregnant dog. It’s a risk for your dog if you will only depend on your instinct without even considering bringing your female golden retriever to the veterinarian.

Because the vet has the higher ground when it comes to checking your dog’s current health condition while pregnant. That said, the vet is able to detect ant physical abnormalities, infections, or even diseases with the puppies.

You should also ask some questions regarding the golden retriever labor and delivery. Because you will never know if the delivery will be safe or a complication will happen.

That’s why it’s better to be prepared. Also, if your mother’s dog has any symptoms or signs of health condition, it’s better to bring him to your vet as soon as possible. There could be bleeding in her vagina before birth.

Important Nutrients for Pregnant Golden Retrievers

When feeding your pregnant golden retriever, you should consider several factors. Maybe right now, you are feeding your dog a cheap kibble food with low nutritional value and full of fillers and other synthetic components that can be dangerous to your dog. Instead, you need some of these essential nutrients so there’s a guarantee that the newborn puppy will be healthy as well as the mother dog.


Vitamins are obviously crucial to anyone and that includes that pregnant dog. The essential vitamins needed for a pregnant dog are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and B9. These vitamins can greatly help the dog’s immune system and tissue building which is very crucial. There are fruits and vegetables and even organ meats that contain one of these vitamins.

Also, vitamin D aids calcium absorption. Canned mackerel dairy products and eggs; and salmon are high sources of vitamin D.

In addition, you should also include folate. Because folate is essential in preventing any multiple birth defects. Sources of high folate include liver, poultry, and pork. Just be careful of the amount of liver you are giving. Although it’s rich in vitamin A, high doses of it can be harmful to the fetus. Medium-sized dogs eat more than 2000 mg of vitamin A on a daily basis.


Iron, calcium, phosphorous are important to every dog including pregnant ones. Calcium is great for the development of bone and tooth, and calcium is crucial especially during the nursing period. Meaty bones are high sources of calcium although you should keep your pregnant dog from eating dog bones after 7 weeks of labor because it might lead to problems in health.

Phosphorous aids the development of bones in puppies, it can also prevent any bone health problems in female dogs. Fish and eggs are great sources of phosphorous. Also, don’t forget the iron. Iron helps fights anemia which is fairly common in dog pregnancy. The best sources of iron are organ meats, liver, kidneys, and beef heart.


Protein is an integral part of every dog’s diet be it regular dogs or pregnant dogs. The fact that the majority of the dog’s diet came from protein meats such as beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, and fish. So you need to focus on this essential meat. There are premium kibble products that offer a large protein diet that is cital in your pregnant dog.

Fatty Acids

Great sources of omega 3 fatty acids came from fish like wild-caught salmon. You can also give some fish oil dog supplements in order to aid the overall health of your female dog. They are also beneficial in aiding the nerves, fetal brain, and also eyesight.

Also, Don’t Forget to Have A First Aid Kit Prepared

You don’t hold the newly born puppies with your bare hand because who knows what bacteria your hand could possess. Instead, you should be hygienic given the fact that the puppies are susceptible to any kind of disease. So it’s important to have these while your female golden retriever is in labor and delivery.

Hydrogen peroxide
Towels (paper towels, washcloths, and blankets)
Antibacterial gel ointment
Nail trimmer
Antiseptic wipes
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine tablets)
Gauze squares
Bandage scissors

Final Thoughts — Golden Retriever Labor and Delivery — Expect the Unexpected!

Are you ready for your golden retriever labor and delivery? Don’t panic and remain calm. Remember that you need to be prepared. Feel free to make this article your source of knowledge. I’ll be more than happy when your golden retriever’s labor and delivery are successful.

Also, don’t forget to feed your dog a proper diet and let them have exercise albeit light. I know that it can be overwhelming and frustrating but if you know what to do, then you will be fine and even the delivery will be safe and sound.

You might be interested: What Size Crate Does A Golden Retriever Need?

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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