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Can Puppies Be Born Days Apart? (Answered)

The birthing process or whelping can be a very confusing and difficult time for dog owners. You should be fully prepared as time approaches. It is best to know about the different factors of the birthing process.

How far apart can puppies be born?

Dogs have labored in three stages. And there is usually a gap of 45 to 60 minutes between the birth of each puppy. This depends on the stamina of the mother. If the mother needs more time to rest, she can take from an hour to four hours between the birth of each puppy.

Labor is a long process when it comes to dogs. The initial contraction stage can last up to 6 to 12 hours. After which the puppies are born. The gap between each puppy is around 45 minutes to an hour. This is if the mother is feeling well.

Can puppies be born days apart?

In all cases, every dog from a litter is born within an hour’s gap. This means the puppies of the same litter are usually born on the same day. Puppies are not usually born days apart. If the puppies are inside the placenta for a day there is little chance of them surviving. Which does happen a lot.

It is highly unlikely for puppies to be born days apart. Most puppies are born within half an hour to an hour. It can take longer than that but this gap does not go up to days. Usually, within a day all the puppies from the litter are born.

Though the common gap between each puppy is from 45 minutes to 60 minutes, this length depends on the mother. If the mother is tired and needs a break, they can wait up to 4 hours in between as well. But this break never lasts for a whole day.

By the end of the day, all the puppies from the same litter are born.

2 hours between puppies:

The puppies can take around 2 hours as well. The placenta needs to break for them to breathe. If that happens then 2 hours is common.

4/6 hours between puppies:

If the dam is tired and needs a break, she can deliver the puppies 4 to 6 hours apart. 

24 hours between puppies:

This scenario is highly unlikely. As there is a risk of the puppy getting breathless.

2 days apart:

A puppy that is born after two days is not alive. If the puppy stays in the placenta for that long, there is a chance it might not survive.

The placenta around the puppy when inside their mothers’ womb sometimes suffocates the puppies if they are inside for too long. After the placenta breaks the dam gives birth. This usually takes place within 45 minutes to an hour.

It is highly unlikely that it might take days for puppies to be born. Some might say that it is fine if puppies are born apart 24 hours. But there is a lot of risk and complications involved, and the survival risk of the puppy gets concerning.

How long is too long between puppy births?

Even though the gap between each puppy being born in the same litter varies, there is still a generalized time which is 45 minutes to an hour. This is not applicable to all puppies and all litters. However, the time gap between each puppy should not be more than 2 hours.

If the dam needs to rest, she can take a rest and deliver around 4 hours apart. Even so, 2 hours is considered risky and there is a chance of the puppy not surviving. If the dam is taking more than two hours to give birth, look after her carefully and make sure she is okay.

2 hours apart is too long for the puppies to be born.

When to worry?

Birth and delivery can be very risky as many things could go wrong. This is true for dogs and other animals as well. For dogs, the most worrisome time arises when the gap between the timing of each puppy being born is delayed. 

There are some other instances when you should take extra care-

Gap more than 2 hours:

If the gap between each birth of the same litter is more than 2 hours you should check and see if the dam is doing okay. Sometimes if the mother is tired, she can rest for more than two hours. Make sure there is no other complication.

Contractions more than 20 minutes:

If your dog has strong contractions for more than 20 minutes, but if the pup does not come out you should quickly consult with a vet. This particularly is very risky and you should not waste any time if this happens.

Thick green discharge:

If you see a thick green discharge while whelping, consult a vet. If the discharge is thin then it is fine though.

No placenta is passed:

If no placenta is passed within 15 minutes after birth makes sure to take it to a vet. The remaining placenta can cause an infection.

You should be extra aware when your dog gives birth like a lot of things could go wrong and the poor dam might suffer a lot.

Can a dog have one puppy then more later?

Yes, a dog can have one puppy then more later, the usual gap between giving birth to a pup is around 45-60 minutes. So, your dog will give birth to another pup around an hour later.

Besides, it is very rare for a dog to have only one pup in a litter. This is so rare that it has a separate name, the Single Puppy Syndrome. While it is possible for a dog to have more in a litter after the syndrome happens. But in most cases, the syndrome is a permanent one.

As a polytocous animal, dogs give birth in litters and there are usually more than two pups in a single litter. It is rare for things to be otherwise. Sometimes a dog can give birth to a single pup, which is very rarely found. 

How do you know if the dog still has puppies inside?

As the pups come out with a significant amount in between, it is common to think the birthing process is complete while in fact, it is not. It is not uncommon for your dog to still have a pup inside. There are a few signs to see if there is a pup left inside-

  • If the mother is not calming down;
  • Whimpering;
  • Continuous moaning;
  • Heavy breathing and panting.

Usually, these are the signs that your dog still has a pup inside. After birth, the dam will calm down. If it’s not calming down, then there is a pup left inside.

How do you know when the last puppy is born?

The birthing process can take a good amount of time to finish. You have to make sure the process is done for the health issues of your dog. If any pup is left inside you should take care of it. To know if your dog has done giving birth you should check for the following symptoms –

  • Check and see if the contractions have stopped;
  • If your dog has calmed down and is breathing normally;
  • If your dog has been calm and resting for more than two hours.

If your dog has completely calmed down then the birthing process is done.

Is it common for dogs to have 1 puppy?

It is very much uncommon for dogs to have only one pup in a litter. This is a syndrome called Single Puppy Syndrome. It is far away from being a normal situation. The biological setup of a female dog is made for a litter of more than two pups.

It is not very common to see a single puppy in a litter.

The uterus of a female dog is big so it can care for more than two pups at the same time. And a female can be fertilized several times when in heat. This is why it is not common for a dog to give birth to a single pup.

How long does it take for a dog to finish giving birth?

The entire birthing process can take a good amount of time. It can take from 3 to 12 hours, starting from the contractions to the dam calming down and resting. Sometimes the process can take an entire day or 24 hours. But usually, within 12 hours the process will be done.

If it takes almost 24 hours make sure to consult with a vet. You can and should get a vet to check up on your dog if it takes more than 12 hours initially. 3 hours to 12 hours is okay as the contractions tend to last for 20 minutes.

Final thoughts

Puppies are born with around 45 minutes to an hour of a gap in between. A litter usually has more than two puppies and there is a time interval between. This time is not a day apart though. If it takes that long you should consult with your vet as soon as you can. 24 hours is not an ideal time gap.