How Long Does A Dog Bleed After Giving Birth?

You’ve just experienced the joy of your dog giving birth, but may find yourself wondering how long does a dog bleed after giving birth. Did you know most dogs have some bloody discharge for at least 5-7 days after giving birth? This blog is here to ease your worries and provide a deeper understanding about the normal duration of bleeding, signs of complications, and much needed aftercare.

Are you ready to become an informed pet parent? Let’s dive in!

how long do dogs bleed after giving birth

Key Takeaways

  • Most dogs have some bloody discharge for 5 – 7 days after giving birth, but it can last up to 3 weeks.
  • Signs of abnormal bleeding include excessive or prolonged bleeding, bright red blood, foul odor from the discharge, lethargy or weakness, and loss of appetite.
  • Factors like litter size, the dog’s health, and breed – specific variations can affect how long a dog will bleed after giving birth.
  • Proper hygiene, monitoring for infection signs, and providing nutritional support are important for caring for a dog with post-birth bleeding.

Normal and Abnormal Bleeding After Giving Birth in Dogs

Normal bleeding after giving birth in dogs typically lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks and appears as a reddish-brown discharge, known as lochia. Signs of abnormal bleeding include excessive or prolonged bleeding, bright red blood, or the presence of clots.

If any of these signs are observed, it is important to seek veterinary assistance immediately.

Normal bleeding duration and appearance

A dog can bleed for up to three weeks after having puppies. For most dogs, there will be some blood for 5-7 days. This is normal. The blood may look bright red at first, then turn brown or black after a few days.

This change in color shows that the bleeding is slowing down and should stop soon. It’s not something to worry about! A mama dog’s body knows what it needs to do to keep her and her pups safe and healthy.

Signs of abnormal bleeding

Abnormal bleeding after giving birth in dogs can be a cause for concern. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  1. Excessive bleeding: If there is a large amount of blood or the bleeding doesn’t seem to be stopping, it may indicate a problem.
  2. Bright red blood: While some bleeding is normal, bright red blood could suggest active bleeding from the reproductive tract.
  3. Foul odor: A strong and unpleasant smell coming from the vaginal discharge could indicate an infection.
  4. Lethargy or weakness: If your dog seems unusually tired or weak, it may be a sign of excessive blood loss.
  5. Loss of appetite: Dogs that experience abnormal bleeding may also lose interest in food.

When to seek veterinary assistance

If you notice any of these signs after your dog gives birth, it’s important to seek veterinary assistance:

  • Excessive bleeding that continues for more than 3 weeks
  • Green discharge or foul odor from the vagina
  • Loss of appetite or refusal to eat
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Fever (body temperature above 102.5°F)
  • Signs of pain or discomfort
  • Swollen or painful mammary glands
how long do dogs bleed after giving birth

Factors Affecting the Duration of Bleeding

The size of the litter, the individual dog’s health, and breed-specific variations can all affect how long a dog will bleed after giving birth.

Size of the litter

The size of the litter can affect how long a dog bleeds after giving birth. If a dog has a smaller litter, she may bleed for a shorter amount of time. On the other hand, if she has more puppies, the bleeding may last longer.

This is because the uterus needs to contract and shrink back to its normal size after each puppy is born. So, if there are more puppies, it takes longer for this process to happen.

It’s important to remember that every dog is different, so the duration of bleeding can vary even within litters of the same size.

Individual dog’s health

The health of your individual dog can also affect the duration of post-birth bleeding. If your dog is in good overall health and has no underlying medical conditions, she may have a shorter bleeding period.

However, if your dog has any health issues or complications during the birthing process, it could prolong the bleeding. It’s important to monitor your dog closely after giving birth and seek veterinary assistance if you notice any signs of abnormal bleeding or other concerns.

Remember that every dog is unique, so their healing process may vary.

Breed-specific variations

Different dog breeds can have variations in the duration and amount of postpartum bleeding. Some breeds may experience shorter or longer bleeding periods compared to others. For example, smaller breeds tend to have shorter bleeding durations after giving birth, usually around 5-7 days.

On the other hand, larger breeds may have a slightly longer period of bleeding, lasting up to 3 weeks. It’s important to note that these are general estimates and individual dogs within each breed can still vary in their bleeding patterns.

So if you notice any unusual or prolonged bleeding after your dog has given birth, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance specific to your dog’s breed and health condition.

Breed-specific factors can also affect the amount of blood discharge during postpartum. Some dogs may produce more bloody discharge than others due to differences in their reproductive anatomy or hormonal changes during pregnancy and labor.

However, it’s essential not just to focus on the quantity of blood but also consider potential signs of complications such as excessive bleeding, foul odor from the discharge, fever, lethargy, or loss of appetite.

how long do dogs bleed after giving birth

Aftercare for Dogs with Post-Birth Bleeding

Proper hygiene, monitoring for infection, and providing nutritional support are essential for ensuring the well-being of dogs experiencing post-birth bleeding. To learn more about how to care for your dog during this time, keep reading.

Proper hygiene and cleanliness

To keep your dog comfortable and prevent infections during post-birth bleeding, here are some important steps to follow:

  • Keep the whelping area clean and dry.
  • Change bedding frequently to minimize bacteria buildup.
  • Clean the mama dog’s genital area gently with warm water and a mild soap.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive wiping, as this can irritate the sensitive skin.
  • Use clean towels or disposable pads to absorb any discharge.
  • Keep the whelping area well – ventilated to promote faster drying of the discharge.
  • Avoid letting other animals or young children near the area to prevent contamination.

Monitoring for signs of infection

To make sure your dog stays healthy after giving birth, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of infection. Here are some things to watch for:

  • Foul-smelling discharge: If the vaginal discharge has a strong, unpleasant odor, it could be a sign of infection.
  • Excessive swelling or redness: Swelling and redness around the vulva could indicate an infection.
  • Lethargy or loss of appetite: If your dog seems unusually tired and doesn’t want to eat, it may be a sign of an underlying infection.
  • Increased body temperature: A fever is a common sign of infection. Use a rectal thermometer to check your dog’s temperature.
  • Pain or discomfort: If your dog seems to be in pain or is uncomfortable, it could be due to an infection.

Nutritional support

After giving birth, it’s important to provide your dog with proper nutritional support. She has just gone through the labor and delivery process, which can be physically demanding.

Ensuring she gets the right nutrients will help her recover and produce enough milk for her puppies.

Feed your dog a high-quality puppy food that is rich in protein and calories. This will help meet her increased energy needs during this time. You may also consider adding supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can support her overall health and aid in milk production.

Make sure she has access to clean water at all times, as lactating dogs need to stay hydrated. Monitor her weight closely and consult with your vet if you notice any significant changes or concerns.

how long do dogs bleed after giving birth


In conclusion, it is normal for dogs to have bloody discharge for about 5-7 days after giving birth. However, some dogs may bleed for up to 3 weeks. If the bleeding continues for longer or if there are signs of infection or complications, it is important to seek veterinary assistance.

Remember to provide proper hygiene and nutrition during this time while monitoring your dog’s health.


1. How long does a dog bleed after having puppies?

A dog may bleed for weeks after giving birth, but the normal duration of bleeding should not cause panic.

2. What is postpartum bleeding in dogs?

Postpartum bleeding in dogs is the vaginal discharge that comes after whelping or giving birth.

3. Are there bad signs to look for during a dog’s postbirth bleeding period?

Yes, you need to watch out for common complications such as prolonged bleeding and green lochia, which can signal pregnancy trauma or other issues.

4. Can we stop the postwhelping bleeding with medicines?

Drugs like oxytocin and antibiotics can help manage some postpartum complications, following advice from LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

5. Should puppies be weaned before the mother’s postpartum discharge stops?

No! The length of a female dog’s postpartum discharge isn’t linked with when you should start weaning puppies.

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