Boston Terrier Birthing: A Complete Guide


Boston Terrier Birthing: A Complete Guide. Boston Terrier Society

So, you just found out that your Boston Terrier is pregnant. If this is your first time with a pregnant pup, it can be very exciting and a little nerve racking all at the same time.  This complete guide to Boston Terrier birthing will explain everything you need to know to get your Boston Terrier ready to have puppies.

What do I need to do to get my Boston Terrier ready to have puppies?

Birthing Area

Have a birthing area specially set-up for her to have her puppies in.  Most people will recommend a small kiddy pool. This has about 6-inch-tall edges and hard plastic bottom. This will be easy for your Boston Terrier to get into and for you to keep clean. It is best to put blankets or towels that you do not mind getting dirty at the bottom of the pool.

Put this birthing facility in a quiet area in the house. Even though you have this area all set up your pup may want to have her puppies somewhere else, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen where you prepared. Nature is nature, and the new mother will give birth, where she feels the most comfortable and secure.

Supplies to get Just Incase

It is better to be over prepared than under prepared.

Old Towels

Collect old towels or blankets that you do not mind getting dirty or throwing away after your Boston Terrier has given birth.

Heat Lamp/ Heating Pad

You will need a heat lamp or heating pad to keep the babies warm if mom isn’t doing so. If a heating pad is used, it is essential to stack 2-3 towels on it so as not to burn the babies. A newborn pups skin is incredibly soft, and even what you think is just warm can quickly burn them. Furthermore, the heat lamp should be set high enough that only warm ambient air is surrounding the babies. Never have it directly aiming at them.

Bulb Syringe and Clamp

A bulb syringe and clamp are good to have handy just in case you have to help clear the puppies airway or clamp off the umbilical cord.

Have Vet Numbers Ready

Be sure to have the number to your local veterinary office and local animal emergency clinic so they may answer any questions you may have and a place to seek help if your Boston Terrier runs into trouble during labor.  

Can Boston Terriers have natural births?

Most Boston Terriers can have a natural birth, but some need help from a veterinarian. If the male that you breed your Boston Terrier with is smaller than your female, usually there will not be any trouble.

If the dad is the same size or larger than your female, then possible issues could arise. Sometimes if the male is bigger, the puppies may be too big to fit through the cervix, and a C-section will be necessary.

How to know when my Boston Terrier is about to have puppies?

Many people want to be home to witness the miracle of birth. There are a few signs that you need to keep an eye on to know that your Boston Terrier is about to give birth.

Calendar Method

If you know what day your dog was bred, you can estimate a day in which the puppies are going to be born. The gestation period that the mom carries the puppies is an average of 64 days. Almost always to the day.

Milk production

After about 55 days, start looking for milk production in their mammary glands.  Milk usually starts being produced around 3-5 days before birth.

Temperature Change

Your Boston Terrier’s temperature will drop 1 degree 12 hours before birth. You can start taking your dog’s temperature rectaly at the same time twice a day a few days before you expect her to go into labor.  

Once the temperature drops 1 degree, you will know that most likely your dog will have puppies within 12 hours. This is an excellent way to see when you may need to take off of work or make additional stops by the house to make sure your Boston Terrier is not having any trouble.

Odd Behaviors

Some dogs will start showing unusual behaviors shortly before having their puppies. You may notice them hiding in strange places. The mother may begin pacing around the house and seem uncomfortable. All of these are signs that your Boston Terrier is getting ready to start the birthing process.

How to care for a Boston Terrier while birthing

During the birthing process, most moms will know precisely what to do. Unfortunately, there are no birthing classes for the mom to attend to learn what to do and will sometimes need your help.

After the mother passes the puppy, she should open the sac that they are in, clean them up, and removed the placenta from the puppy. While some think this is very gross, most mom’s will eat their puppy’s placenta. Dogs have been around for thousands of years and didn’t always have a nice comfy blanket to give birth on. These instincts still remain and provide them with the knowledge they need to know what to do next. It’s kind of like how a newborn baby sea turtle knows exactly where the sea is and where their family is waiting. They just know!

Removing the Placenta

If the mother is not removing the puppies from the sac and cleaning them up, then this is where you will have to step in and help. This can be a very messy task, and most people will wear disposable gloves. Remove the sac around the puppy by gently pulling it away.  Use some kind of clamp and clamp off the umbilical cord. If you have some string, you can also tie this around the umbilical cord. Then cut the placenta from the umbilical cord. The placenta can be thrown away. The mother does not have to eat the placenta.

In the wild, the mother would eat the placenta because it would provide much-needed nutrients that have been depleted during the birthing process.  

Stimulating for breathing

After the puppy has been removed from the sac and the placenta removed, gently stimulate the puppies until they start breathing on their own. Lightly put the puppy in a small towel and rub them in between your hand. This will help stimulate their lungs and help them breathe.

If there is a lot of discharge in their mouths or nose, use a bulb syringe or napkin to help open these areas. Use a bulb syringe and suck out the discharge from the nose. This the best way to help remove any build-up that could be obstructing the airway. The bulb syringes are the same ones that are used on children with snotty noses or flush out ears.

My Boston Terrier is having Trouble Birthing, What should I do?

Having trouble giving birth is called dystocia. There are many signs that your Boston Terrier may be having a difficult birth and needs help:

  • If your Boston Terrier is having contractions and not seeing any puppies.
  • Or your Boston Terrier has had a puppy and has not had any puppies in the past 30 minutes to 1 hour.  
  • A puppy is stuck half in and half out.  
  • Mom seems very weak and unable to stand.  

All of these are signs of your Boston Terrier is needing help, and medical intervention is necessary.

If your Boston Terrier is having trouble giving birth, it is best to seek veterinary care immediately. While some dogs can be in labor for hours most after a few hours will have spent all their energy and need medical help. For the safety of mom and all the puppies, if your Boston Terrier is having trouble, a c-section must be performed to retrieve the babies and take the immense strain off the mother.

Do Boston Terriers need a c-section?

While not all Boston Terriers need a c-section, some do. The cute chubby face and broad shoulders of the puppies may not fit through the skinny hips of the mother. This would require a c-section to remove the puppies.

A c-section is a surgical procedure to remove all of the puppies from mom’s uterus.  Many times, these can be planned. After a discussion with your veterinarian, you can determine what day is best for the c-section so that all puppies will live. It is important to note that even a well-planned c-section can have its risk. In some cases, not all the babies live through a c-section, and unfortunately, sometimes neither does mom. However, you can rest assured your veterinarian will take but every precaution and most of the time things go smoothly.

Radiographs can be taken of the mother a few days before the expected birthing date so the veterinarian can determine if the puppies will fit through the birth canal or if a c-section will be needed. Just because the puppies will fit still does not mean that the mother will not have problems delivering the puppies.

Boston Terriers are not very large dogs so the strain can be too much and energy reserves can be spent rather quickly. In this case, a veterinarian will administer iv-fluids to help keep mom from becoming dehydrated during the birthing process.


Do Boston’s need a special diet while pregnant?

While your Boston Terrier is pregnant, they will need an increase in food. They do not have to switch diets, but they are now providing nutrition to puppies and will require a higher calorie intake.

If your Boston Terrier is not a chowhound when it comes it eating, you can free feed her (make food available at all times) while she is pregnant.  This will ensure that she gets enough calories. Just make sure to decrease her back to a regular diet once the puppies have been born and no longer nursing.

A nursing mother will also need extra calories. The mother is now producing milk to feed all of the puppies. Usually giving her a little bit of puppy food mixed in with her regular food will help her get the calories and diminished nutrients that she needs.

What is the typical litter size for a Boston Terrier?

Most Boston Terriers will have around 3 to 5 puppies in each litter. Your veterinarian can take radiographs or an ultrasound of your Boston Terrier a few weeks before her puppies are born to see how many puppies she will have. A radiograph is better than an ultrasound because, with so many puppies in a tiny area, it is easy to count a puppy twice.


Should I use a veterinarian to help with the birthing?

A veterinarian is a great source to help with the birthing. If it is your Boston Terriers first time having a litter having the expecting mom examined by a veterinarian during the pregnancy is recommended. Your veterinarian can ultrasound your Boston Terrier. The ultrasound will allow the vet to see how the puppies are developing.

In addition, the ultrasound should give you a reasonable estimation of the delivery date.

They can also take radiographs a few weeks before the puppies are born to tell you how many puppies to expect and if they will be able to be delivered naturally or if you will need to schedule a c-section.

How does the veterinarian know if a c-section is necessary?

While using the radiographs, the veterinarian will use special calipers to measure the size of the puppies head. In order to make sure the puppies will be able to fit through the birth canal. If the head is too big, then a c-section will be necessary.

Final thoughts…

The birthing process can be scary, exciting, and downright taxing. However, at the end, when those babies arrive, it will have all been worth it. If you are lucky enough to have had this miracle happen at home, with no difficulties, it is still recommended to at least consult a veterinarian. Your vet can help you determine when the babies should be examined.

The veterinarian will check for birth defects and overall health. This way your new babies can soon be ready to face the world. And bring a new generation of happiness to everyone around them for years to come.

Is your Boston pregnant? What concerns or questions do you have? Leave a comment below.

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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