How to Tell a Dog Is Pregnant?

Could puppies be in your pets future? Dogs are pregnant for about 63 days, which is measured from the day that they ovulate (release their eggs) to the day that their puppies are born. Like people, dogs are pregnant for three trimesters, each about 21 days long.

They will be spaced out evenly along the uterus, which is shaped kind of like the letter V. Each half, called a horn, will have embryos in it. Sometimes vets take X-rays during this visit to find out how many puppies are on the way and make sure they are not too big to pass through the birth canal.

American Kennel Club: AKC Breeder: Timing Is Everything: Breeding Strategies and the Estrous Cycle.

How soon can you tell if a dog is pregnant?

Dog pregnancy diagnosis. Your vet can confirm a pregnancy with either a dog pregnancy test, which measures her hormone levels, from days 21-25 of her term, or by ultrasound from day 20-22. From around day 30 your vet will be able to carry out a physical examination to count how many puppies your dog is having.

Can you tell if a dog is pregnant by their nipples?

Nipple Growth One of the best indications your dog is pregnant is nipple growth. The nipples of an unbred female are noticeably small. If she is pregnant than you will notice an increase in nipple growth. You will be able to feel the increase when rubbing her belly.

Do you have babies on the brain? Were referring to the fluffy, cuddly, puppy kind that squeak when hungry and make your cold heart melt in an instant.

The dog gestation period lasts between 61 and 65 days, and since there are no at-home pregnancy tests for curious canine owners like us, your vet will definitely be your best point of contact during this exciting time. About three weeks after she has become pregnant, a female dog may start to show some mild stomach upset, a drop in her appetite and sometimes even vomiting, she says.

Pregnant dogs can become tired in the first few weeks, around the same time that they sometimes show signs of nausea similar to human morning sickness, Romine says. The good news is that after this fatigue passes, they usually have a mostly normal energy level until the end of pregnancy, when they have gained a significant amount of weight and need to rest more, she says. About one month after mating, she may develop a small amount of mucus from her vulva, and about this time, you may also observe her teats enlarging and becoming more pink, Romine says.

This happens with humans, too you know, like the sudden need to clean a house from top to bottom days before a new family member arrives. Just prior to entering labor, many dogs will exhibit nesting behaviors, which can include withdrawing and looking for a quiet, safe place that is protected and hidden, wanting to ensure blankets are comfortably arranged, she says. During this period, you will want to be sure she has access to such a spot, at room temperature so she doesnt get hot and the puppies dont get cold, and being sure she can feel relaxed and hidden from too much activity or exposure.

Do you know how to tell if a dog is pregnant? If your dog is not spayed or if you are trying to breed her, you might be wondering what signs to watch out for that would indicate a pregnancy. There are similarities and differences to human pregnancy. The duration a female dog is pregnant, for example, is only about 63 days, where humans are pregnant for a whopping nine months.

Though during the first month there will not be any obvious signs, your dog will eventually display pregnancy symptoms and give you some clues via her behavior as well as notable physical changes. Veterinarians at Noahs Ark Veterinary Hospital list the early signs of pregnancy to include decreased activity, change in appetite, displays of nesting behaviors, enlarged or discolored nipples, and weight gain.

If you suspect your dog is pregnant, consult your veterinarian for advice on what to expect moving forward and what her nutritional needs may be during this time. When a dog is pregnant she will most likely display some behavioral changes in addition to decreased energy and disinterest in her regular exercise routine . This is an instinctive maternal behavior because if she were on her own, she would need a safe and private space where she can give birth and raise the puppies while theyre small, vulnerable, and dependent.

To definitively confirm whether or not your dog is pregnant, your veterinarian will likely perform a blood test to measure her relaxin hormone levels. Relaxin is a hormone produced by the developing placenta following implantation of the embryo, and can be detected in the blood in most pregnant females as early as 22-27 days post-breeding, according to Dr. Kristiina Ruotsalo, DVM, of VCA Hospitals . Whelping may sound like a strange word, but this is the term used to describe the act of a dog giving birth to her pups.

Have you noticed your dog acting a bit lazier than usual, or perhaps eating less of her evening meals? These can be signs of pregnancy, and if she otherwise seems healthy and happy, you may have puppies on the way!

Early or midway into the pregnancy, she may eat less or even vomit occasionally (the canine equivalent of morning sickness). You may also notice your dogs nipples turning a slightly darker red than normal, which would indicate an increase in blood flow.

Early Signs

In the first few weeks, there are very few outward signs, so you may not notice a change. Your dog will seem like their normal self, although they may gain some weight.Morning sickness affects some dogs, but only for a few days during the 3rd or 4th week. (It’s caused by hormone changes.) Your pet may seem tired, and they may eat less than usual. Some dogs throw up a little. If yours does, offer them small meals over the course of the day.

See Your Vet

If you think your dog is pregnant, take them to your vet. It’s a good idea to take them for a prenatal checkup 2 or 3 weeks after they have mated. Your vet can answer any questions you may have, such as the type of food pregnant dogs should eat and what changes you should expect. If your pet needs any tests, your vet will let you know. If they have parasites, your vet will treat them.During your visit, your vet can use ultrasound to see the growing puppies, typically around 4 weeks in. Ultrasound is safe during pregnancy. It uses sound waves to create an image of your dog‘s womb.The vet may give your dog a blood test to check their hormone levels. Dogs have higher levels of a hormone called relaxin when they’re pregnant.If you don’t take your dog to the vet until their 4th week of pregnancy, the doctor can feel your dog‘s belly to confirm puppies are on the way. This method can only be used between the 28th and 35th days of pregnancy, and it should be done by someone who is trained. If you touch too roughly, you can harm the growing puppies or cause a miscarriage. The puppies will be the size of walnuts. They will be spaced out evenly along the uterus, which is shaped kind of like the letter V. Each half, called a horn, will have embryos in it.

Vomiting/sickness

In the early days of pregnancy everything may be business as usual, and there may or may not be any physical signs you can detect until your pup is over the halfway mark. It’s good to know, however, that sickness may occur.“About three weeks after she has become pregnant, a female dog may start to show some mild stomach upset, a drop in her appetite and sometimes even vomiting,” she says. “This is similar to human morning sickness and occurs because of hormonal swings.”Thankfully, this usually resolves on its own within a week, but beware: “If she will not eat at all, or if the signs persist longer than this, she should be seen by your veterinarian to be sure nothing more serious is happening,” Romine says.

Fatigue

An expectant mother dog may not be her usual energetic self.“Pregnant dogs can become tired in the first few weeks, around the same time that they sometimes show signs of nausea similar to human morning sickness,” Romine says.The good news is that after this fatigue passes, “they usually have a mostly normal energy level until the end of pregnancy, when they have gained a significant amount of weight and need to rest more,” she says.Looking ahead, another sign that labor may be starting is that she becomes restless rather than tired. Hey, can you blame her for wanting this thing called pregnancy to be over?

Teats enlarging

You may notice some subtle changes to your dog’s body as it prepares for the blessed event.“About one month after mating, she may develop a small amount of mucus from her vulva, and about this time, you may also observe her teats enlarging and becoming more pink,” Romine says. “Sometimes there is also a small amount of liquid produced, which is normal.”

Weight gain

Whether human or canine, it’s normal to put on pounds during pregnancy. But it’s important not to go overboard with food should you suspect a pregnancy. (More about that in the next section).“Weight gain is not seen until about seven weeks, and from there until birth, her weight may increase up to 50 percent above her normal weight,” Romine says.But the size of the mama’s growing belly can depend on a few factors.“Typically it takes about 40 days to notice that her abdomen is bigger than normal, and it can be less noticeable in first-time mothers and if the litter size is small,” she says.

Increased appetite

Carrying cuties requires certain things, like extra calories. But not too many. “Her appetite will usually increase after about the halfway mark, and so will her caloric needs,” says Romine. “No increase in food is needed until the halfway mark, and encouraging weight gain in the first 30 days or so can actually negatively affect the health of the pregnancy, so it is recommended to continue feeding her normal amounts of a normal adult well-balanced diet.”When a vet has confirmed pregnancy and you’ve reached the halfway mark, discuss with your vet how to gradually transition to a diet of dog food that is approved for “All Life Stages,” because it provides extra nutrition.“The recommendation is usually to slowly increase, by about 25% per week, the amount [of that food], over the last four weeks of the pregnancy,” she says, adding that it’s important not to overdo it. “These diets have the appropriate minerals and vitamins, so it is not recommended to provide extra, especially calcium. Giving extra calcium while on an appropriate growth/lactation diet will suppress her own natural calcium releasing hormones, which can actually lead to low calcium when she starts to nurse.”

Decreased Activity

If your dog easily becomes exhausted or is spending more time napping, it may indicate that she is pregnant. For dogs that are typically energetic, this decrease should be taken seriously. For dogs that already enjoy snoozing all day, it may be harder to notice a decrease in energy. If that’s the case, try paying closer attention to how quickly she tires during walks.

Changes in Appetite

A pregnant dog’s appetite can fluctuate in different ways, depending on the dog and the stage of her pregnancy. Early or midway into the pregnancy, she may eat less or even vomit occasionally (the canine equivalent of morning sickness). However, she may also eat more than usual and be dissatisfied with her meals. These fluctuations correspond with your dog’s changing hormones. Click here to learn more about feeding a pregnant dog.

Unusual Behavior

If your dog is pregnant, you may notice certain changes in her behavior. For instance, she may seek the comfort of her owner more often. A pregnant dog might spend more time at your side, looking for extra attention. On the other hand, a pregnant dog may seek isolation and not wish to be bothered; she may seem depressed or even irritable when given attention.

Enlarged or Discolored Nipples

While a female dog’s nipples are normally small, pregnancy causes her nipples to grow in size during the early stages of pregnancy. The areolas also become somewhat rounded compared to their usual flatness. You may also notice your dog’s nipples turning a slightly darker red than normal, which would indicate an increase in blood flow. Later into the pregnancy, her nipples may occasionally leak milk, as well.

Weight Gain and Enlarged Abdomen

As the puppies grow, your dog’s abdomen will expand in size. This can be one of the clearest indicators of a dog’s pregnancy, especially if your dog has no other reason for sudden weight gain. However, enlarging of the abdomen occurs relatively late into your dog’s pregnancy, meaning that if you notice this sign, along with others, it’s time to take her to the vet.