Welcoming the pitter-patter of tiny paws into your home is an exciting time for you and your dog. Find out how to spot the signs of a pregnant dog and how long dogs are pregnant here.
Walking them on a lead during their season can help your dog avoid any scuffles and, if you dont want a male to mate with them, their amorous advances. The Purina Pet Care Team make sure you have all the information you need to help keep mum healthy during this time.”
You should be able to notice her swollen tummy from around day 40, although first-time mums, and bitches carrying a small litter, may not show as much. Your pregnant dogs appetite will increase in the second half of pregnancy, so be prepared to change her diet accordingly. Although your dog should be able to handle pregnancy and labour herself, being on stand-by to offer soothing words can put them at ease, and also allow you to step in should anything unexpected happen.
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 use a home pregnancy test on a dog?
No, human pregnancy tests do not work for canines. This is due to a hormonal pregnancy marker found only in humans. When humans are pregnant, they produce a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). It can be detected at home by using urine as a pregnancy marker.
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.
As a dog owner you probably understand that life with your furriest family member comes with its fair share of surprises. One of the biggest may be discovering that your dog is carrying a litter of puppies. And you may be wondering how to tell if your dog is pregnant, what are the signs? Its not always easy to tell if your dog is pregnant, so lets review how to diagnose a canine pregnancy and help your dog through the process.
This period of fertility may last up to 3 weeks and during this time she will undoubtedly be attracting the attention of any males in close proximity. Its a good idea to get to know the signs of a pregnant female so you can prepare for the changes a litter of puppies will introduce into your life.
You can help her by making a cozy nest for her with old blankets and towels and by keeping the activity in your home to a minimum during her labor. Some people like to build a whelping box in order to keep the puppies safe and contained during birth and early life. Fortunately nature has programmed your dog with that information and she will instinctively do most of the hard work without you having to lift a finger.
After the labor is over be sure to change the bedding where your dog and her puppies will live regularly and keep her well fed and hydrated.
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.
When can a dog get pregnant?
Dogs are able to get pregnant when they come into season, which happens about once every eight months. This fertile period is also known as ‘being in heat’, and lasts for up to three weeks.As well as getting pregnant during this time, your dog may get into altercations with males if they don’t feel quite ready to mate. Walking them on a lead during their season can help your dog avoid any scuffles and, if you don’t want a male to mate with them, their amorous advances.As pregnancy can be expensive and emotional for both you and your dog, breeding is often best left to the experts. If you’d like to avoid a pet pregnancy, you may want to consider getting your dog neutered. See our neutering your dog page for more information.
What are the signs of dog pregnancy?
The dog gestation period usually lasts between 61 and 65 days, but you may not notice any obvious physical changes in your dog until they are already well into their term. There’s no such thing as an at-home dog pregnancy test, so you’ll have to look out for common dog pregnancy signs yourself.
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. This may not always be accurate, so be aware that you could have more puppies on the way than you thought!
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
How to Avoid Dog Pregnancy
Here at the CCSPCA we strongly recommend that all dogs be spayed or neutered because it’s a surefire way to avoid an unexpected litter of puppies. It’s also better for your dog’s health and typically improves the temperament of aggressive or otherwise unruly canines. However, your dog may not be spayed yet and there are several ways to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.You may find that her heat period is quite messy so a dog diaper can be used both to keep the inside of your home clean and as a deterrent against male dogs during your time outdoors. Just be sure to remove it often to let her urinate and defecate.If you need to spay your pet, we have many affordable options available. View our pricing and spay and neuter services.
How Can You Know for Sure?
Learning how to tell if your dog is pregnant is similar to learning to tell if a human is pregnant, as they share many of the same symptoms.
What to Do with Newborn Puppies?
There is a lot to know about raising puppies. Fortunately nature has programmed your dog with that information and she will instinctively do most of the hard work without you having to lift a finger. Your job is to oversee the whole operation and step in if you notice a problem. You may need to break a puppy out of its amniotic sack or prevent your dog from crushing or suffocating them during and after labor.After the labor is over be sure to change the bedding where your dog and her puppies will live regularly and keep her well fed and hydrated. You may need to help a runt or two to feed as the litter will typically have a few food hogs that push the smaller pups out of the way.
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.