Welcoming new life into the world is a rewarding experience, especially in the form of a litter of puppies. If you suspect that your dog is pregnant or if you’re considering breeding your dog, then note that this can be a stressful and time-intensive process for you.
If this is your dog’s first time getting pregnant, you’ll need to learn how to take care of your pregnant dog. Before you do that, you should know how long you’ll be caring for a pregnant dog and what each stage requires.
Luckily, Dope Dog is committed to making all dogs feel comfortable and happy. Here’s our guide to the timeline of dog pregnancy.
If your dog is pregnant or you are planning to breed, it is essential to know how long the pregnancy will last. This will help you prepare for vet checkups, whelping, and everything in between.
Dog pregnancy lasts, on average, for 63 days or two months. A lot happens in a short period of time, from the fertilized egg embedding itself in the uterine horn to the first fetal heartbeat after four weeks. This process accelerates in month two, when the embryos rapidly develop into what you can recognize as puppies. Then, the whelping process begins, or the process in which your dog gives birth.
If this were a planned pregnancy, the vet would be able to perform abdominal palpation around the 28-day mark. If your dog is expecting, the vet will be able to feel either grape-sized to golf ball-sized puppies. This depends on the breed of your dog.
To prevent health complications, make sure not to try this at home. Some vets prefer to use an ultrasound between 25 to 35 days to confirm pregnancy. This can also detect heartbeats to give you an accurate size of the litter.
X-rays taken between 45-55 days are still the most precise way to determine the number of puppies to expect. Keep in mind that before 45 days, their skeletal features will not show.
What Are The Symptoms of Pregnancy
There are some key indicators that a dog is pregnant. Here are some signs and symptoms that you can look out for.
- Increased eating
- Unexplained weight gain
- Enlarged nipples
Towards the end of a dog’s gestation period, you will see a significant difference in the size of her nipples and breasts, and some milky fluids may start to leak. Her abdomen will have enlarged, and she will begin to walk at a belabored pace.
Once you have confirmed that your dog is pregnant, the next thing you need to do is make sure her pregnancy is as comfortable for her as possible. Here are some factors that you should consider: