If you’re planning to breed from your dog, it’s essential to do your research. After all, you need to know a lot of information to ensure the safety of the mother and puppies. Of course, your veterinarian will be able to give you advice and help steer you through the process. However, this article will cover some basics, like how long dogs are pregnant, the signs of pregnancy, and how to spot when your dog is in labor. By the way, if your furry friend is a cat rather than a dog, why not check out our blog post about cat reproduction.
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How long are dogs pregnant?Dogs are pregnant for around 63 days, although it can vary, just like humans! However, while human pregnancy length can vary by several weeks, dog pregnancy length varies by only a few days. So, you’d think it would be pretty easy to predict the due date, wouldn’t you? Well, one of the factors that can make estimating the due date a little more tricky is if your dog has been mated multiple times during one season. Thankfully, pregnancy length (also known as the gestation period) is counted from the ovulation date. Specific blood tests can help determine the exact timing of ovulation, but you might not always be sure. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared for the puppies’ arrival in plenty of time, just in case.
Dogs are pregnant for around 63 days, although it can vary, just like humans!
What age can a dog get pregnant?A dog can get pregnant during their first season or estrus. This usually occurs between 6 and 11 months of age. Smaller dog breeds will tend to come into season earlier than large ones. You can tell when your dog is in season because their vulva will become swollen and enlarged. They’ll also develop a bloody discharge and may be more receptive to male dogs. You might also notice some grumpiness, irritability, or other behavioral changes. Not all dogs show obvious signs of a season, though, so if you’re unsure, it’s best to check with a veterinarian. A dog’s season lasts around two to three weeks, although they won’t be receptive to the advances of male dogs for the whole of this time. To determine the best time to mate your dog, your veterinarian will need to regularly check the progesterone level in their blood to predict when ovulation will occur. You can find out more information about the reproductive cycle in dogs if you follow this link.
A dog’s season lasts around two to three weeks, although they won’t be receptive to the advances of male dogs for the whole of this time.
What are the signs of pregnancy in dogs?You might expect your dog to act differently if their mating was successful. However, it’s common not to know that your bitch is pregnant until you take them for an ultrasound scan from around 28 days. Once your dog reaches the halfway point of the pregnancy, you might start to notice them looking slightly rounder in the stomach. In the later stages, you’ll also see their mammary glands developing, and they may start producing some colostrum (first milk).
What are the signs of labor in dogs?There are a few signs of labor that you should look out for if your dog is pregnant. If your dog is going to go into labor imminently, her temperature will drop. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check your bitch’s rectal temperature at the same time every morning starting a week or two before the estimated due date. You might also notice your dog begins nesting and getting a little restless. If you’re lucky, she’ll choose your whelping box or crate as the perfect safe space for giving birth, but be prepared to adapt her surroundings depending on where she wants to be! When labor finally starts, you might notice her breathing heavily and her abdomen tense with each contraction. You might even see a water bag before you see a puppy.
If your dog is going to go into labor imminently, her temperature will drop. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check your bitch’s rectal temperature at the same time every morning starting a week or two before the estimated due date.
How do I know if my whelping dog needs help?It’s not a good idea to disturb your dog too much when they are giving birth. You should observe quietly from a distance and give her plenty of space. However, it’s important to keep an eye on her to ensure things are going to plan. If you notice your dog is producing green material from her vulva, this could be an indication that the unborn puppies are stressed. Similarly, suppose you see your bitch pushing and straining consistently with no puppy produced after half an hour. In that case, this could mean that a puppy is stuck. If you spot either of these things, you must get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.
SummaryIf your dog is pregnant, it’s an exciting time. However, it can also be incredibly stressful, especially if things don’t quite go to plan. If your dog is pregnant or you’re planning to breed, it’s best to speak to your veterinarian to find out what to expect. That way, you can be as prepared as possible, and you’ll know when to worry or seek advice. You can find more information about dog pregnancy on our other blog post by following this link.
A dog is pregnant for around 63 days, which is just over two calendar months. However, it’s rare that the due date is accurately predicted because knowing the exact timing of ovulation isn’t easy. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared at least five days before the pups are due to arrive.
In the early stages of pregnancy, you might not notice any signs that your dog is pregnant. After three or four weeks, their appetite may start to increase, and you’ll gradually see their belly getting rounder. If you want to know for sure, rather than waiting for the physical signs, you can take your dog to the veterinarian for an ultrasound scan from around 28 days gestation. Blood tests and x-ray can also diagnose pregnancy.
Just before giving birth, a dog’s temperature drops by around 1 degree. Therefore, if you take your dog’s temperature daily, you should spot the sudden change. In the days before labor starts, you might also notice your dog nesting as she prepares for her new arrivals.