How long are dogs pregnant? Dog are usually pregnant for about 63 days, a fact that probably makes many human women jealous. A dog's pregnancy is pretty much the same length even if the dog is a larger or smaller dog or if the litter is larger or smaller. The amount of time that a dog can be pregnant can vary by up to five days either way, though.
If you are breeding your dog on purpose, or believe that your dog may be pregnant, there is a lot that you need to know besides just how long your dog will be pregnant. To begin with, you will need to know the signs that your dog is pregnant, both in the early stages and later in pregnancy. You will also need to know what it is that you will need to do to prepare for your dog delivering her puppies. Finally, you will need to know what to look for when you suspect that something is not going right so that you know when to get emergency intervention from a very for your dog or her puppies.
How Long is a Dog Pregnant?
A dog is pregnant for 63 days according to WebMD, give or take five days. According to Animal Hub, the date of conception is actually the date of ovulation when it comes to determining due date, meaning that some times, the date isn't exact when determining when a dog will be giving birth.
For breeders, due dates and length of pregnancy can be easy enough to discover. A breeder usually keeps exact records of when a dog mated, meaning that determining conception would be quite simple. Mutts, strays and many other types of dogs do not come with these kinds of records. When it comes to these types of dogs, it is necessary to use other means to determine when a dog would be due, possibly even with the assistance of a vet.
How Do I Tell If My Dog is Pregnant?
While knowing how long your dog will be pregnant may not be that difficult, telling how far along your dog is can be. Knowing for sure usually takes a vet and some guess work. This is especially true if you are not a breeder and do not know the date your dog likely mated. If you want to know if your dog is pregnant, things such as how far along she is making a huge difference in behavior and health, all having an effect. You can determine if your dog is pregnant simply by determining her body or behavior changes. Other things involve veterinary testing. It is possible to know well before hand if your dog is pregnant.
How You Can See Signs of Dog Pregnancy
Some of the early signs of pregnancy in dogs can be confusing and conflicting. For the first trimester, it can be difficult to tell that there is any difference. Some of the early sign of pregnancy in dogs could include some changes in the color and size of the nipples, increased appetite, or change in activity or behavior just to name a few.
Dogs do not get morning sickness until the third to fourth week of pregnancy, the second trimester. Because of this, there can be some lack of interest in food for a couple of days at this point. Once she gets past morning sickness, however, it becomes a lot easier for your vet to be able to tell if your dog is pregnant or not. For example, a vet may be able to use an ultrasound to determine if your dog is pregnant as early as the third week of pregnancy.
After the second trimester, it will become much easier for you to tell on your own that your dog is pregnant. Some of the more obvious signs are that she gets a much firmer stomach and nipples, behavioral changes such as nesting, lactation, and even feeling the puppies move.
How Your Vet Can See Signs of Your Dog's Pregnancy
While you may have a harder time observing whether your dog is pregnant, your vet may be able to tell a bit earlier, possibly as soon as 3 or 4 weeks. The main way that a vet would determine if your dog were pregnant is to palpate
Later in pregnancy, there are other ways to determine if your dog is pregnant, how far along she is and how many puppies she is having. Ultrasound is one of the most common ways to for a vet to investigate a pregnancy. With ultrasound, a vet can tell if a dog is pregnant as early as three weeks, however, it is unlikely that your vet will be able to tell how many puppies your dog is having until a few weeks later. Additionally, your vet may use even use X-ray later in the pregnancy, so that he or she can figure out how many puppies there will be.
There is also a pregnancy test that your vet can give to your dog. It will not be able to tell you much until about half way through the pregnancy. This is a blood test that uses the hormone relaxin and is not often used by most vets. A dog's pregnancy test does not work the way as a human pregnancy test would, so it would be pointless to try using a human pregnancy test on a dog.
How to Prepare for Your Puppies
According to Cesar Milan, there are behavioral changes that you should look for in the days and hours that are leading up to the birth of your dog's puppies. To begin with, she will become restless and likely stop eating for about 24 hours before labor. Your dog will also probably start nesting, or scratching at her bedding. She may also lick her vulva. Finally, your dog may vomit.
You should prepare for the arrival of your puppies at this point by taking some of the following steps:
- Set up a whelping box for your dog with a blanket in a box or basket so that your dog has a soft place to give birth, nurse, and raise her puppies
- Set up another box with a heating pad or electric blanket so that you can get puppies out of the way of the mother while she is giving birth
- Have other supplies such as rubber gloves, dental floss, towels, sterile scissors, and antiseptic solution on hand for the birth
Know When to Get Your Vet Involved
While most births of p uppie s are done safely at home, one of the important things that you can have on hand is the phone numbers of your vet and an emergency vet so that you can be sure that you know what to do if something goes wrong. Here are some things that are especially important to look out for during, and after, the birth of the puppies:
- Signs of illness shortly before the due date
- Your dog appearing to have contractions with no puppy for 20-30 minutes
- A puppy stuck in a sack in the birth canal for over 8-10 minutes
- The dog acting as if she is in discomfort with no puppy for four hours
- Bleeding out of the birth canal for more than ten minutes
- A green discharge out of the birth canal and no puppies
- A discharge after 48 hours after the birth
- Swollen nipples
- Not eating by the mother or puppies.
If any of these take place, you should call your vet right away.
What to Remember if Your Dog Is Pregnant
If you believe that, your dog is pregnant, congratulations! Here are a few things that you need to do to prepare for the new puppies that you will have soon:
- Dogs of all breeds are pregnant for 63 days, give or take a few days
- There are very few signs at the beginning that your dog may be pregnant
- By the third trimester, you should be able to see real solid signs such as the belly growing, nipples enlarging or even feeling the puppies move
- Your vet will be able to tell you sooner if your dog is pregnant by feeling your dog's stomach, an ultrasound, an X-ray or a pregnancy test
- Make sure your know what you need to do to prepare for your puppies' birth
- Know when you should call a vet during or after labor
Also read: Why Is My Puppy Always Hungry?
Let us know all about your puppy, leave your story in the comments below.
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