- Dog Pregnancy: Signs, Care, and Preparation
- How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?
- How to Tell if Your Dog Is Pregnant
- Caring for a Pregnant Dog
- Preparing for Puppies
- Whelping Supply Checklist:
- Possible Dog Labor Complications
- Pregnancy & Your Dog: What You Can Expect
- Pregnancy in dogs
- How to know if your dog is pregnant
- What to do if your dog is pregnant
- 6 Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs
- This Family Member May Be Able to Tell You’re Pregnant Before You Can
- How to Tell if Your Dog is Pregnant
- What to Feed Your Pregnant Dog
- Exercising Your Pregnant Dog
- Taking Your Pregnant Dog to the Vet
- Additional Considerations for Your Pregnant Dog
- See Your Vet
- What do I need to do if my dog is pregnant?
- Oops! My dog’s pregnant! Now what?
- How long is a dog pregnancy
- Signs of pregnancy
- Diagnostic tests
- Caring for a pregnant dogs
- Adoption vs breeding
- Caring for a Pregnant Dog: Signs your Dog is Pregnant
- Caring for a Pregnant Dog: Pre-Birth
- Caring for a Pregnant Dog: Giving Birth
Dog Pregnancy: Signs, Care, and Preparation
Nothing is as rewarding as welcoming new life into the world, especially if that new life happens to belong to a litter of puppies. The prospect of a new litter is exciting, but just like human pregnancies, dog pregnancies can be confusing and stressful. If your dog is pregnant, or if you are planning on breeding your dog, there is so much information that you need to know, from the signs of pregnancy in dogs to caring for your pregnant bitch.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the answers to your questions.
How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?
When planning to breed your dog, you need to know the length of the gestation period in dogs. Knowing how long your dog is pregnant for will help you plan for things like veterinary checkups, emergencies, and most exciting, whelping.
Dogs are pregnant for approximately 63 days, or about two months. A lot happens during this short span of time. During the first month, the fertilized eggs travel to the uterine horn, where they embed themselves in the lining and start to develop. By the end of the first month, a veterinarian can detect a fetal heartbeat, and the development speeds up into the second month as the embryos develop into recognizable puppies.
By the end of the second month and the start of the third, the puppies are ready to be born, which means you need to be prepared for their delivery.
How to Tell if Your Dog Is Pregnant
Dogs don’t have the option of picking up a pregnancy test kit from the pharmacy, which means we have to rely on other methods to determine if a dog is pregnant. The most accurate way to tell if a dog is pregnant is through diagnostic testing.
If you know the date your dog was bred, your veterinarian can perform an abdominal palpation starting at approximately the 28-day mark to see if your dog is pregnant. At this stage in the pregnancy, the puppies feel like little golf balls, or grapes depending on the size of the dog. These “balls” are in fact fluid-filled sacks surrounding the fetus. Abdominal palpation is tricky and should not be attempted without the assistance of a veterinarian, as it could damage the pups. The sacks lose their distinct shape after one month, which is why the timing of this test is so important.
Alternatively, your veterinarian can do an ultrasound between 25 days and 35 days of gestation to determine if your dog is pregnant. An ultrasound can also detect fetal heartbeats, giving you an estimate of the number of puppies the bitch is carrying.
After 30 days of gestation, you can have your veterinarian measure your dog’s hormone levels to see if she is producing the hormone relaxin. Relaxin is only released during pregnancy, making the test relatively accurate.
X-rays are probably the most effective way to determine if a bitch is pregnant. However, you need to wait until around until at least day 45 to 55, as the puppies’ skeletal systems don’t show up on an x-ray until then. It is preferable to wait until day 55. Waiting to perform the x-ray until day 55 gives you an accurate count of the number of puppies in the womb, which lets you know how many to expect during delivery.
Signs of Dog Pregnancy
Diagnostic testing isn’t the only way to determine whether a dog is pregnant, although it is the most accurate. There are other signs of dog pregnancy to look out for, as well, including:
- Increase in appetite
- Weight gain
- Increase in nipple size
As the end of your dog’s pregnancy approaches, you will notice a significant enlargement of her breasts and nipples, and might even detect some milky fluid. Her abdomen will increase in size, and may sway a little as she walks. At the very end of the pregnancy, you might even be able to see or feel the puppies moving around inside the mother.
As exciting as a potential pregnancy is, it is important to remember that there are other conditions that can cause changes in appetite, weight gain, and a swollen abdomen. To rule out a more serious condition, take your dog to the veterinarian for a prenatal checkup.
Caring for a Pregnant Dog
Once you have determined that your dog is pregnant, there are some steps you should take to make sure she stays healthy throughout her pregnancy.
One of the most important things you can do for your pregnant bitch is make sure she receives proper nutrition. If your dog is already on a good quality dog food and is at a healthy weight, you won’t have to make any changes to her diet for the first part of her pregnancy unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. As her weight increases in the last five weeks of her pregnancy, the AKC recommends increasing her food intake gradually, until she consumes 35-to-50 percent more than usual. Increase her intake slowly and feed her small, frequent meals, as large meals can cause discomfort.
Visits to the Vet
Regular veterinary visits can help your dog stay healthy during pregnancy. While you are there to confirm her pregnancy and check on the puppies, your veterinarian will also examine your dog for signs of illness and discomfort. If your dog became pregnant by accident, this is also a good time to discuss taking precautions in the future, like spaying, to prevent any more surprise litters.
Emergencies happen during pregnancy. While you are at your veterinarian for a prenatal checkup, ask your veterinarian about what to do in the event of an emergency and set up a plan with your family and pet sitter.
Preparing for Puppies
You want your dog’s whelping to be as comfortable as possible and as hassle-free as possible for you. The best way to do this is to set up a whelping box. Whelping boxes offer a safe, warm, comfortable, easily cleaned location for your dog to have her puppies. Ideally, set up the whelping box away from all other dogs and in a quieter area to give the mom privacy.
Once you have purchased or built your whelping box, take some time to get your dog accustomed to it. Dogs look for warm, safe places to deliver their puppies. If you don’t introduce her to the whelping box beforehand, she might decide to deliver someplace else—like your closet.
If this is your first time breeding your dog, talk to your veterinarian about your role during labor, and read and inform yourself. Unless you plan to have an experienced breeder on hand, you will need to be prepared to step in when necessary during the whelping process.
You will want to assemble the necessary whelping supplies ahead of time, so that you have them on hand when your dog goes into labor.
Whelping Supply Checklist:
- Newspaper to line the whelping box during delivery for easy clean up
- Non-skid bath mats for bedding after whelping is done
- Dry, clean towels to clean the puppies
- Paper towels to help with clean up
- Thermometer to check your dog’s temperature before whelping
- Unwaxed dental floss to tie off the umbilical cords
- Clean scissors to cut the umbilical cords
- A heating pad or hot water bottle to keep the puppies warm (be careful of it not being too hot)
- Iodine to clean the puppies’ abdomens after the cord is cut and dab on the end of the cut umbilical cord
- A baby scale in ounces
- Your veterinarian’s phone number and the number of a nearby emergency clinic
Keep these supplies in a clean, easy-to-access location. When your pregnant dog’s time approaches, watch out for the warning signs of labor in dogs. Pregnant mothers may stop eating a few days before whelping and may also start trying to build a “nest”—hopefully in the whelping box. Many pregnant dogs start to pant heavily, and her temperature will drop from a normal temperature (100-to-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit) to 99 degrees or even lower shortly before going into labor. Approximately 24 hours after this temperature drop, she will whelp, and you will be the proud owner of a new litter of puppies.
Unlike humans, dogs generally give birth easily and do not require assistance. Your role is to assist when necessary. Each puppy is born enclosed in its placental membrane. In most cases, the mother tears this membrane off, sometimes eating it. If she does not, you will have to remove it, as puppies cannot survive for more than a few minutes before their supply of oxygen runs out.
The bitch should also sever the umbilical cord as she cleans her pups. If she does not, it is up to you to snip the cord and tie it off with some unwaxed dental floss. You should wipe the abdomen of all of the puppies with iodine to prevent infection from entering through the umbilical cord. The cord should be tied and cut about 1-2 inches from the puppy.
You must also keep track of the number of placentas. A retained placenta can cause problems for the mother, so observe her carefully, and while you are at it, keep an eye on the pups to make sure they are all breathing normally and nursing.
Possible Dog Labor Complications
Sometimes during delivery, things go wrong. Most dogs deliver with ease, but it is crucial that owners of expecting dogs know the warning signs of labor complications.
- Labor is uncomfortable. However, it should not cause your dog extreme pain. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of severe discomfort, call your veterinarian.
- If more than two hours pass in between the delivery of puppies, or if your dog experiences strong contractions that last more than 45 minutes without a birth, call your veterinarian.
- Trembling, collapsing, or shivering are warning signs of serious complications that could put both the bitch and the puppies at risk.
- It is normal for dogs to deliver a dark green or bloody fluid after the first puppy, but if this happens before the first puppy, call your veterinarian.
- Some dogs are slow to go into labor, but if your dog shows no signs of whelping 64 days after her last mating, you need to call your veterinarian to see if there is a problem.
Pregnancy can be a stressful time for dogs and owners, but it doesn’t have to be. The more you know about dog pregnancy ahead of time, the better prepared you will be to care for your dog. For more information about dog pregnancy, consult your veterinarian.
Pregnancy & Your Dog: What You Can Expect
Pregnancy in dogs
If you’re not planning to breed from your dog then it’s best to have her spayed. If, however, you make the big decision to allow her to have puppies you’re in for quite an adventure – here are a few signs that indicate pregnancy in dogs.
Your dog’s teats will become swollen and more prominent 25 -30 days into the pregnancy. She also will start producing a vaginal discharge about one month after mating. You will usually notice her stomach swelling as she puts on weight 45-50 days after conception. Some dogs will also demonstrate a loss of appetite or signs of depression during gestation (pregnancy).
A trip the vet
If you think your dog is pregnant you need to take her to the vet. This is both to confirm the pregnancy and to catch any complications that may arise early.
Your veterinarian will use a number of different methods to determine if your dog is pregnant. After 21-25 days your veterinarian can perform a test for relaxin, a hormone produced only by pregnant dogs. This method will confirm pregnancy but not the number of pups.
By feeling your dog’s abdomen after 21 days, your vet may detect a thickening of the uterus and the presence of ‘bumps’ which indicate pregnancy. However a number of things can interfere with this method: an overweight dog, a single puppy or even just nervousness can make it difficult to administer a proper ‘feel’.
A stethoscope or ECG can detect puppy heartbeats after twenty-five days but will probably not be able to distinguish individual heartbeats making it a poor tool to determine how many puppies there are.
A common pregnancy assessment is with an ultrasound. This is non-invasive, reliable and can detect puppies at about 28 days.
The most accurate method of counting puppies is with an x-ray, which can detect skeletons after 49 days. Some vets will advise against performing an x-ray to avoid exposing the developing puppies to radiation.
Preparing for a new litter
In the months leading up to the birth there is not a lot you need to do for your expecting mother besides ensuring she continues to receive a good, healthy diet. You should encourage her to exercise so she’s in good shape for what could be a long and drawn out birth.
In the days before your dog gives birth she’ll probably start becoming restless and scratching at the ground or in her bed. She’s looking to make a nest for the delivery. You should provide her with an enclosure, ideally this should be something she will be able to come and go from, but confine the puppies.
A cardboard box of an appropriate size for your dog will do or you might consider a small children’s paddling pool. Fill the “nest” with towels, blankets or old sheets. Don’t use anything you’re hoping to use again though, as giving birth tends to be a messy business.
If you know the day of conception your vet should be able to calculate a due date. Another way is to monitor the mother’s temperature when you think she’s getting close to giving birth. A dog’s temperature is usually around 38.4 degrees. Her temperature will drop to below 37.8 degrees just before birth.
Is my dog going into labor?
The signs of imminent birth are restlessness, frequent need to urinate, panting and digging in her “nest”. Usually there will be a dark green discharge from the vagina. This means the placenta has detached and the mother is ready to give birth. If the discharge appears and your dog has still not had puppies after a few hours, contact your vet for help.
A mother dog can usually handle a birth completely on her own. She’ll deliver the puppies, take them out of the amniotic membrane, chew off the umbilical cord and begin to clean them up.
A helping hand
If the new mother doesn’t seem to know what to do, is exhausted or is in the midst of delivering another puppy, there are a few things you can do. If the puppy isn’t already out, remove him from the membrane it’s encased in.
If you need to sever the umbilical cord, take a piece of sturdy thread and tie it tightly around the cord about an inch away from the puppy’s body. Tie another tight loop a little further down from the first loop then cut the cord with a pair of clean scissors.
Pinch the skin on the back of the puppy’s neck and try to get him to cry out. Crying out will clear the fluid from the puppy’s airways. If you have a small eye-drop pipette you can use it to gently suck out the fluid on the puppy’s nose.
When the delivery is over encourage the mother to go outside to stretch her muscles and relieve herself. Clean up the towels and blankets and replace them with clean ones. Then leave your new mother alone with her new puppies to nurse.
Congratulations on a successful delivery.
Learning how to take of a pregnant dog can take some time and experience in order to perfect it but a bit of guidance and knowledge on how it should be done will surely be of great help. Just like in people, pregnancy in your pets can be either simple or complex depending on the circumstances that they are in. There are several factors which can affect the outcome of their pregnancy and that include their genetics, health and nutrition, as well as their environment. In the end, understanding pregnancy and its factors will help you achieve a successful pregnancy for your pet.
Breeding a dog should not be taken lightly. Your pet’s puppies will also be a part of your responsibility as an owner and you should have the dedication and patience to take care of them during their first few weeks or even during their lifetime if no one wants to adopt them.
You must think about these possibilities before allowing your dog to mate and get pregnant. If you cannot commit to the responsibilities that will entail the birth of the puppies, then you may as well prevent that pregnancy at the outset. There are already a lot of stray dogs which are being put down on kennels because there are not enough resources to go around.
How to know if your dog is pregnant
This may seem to be a funny question but there are a lot of cases when a dog did appear to be pregnant but it turned out to be a false one. Your dog may develop all the tell-tale signs of pregnancy such as a bigger belly, swollen nipples, lethargy, and even morning sickness but turn out to be a false pregnancy.
There are certain instances when this could happen such as a hormonal imbalance which tricks the dog’s body into thinking that there are developing fetuses in her body when there is not, and infections or inflammations of the uterus where the uterus can expand giving the look of a pregnant dog.
It is quite difficult to tell whether your dog is actually pregnant since tests can only be carried out about a month after the breeding. The dog will secrete a hormone called relaxin which becomes quite abundant when the egg is fertilized. Your vet will then test for the presence of this hormone in your pet and if it is confirmed, then you have a positive pregnancy. Your vet can also palpate or feel the abdomen of your pet to see if there are bumps which indicate the presence of the fetuses inside the uterus.
This method is reliable within the first 30 days of pregnancy since fluids begin to fill the amniotic sac right after that and which will make it difficult for palpation to locate the fetuses.
What to do if your dog is pregnant
When you have established that your dog is indeed pregnant then it is time to think about how you can take care of them. At this point, your dog is beginning to give life to several puppies which will be born in a very short term of about two months or 57 to 68 days from the date of breeding.
Due to the short developmental period for the puppies, it is important to make sure that you don’t commit mistakes during this time that could affect their health. Here are some steps on how you can protect the health of your dog as well as her puppies during pregnancy:
- Prepare the place where they would be giving birth. This may seem to be quite an early and advance step but the fact is that the earlier that you train your dog on where she should give birth, the lesser stress would it give to her. Birthing dogs prefer areas that are quiet and dark so you should find a place that fits this description early on. Make sure that it is an area where there is little to no traffic either during the day or at night to prevent future problems when your dog actually begins to give birth.
You don’t have to put a whelping box yet as there is still a long time before she actually gives birth and it could get dirty or destroyed if you place it there at this time. The more that they become used to this place, the easier would it be for them to give birth in it.
- Provide them with a healthy and nutritious diet. It is important to give your dog a healthy diet even before they breed since the puppies’ development will depend on the nutrients that have been stored in the mother’s body long before the pregnancy. But, this does not mean that you should feed them the same amount of food all throughout the pre-natal period. Your pet’s body will undergo changes that will require changing the amount of nutrients that they need as well.
During the first half of their pregnancy or from day 1 to 30, it is not that important to significantly increase their nutritional supply. This is due to the fact that the puppies will grow no more than 30% of their full size during this period. Adding more food than what the developing fetus needs at this point will lead to weight gain on the part of the mother and this can present a problem either during the whelping or even on the development of the puppies.
Supplementation will only be recommended if your dog is underweight but if she is otherwise healthy, adding more vitamins and minerals can actually disturb their hormonal balance. Adding a lot of calcium or vitamin D for example, can affect the hormones that naturally release calcium in their body which can lead to eclampsia when they begin to nurse their puppies.
Calcium can only be an important part of their diet during the last days of the pregnancy in order to relieve birth pains and help them contract the uterus. In terms of their caloric intake, you can begin to double the size of their meal portions after the 30th day of their pregnancy. This is the time when the puppies will be forming rapidly and this will give a higher demand for nutrients.Most vets recommend premium dog food or puppy food as these meet the caloric and nutritional requirements of pregnant dogs.
But make sure to give the meals in smaller portions but more frequently as the dog’s stomach will not be able to accommodate a large meal due to the growing size of the puppies. Recommended portions of food should be at least 29 to 30% protein, 15 to 17% of fat, and the rest are carbohydrates. Make sure that their foods are easy to digest so as not to tax their body of energy for digestion. Water should also be available at all times since your dog will have an increased need for hydration during this period.
- Provide enough exercise. The mother’s muscle tone is an important aspect of pregnancy as well as the birthing process. Your dog needs strong and supple muscles to help carry the weight of the developing pups as well as to give birth to them when the time comes. The uterine muscles should be strong enough to expand and contract that it can successfully expel the fetuses one by one.
Remember that your dog will have at least two puppies to give birth to and this will require a lot of strength and energy for the mother. To maintain their muscle tone, you must give them sufficient exercises such as walking and a bit of playing catch during the first 30 days of pregnancy.
You can walk your dog for about 30 minutes each day and you can also engage in light game activities such as playing catch or fetch. Heavier activities such as working, agility exercises, and the like should be avoided as this can exhaust the dog and divert nutrients intended for the fetuses into the mother’s energy requirements. After the first 30 days, walking is the only activity that will be allowed for your pet since your dog will have a heavier belly by this time and it would be risky for them to jump or run fast.
- Minimize stressors in their immediate environment. Your dog will be very sensitive during this period and they can either withdraw or seek a lot of attention during their pregnancy. Although it could be good to have a lot of people paying attention to your pet, it could also mean stress to them. As much as possible remove all sources of possible stress from your pet’s immediate environment such as noise, dirty surroundings, toxic materials, rearranging of furniture, a lot of guests coming in and out of the house, or a change of residence. This will put your dog in a lot of stress and it can cause them to miscarry.
During the last 4 weeks of your pet’s pregnancy, it would be best to separate them from the other dogs if you have any. This is to prevent any occurrence of rough play or fights where the pregnant dog’s belly can be bumped or hit with such force that it can kill the puppy inside. Dietary changes can also be a source of stress for your dog during pregnancy. Avoid giving them a new diet to help “provide” for their increased dietary needs. Feed them their usual food but about 10 to 25% more during the first 30 days and then double the servings after that period.
- Ask for your vet’s recommendation with regards to medications. During pregnancy almost all types of medication are not recommended but if your pet really needs them, then you should ask your vet for their recommended treatments. They can prescribe de-wormers and anti-flea and tick treatments which are known to be safe for pregnant dogs. Vaccination, however, should be avoided as it can affect the fetuses.
There had been some cases where puppies were born blind or deformed due to vaccination during pregnancy. The serum of these vaccines can definitely have a negative effect on the puppies since their immune system are not yet fully developed. If possible, it would be better to have your pet vaccinated before they are bred. The increased amount of antibodies after the administration of the vaccine will help ensure that her puppies will have a strong immune system as well.
- Be there for your dog when they give birth. Although there are dogs that do not like having people around when they are giving birth, it is still important that you watch over them during this process. This time will be a very difficult period for your pet especially if it is their first time to give birth. Be there to comfort and assure them when the contractions begin to help relieve them of the pain.
Massage and pet them just to provide a bit of comfort during the whole process. Your presence is also important since anything can go wrong during the birthing. Your dog may get too tired to push or stimulate their puppies when they are born.
Touching and stimulating the puppies are important in order to “wake” up their biological systems especially those required for breathing. The amniotic sac may also remain stuck in their face if the mother is not able to lick them away and they can get suffocated. You can also help the mother by giving a gentle tug on the puppies if they are spending a lot of time in the birth canal and has not been able to come out completely even if the mother was pushing.
If you see your dog in an extreme amount of pain, is not bringing out another puppy after the first one, is not responsive to her pups or when there is a clear indication that there is a problem with her puppies then you should bring her immediately to the veterinarian.
- Have your pet checked up by your vet at least three times during the whole pregnancy period. In order to make sure that your pet is carrying on just fine with their pregnancy, it is important to have them undergo some check-ups during the beginning, middle, and last phase of their pregnancy. This is to make sure that any developmental problems are detected during these crucial phases and further problems avoided.
Your pet’s first check will be about 21 to 30 days after breeding. This is to determine whether your dog is really pregnant or not. The second one will be at about 35 to 45 days into her pregnancy and this is to get an ultrasound of her puppies. At this stage, you can determine how many puppies will be in the litter. Although others will recommend an X-ray, this may actually harm the puppies due to the radiation.
The last check up will be a few days before the birthing which can vary from the 57th day to the 67th day from breeding. This is to make sure that everything is fine for the birthing and that there are no complications whatsoever that can affect it. At this time, your vet may recommend some calcium supplements for your pet to help aid uterine contractions.
Your dog will be capable of getting pregnant once she turns 6 months old and above and they will have a fertile cycle which occurs every year. It is not recommended to have your dogs bred during the first two cycles as their bodies are still developing during this period and any pregnancy can greatly affect both their health and their puppies as well. It is therefore important to avoid any unwanted pregnancies by keeping your dog on a leash and out of reach of other male dogs during their first two cycles.
Also, breeding a small female dog with a large male dog can also present problems during birthing so make sure that you either can afford a caesarean operation on your dog or that you look well after them to avoid any unwanted encounter with a larger breed. Pregnancies come with corresponding responsibilities especially when the puppies are born. Make sure that you can give them the time and care that your dog and her puppies would need once they are born.
There are a lot of things to consider when preparing for your dog’s whelping and during the whole period of their pregnancy they should be given all possible care to help strengthen their bodies for the process.
This includes giving them a good place where they can give birth, providing them with a nutritious diet, removing stressors from their immediate environment, giving them sufficient exercise, and having them checked by your vet. In all things that are related to your pet’s pregnancy, it is still a vet’s advice that will be of the highest value so make sure that you are in constant contact with their vet.
6 Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs
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!
Some of these symptoms can also be signs of illness, so it’s important to have any marked change in appearance, appetite, or activity level checked out. Of course, if you think your dog may be pregnant, you have a much happier reason to bring her to the vet! Here are 5 signs to watch for:
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.
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.
6. Nesting Behaviors
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, you may notice your dog begin to shred bedding and other available materials to create a nest. She may also become irritable and reclusive during this time, so it’s best to limit her contact with small children.
Compared with humans, dog gestation periods are a relatively short 56-70 days. As a result, acting quickly on signs of pregnancy is crucial to ensuring a comfortable, safe birth for your new puppies. After a proper examination, your local veterinarian can provide you with all of the instruction you need to properly care for your pregnant pet.
Do you think your dog may be pregnant? Get in touch to learn more about the care she needs.
This Family Member May Be Able to Tell You’re Pregnant Before You Can
Actress Tia Mowry announced on Instagram earlier this month that she’s carrying her second child, and last week she posted an image of herself from a photo shoot when she was just one month along. In the caption, Mowry giddily explained what clued her in to her pregnancy: The photographer had a dog who paid her a lot of attention—and that made her wonder if the dog sensed something she wasn’t able to yet.
Mowry isn’t the only expectant mom who noticed a pooch acting more clingy and cuddly; other women have also said that their dogs behaved differently when they were pregnant too. Science hasn’t weighed in definitively as to whether canines have a sixth sense about human pregnancy. So we reached out to dog experts to find out if your pooch really can tell you’ve got a bun in the oven.
Jeff Werber, PhD, president and chief veterinarian of the Century Veterinary Group in Los Angeles, credits dogs’ keen sense of smell for their ability to sense physical and emotional changes in humans. “We have 5 million receptors in our noses, dogs have 200 million,” Dr. Werber tells Health. “Dogs can detect when a seizure is coming on, when a person is hypoglycemic, and they can detect cancer and fear, so there’s certainly scents they can pick up on.”
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But what about human pregnancy? Dr. Werber believes dogs can also smell the hormonal changes going on in a woman’s body at that time. Canines may not understand that this new scent of your skin and breath is caused by a developing baby, but they will know that something is different with you—which might cause them to be more curious or attentive.
It’s not just your scent that gets your dog’s attention during pregnancy; hormone-driven mood swings may also have an influence on your furry family member. “Some dogs can be very sensitive to people’s moods, and they will respond if they know their owner is upset or angry, ” Peter L. Borchelt, PhD, a New York–based certified animal behaviorist, tells Health. If they sense that you are more emotional or anxious than usual—as many women are at some point during pregnancy—they are more likely to stay close and seek more attention from you, Borchelt says.
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Dogs might also be reacting to a change in your daily routine. For example, you’re getting up in the middle of night to pee, or you’re staying home more due to morning sickness. These habit changes can leave them curious and confused. Borchelt explains it like this: “If they were people, they would say, ‘Gee what’s going on, something’s different here but I’m not sure what nor why.””
And though Borchelt says this is hard to scientifically prove, if your four-legged BFF sits on your lap or nuzzles up to your chest for petting, they might be able to hear the infant’s heartbeat. That lets them know something’s up—and they become protective or start to compete for your attention.
When it comes to pet pregnancy, we believe Bob Barker said it best: “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” HOWEVER, if your dog IS pregnant, we also believe you should provide the very best care to her possible, from the moment you know she’s pregnant up until the big birth day, as well as post-pregnancy. It’s important to remember that even though your dog may still have some of the basic survival instincts of a wild dog, she is no longer an actual wild dog. She may not innately know what to do, and she will need your support while she’s pregnant as well as when delivering her puppies. Here are some tips to care for your pregnant dog.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Pregnant
A dog pregnancy isn’t always planned, and due to their relatively short gestation periods (about 56-70 days), some pet owners might not even know their dog is pregnant until they’re about to give birth! If you notice any of these signs of pregnancy in your unspayed dog, it’s time to take her to the vet:
- Decreased Activity: If you notice your dog is spending more time napping than usual or becomes tired more quickly and/or easily during activity, it could be a sign that she is pregnant.
- Changes in Appetite: During pregnancy, your dog’s appetite could change in different ways due to her changing hormones. Just like a human, early on in the pregnancy she may eat less or vomit occasionally due to “morning sickness.” You also might notice her eating more than normal.
- Changes in Behavior: Pregnant pooches may seem “clingier” than usual and seek the comfort of their owners more. During the last few weeks of pregnancy, you may notice your dog beginning to “nest.” This could include shredding her bedding and other available materials to create a whelping area for her pups. She also might become irritable and reclusive or get more and more restless as her birth date nears.
- Changes to Nipples: During the early stages of pregnancy, your dog’s nipples may grow in size, become darker (indicating an increase in blood flow), and/or appear round compared to their usual flatness. They could also leak milk later in her pregnancy.
- Weight Gain and Larger Abdomen: This is generally one of the most obvious signs that your dog is pregnant (especially if you’ve noticed no other reason for your unspayed dog’s sudden weight gain).
Most of these signs of dog pregnancy can also be signs of illness, so even if you don’t think your dog is pregnant, it’s important to have any marked change in activity level, appetite, behavior, or appearance checked out by your vet.
What to Feed Your Pregnant Dog
Once you have determined that your dog is indeed pregnant, you will want to make sure she is getting the best nutrition (because growing puppies is hard work!). Run your dog food by your vet for approval – if she is already at a healthy weight and on a good quality dog food, your vet most likely won’t have you make any changes to her diet for the first part of her pregnancy.
During the second half of your dog’s pregnancy, as her weight increases in the last five weeks, the American Kennel Club recommends slowly increasing her food intake with small, frequent meals, until she consumes 35-to-50 percent more than usual (giving her larger meals can cause discomfort due to her having less room for her stomach to hold food). Your veterinarian will help you make a personalized determination for your dog.
Exercising Your Pregnant Dog
Giving birth to multiple puppies requires a lot of strength and energy, so it’s important that you keep your pregnant dog healthy and fit. Going for regular walks will help keep her primed and ready for the challenge of giving birth. Try to keep walks shorter, as your dog will most likely tire more easily as her pregnancy goes on. Try for three to five short walks a day, and always keep temperature and terrain in mind (i.e. no uphill hikes on a hot day). Avoid any rigorous activity, or even training/obedience schooling during your dog’s pregnancy; this can be stressful, and bumps or knocks from other dogs could hurt her unborn pups.
Taking Your Pregnant Dog to the Vet
Regular visits to the vet can ensure your dog stays healthy during her pregnancy. When you take your dog to the vet for the initial confirmation of her pregnancy, your vet will also examine her for any signs of illness and/or discomfort. Make sure to ask your vet how often you should bring in your pregnant dog for check-ups, as well as what they recommend as far as vaccinations and flea/worming treatments. If your dog is already pregnant and her vaccinations are overdue, discuss options with your vet. Dogs pass on immunity to their puppies through their milk, so your dog should ideally be up to date on her vaccines, but you will need to check which are safe for both pregnant dogs and their unborn puppies. Additionally, roundworms and hookworms can be passed unborn puppies, so confirm with your vet which flea/worming treatments are safe to use during your dog’s pregnancy.
Additional Considerations for Your Pregnant Dog
Most dogs deliver with ease and do not require any help. But be aware of any warning signs that things aren’t going well.
- Extreme pain: While giving birth won’t be a walk in the park for your dog, it also shouldn’t cause extreme pain. If your dog is showing signs of severe discomfort, call your veterinarian.
- Timing: Some dogs are slow to go into labor, but if your pregnant dog experiences strong contractions that last more than 45 minutes without a birth, or if more than two hours pass in between the delivery of puppies, call your veterinarian.
- Other warning signs: Trembling, collapsing, or shivering are all serious warning signs of complications. Additionally, dogs will normally deliver a dark green or bloody fluid after the first puppy, but if you notice this before the first puppy, call your veterinarian.
During regular veterinary visits, you’ll have the chance to develop a “birth plan” with the medical team. You’ll be able to consider the right place in your home for delivery, whether your veterinary team should make this a house call, how you may need to transport your dog to the veterinary office, which ER facility to contact outside of regular business hours, and more.
Pregnancy doesn’t have to be a stressful time for dogs and their owners. The more you know ahead of time, the easier it will be. After your dog delivers her puppies, you should take both the mother and her pups to the veterinarian for a post-natal checkup within 24-48 hours. If your dog became pregnant by accident, this is also a good time to discuss having your dog spayed, to prevent any more surprise litters.
If you have any further questions about pregnancy care for your dog, please contact us!
See Your Vet
If you think your dog is pregnant, take her to your vet. It’s a good idea to take her for a prenatal checkup 2 or 3 weeks after she has 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 she has parasites, your vet will treat them.
During your visit, your vet can use ultrasound to see the growing puppies as early as 3 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 her 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 her 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.
What do I need to do if my dog is pregnant?
It may seem like a lot to think about when your dog is expecting puppies but this handy guide can really help! Our vets and nurses are always really happy to help so please call us or come to the clinic to chat about your dogs pregnancy. Here is a list of points that you need to consider.
Diet and Nutrition
From day 42 of pregnancy the puppies start to develop very quickly and the mum will need to start eating puppy food as it has more energy and protein for her. Give her 3-4 smaller meals a day as her puppies can press on her stomach and make it hard for her to eat a big meal!
Before your dog gets pregnant it its really important to make sure she is up to date on her annual vaccines. When the puppies are born they get protection from their mum from her milk, which will only happen if she is fully protected. Puppies can get herpes virus from their mums so it is important to get her vaccinated while she is pregnant to stop them from getting infected at birth.
When bitches are pregnant they need to be given a wormer called Fenbendazole every day from day 40 of pregnancy until 2 days after the puppies are born. This is to stop the puppies getting worms from their mum when they are born.
Dogs still need exercise during pregnancy but it is important to not over-exercise them. After day 30 of pregnancy they should be taken on short walks to make sure they don’t get too tired.
Preparing for Whelping (giving birth)
Make a whelping box for your dog and put it in a quiet area of the house where you can place a nest big enough for mum and puppies. A large box lined with puppy pads (for accidents!) and filled with clean blankets and towels is perfect.
Make sure the room is nice and cosy- newborn puppies need to be in a warm room. Labour often starts with the mum becoming restless and panting. Contractions will start and a clear fluid should come from the vulva followed by the first puppy. Labour can last from a few minutes to several hours. It is normal for it to take 20-60 minutes between puppies being born.
They need to be wormed when they are 2 weeks old for the first time. Record their weights with kitchen scales and let us know their weight so we can calculate how much wormer each puppy needs. Puppies are ready for weaning between 6 and 8 weeks old. They need their first vaccine when they are 8 weeks old and the vet will check them over to make sure they are healthy.
When to call the vet
- If you ever have any questions- we are always happy to help!
- If there has been more than 1 hour between puppies
- If the mum is straining but no puppies are being passed
- If there are fewer puppies than expected as one may be stuck in the birth canal
Oops! My dog’s pregnant! Now what?
I invited Valerie, one of our technicians, to submit a little essay for the post today. We had a number of cases last summer/fall in which female dogs were accidentally allowed to mate, resulting in an unexpected pregnancy and litter of pups. This can be an incredibly difficult situation for an owner, especially if they have no experience breeding dogs. Valerie has been breeding Labrador Retrievers for many years, so she’s got a lot of experience to share with us.
I think it’ll be helpful if I give some background information on the reproductive cycle of the dog. Dogs tend to cycle once or twice a year, starting at 6-12 months of age. This is commonly called a ‘heat’ cycle. During a cycle, the female’s reproductive tract ‘wakes up’ and prepares to have puppies. The resulting changes go through a series of stages that take about 3 weeks to complete. During the stage called “estrus” (heat), a female is very very interested in finding a mate. Males will show up from a long way off, and the female will be very receptive to romantic advances. Accidents can happen incredibly fast. In some cases, just one mating will be enough to produce a litter of pups. (Breeders actively trying to have a litter of pups will usually allow a series of breedings to increase the chances of a good litter of pups.)
A dog’s pregnancy lasts about 62 days. Just two short months from mating to puppies — it’s not much time for an owner to prepare for what could be a very very labor-intensive process. We spent some time a few posts back talking about the advantages of spaying a dog before her first heat, so I won’t belabor the subject again. Suffice to say that my personal opinion is firmly in the “don’t breed your dog” column as far as most owners are concerned.
I’ve added some extra notes in to help out.
Here is Valerie’s contribution:
Hello! I just wanted to talk about what to prepare for when you have a dog that was bred and you have never had a dog who has had puppies before.
First of all, the hardest part is figuring out when she was bred and counting the days to delivery of the puppies. Since you may not know your dog was bred, the first thing you might notice is your dog getting fat and her nipples getting a lot larger than they normally are. You may have noticed that she was in heat a few weeks prior. This is probably a sign she is going to have puppies, so now you need to figure out when.
For example, you need to count from that night she got out and the neighbor said she was at their house all night with their male dog. When you have figured out that day, you count about 62 days after, and that should be with 2 – 5 days of when she will have the puppies. By time you have noticed her getting fat and her nipples getting larger she should be about 30 – 40 days along.
Start preparing before the puppies are due! Here are the things that you will need to do:
•Read everything you can about whelping puppies!
•Prepare a whelping bed for her and get her acclimated to being in there.
•Start feeding her puppy food for the extra nutrients she will need to feed her puppies. Depending on the breed of dog she might need a extra meal during the day.
•Have plain thread and scissors handy.
•Have lots of hand towels. Try to have a little suction bulb.
When you are getting close to the 62nd day start preparing all the rest of the household (other dogs, other cats, and any children and people living in the house) to help watch her and know when she starts going into labor. It is very important to know when she starts going into labor to ensure her safety and the health of the puppies. Usually a female will stop eating about 24 hours before having the first puppy.
Once active labor starts, be ready to help if you are needed. There should only be you and your dog in the whelping area especially if this
is her first liter. Too many people could make her nervous and she may stop pushing. Do what ever you think you should do to keep her calm and comfortable while she is in labor, like petting and talking to her and stay right with her. A puppy should be born within 1-2 hours of the start of her contractions. If not, she needs to be taken to the veterinarian!
When she finally starts having the puppies, she will want to start caring for them right away. You can help mom to get the amnionic sac off. You can tie off the umbilical cord with some plain string about 1/2 an inch from the belly, then cut the rest off. A small suction bulb will help get mucus out of the puppies nose. Use hand towels to dry them vigorously. Then get that puppy on a nipple ASAP. The very first milk is important to help the puppy not get sick. Stay right with mom the whole time until the last puppy comes out. It could be many hours, so get comfortable!
Caring for puppies after birth can be very easy if mom is taking good care of the puppies. It can be very hard if she is not or if the puppies have problems. Be prepared ahead of time so you know what to watch for and what to do.
That’s a brief introduction to whelping a litter! If you’re in this situation, contact your vet for information, advice, and backup. Don’t go it alone, especially if you’ve never had a dog have a litter before. You can research the whole process here:
Dog Breeding Basics
Pregnancy in Dogs
Normal Labor and Delivery
Caring for Newborn Puppies
Just like human pregnancies, dog pregnancies are complicated and sometimes confusing. Understanding dog pregnancy is crucial especially if your dog is pregnant or you are planning to breed your dogs. There are many things you need to know about dog pregnancy, from the signs of pregnancy to caring after your little puppies is born. Here is some information about dog pregnancy that should help you out.
How long is a dog pregnancy
For female dogs, sexual maturity is reached between age of 6 to 12 months. This means they can get pregnant at just 6 months of age. Dog pregnancies normally last for nine weeks (approximately 60 days), although they might give birth sooner or later.
Signs of pregnancy
If you have carefully planned for the breeding, here are some physical signs that indicate your breeding was a success.
a) A bigger belly
Pregnant dogs will have a bigger belly as pregnancy progresses, just like humans. However, a bigger belly could sometimes be a symptom of disease.
b) Increase in appetite
Be alert to any changes in your dog’ s appetite. A dog that is pregnant may eat more than usual. However, a pregnant dog may also have morning sickness that cause it to lose appetite and vomit, just like humans. Unlike humans, morning sickness in pregnant dog ends fast. It normally lasts for just a few days.
c) Increase in breast and nipple size
The size of the breast of a pregnant dog will increase significantly and its nipples will become swollen. You might even detect some milky fluid as well.
d) Body discharge
You will notice a constant mucous discharge from the vulva if your dog is pregnant.
e) Increase in weight
As the pregnancy progress, the pregnant dog’s weight will start to increase. She is likely to gain 15% to 25% of weight depending on the number of puppies she is carrying.
Some dogs could experience phantasm pregnancy where the dog shows the signs of pregnant but she’s actually not pregnant. A dog might gain weight, have larger breasts and nipples, display nesting behaviour and even produce milk, but she’s actually not pregnant. This is a rare phenomenon that happens only in dogs. If your dog is having a phantasm pregnancy, consult your vet for a solution.
The more accurate ways to confirm pregnancy in dogs is through diagnostic tests.
1) Abdominal palpation
Abdominal palpation refers to careful massaging of the dog’s tummy to feel for the puppies growing in the uterus. Be mindful that abdominal palpation should not be attempted without assistance of veterinarian or you may hurt the puppies. Abdominal palpation can be performed as early as three weeks after mating.
2) Ultrasound scan
Your veterinarian can do a ultrasound scan as early as three weeks after mating to determine if your dog is pregnant. An ultrasound can detect fetal heartbeats, thus your veterinarian may the estimate the number of puppies your dog is carrying. By using the ultrasound scan, your veterinarian might be able to predict your dog’s due date as well.
3) Witness Relaxin test
You can have your veterinarian to do an inexpensive witness relaxin test to test the presence of relaxin after 4 weeks of gestation. Relaxin is a type of hormone that is released only during pregnancy.
Photo by Brian (Jetta Hibbs)
X-rays are probably the most effective way to determine if a dog is pregnant. However, you have to wait until week six of gestation before you can use this method because the puppies’ skeletal system is not obvious until then. X-rays are also the most reliable way to determine how many puppies a dog is carrying. Some people argue that X-rays can harm puppies inside the uterus due to the strong radiation.
Caring for a pregnant dogs
As mentioned above, a dog’s pregnancy period is nine weeks. In these nine weeks, a pregnant dog should be carefully tended to so that it can give birth to healthy puppies.
During the first couple of weeks, you can feed your dog her normal diet. Supplements like vitamins are not necessary. However, as the pregnancy progresses, she needs extra calories to aid her puppies’ growth. Veterinarians would recommend puppy food which is high in proteins, fats and minerals. Puppy food are also easier to digest. When you are feeding your pregnant dog, make sure you give the meals in smaller portions but more frequently because she can’t take in a large meal as the growing puppies occupy a lot of space inside her tummy.
If your dog has been doing exercise regularly, you can carry on with the activity. But make sure to let her do only mild exercise like walking. You may also engage in light game activities such as playing fetch and catch. Whether it’s exercise or light game activities, keep the sessions short. Don’t overexert your pregnant dog.
Vaccination should not be given to your dog during her pregnancy. If your dog’s vaccination is out of date, it’s always a good idea to vaccinate her before she gets pregnant.
d) Veterinary visit
It’s important to have your pregnant dog undergo several check-ups during the whole pregnancy period. This is to make sure that your dog and her puppies are healthy.
# Know the due date
Try to know the due date of your pregnant dog. Your veterinarian should be able to estimate the due date of your pregnant dog. Knowing the due date can help you to get better prepared. When the time draws near, you will want to start measuring your dog’s temperature every day because dogs should go into labour within a day of their temperature dropping from a normal temperature (100-to-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit) to 99 degrees or even lower.
# Prepare the whelping box
The next thing you have to consider is to build a whelping box for your dog. Dogs look for safe, warm and comfortable places to deliver their babies. If you have more than one dog, make sure you set up the whelping box in a familiar yet private area where other dogs don’t have access to. Put the blankets, sheets or towels inside the whelping box. Set up the whelping box earlier so that your dog has time to get accustomed to the whelping box. Put your dog’s bedding inside the whelping may help her to get accustomed to the whelping box faster.
Your dog’s delivery will usually go smoothly and any interference from humans wouldn’t be necessary, but it’s good idea to standby in case she run into any complications when delivering her puppies. Inform you veterinarian as well so that he or she can get ready for any emergency case.
Adoption vs breeding
In United states alone, there are million of adoptable dogs put to sleep each year. Breeding your own puppies have its pros. But it is not the best way to add a new dog to your family. You save one precious life if you adopt a dog. Think twice before you want to breed your dog.
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Pregnancies are always special, and it’s no different when we’re talking about our faithful companions! Dog pregnancies also deserve to be celebrated, but some special measures should be taken to assure your buddy’s comfort and well-being. Therefore, we’ve prepared some tips for you to follow during pregnancy and when your fluffy mate is giving birth! Caring for a pregnant dog demands responsibility, but we know you’ll rise to the challenge! ?
Caring for a Pregnant Dog: Signs your Dog is Pregnant
Changes in your dog’s body and behavior usually start to be noticed 3 weeks after ovulation. Want to confirm your suspicions? Here are some signs your dog is pregnant:
- Larger appetite – eating (or asking for) snacks more frequently
- Enlarged nipples
- More attention demanded
- Clear mucoid vaginal discharge (after 4/5 weeks)
- Waist thicking (after 4/5 weeks)
Of course, you can also take your four-legged friend to a vet. Using ultrasound, they’ll be able to pick up fetal heartbeats 28 days after the gestation period starts. Alternatively, they can also carefully palpate the uterus and feel the fetuses.
? Quick fact:
- Dogs’ gestation period duration: 58 – 68 days
Caring for a Pregnant Dog: Pre-Birth
Suspicions confirmed? “Elementary, my dear Dogtson”! ? You should now adopt some special measures in order to provide your dog everything she needs. Don’t worry – we’ve already prepared your to-do list:
- Vet care:
- Vaccination (in some cases, it might not be advisable to vaccinate pregnant dogs, so contact your local vet)
- Dog deworming
- Heartworm test (avoiding heartworm microfilaria on puppies)
- Normal amount of high-quality commercial dog food (first 4 weeks)
- High-quality puppy food (5th to 6th week)
- Increase the amount a quarter (8th and 9th week)
- Go for daily walks, as they’re good low-intensity exercises
- Avoid contact with other dogs
Build/buy a whelping box ?
This is extremely useful when caring for a pregnant dog! Here are some tips for its maintenance:
- Fill the bottom with towels (do not use newspaper!)
- Change them daily
- Place the box in a zone with a pleasant climate
- Be sure the box is comfy!
Caring for a Pregnant Dog: Giving Birth
The time is now! ? Your dog has started giving birth and, if you’re lucky enough to get there on time, you may even give her a hand! Here are our tips:
- Very important: do not bath the mother, nor her puppies, or you might inadvertedly kill them! She will spontaneously clean them by licking and even… eating their poop (yuck!)… ? Nature takes care of itself! ?
- Don’t make anything that can make her anxious/nervous
- It’s normal if she feels uncomfortable during contractions
- 1 to 3 hours after they’re born, check if the puppies start nursing; if not, help them to find a nipple
- If you notice a puppy is not being nursed, take them to the vet as soon as you can – they’re most likely sick
In the end, expect your buddy to eat the placentas after she gives birth. Again, it’s normal – that’s Mother Nature in action! ?
Caring for a Pregnant Dog: After Birth
New puppies are now a part of our world, and everything went well in the aftermath of their birth. ? You should now keep an eye on them to be sure they grow safely! A few tips on what’s next:
- Check if puppies are being nursed every 2-4 hours daily
- In almost every litter, there’s a skinnier puppy who will cry a lot because they’re not being fed properly – if that’s the case, please contact your vet
- According to the American Animal Hospital Association, you should vaccinate your puppies every 3/4 weeks, between the 6th and the 16th week
- After 4 weeks, puppies will be ready to start eating solid food
- Around this time, you can also bathe your puppies with extreme caution! If you prefer, just clean them with a dry cloth or simply leave this task to their mother! ?
- After 8 weeks, they will be ready to survive without their mother
If your dog is a bit old to have another litter, or if you want to avoid her getting pregnant, please neuter her. We’d also like to raise awareness to the fact that there is currently a dog overpopulation problem in the US – the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says 1,200,000 dogs are euthanized in shelters each year… ? So, if you’re looking for a new pal, please adopt a shelter dog instead of breeding, and you’ll be saving an innocent life as well as gaining an inseparable buddy! In the end, breeds don’t matter – they all love us the same way! ?
Did you find our tips on caring for a pregnant dog useful? What would you add to our community regarding this matter? Help us create a complete guide! ?