Puppy time is fun. The wait can seem endless if you are new to breeding or are impatiently awaiting the arrival of a reserved puppy from a breeder’s litter. Thankfully, the gestation time in dogs is substantially shorter than the gestation period in humans, which benefits both the dog and us. A Dog Is Pregnant For How Long? Is a question.
Foster homes are vital for an animal shelter and the pets in care, especially pregnant pets. A foster home offers several advantages to a pregnant dog throughout all dog pregnancy stages, including lowering stress, individualized care, maintaining the mother’s health, and securing a location where the mother feels secure to give birth to adoptable puppies.
- A Dog Is Pregnant For How Long?
- How Long Do Dogs Give Birth?
- What Do I Do After The Sixth Week?
- How Can I Check If My Dog Is Expecting?
- What To Feed A Dog While Pregnant?
- How Should A Pregnant Dog Be Fed?
- Why Is It Crucial To Neuter Or Spay Dogs?
- Frequently Asked Questions
A Dog Is Pregnant For How Long?
Dog pregnancies can last anywhere from 56 to 70 days. Puppy birth should typically take 63 days, or slightly over two months, from fertilization. Are there any obvious signs of dog pregnancy? – Similar to humans, some dogs might experience “morning sickness” and vomit during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Dogs’ Reproductive Cycle
To answer how long dogs are pregnant, you must first comprehend the canine reproductive cycle. Approximately every six months, intact female dogs go into heat, which can vary depending on the breed.
The heat cycle has four distinct stages and lasts 18 to 21 days. These phases help breeders decide when it is best to breed their dogs. The reproductive cycle of a female dog goes through these four stages:
The proestrus phase of the reproductive cycle lasts for around nine days. Females begin to draw males at this point, though they will reject their overtures until stage two. Proestrus symptoms include:
- Swelling of the vulva
- Bloody discharge
Estrus might continue for three to four days or seven to eleven days. The bitch is at her most open at this time. To ensure that they breed their dogs at the ideal moment, many breeders have blood tests and vaginal smears performed by veterinarians during proestrus and estrus. Proestrus symptoms include:
- A swollen, soft vulva
- Discharge loses intensity and changes colour.
Diestrus is the cycle’s last phase. Usually, it happens around day 14. The bitch will no longer allow mating during diestrus when her discharge turns redder and lessens in intensity. The heat is over when there are no visible signs of swelling or discharge. Anestrus, the interval between one heat cycle and the following, often lasts six months.
Determining the length of pregnancy requires an understanding of the heat cycle. Breeders can accurately test for pregnancy by calculating the conception dates by monitoring their bitch’s heat cycle and breeding season.
Stages Of Dog Pregnancy
Dogs go through their pregnancy stages swiftly. Dogs have relatively short gestation periods. Thus, the puppies proliferate within the womb over two to three months.
The embryos go to the uterine horns during the first month, often around day 7, and they are lodged in the uterine lining around day 16. By day 22, the fetus starts to take shape, and by day 28 or 30, a veterinarian should be able to hear the heartbeats of the fetus using an ultrasound.
Many dogs don’t exhibit any signs during the first three weeks of their pregnancy. Here are a few symptoms to look out for in the first month:
- Increased appetite
- More affectionate behaviour
- Slightly enlarged nipples
- Clear vaginal discharge (around week four)
- “Morning sickness”
- Decreased physical activity
The second month is a time of rapid fetal development. Around day 32, eyelids begin to form, and by day 35, toes are apparent. By day 40, the claws had developed, and a few days later, the coat and skeleton (day 45). An x-ray will determine the number of puppies in the litter by day 50, and around day 58, the bitch will begin hunting for a spot to nest.
During the second month, the bitch’s pregnancy symptoms become significantly more pronounced:
- increased appetite clearly
- growth of 20–50% of body weight
- more frequent urination
- Behavioral alterations
- Odorless, clear vaginal discharge
- Enlarged, firm abdomen (days 45 to 50)
- a diminished appetite (day 45)
- abdominal puppy movement that can be seen (day 50)
By the beginning of the third month, the bitch is prepared to give birth. About day 58, puppy development is nearly complete, which means the puppies will start to shift into the whelping posture in the birth canal over the next three days.
Dog pregnancy symptoms in the final few days:
- As puppies travel through the delivery canal, the waist will be trimmed.
- loss of appetite around days 61 or 62
- body temperature decline 1-2 days before to labor
- Unstable behavior
- Panting, shivering, digging, or pacing
How Long Do Dogs Give Birth?
Labor starts once the gestation period is over. Labor progresses through three stages.
The first lasts 12 to 24 hours and is frequently invisible to the naked eye. Throughout stage one, the strength and frequency of contractions in the uterine muscle wall increase, but no outward signs of contractions are present. Instead, keep an eye out for these signs of canine labor:
- A shift in attitude and behavior
- A reclusive attitude
- sporadic nest building
- not wanting to eat
- clear vaginal discharge
During stage two, puppies are born. Bitches deliver one puppy at a time during this period, lasting anywhere from one to twenty-four hours. Since deliveries typically take place every 30 to 60 minutes and should not last longer than an hour, it is helpful to determine how many puppies will be born. Owners can then call a vet if they think their dog may be in trouble and know when the bitch has finished stage two.
At stage three, the placenta is delivered. The delivery of all placentas marks the end of stage three, which occurs around the same time as stage two. This typically happens soon after stage two is complete.
If your dog gives birth throughout 24 hours or there are more than two hours between puppies, you should call your veterinarian. This may indicate a significant issue, and both the life of the bitch and the unborn puppies may be in danger.
What Do I Do After The Sixth Week?
Your dog should progressively increase food consumption after the sixth week of pregnancy. Abdominal pressure rises as the fetuses grow; therefore, eating small, frequent meals is encouraged.
Puppies’ health and development have been improved by diets rich in the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Hence such diets should be taken into consideration. Consult your veterinarian about feeding your pregnant dog a DHA-supplemented diet.
Your dog’s food consumption should increase by up to 1.5 times the average amount during the final three weeks of pregnancy by giving smaller meals more often. This will maintain your dog’s health and physical condition as she nears the end of her pregnancy and begins to nurse her puppies.
How Can I Check If My Dog Is Expecting?
Dog early pregnancy detection might be difficult. Positive test results in the dog being pregnant at the time of the test but does not guarantee a healthy pregnancy.
A veterinarian can do trans-abdominal palpation three to four weeks after mating (feeling the abdomen for an enlarged uterus or specific fetal swellings), but the outcomes can be unpredictable. Results may depend more on the female dog’s comfort level than the vet’s expertise.
What To Feed A Dog While Pregnant?
The most suitable dog food for a pregnant dog is an all-life stage puppy meal with at least 22% protein and about 1600 kcal of digestible energy per pound.
A comprehensive and balanced diet must be fed to a pregnant pup to maintain appropriate calorie intake, nutrients that support fetus growth, and healthy milk production for the dog’s newborn puppies. To provide a pregnant dog with a nutritious and balanced puppy diet, make sure the food:
- High-quality, premium, digestible dry dog food
- contains meat, fish, or poultry as the first ingredient and has a minimum of 25% protein.
- does not require additional vitamins or supplements
- It has enough nutrients to give you additional energy
- and has a minimum of 1600 kcal of digestible calories per pound.
- Enriched in vitamins, minerals, and lipids that are both fat- and water-soluble
Most dry puppy diets are nutrient-dense and provide pregnant dogs with the maximum protein level and essential vitamins, lipids, and water-soluble minerals. Large-breed and giant-breed puppy food is an exception to the rule regarding dry dog food; these diets are inadequate regarding nutrients and minerals for a pregnant dog, regardless of the breed.
How Should A Pregnant Dog Be Fed?
As a pregnant dog foster parent, creating a high-quality feeding schedule ahead of time will help you maintain the dog’s ideal body condition, weight, and muscle tone. The proper diet and feeding schedule will be suggested by a veterinarian who works with the foster dog’s shelter; these recommendations may be similar to the advice given below on how to feed a pregnant dog.
Week 1 – 4
Feed as usual by the feeding instructions listed on the food’s packaging. Week 5 Switch to premium puppy chow that provides the right amounts of protein, fat, energy, and minerals over seven to ten days.
Week 6 – 7
Increase food portions by 20% to 25% and spread meals throughout the day in smaller quantities.
Week 8 – 9
The dog should consume 30% to 50% more calories than before pregnancy or up to 50% more food overall.
The dog is set to give birth in the next 24 hours if it refuses any nourishment. The shelter and veterinarian responsible for the new mother’s care must be contacted immediately for advice to protect the pregnant dog’s health.
The dog should not be pushed to eat at this time, a veterinarian may advise, and it has to be kept well-hydrated. The puppies pressing against the pregnant dog’s tummy will make her uncomfortable, so giving her smaller meals more frequently throughout the day will help her maintain her condition and nutrient levels.
Food can also be kept out for her all day so she can eat whenever she wants. During this critical time, ensure the shelter is informed of her health situation.
Week 10 – 14
Weeks 10 through 14: After the foster dog has given birth, multiply meal quantities by two to four to account for the breastfeeding period. Try moistening the food to encourage eating if the dog does not like her meals.
It’s crucial to seek guidance from a veterinarian as soon as possible if the dog refuses meals or vomits food. If you continue fostering the puppies, you can give the shelter or rescue organization a great head start on successful adoptions.
You can also learn helpful advice on Petfinder about feeding puppies, training them to go outside, puppy-proof your home, and stopping teething puppies from chewing on inappropriate objects.
Why Is It Crucial To Neuter Or Spay Dogs?
The essential next step in getting a foster dog ready for adoption comes after the puppies have been weaned, and that is spaying. Dogs should be spayed or neutered to help put a stop to homeless pets.
Regarding health, spaying or neutering can also lessen the danger of common malignancies, lower the frequency of uterine infections, reduce the risk of prostate cancer and testicular tumors, and lessen male dog behavioral problems.
So, A Dog Is Pregnant For How Long? During the third trimester, your dog’s pregnant tummy will grow more extensive and can sway slightly as she walks. Her mammary chain will enlarge, and she could start dribbling milk.
Your dog will likely have a more enormous appetite than usual, gradually decreasing as the due date approaches. Also, you might feel and see the puppies move during the final two weeks of pregnancy.
Your dog will probably start exploring for and preparing her birthing nest as her due date draws near. When mom needs a break, this can be as simple as a cardboard box or a dog bed with high enough sides to keep the puppies within.
Also, she would drag blankets into the nest and arrange them perfectly. Allow her to do what she must, but ensure the nesting and birthing location is kept in a temperature-controlled setting for the first several days, between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep your veterinarian’s number close if you have any concerns or questions in the final weeks of your pregnancy. Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog doesn’t go into labor on the 65-day due date or exhibits symptoms of dystocia (difficulty giving birth).
Frequently Asked Questions
How many months does a dog give birth?
On average, a dog is pregnant for 63 days or around two months. Because the breeding date and the date of conception don’t always coincide, trying to forecast when the baby will be born may be challenging. The size and breed of the dog may also affect the exact length of the pregnancy.
Do dogs carry a 9-month pregnancy?
How Long Do Dogs Pregnant For During Gestation? Dogs normally gestate for about 63 days after beginning, though this might vary by several days.
Are dogs pregnant for 12 weeks?
Dogs have a gestation period of around nine weeks, but the most impressive change occurs during that time. The puppy goes through additional growth and development after it is born before moving in with you.