A dog pregnancy can be a happy special time for both the dog and its owners. How you prepare for the birth of her puppies is important, especially if any pregnancy issues occur during the birthing process.
Beyond your dog’s weight gain or seeing her nipples grow in size, it is almost impossible for you to tell if your dog is pregnant without asking a vet to do a thorough examination.
Expert breeders can often tell if their dogs are pregnant, but being experts, they are used to the signs and symptoms a dog reveals during pregnancy. To the untrained eye, it can be very difficult.
We do recommend if you are going to breed your dog, make sure you breed it with the same breed of male dog to prevent mixed breed illnesses that can happen once the puppies are older.
Dog pregnancy is actually pretty much on the animal itself and if she’s done it before, she’ll be an old hat at it. Even new mothers seem to possess a certain animal instinct on giving birth.
There are some things you can do to help your dog during its pregnancy, however.
Make sure your dog is eating a good healthy diet and you should expect to feed her a little extra as time goes on since she will need the extra nourishment. At 35 weeks into the pregnancy your dog will double her diet and once nursing, she will triple it.
If your dog experiences a little nausea about three weeks into her pregnancy, that is normal and will go away much as it does in women.
There is no need to give your dog supplements like calcium—she’ll get enough of that in the food you give her.
Also, other supplements can harm the dog and her nursing ability once the babies are born, so don’t give your dog supplements unless you ask your veterinarian.
Just because your dog is pregnant does not mean it shouldn’t have exercise. Regular walking is a great idea and it is not the time for your dog to become obese.
During the dogs final three weeks of pregnancy, you should keep her walks to just her and you and avoid other dogs that might have worms or other parasite infections that your dog could get like heartworm.
Never have your pregnant dog vaccinated during her pregnancy or try and deal with flea control. All of this should be done before the dog is bred.
If your dog become pregnant by accident, see a vet immediately about vaccinations or fleas.
Your veterinarian can x-ray your dog around her 45 day mark and delivery usually comes between day 63 and day 68. If you do have your dog x-rayed, the veterinarian will be able to give you a good guess on how many puppies to expect.
Also, when it gets close to her due date, you can tell when she will go into labour by taking her temperature rectally on a regular basis. Dogs usually have a temperature between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
When your pregnant dog has a consistent temp of 100 degrees, she will most likely go into labour within twenty-four hours. Make sure you have an isolated and comfortable place for your pregnant dog to deliver her puppies and keep her and her newborns away from other animals and pets.
Dog pregnancy can last from six to twelve hours depending on the amount of puppies she delivers. She may seem restless and shiver and even pant.
All those are normal signs of the birthing process. A newborn can be expected every 45-60 minutes and each puppy born will be followed by an afterbirth.
Once they are born, the mother usually consumes the afterbirth and starts to clean her newborns.
In some dog pregnancy situations, you may need to call your veterinarian for help. There are some simple guidelines to follow to find out if you need to get your vet involved.
Call your vet if your pregnant dog struggles for over 60 minutes with no puppies produced. If more than four hours pass between the delivery of each pup, you should call your vet.
If your dog is in obvious pain or she is beyond 70 days of pregnancy, a vet should be notified. Pregnant dogs can often have a high temperature during and after the birth of her puppies and this is normal.
With most dog pregnancies, the dog will do all the work and you can enjoy the recreation of life. If your dog appears listless or has no interest in her puppies once they are born, call your vet to have your dog checked out.
All in all, watching your dog give birth is a special thing and, remember, she is their mother and will care for her newborns with her canine instincts.
Do not try and remove her puppies from her and let her nurse them and watch them grow to happy six-week puppies that you can play with and enjoy.
Do you have a Labrador Retriever pregnancy or whelping related question for our Vet? We'll answer it for FREE! Just fill out this form and our Vet will get back to you as soon as possible.
Please include information such as the sex, medical history, medications, changes in behavior, when symptoms first appeared and anything else you believe would be helpful. Please send a picture to help us understand the problem.
Questions are answered on a first come, first served basis and may take some time depending on the number we receive. If you have an urgent question, we suggest using this low cost online veterinary question service that has Vets standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Subscribe to Our Free Dog Health Newsletter and Get the eBook Pamper Your Dog for Free!