You’re probably noticing the size of your dog’s belly increasing these last few days. It’s not her getting fatter, but it’s because she’s pregnant! Congratulations, you’re going to see newborn puppies soon!
However, how long is a dog pregnant? What can you do as a dog owner to help your furry friend through this pregnancy period? Read on to find out all the answers you need about dogs’ pregnancy.
What are the first signs of pregnancy in a dog?
Besides showing weight gain, your dog has been showing other signs of pregnancy as well. These are some you should know and can detect:
- Nesting Behaviors
Dogs tend to build their nest from any material around them during the last few weeks of pregnancy. They can also be pretty sensitive during these times, so you better not get children around them.
- Unusual Behavior
If they’re not irritated and creating their nest, you may otherwise notice that your dog seems to snuggle more often to your side.
- Discolored and Enlarged Nipples
During the earlier stages of pregnancy, you can see your dog’s nipples grow and turn somewhat darker than usual. It’s also possible that the nipples leak milk sometimes.
- Changes in Appetite
Observe how her appetite changes. Is she eating less or even vomiting, or does she seem hungrier than usual? If these two situations apply to your furry friend, it’s because of their fluctuating hormone conditions.
- Decreased Activity
Lastly, if you also notice your dog getting less active or becoming quickly exhausted, then she’s probably pregnant. You can detect this by paying attention to their walks or how often she lies or snoozes.
How many weeks are dogs pregnant?
So you have spotted the signs of pregnancy on your dog. However, how long is a dog pregnant?
While it varies from dog to dog, generally, you can expect more or less 63 days from conception. Conception itself can be challenging to determine unless you regularly check your dog up to the vet. Your vet will probably do some hormone measurements as well to inform you of veterinary checkup schedules and potential due date, which will be helpful for you to prepare for the labor or whelp.
It’s safe to say that dogs’ pregnancy is about nine weeks in general. Experts often divide this period into three trimesters.
How many puppies can dogs have?
The thing about dogs’ pregnancy is that you can expect more than one puppy when they finally give birth. Knowing how many adorable pups will help you prepare the number of supplies later.
This question will largely depend on your dog’s breed, size, age, and health conditions. For instance, smaller dogs can have about 2 or 3 puppies, while medium-sized ones can give birth to 6 to 8. Bigger ones can probably have up to 14!
What can you do to feed a pregnant dog?
When your dog’s pregnant, it’s essential to pay close attention to what and how they eat. In a way, you’re also the mom for the new litters later! Here’s what you can do:
- Consider Feeding Her Puppy Food
High-quality puppy food contains more amounts of protein and energy since it’s designed specifically for puppies. With smoother digestible texture, puppy food is also more abundant in nutrients. Consuming puppy food can help to keep the mom energetic as well as transferring the nutrients to the litters.
- Keep Her Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is vital for both humans and dogs. Pregnant dogs, in particular, need your undivided attention when it comes to staying hydrated!
- Control Her Eating Intake
Even though your dog seems hungrier than usual, it’s highly suggested that you use controlled, measured portions to prevent her from overeating. It can inadvertently lead to obesity, which is one of the sources of issues during pregnancy and labor.
- Make Sure She Gets Nutrition She Needs
Otherwise, if she has less appetite than before or goes off their food, you can focus on giving her the food she likes. Kelly Roper, an expert in dog breeder and exhibitor, suggests incorporating nutritious ingredients in it, like cooked carrots or brown rice. If they still resist, you can temporarily give them vitamins until their appetite comes back again.
What can you do to prepare for dog labor?
Although dogs’ labors are faster and easier than humans, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to help or prepare for it. Here are some of our tips:
Build A Whelping Box
Find a spot that’s quiet, warm, and free from humans or other dogs. This privacy should make the dog feel safe when delivering the litters, which is why it’s better if you allocate some time to get her accustomed to it first.
Have Whelping Supply Checklist
Your vet may have already taught and given this checklist to you, but in case you want to re-check: dry and clean towels, warm water, soft bath mats for puppies’ bedding, and scissors to cut the umbilical cords. Don’t forget to have your phone with you if there are complications during the birthing process.
Wait and Observe
When the D-day comes, just trust your dog and wait for her to finish her process. Dogs’ labor lasts typically about 3 to 12 hours. Observe your dog from afar and try not to intervene. If the mom seems to be in discomfort or needs assistance during the birthing interval, step up readily with the information equipped by your vet or professional dog breeder.
After discovering all there is to know about dogs’ pregnancy, how long is a dog pregnant? Generally, it’ll take from around 58 to 68 days until you can see cute newborn puppies at home. We hope our article covers all you need to know about dogs’ pregnancy. Congratulations once again!