Pregnant Dogs

A Complete Guide on Pregnancy in Dogs

Are you a Dog owner? And yes, a female Dog? Then you have catch the right link. He we are giving you a Complete Guide on Pregnancy in Dogs.

Who doesn’t like the idea of having a house full of adorable puppies? We all do! As exciting as the idea of having pups in your home seems, the process of pregnancy in your dog could also be that complicated.. You will have a lot of responsibilities when taking care of your pregnant dog. In this article, we will discuss how you may take care of your dog through their pregnancy, including the symptoms, the duration of pregnancy, and other issues like false pregnancy.

Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs

Generally, dogs are pregnant for roughly 63 to 65 days, inclusive of the day they ovulate to the day they give birth. However, this may depend on the breed of your dog and other factors. The dogs show following signs if they are pregnant:

Early Signs 

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, your dog may not show any signs of pregnancy, making it difficult to tell whether she is pregnant or not. Some dogs, however, may exhibit symptoms of morning sickness. Even typically lively dogs may appear weary and inactive. They may also lose appetite and vomit after meals.

Later Signs

The dog’s belly appears to grow after 35–40 days, and her nipples begin to enlarge and darken. You can notice the swollen breast and the white fluid oozing from it as the due date draws near. You can indeed feel the puppies developing and moving inside your dog’s belly during the final two weeks of pregnancy.

Other signs include:

  • Decreased activity
  • Increased appetite and dissatisfaction in meal after first few weeks
  • Seeking of more affection
  • Weight gain
  • Nesting behaviors
  • Irritability in some dogs

False Pregnancy in Dogs 

Unspayed dogs are more likely to experience false pregnancies in which their hormones mislead them into believing they are pregnant and ready to give birth. 

Even their symptoms which begin after 4 to 9 weeks of previous heat period are the same as those of an actual pregnant dog. False pregnancy is experienced when progesterone levels in dogs see a sharp drop, while prolactin levels rise.

As soon as you see signs of a false pregnancy, take your dog to the veterinarian. An ultrasound test may be performed to determine whether your dog is actually pregnant. 

False pregnancy in dogs usually resolves on its own after 2-3 weeks without any treatment.

What to do if you Infer your Dog is Pregnant?

When you find that your dog is pregnant, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian right off the bat so that he may perform an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. After the pregnancy is confirmed, there are various things you must remember and take care of.

A Complete Guide on Pregnancy in Dogs
  • Feed them Proper Nutrition

A dog has very little room in her stomach for food during pregnancy. Due to this, it is preferable to feed your dog a small amount of food more frequently. After your dog has been confirmed to be pregnant for almost four weeks, it is necessary to feed her on a high-calorie diet with enough nutrients to keep her healthy. If you are unsure about what food to feed, your veterinarian will be able to recommend the best suited diet for your dog. But, you should be aware that all the foods that you consider healthy may not contain the necessary nutrients  such as calcium and phosphorus that are needed for pregnant dogs.  

  • Keep them isolated from other dogs

You should prevent your dog from coming into contact with other dogs three weeks before and three weeks after she gives birth. This is due to the likelihood of your dog contracting diseases like the herpes virus. Even though the virus may not harm the adult dogs, it may be life threatening for small puppies. 

  • Provide a proper nesting place

When your dog is near to the day of giving birth, provide her a warm and comfortable spot to nest. The space should be free of any disturbances as well as other pets. Also, there should be a sufficient area from which she can enter and exit comfortably whenever she wants.

  • Take your dog to regular vet check ups

Like with humans, it is important to appropriately monitor a dog’s pregnancy. You should start taking your dog in for routine examinations and vaccines as soon as you find that she is pregnant so that both her and the puppies are healthy. Moreover, fecal examinations should be performed to ensure that she doesn’t have any conditions that she might pass on to her puppies.

Treatment for Pregnant Dogs 

It is not practical to use flea, worm, and parasite treatments for pregnant dogs at home without first contacting a veterinarian. The unborn puppies can be protected by avoiding medications as much as possible as there are only a few safe treatments available for pregnant dogs. Fleas and other external and interior parasites like roundworms do need specific medical care. Since you do not want to expose the puppies to these parasites at birth, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.

Some treatments, such as continuing heartworm preventive medicine, are acceptable for dogs throughout pregnancy. All heartworm medications are safe to use on pregnant dogs. It is crucial to administer numerous roundworm and hookworm treatments to prevent the newborn puppies from catching them at birth. Yet not all flea medications for dogs during pregnancy are safe. So it is always a good idea to consult an experienced veterinarian. 

Signs the Dog Shows while Giving Birth

First stage lasts for around 6 to 12 hours in which your dog’s uterus will experience mild contraction. They will start to get very restless at this point and start to wander in and out of their nesting area. They will also begin digging, wheezing, and throwing up. Puppy birth will occur once they begin experiencing frequent and stronger contractions. 

Your dog will strain for about 10-15 minutes before giving birth to the puppies. They should give birth to one puppy within every 45 to 60 minutes. They may, however, take a 4-hour rest between puppies. If you see your dog taking a break for longer than four hours, take her to the vet immediately.  Surprisingly, unlike humans, it is normal for them to give birth with either head or tail at first. 

Immediately after the birth, the puppies will expel fetal membranes, which are a greenish-black in color. 

Don’t forget to look for symptoms like fever, lack of milk production, lethargy, or other anomalies. If such symptoms are noticed, take her to the vet right away. Moreover, let them know that your dog just had birth so that safe medications can be prescribed for her.

How to Take Care of your Pregnant Dog?

A pregnant dog, like a human, goes through significant changes in their weight, appetite, hormones, behavior, and so much more. They require more love and attention now than ever before.

A Complete Guide on Pregnancy in Dogs

During pregnancy, the dog will start eating more than one and a half times as much as she usually does. This is because she will need extra nutrition for her and her puppies to be strong and healthy. So, you must constantly remind yourself to stock up your dog’s food. Typically, the dog may eat more frequently but in smaller amounts if she is having morning sickness. 

Now, this could result in the obesity problem and a rise in blood sugar levels, which could put the mother and her puppies in danger. This does not imply that you should drastically alter the dog’s diet when she is pregnant. The best course of action could be to ask your pet’s veterinarian whether she has any issues with her blood sugar and act according to his suggestion.

Your pregnant dog needs exercise just like any other dog. The workout, meanwhile, should not be too tough and stressful for your dog. Frequent brief walks, mild play time, and enough attention are all beneficial workouts for pregnant dogs. You should not overstimulate the pregnant dog, but do not let her get sedentary either. 

Helping your Dog During Birth 

Whelping is the process of the dog giving birth to her puppies. It is a natural process in dogs, just like it is in other animals. So, they are capable of giving birth on their own without seeking any kind of help from their human as long as there are no any sort of complications. 

While giving birth, her instincts will guide her, but you can help by giving her and her puppies a secure, warm, and comforting space to allow for nature to take its course. The best thing you can do is to keep an eye on things from a distance and have a backup plan in place, such as your veterinarian’s contact number on speed dial, in case something goes wrong. You have no choice but to wait and see while she gives birth. You should not panic at all. The last thing you are expecting your dog to witness while giving birth is her human acting anxious and in fear!

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