How Long for Dog to Be Pregnant Before Giving Birth: Guide (2023)

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1If a dog is pregnant, how do you tell?

2How long for dog to be pregnant?

3How can i know for sure whether my dog is actually pregnant?

4What is the best time to see the vet with your pregnant dog?

5What are the different stages of pregnancy?

6In dogs, what are the indicators of pregnancy?

7How should a pregnant dog be cared for?

(Video) How Long Are Dogs Pregnant Before They Give Birth ?

8Watch Dog pregnancy week by week images | Video

9Top 5 FAQs and answers related to How long for dog to be pregnant


11Bottom up

Puppies are adorable and a lot of fun. Inexperienced breeders or those who have reserved puppies from a breeder may find it difficult to wait for the arrival of their puppies. It is fortunate for us (and for the dog) that the gestation period in dogs is significantly shorter than in humans. In terms of the length of a dog’s pregnancy, how long does it take?

New puppies are wonderful, but canine pregnancies are sometimes a complicated and stressful experience, as well as expensive and time-consuming.

There’s a lot to learn if you’re thinking about breeding your dog. If you want to raise healthy, well-adjusted puppies, you need be familiar with your breed’s standard and the recommended health tests for each specific breed within it. If your dog is expecting, you’ll want to be aware of the signs of pregnancy in dogs so you can provide the best care possible. Some of your inquiries have been addressed in the following.

If a dog is pregnant, how do you tell?

How Long for Dog to Be Pregnant Before Giving Birth: Guide (1)

Instantaneous pregnancy tests have been produced by humans, making it simple to tell if we are pregnant or not. Our dogs, on the other hand, have a more difficult time with this. If your dog is pregnant, you will most likely need to see a veterinarian. Pregnancy testing for dogs is time-sensitive, so be sure to tell your vet as much as you can about when your dog was last bred.

Pregnancy tests for dogs can be done using four different methods, all of which are available to veterinarians.

1. Hormone tests

Veterinarians can tell if a bitch is pregnant by testing for the hormone relaxin. Placental tissue secretes relaxin throughout pregnancy, making it an accurate diagnostic method. For the test to be accurate, the bitch must be at least 30 days into her pregnancy. False negatives can result from tests taken before to then.

2. Palpation

Pregnancy can be diagnosed by palpation, which is the cheapest and most convenient method. Fetal membranes expand to produce fluid-filled sacs as the foetuses mature. A 45-pound dog’s table tennis ball-sized sacs can be felt between days 21 and 35 of gestation (roughly three to four weeks). Squashes begin to lose their characteristic shape and the uterus begins to feel like it is filled with fat or has a pyometra after one month.

3. Ultrasounds

Ultrasound between 25 and 35 days into the pregnancy, a veterinarian can perform an ultrasound instead. It is possible to determine the approximate number of puppies a bitch is carrying via ultrasound. 2- to 3-fold faster than their mother, the puppies’ heartbeats.

4. X-rays

X-ray one of the best ways to tell if a babe is pregnant is to take x-rays. If you wait until the puppies are 55 days or older, an x-ray of their skeletons won’t show up. At this point, an x-ray will help you to get an accurate count of how many puppies your dog has, allowing you to know when it’s time to give birth.

How long for dog to be pregnant?

However, it might be difficult to estimate the time of a delivery, as the date of breeding may not necessarily match the date of conception. Breed and litter size can also affect the length of pregnancy.”

At around 15-18 days after fertilisation, according to dr. Jerry klein, akc chief veterinary officer, fertilised eggs go into the uterus’ horn and become embedded in the lining. Early in pregnancy, foetal growth is rapid, and these swellings, according to merck, double in diameter every seven days.

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Fetal heartbeats are detected towards the end of the first month and the embryos begin to develop into recognisable puppies in the second month. Puppies are ready to be born at the end of the second month and the beginning of the third.

How can i know for sure whether my dog is actually pregnant?

How Long for Dog to Be Pregnant Before Giving Birth: Guide (2)

It might be quite difficult to identify a dog’s pregnancy in its early stages. If a blood test detects pregnancy in dogs by measuring the hormone relaxing, false negatives might occur, especially if the dog is pregnant with only a few puppies (see handout “pregnancy testing in the dog”).

Even while a positive test indicates that a dog is pregnant at the time of the test, it does not guarantee that the pregnancy will succeed. If you’re concerned about the size of your uterus, a veterinarian can do trans-abdominal palpation, which involves touching the belly for signs of an enlarged uterus or individual foetal swellings.

However, the results can be unpredictable. Results can be affected more by the female dog’s level of calmness than by the veterinarian’s level of expertise in some situations.

For pregnancy diagnosis, abdominal ultrasonography is currently the preferred approach.

Currently, abdominal ultrasounds are the most often used tool to diagnose pregnancy. A positive diagnosis can be made in as little as three weeks, depending on the patient and the tools used. After the 28th day of pregnancy, most scans are considered trustworthy. Counting the number of foetuses accurately with an ultrasound is difficult because of the placement within the abdomen.

You should take an abdominal radiograph (x-ray) on all pregnant dogs in the last two weeks of pregnancy (usually around week seven) in order to know when your female has completed having puppies. This is the most accurate way to determine litter size.

What is the best time to see the vet with your pregnant dog?

Consult your veterinarian if you suspect your dog may be pregnant. After they’ve mated, it’s best to have them in for a prenatal visit within two or three weeks of that time.

Pregnant dogs should be fed a special diet, and your vet can tell you what to expect in terms of physical and behavioural changes. You’ll be informed by your veterinarian whether your pet requires any tests. Your veterinarian will take care of parasites if they’re found to be present.

At around four weeks of age, your veterinarian will be able to utilise ultrasonography to monitor the growth of your puppies. Pregnancy ultrasounds are very safe. It creates an image of your dog’s womb using sound waves.

A blood test to determine your dog’s hormone levels may be administered by the veterinarian. A hormone called relaxin is more abundant in pregnant dogs.

Once your dog reaches the fourth week of pregnancy, a veterinarian will be able to feel your dog’s stomach and confirm that puppies are on their way. For this treatment to work, it must be performed by a trained professional between the 28th and 35th days of pregnancy.

A miscarriage or injury to the puppies can occur if you handle them aggressively. Walnut-sized puppies are expected. The uterus is formed like a letter v, therefore they will be evenly spaced. Embryos will be implanted into each horn.

What are the different stages of pregnancy?

How Long for Dog to Be Pregnant Before Giving Birth: Guide (5)

Pregnancy in dogs is divided intodistinct stages:

Pregnancy in dogs is a rapid process. Dogs have short gestation periods, which means their pups develop swiftly in the womb over a period of two to three months.

The first trimester

Day 7 is when the embryos arrive at the uterine horns, and day 16 is when they’re fully implanted in the mucous membranes. A veterinarian should be able to identify foetal heartbeats on an ultrasound by day 28 or 30 of pregnancy.

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During the first three weeks of their pregnancy, many dogs show no signs at all. During the first month, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • An increase in hunger
  • The nipples are slightly larger.
  • A more empathetic attitude
  • Vaginal discharge that’s clean (around week four)
  • “morning sickness” is a term used to describe a decrease in physical activity.

It’s the second trimester

Fetuses begin to grow rapidly in the second month. Puppies develop bones and claws, as well as a coat, around the 45th to 50th day of pregnancy. Afterward, the expectant mother will start searching for a nesting location where she can give birth to her new pups in a few days’ time.

  • Pregnancy symptoms to look out for in your dog include:
  • Weight gain and an increased need for food
  • A greater need to urinate
  • An expanding rectum
  • The discharge from the urethra
  • Increased fondness or withdrawal from physical interaction

Pregnancy’s third trimester

During the final days of pregnancy, the pups will begin to shift into birthing position in the mother’s birth canal once they have reached their full developmental potential on day 58 of pregnancy. Restlessness, pacing, and a loss of appetite are all signs that the mother is soon to give birth. The body temperature also begins to fall 12 to 24 hours before the start of labour.

In order to facilitate the delivery of your dog’s puppies, you should prepare a whelping box. Give your pregnant dog a place to nest by covering a comfy box or bed in quilts, blankets, or towels. Preparation for labour will be done here when the time is right.

Pregnant dogs continue to be agitated and refuse food once labour begins. You could see obvious vaginal discharge and continue to vomit. Puppies will begin to arrive at that point. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to do the actual work. However, it should only last for about 24 hours. In the course of a day, puppies will come out one at a time. They shouldn’t come out every two hours.

In dogs, what are the indicators of pregnancy?

There are other ways to tell if a dog is pregnant, but diagnostic testing is the most accurate. You can spot these telltale indicators of a pregnant dog:

An increase in the desire for food.

  • Weight loss
  • The size of the nipple has grown
  • Larger-than-normal abdomen
  • Tires are more susceptible to flats.
  • A habit of nesting
  • A lot more loving
  • Irritability

Due to hormonal changes in the first several weeks, some dogs may vomit and lose their appetite. Sighing can be an indication of a fake pregnancy in some dogs, according to Dr. Klein. A bloated abdomen, increased hunger, and changes in body weight are also symptoms of various illnesses. You should take your dog to the vet for a checkup to rule out any more serious issues.

How should a pregnant dog be cared for?

How Long for Dog to Be Pregnant Before Giving Birth: Guide (7)

There are a few things you should do after determining that your dog is pregnant to ensure that she is as healthy as possible.

1. Eating a balanced diet

Maintaining good nourishment for your pregnant bitch is one of the most critical things you can do. A decent quality dog food and healthy weight are all that is needed for the first two-thirds of your dog’s pregnancy.

Unless your veterinarian tells you otherwise, you don’t need to make any adjustments to your dog’s diet. In fact, increasing the amount of food can be hazardous at this moment in the development process is a concern.

2. Exercise

Some veterinarians feel that reducing your dog’s vigorous exercise during the first two weeks of pregnancy would improve the implantation of the embryos if you’re trying to breed your dog.

After that, you can resume your dog’s normal activity routine as long as his stomach isn’t swollen. When your dog is pregnant, it is advisable to avoid vigorous exercise. As the mother-to-be needs her energy to carry and feed her puppies, dr. Klein recommends shorter and maybe more frequent walks.

3. Veterinary appointments

Take your dog to the vet for a pregnancy checkup before breeding her. Her immunizations should be up to date as well. Either a faecal exam to check for intestinal parasites or a de-worming medication tailored to your dog’s specific needs will be recommended by your veterinarian prior to mating.

In the third trimester of pregnancy (around day 40 of gestation), it is now believed that de-worming the pregnant dam with an appropriate de-wormer (fenbendazole) and continuing for at least 14 days after whelping will significantly reduce the amount of roundworm and hookworms in newborn puppies, allowing them to grow and thrive to their maximum potential

4. Preparation for the arrival of puppy

With each passing day, you’ll notice your dog’s nipples and breasts growing to their fullest size, and you may even detect some milky fluid coming from the milk glands as they expand. When she walks, she will notice that her abdomen has grown in size and may sway a little. Pregnant women may even be able to feel or hear the movement of their unborn babies.

Watch Dog pregnancy week by week images | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to How long for dog to be pregnant

How long does a dog’s pregnancy last?

The gestation period, another name for the time a dog spends pregnant, typically spans from 57 to 65 days on average. You should keep track of the exact day of mating when conducting a planned breeding. A baby is expected to be born between 63 and 65 days after two matings if the dates are noted.

Is it possible for a dog to carry a pregnancy for three whole months?

Pregnancy in dogs is a rapid process. Dogs have short gestation periods, which means their pups develop swiftly in the womb over a period of two to three months.

How many puppies can a dog have?

A typical litter size is from one to 12 puppies, with an average of five to six puppies. However, according to akc registration data, litter size varies per breed, just as every dog’s size, function, and personality are unique.

What is the location of a pregnant dog’s foetuses?

You should watch the mother closely to ensure that she allows all of the puppies to suckle within a few hours of being placed on her belly. Keep an eye on the pups to make sure they’re all breathing correctly and nursing properly.

Do pregnancy tests work on dogs?

Testing for pregnancy in humans does not work in dogs.
Human urine can be tested for this hormone using at-home pregnancy sticks. To get results quickly and accurately, humans use this method. Dogs cannot be screened for pregnancy via urine testing since they do not produce this hormone.

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How Long for Dog to Be Pregnant Before Giving Birth: Guide (9)

Taking care of a pregnant dog and preparing for the birth of pups can be a lot of effort if you aren’t prepared. Helping to raise the puppies also demands commitment and time. Challenges like these may be beyond your capabilities. The truth is that there is an overabundance of dogs in the world.

Every day, healthy canines are put down in animal shelters. 3 please consider having your pregnant dog spayed if you don’t want a litter (and thus terminating the pregnancy). If done early on, this can be done compassionately and properly, but it’s better and safer to do so before the baby is born.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you need help deciding what’s best for you and your dog.

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How many days before the pregnant dog give birth? ›

Pregnancy in dogs, also called the gestation period, normally ranges from 57-65 days with an average of 63 days. With a planned breeding, you should record the exact date of mating. If there are two matings, make a note of the dates and expect birth to occur between 63 and 65 days later.

Can a dog be pregnant for 72 days? ›

Canine pregnancy lasts for approximately 63 days, but ranges from 57 to 72 days from a single breeding. This is due to the variability in the ovulation timing and semen survival in the female dog. During this time hormonal and physical changes develop and are observed in the female.

How can you tell how far along your dog is? ›

How to Tell if Your Dog Is Pregnant
  1. Palpation If you know the date your dog was bred, your veterinarian can perform abdominal palpation starting at approximately the 28-30-day mark. ...
  2. Ultrasound Alternatively, your veterinarian can do an ultrasound between 25 and 35 days of gestation.

Do dogs give birth during the day or night? ›

Get hold of your vet's out-of-hours phone number prior to your dog giving birth, as delivery often happens during the night. Let your vet know your dog's due date (if they don't know already), so they know when to be on stand-by.

Are puppy due dates accurate? ›

With one or two time points, the calculation can be very accurate. Without them, even ultrasound and x-rays can have difficulty in narrowing down the due date to less than 3 days.

What does a 7 week pregnant dog look like? ›

Week Seven

You will notice your dog's breast tissue is swollen, her nipples are prominent and dark, and you may notice colostrum, a cloudy fluid known as "first milk" leaking from her nipples. She may start to shed the hair from her belly. You may also be able to see and feel the fetuses move beneath her skin.

How can I tell when my dog is about to have her puppies? ›

What are the Signs of a Dog in Labor?
  • Nesting. ...
  • Her Body Temperature Drops Below 100 Degrees. ...
  • She May Want You Around More. ...
  • She May Want You Around Less. ...
  • Vomiting. ...
  • Hardened Abdomen. ...
  • Incessant Licking of the Genital Area. ...
  • Enlargement of Mammary Glands.

How can you tell how many puppies a dog will have at home? ›

But the proper way to count puppies is to do an x-ray around the last week of her pregnancy when all the puppies' bones have formed so they'll show up on the x-ray. And that's the best way to count all the tiny skeletons and see how many puppies to expect.

Do dogs water break before birth? ›

Your dog's waters may break, which will be seen as clear fluid. In normal labour, your dog may show weak and infrequent straining for up to 2 hours (or at the most 4 hours) before giving birth to her first puppy.

Do dogs usually go over their due date? ›

Typically pregnancy in the dog lasts for 63 days, with some slight variation. However, a dog that is pregnant for over 66 days is not normal, and the vet should be contacted immediately. You may notice several changes in your dogs that can indicate that she is close to giving birth.

Can a dog have puppies at 53 days? ›

The normal gestation period for female dogs is approximately 63 days. Depending on the breed, pregnancy can range from 56 to 69 days, with smaller dogs generally giving birth slightly earlier.

Do most dogs give birth on their due date? ›

Most dogs whelp 62-64 days after ovulation date, not date of breeding. You should increase your dog's food intake starting three weeks prior to the due date. It should be increased gradually so that she is eating about 1-1/2 to 2 times her normal amount on the due day.

How can I tell when my dog is getting ready to give birth? ›

After the temperature drop, stage I labor begins, characterized by restlessness and anxiety. You may notice panting, pacing, refusal of food and maybe vomiting. Nesting behavior begins. This is the time to place her in the whelping box (hopefully she is already accustomed to the box).

Do dogs give birth before their due date? ›

Premature delivery does occur in dogs but it is not as common as you might think. Often these so-called premature deliveries have actually been an error in recording the mating dates or a miscalculation in gestation period (period of pregnancy), which is usually sixty-three (63) days.

Can a dog give birth at 50 days pregnant? ›

Gestation (Pregnancy) Period: 63 days but puppies can be born between 58 and 68 days. Pregnancy Detection: Pregnancy may be detected by your veterinarian at 26-35 days through feeling the abdomen.

How long is Stage 1 of dog labor? ›

The first stage usually lasts for 6-12 hours. Your dog may be seen to be restless, panting, shivering, pacing, nesting and wanting to go to a quiet area. Some dogs do not show any behavioural changes in the first stage. The second stage of labour is the fun part – giving birth to puppies!

What does nesting look like in dogs? ›

Nesting or the nesting instinct is typically defined as the motherly drive of a pregnant dog to prepare a safe location to have her puppies. That can mean dragging blankets to a new place, rearranging pillows, or squirreling away some laundry to lie on at the back of a closet.

Do dogs cry before giving birth? ›

ONSET OF LABOR: Within 6 to 24 hours of the onset of labor, the mother will become extremely nervous and restless (whining, crying, panting, shivering, wants in and out, refuses food, etc.). This is normal. At this time, take the mother outside of mild exercise and to go to the bathroom.

What do dogs do before they due? ›

The last few days before your dog passes you may notice: extreme weight loss, a distant look in their eyes, a lack of interest in anything, restlessness or unusual stillness, a change in the way that your dog smells, and a changed temperament.

What should my dog look like at 45 days pregnant? ›

The dog will start looking for a place to nest around this time, and she may appear anxious and irritable. Other symptoms of this trimester include: Enlarged, firm abdomen (days 45 to 50) Enlarged breasts (milky fluid may leak out)

How overdue Can a pregnant dog go? ›

If ovulation timing was done with progesterone levels, it is important to not let your dog go more than 1 to 2 days beyond due date without consulting with a veterinarian. If timing wasn't done, most dogs will whelp 63 days plus or minus 5 days from breeding (between 58 and 68 days).

How long after dogs water breaks do puppies come? ›

Stage 2 begins when the "water breaks".

You may see some of this water and later fetal membranes at the vulva. We would expect the first pup to be born within 4 hours of the time the "water breaks". The maximum time between pups is less than 4 hours and the maximum total time for delivery of the litter is 12 hours.

How can I speed up my dogs labor at home? ›

Some pet owners try to avoid these costs by using natural home remedies such as rubbing the mother's nipples which may help stimulate the production of hormones known to induce labor. Others believe walking the dog in short intervals can help along with massaging stomach muscles.

How many hours does a dog go into labor? ›

First Stage of Dog Labor: Start of Contractions

Your dog will act restless during this stage, travel in and out of the nesting box, pant, dig, and sometimes even vomit. She will likely refuse food. This stage can last as long as 12 hours.


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