The greatest gift is when a dog becomes pregnant & everyone is expecting to have a new puppy. This is one of the most precious moments of our life. However, just like humans, pregnant dogs need to have a lot of care. Sometimes it may seem to be very stressful but as a dog, owner you need to have enough patience. You should be aware of the signs of pregnancy and watchful for the dog.
How long dogs are pregnant?
The very first thing you should understand is the gestation period in dogs. If you understand and know the period of pregnancy in dogs then it may help you to make emergencies, checkup and many more.
The direct answer is that dogs are pregnant for approximately 63 days or about two months. Initially, when a dog goes through the first month, their fertilized eggs move to the uterine horn. Those eggs then keep developing by embedding on the lining.
When the initial stage ends at the end of the first month, your vet will be able to detect the fetal heartbeat. By the second month the entire process moves forward & the in which the embryos develop and turns into the puppy. When the second month ends, the
By taking advantage of the instantaneous pregnancy test you can easily find out whether your dog is pregnant or not. Keep in mind that the pregnancy test is highly sensitive so you better to take the dog to the vet as soon as possible. There are four tests which can help you to determine the pregnancy of your dog
One of the easiest & the most effective way to determine the pregnancy of your dog is x-ray. If you are expecting to have a lot of puppies then Xray can be very beneficial. The best thing about it is that the spine and the fetal skull doesn’t seem to appear or the x-ray until the days of 42. To get the best result you need to enough patience for about 55 days because that’s when a Xray test can give you the most accurate result.
If you want to go for a test which won’t cost you too much then the palpation test is truly beneficial. The great news is that this palpation test is also a very convenient method for diagnosing pregnancy. When the fetus continues to develop the membranes around them starts developing & takes from like fluid-filled sacs. These sacs are normally known to be felt in between 20 to 35 days of gestation period.
Most of the vet like to take the hormone test when it comes to diagnosing the pregnancy of a dog. In this test, the vet releases the relaxin from the placental tissue when the dog is going through the pregnancy period. The best part about this test is that it gives a fairly accurate result. Also, keep in mind that if you want to get your dog for this test then the dog must be on 30 days into her gestation period because if you take the test before this period then it may show a false result
If you want to know the pregnancy status of the dog without delaying then this ultrasound test will be beneficial. You can take the dog for this test when the dog is going through her gestation period( between 25 to 35 days). The best part of the ultrasound test is that it can detect if the fetus is still alive or not by registering fetal heartbeats. The ultrasound test is also beneficial for determining the cause of uterine distention like pyometra.
How to detect whether a dog is pregnant or not?
Taking advantage of the diagnostic tests is the best & the most accurate way to tell if the dog is pregnant or not. Keep in mind that it’s not possible to detect the pregnancy of your dog by taking the help of the pregnancy test kit.
Your vet can tell if the dog is pregnant or not if you can tell the date you was bred. Your vet most likely will take advantage of the abdominal palationtst which starts at the 28th day during the gestation period. Depending on the size of your dog, the puppies are normally takes a form of little golf balls when this initial stage goes on. Be aware of the palpation test, because when a dog goes through this stage the puppies inside are highly sensitive, so you must take your dog to the vet otherwise accident might happen.
Another great way to diagnose a pregnant dog is the ultrasound test. You must take your dog to the vet when the dog is going through the gestation period of between 25 to 35 days. An ultrasound test is well known for having the most accurate result & it can also detect how many puppies you can expect to have.
Another alternative way of detecting the pregnancy is the gestation test, in this test vets normally evaluate the hormone level of the dog for making sure whether the dog is producing the hormone reaxin or not.
The safest way of detecting the pregnancy of a dog is the Xray test. If you want to take the Xray test for making sure if the dog is pregnant or not then this test will help a lot. However, the problem is you need to have enough patience & when the dog reaches at the 45 days then the Xray can be used.
Signs of pregnancy
There are some of the earlier sign when the dog becomes pregnant. IF you take a closer look you surely figure out if the dog is pregnant or not
A huge increase in appetite
An increase in the size of the nipple.
At the end of the pregnancy period, you will notice that the dog is having a large belly and the size of the nipple will increase.
Caring for the dog
Once you are sure that the dog is pregnant, it is your duty to give her the best food. Because the healthy nutrition plan will be seriously beneficial for the pregnant dog. However, if the bitch is having great quality food then you may not need to make any changes, but consulting with the ve will be best advis
e. As time goes by, make sure that the dog is having 40 percent more food than previous.
Regular visiting with the vet
To keep your dog healthy and happy you must consult with the vet whenever you see any problems. Since a pregnant dog is highly sensitive, you must take special care for her. TO get the best result it’s better to take ger for a checkup for at least 2 to 3 weeks later.
Your vet will tell you if he wants to take any test. When the dog reaches at the 3 weeks of the gestation period, the vet will suggest having the ultrasound test. Keep in mind that the ultrasound test is the safest test for a pregnant dog. The ultrasound takes advantage of the sound waves & then it creates an image of the womb.
Sometimes unusual things happen & people are completely unaware of it, this is why accidents happen. When your dog is pregnant you may notice some abnormal things, so if you see any of the following things, consult with your vet as soon as possible
The gestation period of your dog is crossing the 64 days
When the dog is delivering puppies, you may notice that the onset of abdominal contraction & a pup hasn’t been born after half an hour passed
Sometimes you may notice a puppy is stuck halfway & also the bitch becomes completely unable in giving birth to it.
Vaccination and the worming
During the 4th and 6th weeks of period of pregnancy, you should take the bitch for deworming. Keep in mind that if you do so then the newborn puppies won’t have any chance from getting affected from hookworms and roundworms. If you want to ensure the best immunity then it’s better to vaccinate your bitch before mating.
Few things to remember when a bitch is pregnant
Normally during the heat cycle, a bitch can become fertile
In normal cases, most of the bitches are seen to have the heat cycle every six months or annually.
Most of the times the pregnancy period of a dog usually lasts for 58 to 65 days.
By taking advantage of the ultrasound, palpating and the blood test you can detect whether the bicth is pregnant or not.
Breeding a bitch
If you want to breed your bitch then there are few things that you need to keep in m9ind,
You must make sure that your bitch is completely done with the vaccination
Sometimes if a bitch has worm issues then it can cause a serious problem later so you must take care of this issue. You can consult with the vet if necessary.
Some bitches are known to suffer from canine brucellosis (sexually transmitted disease) so make sure if your bitch is okay with it
Nutrition during pregnancy
It’s no wonder that a pregnant bitch needs a lot of foods so providing proper nutrition will not only help the dog but also the puppies that the bitch is carrying. You should provide supplements only when the vet recommends. A pregnant bitch needs a lot of protein so it’s a good idea that you feed the bitch healthy & high-quality food that contains protein. Premium dog food with meat protein is very beneficial. A pregnant bitch also needs to have exercised so you may take the bitch for a short walk. Walking is a simple exercise this is why it’s a perfect exercise for a pregnant bitch.
Matthew Frank was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a reputed author of Pet Therapy Dogs and Pet Dog Cat.
Matthew is a regular author of this blog who is studying Veterinary medicine at Purdue University.