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Dog In Pregnancy Sign

Dog in Pregnancy: Signs and What to Expect

Pregnancy in dogs, also known as gestation, is a beautiful and rewarding experience for both the expecting mother and her human companions. Understanding the signs and symptoms of pregnancy in dogs is crucial for providing optimal care and support throughout this special journey.

Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs

The gestation period in dogs typically lasts between 58 and 68 days, with an average of 63 days. The first signs of pregnancy may not be apparent until the third or fourth week, and can include:

  • Enlarged abdomen: The dog’s abdomen will gradually enlarge as the puppies grow.
  • Increased appetite: Pregnant dogs may have an increased appetite, especially during the second half of pregnancy.
  • Weight gain: Weight gain is a common sign of pregnancy, but it’s important to note that some dogs may not gain much weight.
  • Changes in behavior: Pregnant dogs may become more affectionate, clingy, or protective. They may also experience nesting behavior, such as gathering blankets or toys to create a comfortable den.
  • Vaginal discharge: A clear or slightly cloudy vaginal discharge may be present during pregnancy. However, any foul-smelling or bloody discharge should be reported to the veterinarian immediately.

Confirming Pregnancy

To confirm pregnancy in dogs, several methods can be used:

  • Physical examination: A veterinarian can manually palpate the dog’s abdomen to feel for the presence of puppies. This is typically done around 28-35 days after breeding.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound examination can provide a clear visualization of the puppies and their development. It can also be used to determine the number of puppies and their estimated due date.
  • Blood tests: A blood test can detect the presence of relaxin, a hormone produced during pregnancy.

What to Expect During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the dog’s body undergoes several changes to support the developing puppies:

  • Increased blood volume: The dog’s blood volume increases to meet the demands of the growing puppies.
  • Enlarged uterus: The uterus expands to accommodate the growing puppies.
  • Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones, such as progesterone, prepare the body for birth and lactation.
  • Weight gain: The dog’s weight will gradually increase as the puppies grow.
  • Behavioral changes: The dog may become more protective and affectionate, and may experience nesting behavior.

Nutritional Needs

Pregnant dogs have increased nutritional needs to support their own health and the development of the puppies. A high-quality diet formulated for pregnant dogs is essential. The diet should be rich in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients.

Exercise and Activity

Regular exercise is important for pregnant dogs, but it’s important to avoid strenuous activities. Moderate walks and swimming are good options for maintaining fitness.

Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary checkups are crucial during pregnancy to monitor the health of the mother and puppies. The veterinarian will perform physical examinations, ultrasounds, and blood tests to assess the progress of the pregnancy and ensure the well-being of all involved.

Preparing for Birth

As the due date approaches, it’s important to prepare for the birth of the puppies. This includes:

  • Creating a whelping box: A whelping box is a safe and comfortable place for the dog to give birth. It should be lined with clean towels or blankets and placed in a quiet, private area.
  • Gathering supplies: Essential supplies for the birth include sterile gloves, scissors, towels, and a heating pad.
  • Contacting the veterinarian: Keep the veterinarian’s contact information handy in case of any emergencies.


Pregnancy in dogs is a beautiful and rewarding experience that requires careful monitoring and support. By understanding the signs of pregnancy, confirming the diagnosis, providing appropriate care, and preparing for birth, you can ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and her precious puppies.

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