Pregnancy in Dogs: How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?

How Long Are Dogs Pregnant

For those who love dogs, the appearance of puppies is a joyful event. Like with human pregnancy, canine pregnancy can be confusing and stressful. If your pet is expecting puppies, you need to be aware of this, including caring for a pregnant dog. Keep reading this article to learn all about a dog’s pregnancy.

How To Identify a Pregnant Dog?

For dogs, as well as for other pets, there are no special pregnancy tests that can be bought at a veterinary pharmacy. This means that you must rely on other methods. The most accurate of these is diagnostic testing. So, for example, by the end of the first month, the embryos are easy to palpate – they feel like small golf balls or grapes – depending on the size of the dog. These “balloons” are fluid-filled sacs that surround the embryo. Palpation is a difficult task, so it is not recommended to do it yourself without sufficient knowledge.

Your veterinarian might also do an ultrasound to ascertain whether your dog is pregnant. The fetal heartbeat can be heard through an ultrasound, which can also count the puppies and determine their sizes. X-rays can occasionally be used to identify a dog’s pregnancy. We firmly advise against doing this. First, radiation poses a risk to both dogs and developing embryos. Second, x-rays of puppies in the early stages do not show the skeletal systems.

How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?

In animals, the actual pregnancy lasts just two months. It’s crucial to not miss estrus because dogs only mate during a very specific window of time known as “hunting.” The size and breed of the dog affect the frequency of heat. While some dog breeds often go into heat for six to four months, others do so for ten to twelve months. Only during the “hunting” period, which can last anywhere from one day to seven to nine days, is mating possible. The likelihood of the next estrus rose if the owner misjudged the day of “hunting” or did not have enough time to recognize the start of estrus.

Pregnancy in dogs develops very specifically. First, the time of mating and the moment of fertilization are completely unrelated. The egg can be fertilized immediately after mating. If there were no mature eggs during mating, then fertilization can take several days, up to a week. So it’s completely impossible to know exactly from what day to count the beginning of pregnancy. For convenience, the first day of pregnancy is usually taken as the day of the first mating. The duration of pregnancy in dogs is, on average, two months. A more accurate period depends on the size and breed.

Caring for a Pregnant Dog

Once you have confirmed that your dog is pregnant, there are certain rules and guidelines you must follow to help keep her healthy during this period.

Making sure your pet is getting the proper nutrition is among the most crucial things you can do for her. There is no need to alter the dog’s diet if he consumes high-quality food and has no health issues. The advice of a veterinarian is the exception. Based on the veterinarian’s advice, increase the amount of food as the pregnancy goes on. Allow for frequent but smaller-sized meals. If not, nausea or vomiting can happen.

Regular veterinary check-ups will help keep your dog healthy during pregnancy. During regular visits, the specialist may prescribe injections, blood sampling, additional ultrasounds, etc. 

Dogs giving birth 

Unlike humans, dogs usually give birth easily and don’t need help. Your role is to provide assistance when needed. Each puppy is born enclosed in its own placental membrane. In most cases, the mother tears off this membrane, sometimes eating it. If she doesn’t, you will have to remove it, as the puppies won’t be able to survive in it for more than a few minutes due to the low supply of oxygen inside.

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