It`s quite difficult to find out if your quadruped is pregnant, but a careful master will always be aware of these signs, so he can offer his dog the care and protection it needs.
When between a male and female dog took place a sexual contact, the chances for the female to remain pregnant are quite high. Along with the pregnancy, the female dog`s body pass through a series of changes that can be noticed.
A simple blood test and an X-ray examination are usually enough to detect the pregnancy, but this is only possible if you visit a veterinarian. However, if you want to know the visit to the vet whether your dog is pregnant or not, follow the signs.
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How Is a Female Dog Manifesting in Heat?
Before anything, let`s find out more about the canine cycle. A dog reaches sexual maturity at 4 – 8 months, depending on the breed. When a female dog is in heat, it`s actually ready to ovulate and then, to become a mother. Basically, we are discussing about a few processes that are succeeded and repeat with the purpose of releasing one or more eggs. The cycle of a female dog is manifested during 4 different stages. – More info!
The first stage is known as proestrus, which is characterized by an increased follicular activity (folliculogenesis). The symptoms include swelling and bleeding of the vulva. During this time, the female dog will be drawn by males, but it won`t be receptive to them. In general, this stage lasts between 6 and 11 days, with an average of 9 days. The ending of this cycle is noticed when the female dog becomes receptive to males.
The second stage is estrus. In this stage, the dominant follicles are developing, and the estrogens are secreted, leading to the dog`s sexual receptivity. The vulvar fluid has a yellowish color, reaching a light pink, and the vulva, although still swollen, will be softer. The female dog is now receptive to males and will accept them. This stage usually lasts between 5 and 9 days. Unfortunately, this may last up to 20 days and still be normal. Each dog is different and needs to be closely monitored. The ending of this stage is characterized by the fact that the female dog is no longer accepting males.
The next stage is known as diestrus, a period of non-receptivity when corpus luteum, which produces progesterone, is active on the ovary. It lasts between 56 – 58 days in pregnant female dogs, and between 60 and 100 days in female dogs that haven`t had any sexual contact with a male.
The last stage is known as anestrus, and during this stage there`s no ovarian activity. This is the longest stage, lasting between 4 and 5 months. Normally, a female dog is in heat twice a year. But due to a hormonal imbalance, these stages may accelerate and the heats may occur more often. – More details!
The pregnancy period in dogs may last averagely for 62 days.
How Do You Know if your Dog Is Pregnant?
Depending on the size and length of the dog`s coat, the pregnancy can be visible sooner or later. Most changes start to occur after around 20 – 30 days of conception.
1. Physical Changes
- Increased Nipples – This is among the first signs that you can notice in a dog. Once it`s pregnant, its body will produce hormones which will make its nipples to grow considerably. They`ll gradually grow, and in the last stage of the pregnancy, they`ll double their volume. Therefore, the female dog will be ready to breastfeed its puppies immediately after birth.
- Increased Abdomen – Additionally to increased nipples, the dog will go through other physical changes as well. One of them is the increased volume of the abdomen. With the growth of the puppies, its belly will increase considerably. Its size differs depending on the number of the puppies that they female dog has in its womb. Once the pregnancy evolves, you can notice the puppies moving in the belly.
During the last week of pregnancy, the abdomen will have the same appearance of an inflated balloon. Now, the dogs with short legs may have problems moving around.
- Weight Gain – During pregnancy, the female dog will gain weight due to the increased placenta and the development of the puppies. Most of the times, this sign cannot be noticed during the first stage of pregnancy. – Learn more info!
2. Behavioral Changes
Behavioral changes differ from one specimen to another. While some dogs will be less active compared with the previous period, others will want more affection from their master. Also, there may be cases when the quadruped will become more withdrawn.
- Changes of Appetite – During the first stage of pregnancy, the dog will lose its appetite. While the pregnancy evolves, after around 2 weeks, its appetite will return to normal and will continue to increase. The dog will eat smaller portions of food at a single meal, but it will want to eat more often. – Click this!
Also, you might notice changes in the amount of water consumed.
- Longer Sleep – During pregnancy, a lot of female dogs change their daily routine. They`ll sleep longer and will spend less time playing or running after you, like it used to do. These changes are that much more visible as the animal is more active than usually.
- Morning Sickness – During the first few weeks, some dogs may experience nausea. They especially occur in the morning, but they may appear throughout the day as well. Generally, these states don`t last more than 2 weeks and won`t cause any issues if they`ll stay hydrated.
If you notice your dog doesn`t drink water or doesn`t eat for a longer period of time, take it to the vet immediately. – Learn more!
- Searching for a Place to Give Birth – When the due date is near, the female dog will look for a quite place to give birth to its puppies. Some dogs may be found trying to pull sheets or blankets after them to take them to that place, while others will prefer to rest in that location. However, this isn`t a general rule! Some dogs choose to give birth to their puppies in the place where they are used to sleep, even if that place is your bed or a special basket for dogs.
In case that they animal sleep in your bed, it`s time to create a place only for him. You can choose from a pet shop a bed of bigger sizes which can cover both the dog and its puppies, or you can build one on your own. You only need a box of bigger sizes, a piece of plastic big enough to cover the bottom of the box, an old blanket and a sheet.
If you do this even from early pregnancy, the dog will be able to familiarize with the desired place.
3. Make a visit to the Veterinarian
As soon as you notice the first pregnancy signs of your dog or you suspect that it may be pregnant, it`s best to make a visit to your vet for confirmation.
If your suspicions are confirmed, the vet will advise you how to take care of it during this period. Also, he`ll have to examine it to make sure that both the female dog and its future puppies are healthy. He`ll also tell you when it`s necessary to present yourself with the dog at any future routine controls during the following weeks or if it needs medical assistance at birth. – Visit this link!
Do Dogs Throw Up When They Are Pregnant?
Morning sickness and nausea affects some dogs, but not all of them and just for a couple of days during the third and fourth week. This basically occurs due to hormonal changes. If you see your dog feeling tired and eating less than regularly, you may expect for it to throw up at some point.
Do Dogs Have a Discharge when Pregnant?
Vaginal discharges are completely normal for any dog during pregnancy, as long as they aren`t bloody discharges. If you see anything else than pink-tinged or mucous discharges, this calls out for a visit to the veterinarian.