Whether you are a breeder or just raising a dog as a pet, the heat period is very important to take note of to ensure mating takes place and your dog becomes pregnant. many will love to see their dog giving birth to another dog of the characters.
If you are planning a dog’s pregnancy or you think that your dog is already pregnant, then there are a few things you should keep in mind.
There are always changes in the behavior and appearance of your dog when she becomes pregnant, just like in humans.
Being a dog owner, you should understand these symptoms, ascertain a true pregnancy, and prepare to manage the health of the dog and ensure safe and productive delivery.
Before discussing the symptoms, let’s clear some doubts.
Dogs can only get pregnant when they mate during the heat period ( which is also called the fertile period: this is when the egg is released for fertilization to take place).
This heat period usually comes every 8 months and lasts for about 3 weeks.
During the heat period, your dog can get pregnant successfully in 2 to 3 mating sessions once a healthy sperm of a male fertilizes the egg of the bitch.
It’s a misconception that some dog owner believes that mating has to take a long time or days before a dog gets pregnant.
Challenges of Dog pregnancy
- Some dogs may not find the mating partner attractive and this may cause difficulty in mating.
- The female dog may also not be ready psychologically even while on heat. hence engage in a fight with the male partner.
- It is important to consider the size of the female dog in choosing a mating partner to make it easy for the female
It is very important to take her on walking especially during this period since this will help in avoiding scuffles.
Sometimes, your dog will fake pregnancy and you’ll become confused about whether she’s pregnant or not.
The gestation period of a dog is about 9 weeks but the main challenge is the difficulty in recognizing the symptoms in the early stages.
In most the cases, you may not notice any significant physical changes in the dog.
Also, no kit can be used at home to test a dog for pregnancy. There’s nothing like a urine test for dogs.
How can you tell if your dog is pregnant at home, let’s talk about the symptoms to look out for
Changes in Appetite
Because of the hormonal changes in your female dog during early pregnancy, she may lose appetite and not feel like eating even for the day. In some dogs, there may no be changes in their appetite.
She may also experience nausea or mild vomiting during the first couple of weeks of pregnancy, there’s nothing to worry about here.
A decrease in physical and social activities
Your dog may not be as energetic as before pregnancy. She may be restless and not want to play with you. these are some of the symptoms to watch out for during the first few days or weeks of pregnancy.
Since false pregnancy will last for about 21 days, you can take your bitch to a vet after three weeks to be sure if the pregnancy is real after observing the above-mentioned symptoms in your dogs.
The vet doctor can now carry out a test on the hormone level, and further do an ultrasound test to know the number of puppies she’s carrying
Other symptoms to know if your dog is pregnant at home without taking her to the vet are also…
- The presence of mucus discharge and may occur almost one month after mating.
- The nipples of the dog will be enlarged and change in terms of color.
- Change in behavior in the morning: Similar to the morning sickness in human beings, dogs may also experience similar things and become sick in the morning but get better later.
- In about 45 days after pregnancy, the dog will be over the morning sickness, lack of appetite, restlessness, and some other symptoms but the belly will drop and the dog will increase in size at this time.
- The weight gain starts at about 35 days and will increase gradually as the pregnancy develop and may gain 50% of her normal weight before delivery.
- From about 58 days after pregnancy to the last week of pregnancy, you may observe the movement of the puppies in the womb of the dog and now, you can be getting prepared for the dog delivery and how to take good care of the pups.
These symptoms are common in pregnant dogs, however, it’s important to talk to your vet since some of these symptoms may also mean different things that may be dangerous to your dog.
Some dog breeds may also exhibit some different behavior during pregnancy.
For first-time dog mums, they may also not have some of these symptoms during their first pregnancy but when these symptoms are observed after mating during the fertile period, you can always guess right the pregnancy without any clinical test on the dog.