Sep. 24.2020 | Updated: September 17, 2021

Dog’s Gestation All You Need to Know and Even More

dogs gestation

Dog’s gestation period is very exciting and significant, new life emerges from one cell to the cutest puppy. Nature creates this small ball of fur and happiness from the only one fertilized egg. The importance of it is huge. During this term, the dog has to be treated in the best way including food, conditions, and appropriate care. Each dog’s owner doesn’t have to neglect this information.

Let’s get to the point from the very beginning. Before getting pregnant the dog has to be in heat. The first heat time starts from 6 to 10 in small dog breed, 8-15 – medium breed, 10-18 – the large ones. It happens once in 6 months and extends from 16 to 21 days.

Dog’s Pregnancy Length

dog pregnancy length

How long are dogs pregnant? No exact duration, dog pregnancy timeline shakes from 55 to 70 days. Sometimes it can last till 75 days. It is explained by individual physical features and sometimes the dog’s breed. But there are some other reasons why it can be shorter or longer. As we have mentioned before, care, meal and even the temperature of a place can influence. Don’t forget about the health, age of your female dog, mind all injuries, problems have an impact on it.

Dog Pregnancy Stages

How many months is a dog’s pregnancy? Puppies’ gestation period longs 3 months, which can be subdivided into 3 stages.

The first – fertilized egg obtains a shape, then all organs including the heart (the third week) and parts of a body start forming.

The second – organs and skeleton and even claws are formed (50th day)

The third – all puppies are formed till 55-58th day, they change their position and start moving to the birth canal.

Dog’s Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week

dog gestation time

When can you tell if a dog is pregnant? You will be surprised, it is not so simple to distinguish. The first symptoms can be invisible or less visible, during the first and second weeks. You can confuse them with the tired, sleepy, or apathetic dog. But starting from the 20th day (the third week) you can mention the area of the mammary glands, the skin gradually swells up, the glands themselves get pinkish shade.

Nausea or vomiting are signs of toxaemia, that are caused by changes that happened in the endocrine system. It is a normal, natural period, do not worry too much, no special or difficult actions are required from the owner. The most vital thing to provide is access to clean water. Change it once or twice a day. Symptoms of toxicosis occur around the third week or the end of the first month of pregnancy. Pay attention, if toxaemia continues, and especially – increases, there is a strong necessity to consult a veterinarian to prevent intoxication, which can do a harm to a dog and puppies. The fourth week includes long sleep, sickness, discharge (vaginal), problems with appetite. Starting from the fifth week till day “x” you can point to abdominal growth in volume, especially in the ribs, palpation, behavior changes, and often urination.


Hygienic procedures have to be reduced to washing the paws after a street or walk. Eyes and ears have the usual treatment. Vets do not recommend to bath a dog during the whole pregnancy period and lactation. This can be done only in case of a strong necessity. Try to avoid rapid temperature fluctuations and draughts.

Changes in the House

After the second half of pregnancy, the owner has to change the interior. The dog’s body increases the weight, a female dog becomes less active, sleeps more. Larger bedding is of great importance for comfort.

Closer to puppy birth, the dog is looking for a suitable place for doing it. The place where the newborn puppies and mother will be kept should not be too cold or too hot. Necessary conditions include warm (average) air temperature, no draughts, and the possibility to walk, jump. A few days after the birth the bedding has to be protected from the rest of the space in order the puppies could not leave it. No loud noise, shouts, create a calm and cozy atmosphere.

Methods for Pregnancy Determination

puppies gestation period

Hormone tests – simple in usage, but cannot show the result till the 30th day.

Ultrasound diagnostic – fast, distinct, comfortable in usage, helps to see not only the number of puppies but check the heartbeat, examine the uterus’ condition.

Necessary to mention, diagnostics with ultrasound can be used after the 20-25th day of a dog’s pregnancy term.

XR – can be used after the 42-d day of pregnancy, shows the number of pups. but In comparison with ultrasound, it is less informative.

Palpation – the cheapest way to check the quantity. It is inferior to previous methods.

Symptomatic of False Pregnancy

A living organism is a complicated and hierarchy built system. Such factors as stress, illnesses, foodstuff, and some others can influence not only a human but an animal too. Having a high developing stage, dogs can understand and feel the same things people can. False pregnancy is a result of physiological or physical condition or as a result of any deviations in the activity of the genital glands. A dog can create a lair for future puppies, plays with toys, percepts them like real puppies (licks, holds). Certain lethargy towards walks can occur.

This dog behaves excited, worried, and even sometimes aggressive in most cases.

Be attentive, don’t confuse these symptoms with real ones, visit your vet.

The imaginary pregnancy can be eliminated by the owner by himself. For doing this, it is necessary to exclude all dairy products from the dog’s diet (milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, cheese, old milk, yogurt ), try to distract the animal as often as possible (take for a walk, amuse, swim, run, play), and give him various sedatives.

Termination of Gestation

dogs pregnancy term

If to start talking about the consequences of unplanned rutting, the opinions differ. Veterinarians realize all risks and can refuse to do it. .Most of them believe that the best solution is to get rid of puppies, while others, on the contrary, believe that puppy birth is a healthy process and categorically against termination of an unplanned pregnancy. But what about cases when it is necessary to do, because of some problems such as pelvic malformation, big dog mating when you understand puppies will be too big for your female dog and others. In this case, the choice is obvious.

These medicines contain a steroid hormone. The hormone includes the active substance estradiol benzoate. It has to be injected into the animal by intramuscular injection on the second and also the fourth day after the mating process. Take into consideration the time is time is uncertain, unknown, the same injection has to be repeated on the sixth day. Estradiol benzoate has many contradictions that can be harmful to health. Be careful, discuss it only with the vet doctor.

Take care of your best fluffy friend, be attentive, considerate, surround with love, and spend more time with your dog. They feel everything. Remember it.

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