You and Pregnant Dogs

A pregnant dog has a full litter of puppies growing within her which will have her going through several changes. The needs for your pregnant dog are going to increase. Before the big day of delivery for pregnant dogs, it will be highly important of you to be sure she will be in tip top health condition. So if you are planning to breed your dog, it is important that you know some of the important things about pregnant dogs. Here are some of them:

Signs or Symptoms of Dog Pregnancy

Three weeks after the female dog has mated, she may have an upset stomach and may be difficult to feed for about 1 week to 10 days. You can tell if your dog is pregnant by checking her vulva. The swelling of the vulva would not go down after her heat and the vulva looks enlarged. 30 days after mating, you can have your dog do a blood test to confirm if she is really pregnant. The nipples of pregnant dogs usually develop around 5 weeks after mating. By the 5th week, the nipples should look broader and bigger. At the 21st day after mating, you can have a veterinarian perform an ultrasound test on your dog and at the 45th day, a radiograph test can be taken to check how many puppies are inside.

How long does dog pregnancy take?

The gestation or pregnancy period for dogs is between 60 and 63 days. Start counting from the day she first mated.

The Right Diet for Pregnant Dogs

On her first 30 days or first month of pregnancy, you can give your dog her normal diet as long as the food contents are of high quality. On her last month, you can switch her diet to high-quality puppy foods but make sure to change the diet over a week's time. Never give your pregnant dog vitamin supplements because high quality foods already have the necessary nutrients she needs. You should also be aware that some vitamins may only cause birth defects.


Walking is the best exercise for pregnant dogs. It is very important that she doesn't become overweight during her pregnancy and because of her sensitive condition, walking is the only way to keep her in tip top shape for delivery.


Pregnant dogs do not ever get vaccination as some shots cause abortion. Remember to give
vaccination before the breeding process so that the protection from the vaccinations can be passed on to the puppies through the mother's milk.

Whelping Box

Two weeks before the expected delivery, you start preparing your pregnant dog's whelping box. The whelping box should be deep and wide enough to house the puppies until they are 4 to 6 weeks old. Cover the whelping box with sheets, newspapers, towels, etc. Never use anything that's important to you as puppy whelping is such a dirty business.

Body Temperature

One week before the whelping starts, it is advisable that the mother's temperature is taken rectally. A normal temperature of pregnant dogs is between 100.5 and 102.5; however, 24 hours before the whelping process, expect her temperature to drop by a few degrees.

Additional Information 

Pregnant dogs that are about whelp are never left alone. Many pregnant dogs need help in giving birth to their puppies and in some cases; a caesarian may be required to save both the life of the mother and the puppies.
Click Here to learn all the information you should about birthing puppies of pregnant dogs and know all the things you should have in your birthing kit!
I love all animals but have a special passion for dogs. I have several and breed. I want to help others who share the same passion as me.
Click here and get the facts you should know about pregnant dogs.

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