Female dogs typically give birth 63 days following conception, with some variances ranging from 56 to 70 days depending on the exact period of fertilization in relation to mating. This step-by-step guide explains what to expect during your dog’s pregnancy and provides practical tips and crucial information to make things go as smoothly as possible.
After reading this fact, everybody who has ever been pregnant would feel a little jealous: Just two months are required for a dog to get pregnant, and the growth of the puppies proceeds quickly. You will undoubtedly see changes in your mother dog, but the activity primarily focuses on the puppies inside her. Here is a chronology of the gestation period broken down each week.
Note: Just as humans need doctor appointments throughout pregnancy, dogs need veterinary care before, during, and after they become pregnant. Be careful to ask your veterinarian what symptoms to watch out for during pregnancy and during birth (called whelping). You’ll want to know what is typical and what should raise your alarm.
Week 1: Mating
Breeding happens when the female dog is receptive to the male, and her eggs are fertilized, normally occurring 10-20 days into her heat cycle. Because canine ovulation produces many eggs, it is feasible for dogs to have many fathers in the same litter of puppies.
Week 2: Maintainance
After fertilization, the embryos move into the horns of the Y-shaped uterus of the dog and embed into the uterine lining.
Week 3: Nidation
Embryo development is taking place. Changes in your dog’s appetite and energy levels may occur.
Week 4: Confirm Gestation (Pregnancy)
By days 25-28 of pregnancy, a veterinarian may feel the developing embryos with her hands (please leave this exam to a trained specialist to avoid jeopardizing the pregnancy) and identify heartbeats with an ultrasound. The rising fluid in the uterus will prevent the pups from being palpated until closer to birth. Your dog’s hunger will grow as her litter develops at an astonishing rate.
Make sure she has enough food accessible during these peak periods. She also suggests providing high-quality puppy food to your pregnant or nursing dog to satisfy her nutritional needs.
Week 5: Foetal Stage
Your pregnant dog is currently in her second trimester. Her unborn puppies are now referred to be fetuses rather than embryos. The weight of the developing fetuses will increase considerably (up to 75 percent!) as their organs continue to grow and mature. And the tummy of your dog will enlarge significantly. You could see that she began to eat more often and in smaller portions throughout the day.
Week 6: The Turning Point
The fetuses’ coats and skeletons are growing as your dog’s tummy gets bigger and stiffer, and depending on how many and what size they are, she may feel uncomfortable.
Week 7: Hair
Your dog will have enlarged breast tissue and prominent, black nipples, and you could observe colostrum, or “first milk,” dribbling from her nipples. She could start losing her tummy hair. The babies may also be moving beneath her skin, which you may be able to see and feel.
Week 8: X-Ray
The puppies have reached full development and are starting to position themselves in the delivery canal. Your dog may be expressing nervousness or resolve to locate a secure, peaceful location to birth her litter if you detect a lot of movement in her abdomen.
Week 9: The Final Countdown
The whelping time arrives. You might begin checking your dog’s temperature every day. According to Nielsen, a rectal temperature is recommended. “Temperatures between 100.5 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit are considered normal. Her fever will dip a bit just before giving birth. That means labor will start soon—usually within the next 24 hours.” Once labor starts, monitor your dog’s development but leave nature to its own devices. Advised not to scare her by inviting the family and the neighbors around to see them. Most of the time, nothing goes wrong.”
Whelping: Giving Birth
In general, most bitches do pretty well on their own. Your primary responsibility is to provide her with peaceful surroundings and a soothing presence. However, if you have any concerns ahead of time, see your veterinarian. Labor can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Check on your bitch every 15 minutes or so to make sure everything is fine, but don’t show her if you’re afraid.
If your bitch does not tear open the foetal sack herself after the first puppy is born, you can do it yourself while wearing disposable gloves over clean hands. The following puppies will be delivered anywhere from a few minutes to four hours later. Most puppies are delivered within 1-2 hours of the last puppy, though this might vary significantly.
Remember that it is typical for some puppies to be born with their back feet first, which is wrongly referred to as the “breech” position in dogs (this is actually when the bottom is delivered first, with back feet tucked forwards). It is natural for your bitch to devour the placenta as soon.