Signs of dog pregnancy?
Pregnancy in a female dog lasts nine weeks.
We determine the birthing date from the date of the first
Some bitches will whelp (deliver their puppies) anywhere from
day 59 to day 63.
As the owner, you will make no changes to her diet for the first
Often, in the 3rd week after mating, she will go off her food
for about 10 days.
You will notice that her vulva - the area around her vagina, did
not return to the normal small size it was before mating, but looks
There is normally no discharge during a pregnancy.
If you do see a discharge, then take her to the
She may have an infection, or be losing the litter, or have
developed a case of Pyometra, which, if left untreated, can kill
She needs a good exercise program, which involves a daily run to
make sure all her muscles, including her uterine muscles, are in
She also needs a very high quality diet.
This is not the time to scrimp on her feeding formula.
Mother Nature tries to insure the survival of the species, so if
the diet is lacking in any ingredient ,calcium or zinc for example,
the developing puppies ( whelps) will take from the mother's body
what they need to grow healthy, and therefore her body will become
DO NOT ADD ANY VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS IN THE FIRST MONTH OF
BIRTH DEFECTS WILL DEVELOP FROM TOO MUCH VITAMINS A & D.
DO NOT GIVE ANY MEDICINE NOW EITHER WITHOUT THE EXPRESS ORDER OF
At week 5, her nipples will become deep pink in colour, and you
may notice that she is thicker around the waist and broader around
the rib cage.
Now you should increase her feeding by 25%.
Give her a daily Vitamin supplement from your Veterinarian
At week 6, increase her feeding again by 25% and divide her
feedings into 2 meals a day.
You will notice that she is sleeping a little more now.
At week 7, increase her meal amount again by 25%.
Begin making preparations for the arrival of the puppies.
Build a whelping box for her and put it in a quiet room where
she will be undisturbed by other pets and people and in an area
that is easy to keep warm.
If you are putting the whelping box in a basement, then buy
heavy weight plastic drop cloths, to hang 'walls' from the ceiling
or beams to keep the heat inside the whelping box area.
Decide how you will heat the area where the new puppies will
It needs to be about 85 degrees until they are 3 weeks old.
A baseboard heater will do the job, as long as the dog cannot
get near the electical cord or get burned by the heater.
You'll need to have it out of reach.
You will need reams of newspapers for the puppy box.
At week 8, increase the feed again by 25%. She is now eating
double her normal amount.
Begin feeding her 3 times a day now and make the exercise time
shorter, but more frequent.
Walking will be very tiring for her and she is very
uncomfortable through the last week of the pregnancy.
Begin taking her temperature rectally twice a day.
The normal dog temperature is about 100.3F - 101.3F.
It will normally drop to about 98. degrees F 8 - 24 hours before
the onset of labour and she will refuse to eat or drink
NEVER EXPECT YOUR DOG TO DELIVER A LITTER BY HERSELF.
Although animal whelping is a 'natural event' this does not mean
that the animal does not get into serious trouble if left
Mother and puppies frequently die because the owner
thoughtlessly left her alone during this crucial time.