Pregnancy Symptoms
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Animal Health

Signs of dog pregnancy?

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Answered 2011-08-07 14:53:33

Pregnancy in a female dog lasts nine weeks.

We determine the birthing date from the date of the first mating.

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 5 weeks.

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 rather enlarged.

There is normally no discharge during a pregnancy.

If you do see a discharge, then take her to the Veterinarian.

She may have an infection, or be losing the litter, or have developed a case of Pyometra, which, if left untreated, can kill her.

She needs a good exercise program, which involves a daily run to make sure all her muscles, including her uterine muscles, are in top condition.

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 depleted.




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 be.

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 anything.


Although animal whelping is a 'natural event' this does not mean that the animal does not get into serious trouble if left unattended.

Mother and puppies frequently die because the owner thoughtlessly left her alone during this crucial time.

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