If you’re a proud owner of a pregnant pooch, you might be wondering how long it will take for her to deliver her adorable puppies. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about your dog’s gestation period, from the signs of pregnancy to the stages of labor. Let’s get started!
Disclaimer: The medical/health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Read more.
Gestation Period for Dogs
The average gestation period for dogs is about 63 days, but it can vary depending on the breed, size, and health of your dog. Some dogs may give birth earlier or later than the average, so it’s important to consult your vet regularly and monitor your dog’s condition closely.
The first sign of pregnancy in dogs is usually a swollen vulva and a bloody discharge, which occurs about a week after mating. This is followed by other symptoms such as increased appetite, weight gain, enlarged nipples, behavioral changes, and nesting behavior.
However, some dogs may not show any obvious signs of pregnancy until the later stages, so the best way to confirm if your dog is pregnant is to take her to the vet for an ultrasound or a blood test.
The gestation period for dogs can be divided into three trimesters, each lasting about 21 days.
Here’s what you can expect in each trimester:
- First trimester: During this stage, your dog’s embryos will implant in her uterus and start developing into fetuses. You may not notice any physical changes in your dog yet, but she may experience some morning sickness, fatigue, and mood swings. You should feed your dog a high-quality diet and avoid any stress or strenuous exercise that could harm her or her puppies.
- Second trimester: This is when your dog’s belly will start to grow and her nipples will become more prominent. You may also notice some movement in her abdomen as the puppies kick and move around. Your dog will need more calories and nutrients to support her growing litter, so you should increase her food intake gradually and provide her with fresh water at all times. You should also continue to visit your vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations.
- Third trimester: This is the final stage of your dog’s pregnancy when her puppies are fully developed and ready to be born. Your dog may become more restless and anxious as she prepares for labor. She may also start producing milk and looking for a safe and comfortable place to give birth. You should prepare a whelping box for your dog and make sure it’s clean, warm, and cozy. You should also have an emergency kit ready in case of any complications during delivery.
When your dog goes into labor, she will exhibit some signs such as panting, shivering, licking her vulva, and having contractions.
Labor can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the number and size of the puppies and the position of the birth canal. You should stay calm and supportive of your dog, but avoid interfering with the natural process unless there is a problem.
If you notice any signs of distress or difficulty in your dog or her puppies, such as excessive bleeding, prolonged labor, green discharge, or stillbirth, you should call your vet immediately.
After your dog gives birth to her puppies, she will lick them clean and sever the umbilical cords. She will also expel the placenta for each puppy, which you should dispose of properly.
You should check if all the puppies are healthy and breathing normally, and if there are any runts or abnormalities. You should also count the number of placentas and make sure they match the number of puppies, as any retained placenta could cause infection or hemorrhage in your dog.
You should let your dog bond with her puppies and nurse them as soon as possible. You should also provide your dog with plenty of food and water, as she will need a lot of energy and hydration to produce milk for her litter.
You should monitor your dog and her puppies closely for the first few weeks and watch out for any signs of illness or infection. You should also schedule a postnatal check-up for your dog and her puppies at your vet within 24 hours of delivery.
Congratulations! You’ve just witnessed one of the most amazing miracles of nature: the birth of new life.
We hope this blog post has helped you understand more about your dog’s gestation period and what to expect during this exciting time. Remember to enjoy every moment with your furry family and give them all the love and care they deserve!