Dogs have been truthful companions to us, humans. They have played a big part in our lives. We even treat them as part of our families. That is why it is not new to us to find dogs in every home. Raising them up, we become dog parents who tries their best to give them a happy and healthy life. We share thousands of memories with them and as they age, we accompany them with their milestones. One milestone in a dog’s life especially on females is dog pregnancy.
Just like humans, dogs also get pregnant. Dog pregnancy is actually one of the most-searched topic about dogs in the internet. Of course, not all dog owners are veterinarians. Knowing your dog is pregnant might give you anxiety. There are these many question of “How-to’s” and “What if’s”. However, you all don’t need to worry anymore because Little Yorky will guide you in becoming dog parents and grandparents!
Before coming into details, we all need to know how our dogs get pregnant in the first place. Understanding this can help you, a dog parent, controlling their number. According to Purina, a friendly dog blog, dogs are able to get pregnant when they come into season, which happens about once every eight months. This fertile period is also known as ‘being in heat’, and lasts for up to three weeks. As well as getting pregnant during this time, your dog may get into altercations with males if she doesn’t feel quite ready to mate. Walking her on a lead during her season can help her to avoid any scuffles and, if you don’t want a male to mate with her, their amorous advances.
As pregnancy can be expensive and emotional for both you and your dog, breeding is often best left to the experts. If you’d like to avoid ending up with a pregnant dog, breeding is often best left to the experts. If you’d like to avoid your dog getting pregnant, you may want to consider getting her neutered. Neutering as defined by Blue Cross for Pets, means surgically preventing pets from reproducing. In males, the operation is called castration and in females it’s called spaying. So if you’re avoiding pregnancy for your dog, you may want to consider consulting your vet about neutering!
Signs of Dog Pregnancy
When our female dog is getting fatter and fatter, we always wonder whether she is pregnant. However, getting fatter is not the only sign of dog pregnancy. In here, we will be looking at 6 signs of dog pregnancy according to Doctors Foster and Smith in Love to Know:
1. Decreased Appetite and Vomiting
A lack of appetite is one of the earliest signs your female might be pregnant. Not all females go through this doggy version of "morning sickness," but some dogs do eat less during the first two weeks of gestation and make up for it later in the pregnancy.
If your pet does lose her appetite during the early weeks of dog pregnancy or throws up occasionally, don't try to force her to eat. You can tempt her with some boiled ground beef and rice mixed with her kibble, but try not to worry too much if she still doesn't want food. Most dogs won't skip more than a day or two without eating something. If she refuses food three days in a row, then it's time to call your vet for some advice.
2. Sudden Decrease in Activity
If your female is normally energetic, a sudden slowdown might be another indication she is pregnant. Just like some women, dogs may also experience feelings of exhaustion as their hormone levels change to support a growing embryo. This typically begins about two weeks into the pregnancy, and it may subside a few weeks later as she adjusts to her new condition.
3. Breast Development
Breast development is a good indicator your dog's body is going through pregnancy changes. The nipples of an unbred female are usually small, and the area beneath them feels flat. Once a pregnancy is in progress, the milk glands begin to develop beneath the nipples, which also enlarge slightly in preparation for eventual milk production and nursing. You should be able to feel a bit of development about two weeks after a breeding has taken place.
4. Change in Nipple Color
In addition to breast development, the nipple color becomes rosier, especially the last four to six nipples that are closest to the dog's hind legs. The nipples are usually a very light pinkish-gray, but they become flushed due to the increased blood flow to the area. This change takes place around the same time when breast development begins approximately two weeks after conception.
5. Behavioral Changes
Nearly all newly pregnant dogs display some behavior change. Some females become extra affectionate and may even cling to their owners as they become unsure about all the changes they're feeling. Other dogs turn a little grumpy and prefer to remain by themselves unless they actively seek their owner's company. Behavioral changes often happen as early as a few days after a successful breeding.
6. Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy
While vaginal discharge often occurs during a dog's pregnancy, it typically doesn't show up until about four weeks gestation or even later, so it's not regarded as an early sign a dog is expecting a litter. You should consult your vet right away if you see discharge before mid-pregnancy, especially if it's:
- Heavy bloody discharge
- Mucus tinged with blood
- Mucus that is any color other than clear or slightly cloudy
- Mucus that has a bad odor
Your female dog might have picked up an infection during her heat cycle or after mating.
The Veterinary Exam and Beyond
According to Love to Know, whether a breeding was planned or unplanned, it's a good idea to take your dog to the vet for an initial pregnancy exam to make sure her symptoms aren't related to an illness. If she is pregnant, she'll handle most of the pregnancy without assistance. Your primary job will be to:
- Provide her with the best nutrition you can.
- Make sure she gets moderate exercise - nothing too strenuous or tiring. You just want to help your dog stay toned and not become overweight.
- Make sure she has a comfortable place to rest as her belly grows.
- Keep household stress to a minimum.
- Prepare a box she'll use when she whelps her litter.
For now, you might be noticing some symptoms of pregnancy on your dog. Remember that more signs will start to show every week. If you really want to know whether it’s true or false pregnancy, you should seek the help of your veterinarian.
Always remember, dog pregnancy is a milestone to your dog, as responsible dog parents, we should be there guide them and cater their needs. If you’re going to be dog grandparents soon, Little Yorky is congratulating you!
Next Stop: Stages of Dog Pregnancy