How to tell if your dog is pregnant? Irrespective of whether you are a professional breeder who wouldn’t mind a few more doggie members or a pet owner who will not be very happy to learn that her dog’s in the family way, reading the signs of pregnancy as early as possible is important. It helps provide the right care and timely nutrition and also prepare ahead for the birth.
The gestation period of a dog is approximately 63 days. In this section, we have discussed some of the commonly observed signs of dog pregnancy. They include the early signs of pregnancy as well as those prevailing during the later stages.
Here are dog pregnancy symptoms:
1. Morning sickness
Like us humans, bitches suffer morning sickness too. But, not all bitches display this symptom. During the first few weeks of pregnancy a bitch develops a nauseous feeling. They may vomit food or clear mucous. Such sickness may occur at any time of the day.
2. Weight gain
After few weeks of pregnancy, you notice that your dog puts on weight. This is the first most conspicuous symptom of pregnancy.
3. Enlarged mammary glands
Pregnant females display breast development. Within five to six weeks of pregnancy, the mammary glands get enlarged. The nipples become large and become more prominent.
4. Vaginal Discharge
At times, you may observe a clear vaginal discharge (resembles the white of an egg). Vaginal discharge is normal. However, it becomes a cause of concern if it develops a brown color and smells foul.
5. Changes to appetite
You will observe changes eating patterns. There is a decrease in appetite during the first few weeks of pregnancy. One month into her pregnancy her appetite is restored to normal. She may also start eating more than usual to sustain the developing fetuses. She may lose her appetite once again as she approaches her due date.
6. Energy and activity levels
Your pet’s energy level drops. Your pet appears to be more sluggish. She loses interest in playing. She spends most of her time sleeping and resting. The drop in the energy levels is a result of hormonal fluctuations. She prefers to spend time alone. The decline in the activity levels is observed during all the stages of pregnancy.
7. Growing abdomen
The growing pups will cause her abdomen to grow in size. The abdomen is not very visible till late pregnancy. In addition to being large, the abdomen appears more firm.
8. Body temperature
You should keep a track of her body temperature. The normal body temperature is 101 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature usually drops below 100 degrees Fahrenheit 24 hours before a dog’s delivery.
9. Behavioral changes
Major behavioral changes are another indication of dog pregnancy. Your bitch may become very attached suddenly or may prefer to live life in isolation. She may retire to a dark spot and may drag a few toys for entertainment. The nesting habits may drive your bitch to shred paper or dig at bedding. Your pet may also become irritable and restless. Restlessness and increased activity during the later stages of pregnancy such as pacing indicate that your dog is close to delivery.
10. Milk production
You may also observe milk production during the later stages of pregnancy.
If you suspect that your pet is pregnant, take her to the vet. Your vet will investigate the same with the help of a non-invasive process called palpitation, a blood test, an ultrasound or an X-ray. If the pregnancy is confirmed speak to your vet about the appropriate food choices and recommended fluid intake during this period.