Pregnancy Process in Dogs, Symptoms and Pregnant Dog Nutrition

Dog Health

Pregnancy in dogs is a process that should be followed carefully and at the end of which joyful moments are witnessed. Knowing the period-specific needs of pregnant dogs is very important both to protect their own health and to bring healthy puppies into the world. Although the duration of dog pregnancy may vary according to breeds, it usually lasts between 62-64 days, and this period can cause situations that our friends can have both physiological and psychological difficulties. In this article, you can find information about pregnancy symptoms in dogs, pregnancy diagnosis in dogs and pregnant dog nutrition.

Pregnancy Symptoms in Dogs

Pregnant dog symptoms can vary at different stages of pregnancy. For this reason, it would be more accurate to examine the early pregnancy symptoms in dogs and the late pregnancy symptoms in dogs separately; In this way, both the symptoms can be observed more clearly and the needs can be met completely during the dog pregnancy period.

pregnant dog lying on a blue blanket

Early Pregnancy Symptoms in Dogs and Diagnosing Pregnancy in Dogs

In the first few weeks, a noticeable change may not be noticed, even if a small amount of weight is gained, the possibility of pregnancy may not be considered. When it comes to the 3rd and 4th weeks of pregnancy, some dogs may experience morning sickness due to hormonal changes. Pregnant dogs may begin to show signs of fatigue during this period, their appetite may decrease compared to normal, and some pregnant dogs may have a tendency to vomit. The meals of those who have vomiting problems should be reduced and the frequency of meals should be increased. During this period, transparent vaginal discharge may also occur in dogs.

It is important to visit the veterinarian if dogs are suspected of being pregnant. Since the dog pregnancy test cannot be done at home, it is necessary to consult with experts. It is recommended that dogs are taken to veterinarian visits and prenatal examinations are completed in the 2 and 3 weeks after planned mating. If pregnancy is diagnosed in dogs, treatment processes are initiated, if necessary, after the completion of the appropriate nutrition plan and general health examinations.

Safe imaging of puppies with ultrasound is possible during the vet visit. At the fourth week of pregnancy, the uterus of a pregnant dog can be visualized using sound waves. Alternatively, blood tests can be done to measure hormone values, as the hormone levels of relaxin increase in pregnant dogs. About 6 weeks after mating, significant differences in relaxin levels occur between pregnant and non-pregnant dogs. The value which is 3.5 ng/ml in pregnant dogs is below 0.5 ng/ml in non-pregnant dogs. Pregnancy diagnosis can be made easily by determining the changes in hormones.

If veterinary visits have not occurred in the first four weeks of pregnancy, it can be said that after this period, veterinarians can confirm the pregnancy when they examine the pregnant dog’s abdomen. However, this verification process should only be done by specialist veterinarians between 28th and 35th days of pregnancy. Touching the abdomen harshly can harm the puppies.

Late Pregnancy Symptoms in Dogs and Pregnancy Tracking in Dogs

Pregnant dogs experience more noticeable changes in the second month. They gain weight, their appetite increases noticeably, their urine needs increase, and their vaginal discharge, which is encountered in the early period, continues. From the 40th day of pregnancy, the nipples of pregnant dogs begin to darken and enlarge. As the birth approaches, there is an increase in volume in the breasts and sometimes a liquid such as milk may drip. After diagnosis of pregnancy in dogs, veterinarians may request a re-appointment for this period; Imaging methods can be used to monitor the bone development of the offspring and to determine the number of offspring.

As time passes, dogs’ bellies get larger and their level of activity decreases. In the last 2 weeks of pregnancy, the movements of the puppies in the abdomen can be observed. The last veterinary checks should also be done during this process. Thus, the question marks about whether the offspring can easily pass through the birth canal can be eliminated. If the birth canal is too narrow for the passage of the puppies or if the puppies are too large, cesarean section is planned.

Pregnant Dog Behaviors

Pregnant dog symptoms can vary from dog to dog. Although pregnant dog behaviors are sometimes difficult to predict, it can be said that during pregnancy, dogs can be more affectionate than usual, become restless, and display behaviors to create their homes.

Pregnant dogs can have focus problems. Dogs, which are always known for their calmness, can attract attention with their extremely active state. As the pregnancy progresses, it is possible for them to become irritable, angry and impatient. In the same process, they can also start exploring safe and undisturbed places that they will adopt as a home. It is necessary to be understanding in the face of behavioral changes that may occur in dogs during pregnancy, so that they can more easily adapt to the physiological and psychological changes they experience.

pregnant dog lying in bed

Pregnant Dog Nutrition

Dogs should be fed with food specially formulated for their age, breed and activity level. For our friends who need a healthy and balanced diet at all stages of their lives, nutrition during pregnancy should be planned more carefully than ever before. It should not be ignored that they need more calories and nutrients daily during the feeding of pregnant dogs, it is recommended that they be fed with quality puppy food. You can visit our puppy food category here, review the product contents and make the right choice for your pregnant dog. By halfway through pregnancy, daily calorie intake should be approximately doubled. It is recommended to continue this diet during breastfeeding as well. Dogs usually do not need a special vitamin or mineral supplement when they consume quality food suitable for pregnancy. However, each dog’s requirement may be different. Veterinarians’ recommendations should be followed when they need to use supplements to protect both their own health and the health of their offspring.

How Long Does a Dog Pregnancy Last?

Pregnancy in dogs lasts for about 62-64 days. This is the average duration, breeds of dogs and the number of puppies can cause variation for the dog gestation period. It is not very possible to predict the time of birth in dogs, mainly because the mating time and the onset of pregnancy do not always coincide.

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