Although it may vary by a few days from dog to dog or due to a few factors but a dog is pregnant for approximately 2 months and one week or for 63 or 65 days. If you lost track of your calculations from the date of mating, a veterinarian will be able to tell how far gone your dog’s pregnancy is and sometimes when exactly your dog will give birth through some scans and test will you can trust to be very accurate.
When a woman is pregnant, normally her pregnancy is divided into three trimesters of 3 months in 3 places to make up 9 months, it is the same with when a dog is pregnant. Her pregnancy is also divided into three trimester of 21 days in 2 places with the last trimester being about 22 days or 23days to make up 9 weeks and sometimes a few days.
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How Many Months Is A Dog Pregnant For
Just like in human beings, there are some straight forward signs of pregnancy that are visible when a woman is pregnant it is just the same in dogs except pregnancy in dogs is difficult to know accurate if your dog is pregnant or not without carrying out veterinary tests or scans most especially in the first few weeks of your dog’s pregnancy.
Your dog’s nipples has grow bigger and you automatically think she is pregnant ignoring the possible fact that there are some medical health conditions that may result in swelling of the nipples. So if you suspect your dog is pregnant especially in a case of unplanned mating, go to the veterinarian to run tests.
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Earlier symptoms of pregnancy in dogs
As stated above in the earlier stage of pregnancy in dog’s they will show the fewest signs. Some pregnant dogs may add some weight but of course there may be other reasons your dog has gained weight.
Most dogs do not show noticeable or accurate pregnancy symptoms until around the fourth week when pregnant dogs suffer from mild fever, lack of appetite, tiredness, morning sickness, drowsiness.
However these symptoms are also related to other health problems aside pregnancy so you should better still go to the vet for pregnancy tests. Some dog’s suffer from morning sickness like vomiting, if your dog vomits while pregnant, you should feed her little portion of food per meal throughout the day.
When you want to do a pregnancy test by feeling her belly for enlarged uterus or hardening belly it can be done around day 25 or 28. This should be done by a veterinarian and only a veterinarian because you need to be gentle and doing it yourself can cause harm to the mother and her fetus or even cause a miscarriage.
Later symptoms of pregnancy in dogs
After the first few weeks or at the second trimester at around 40 days of pregnancy her stomach will be enlarged and will still be growing, around the same time her nipples will become darker and bigger and they may start bringing milk already ( this is normal), but if you think anything is wrong, consult with your veterinarian.
Few weeks to your dog’s date of delivery, when she walks around her stomach will sway and move from side to side. Soon you will be able to feel the movement of all her puppies inside her stomach, this will happen around 2 or 1 week before she gives birth.
The Gestation period (Pregnancy) in dogs
Before pregnancy a dog must have mated to become pregnant and before mating occurs the dog must first be in her heat period (Mensuration). If your dog has been spayed, she will not attain her heat period but other wise a dog attains heat about once in every six months.
In humans menstruation cycle lasts for about 20 to 25 days while in dogs their heat cycle lasts for about 18 to 21 days. About 9 days into her heat cycle, your female dog will be receptive to a male dog, but might not allow mating until later and after mating has occurred, your female dog should be pregnant In the next 3 to 11 days.
When she is now pregnant, it takes 22 days for formation to start. When the sperm has been deposited, the embryo(s) starts to move through the uterine horn by day 7. The embryo will reach it’s destination the lining of the uterine by day 16. And lastly the fetus(s) will begin to take form into tiny puppies.
The heartbeat of the fetuses will be heard by a vet using an ultrasound by day 28 or day 30. By day 32, the eyelids of the puppies will start to form. By day 35 the toes will be formed. By day 40, the tiny claws will start to form. And by day 45, the skeleton and skin or coat will be formed.
By the time the pregnancy is 50 days old, using an x-ray a veterinarian will be able to see clearly the skeletons of the puppies and the number of skeletons will tell how many puppies to expect in the litter. All the puppies in the womb will be completely formed by day 58 of the pregnancy.
Labor and child birth (Whelping) in dogs
At around one week to her delivery, your dog will start to look for a safe place for her to give birth. And this Is why you should make a whelping box for your dog once you know she is pregnant and let her stay there so she gets comfortable with the whelping box.
Labor can last for about 3 to 4 days with contractions at intervals. If this is your first time breeding your dog, you should get a veterinarian to be there in case of any complications.
In dogs, there are three stages of labor and the first stage of labor goes on for up to 12 and 24 hours. In this 12 to 24 hours, there may be no signs in the outside but your dog may show some signs of distress such as panting, restlessness, walking around, refusing to stand up showing that contractions has started in the uterus.
The second stage of labor is the pushing and birthing stage, this can take up to a day or two depending on the number of puppies because the mother may push out each puppy around every 30 minutes to 1 hour but she should not take more than two hours to birth a puppy.
If you are birthing alone this is where the number of puppies shown on the x-ray comes in handy so you know when the whelping is over.
Now as stage three if birthing, this is when all the puppies has been born and the placenta is on its way. Stage three should not take long, in some cases the placenta comes out shortly after stage two other take a few minutes, but stage three should not last too long.
Different pregnancy tests for dogs
Since signs of pregnancy in dogs are not straight forward, you need to do veterinary pregnancy tests to be sure plus at different stages of the pregnancy, your veterinarian will take tests.
Your veterinarian will be able to check how pregnant your dog is by feeling her abdomen at around 28daysof pregnancy. Do not try to do this yourself except your veterinarian shows you how to and even at that, be gentle. At 28days, what you are feeling will be around the size of a grape fruit.
Around day 35, your veterinarian will be able to hear the heart beat of the puppies using a ultrasound scan and the vet will also be able to see how many puppies are there in the uterus, but a more accurate number will be given with an x-ray.
Another way to know if your dog is pregnant is through a blood test. The body of a dog releases a type of hormone only when it is pregnant, so your veterinarian will be able to test for the hormone called “hormone relaxin” .
To know accurately to number of puppies your dog is having, an x-ray has to be done later at around day 46 or 56. When the x- ray is done close to the delivery date, the better the accuracy of the number of puppies.
Prevention of pregnancy in dogs
As a pet owner, when your dog has attained sexual maturity or is at last up to one year old, you should have her tested for several health conditions that can be transferred from her to her offspring that is hereditary diseases or sickness and have her spayed if you find out she is unfit to breed.
But if you just do not want to breed her, you can still get her spayed immediately she reaches sexual maturity. The problem then arises when you do not want to have her spayed and you also do not want to breed her. You will have no choice than to be very careful with her, you should never leave her alone especially around other dogs.
You will have to be extra careful when she is in her heat period because during heat female dog’s have an attractive scent that will be appealing to male dogs.
You should also have it in mind that there are hundreds of thousands of dogs in the united states and other countries without a home so be careful about dog breeding so as not to add to the population of dogs.