If you are thinking about breeding your dog, or if you’ve just found out that your dog is expecting, you might be asking yourself, “how long are dogs pregnant?” This is one of the most common questions that pet owners in Matthews, NC ask when this situation arises. It is wise to be prepared for the entire process so that you can carefully keep track of the weeks that your dog will be pregnant.
Creating a litter of puppies can be a very exciting process and you will probably be anxious throughout the whole process. Knowing how long to expect your dog to be pregnant can help alleviate some of your worries along the way.
If you are ready to learn more about how long dogs are pregnant, then this article is the one for you!
How to Know if Your Dog is Pregnant
The first step is knowing if your dog is pregnant. You cannot start counting down the time that they will be pregnant until you know this important detail. This is easy information to collect, especially if you bred your dog on purpose to a local male dog or your own breeding dog.
You can use a hormone test, palpation, x-ray, or an ultrasound to be sure if your dog is pregnant. It is recommended that you involve a veterinarian in Matthews, NC in this process so that you can be sure that you are getting your dates right and have the information that you need to calculate a due date for your dog. Knowing if your dog is pregnant is the first important step to calculating a due date.
Knowing when the due date is within reason matters if you want to be sure that your dog’s delivery date is as close to correct as possible. You will want to make sure to get some help with this process to be sure that you are ready when your dog goes into labor.
Dog Heat Cycle Stages for Breeding
Not only is it important to know how long dogs are pregnant for, it’s also good to be aware of the breeding cycle stages for dogs. By knowing this information, you can know what to expect during the breeding process and how long each stage normally lasts.
Below are the breeding cycle stages for dogs:
Stage One – Proestrus
The first phase of the heat cycle process is Proestrus. This lasts for 9 days.
Stage Two – Estrus
The next step is Estrus and this stage lasts for 3-4 days. It can sometimes last for up to 11 days. It is during this stage that you will mate your dogs.
Stage Three – Diestrus
Diestrus is next and is the main phase that can signal a successful breeding. This phase takes place around day 14.
Your veterinarian in Matthews will use the diestrus stage as the indicator for when pregnancy should be calculated. Knowing what phase your dog’s pregnancy is in can help greatly in calculating a due date. This is only really possible through hormone tests, but later in the actual steps of the pregnancy, palpation, and ultrasound can be very informative about the stage that the pregnancy is in.
Stage Four – Anestrus
Anestrus is when the heat cycle ends and the true pregnancy begins.
How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?
Now that we’ve discussed how you know if your dog is expecting, it’s time to answer the common question of, “how long are dogs pregnant?”
The normal gestation period for most dogs is about 63 days from conception. This can vary a little, especially with a dog that is having its first litter. There is always a little wiggle room in the conception date since there can be about 48 hours that elapse before actual conception occurs.
Hormone measurements can tell you a lot about what stage of pregnancy your dog is in. Your vet in Matthews might use this information to help you to set your due date if you have brought the dog in close to when they were bred. The timeframe for pregnancy in dogs is only about 9 weeks, so that means that you will need to start thinking about figuring out the due date pretty soon after your dog is bred.
How Many Puppies Can a Dog Have in One Litter?
In smaller dogs, it can be hard to determine how many puppies are in one litter due to the small size of the uterus. There are expected numbers of puppies that are expected for each breed of dog. Smaller breed dogs almost always have 1-2 puppies while bigger dogs will have 3-6 puppies on average.
Some dog breeds are associated with difficulty in delivering puppies and getting pregnant. Breeds like Chihuahua, Jack Russell, and Bulldogs are well-known for having pregnancy struggles of various kinds. If you are thinking about breeding a dog, this is maybe not the most ideal set of breeds to start with for your first breeding process.
What Kind of Care Does a Pregnant Dog Need?
Now that you know the answer to, “how long are dogs pregnant,” it’s important to know the kind of care your pet will need. You might not be sure what kind of care to give to your dog while she is pregnant, and that’s okay! If this is your first litter, this is a reasonable question to ask. You should always consult with a vet in Matthews with questions about your pet’s health and overall wellness.
Below are some things to keep in mind when thinking about the kind of care your dog will need while she’s pregnant:
Appropriate Food Intake
You will want to feed her in the same way as usual until about the 6th week. At this stage, you will need to start increasing food intake. This can mean that you add another meal a day and you might switch to a food that your veterinarian recommends to support the development of puppies.
You do not want to have your dog get fat, but she will need extra energy to support the process of creating the puppies. In the last three weeks of your dog’s pregnancy, you should try to increase her food by up to one and half times as much as she was eating before she was pregnant.
Consult with Your Vet to Make Sure Your Dog and Puppies are Getting Proper Nutrition
Your vet in Matthews can advise you about the right ways to feed your dog during the pregnancy to make sure that her health and the health of the puppies are supported adequately. The gestation period goes by quickly for dogs and you do not want to fall behind on your care and put the puppies or the mother at a disadvantage at the end of the pregnancy.
Contact Caring Hearts Animal Hospital for More Information about “How Long are Dogs Pregnant?”
Overall, dogs are pregnant for a really brief amount of time. This means that from the moment that you know for sure that your dog is pregnant, you need to start preparing for the puppies that they will have. Many people think that their dog’s pregnancy will last for many weeks, but in reality, the process is over almost as soon as you know that it has begun.
Dog owners need to be ready to be on deck for all the stages of the delivery and care of the puppies as soon as they know that their dog is having puppies. Being ready in advance can make all the difference in your experience with your dog’s breeding. You will love the entire experience if you feel prepared and ready for the job.
When it comes to answering the question, “how long are dogs pregnant,” or offering advice on how to best prepare for this, our team at Caring Hearts Animal Hospital is here for you and your pet. Our veterinarians are dedicated to making sure your dog remains as healthy as possible during this time, and throughout their entire life. To make an appointment, you can schedule online or call us at (704) 893-2799.