Gestation Period for Dogs: How Long is a Dog Pregnant
The pregnancy period of a bitch lasts for around sixty to sixty four days or approximately nine weeks. This time period may vary based on the dog and the size of her litter. So for dogs which have smaller litters you can expect the deadline to be extended by about a week. In case of a larger litter, the dog may deliver in 58 to 60 days as the pups run out of space. This breeding follows the fertile heat cycles in dogs which lasts for around 22 days. Once the dog is pregnant, she goes through the pregnancy stages which produces certain dog pregnancy signs. Here is a look at some of the common symptoms of a pregnant dog.
Dog Pregnancy Symptoms
Based on the dog pregnancy stages, the symptoms may vary. In the initial month, there are no outward symptoms of pregnancy in dogs. So after two to three days, the eggs are fertilized by the sperms and in around ten days, the eggs get implanted into the uterus lining. It is only after eighteen to nineteen days of the gestation period for dogs that you observe certain reliable symptoms of the pregnancy. Triggered off by the hormonal activity, the symptoms of early pregnancy include:
- Decrease in appetite (At around 20 to 28 days)
- Decrease in activity
- Growth of the nipples
- Abnormal dog behavior. This may include a seclusion from all attention or need for more attention.
Closer to the date of her delivery, you will find the dog all restless as she may go looking for appropriate places to nest. This nesting behavior may lead to your dog scrunching up newspapers, blankets or even tearing up your couch to find a suitable place for giving birth. Twelve hours prior to the delivery there is a drop in the body temperature of the dog from 101 to 98 degrees. This is a signal that the dog pregnancy is nearing its end and you can now enjoy your new batch of adorable puppies.
For diagnosing pregnancy in dogs, the veterinarian may recommend abdominal x-rays, ultrasounds and a complete physical examination. Most vets can tell a dog is around 30 days pregnant by feeling the dog's abdomen for uterine swelling for firm and discrete lumps. This can be difficult to diagnose if the dog is tense or overweight. Once you have understood as to how long is a dog pregnant, please consult a veterinarian for instructions on proper care of your pregnant dog.