Does a pregnant dog’s belly drop? What to Know

How Do You Tell If A Dog Is Pregnant By Nipples

Does a pregnant dog’s belly drop?

If you’re wondering how to tell if your dog is pregnant, one of the easiest ways is by looking at its nipples. Nipples in dogs can become inflamed and sore as they get pregnant. If you notice these changes, put an old T-shirt over them in between feedings. The swelling may also indicate an infection.

Pregnant dogs have swollen and darker nipples. Nipples are usually small and insignificant, but they will increase in size and shape during pregnancy. The nipples will also become more visible and may become darker in color, which indicates increased blood flow. The nipples may also leak milk when it is near labor.

Clubs Offering:

  • Breeding a dog is a big responsibility, and there’s a lot to learn about dog pregnancy and delivery.
  • A veterinarian can conduct diagnostic tests to find out if your dog is pregnant.
  • Learning the signs and timing of successful whelping will help ensure healthy puppies.
  • Welcoming a new litter of puppies into the world is very rewarding, but dog pregnancies can be confusing and stressful, as well as time-consuming and costly.

    If you are considering breeding your dog, there is so much information that you need to know. You should be familiar with your breed’s standard and individual breed health test recommendation, as well as the responsibilities you’ll have in raising healthy well-socialized puppies. You will also need to know the signs of pregnancy in dogs and how best to care for your pregnant bitch. Here are the answers to some of your questions.

    Dogs are pregnant for approximately 62-64 days, or about two months, although the Merck Veterinary Manual says, “predicting the timing of a delivery can be difficult because the date of breeding does not always match the date of conception. The length of pregnancy can also vary with breed and litter size.”

    Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC chief veterinary officer, explains that during the first month of pregnancy, the fertilized eggs travel to the uterine horn, where they embed themselves in the lining at about 15-18 days. Fetal growth is rapid during early pregnancy, and these swellings double in diameter every 7 days, according to Merck.

    By the end of the first month, a veterinarian can detect a fetal heartbeat, and the development speeds up into the second month as the embryos develop into recognizable puppies. At the end of the second month and the start of the third, the puppies are ready to be born.

    Can dogs sense labor is near?

    In addition to detecting illness, some dogs have reportedly been able to sense when a female owner is about to go into labor. Little is known about this phenomenon, but the prevailing belief is women may emit a special “labor scent” or give off other early physical cues.

    A Pregnant Dog’s Belly Was Absolutely Giant – But Her Owners Had No Clue How Many Pups Were In There

    Anyone whos ever been pregnant will be a bit envious after reading this tidbit: A dogs pregnancy is remarkably short—just two months—and the development of puppies happens at a rapid pace. “Gestation is 62 to 65 days,” Lonna J. Nielsen, DVM, of Winterset Veterinary Center in Winterset, Iowa, says. Certainly, you will notice changes in your momma dog, but most of the action is happening to the puppies inside her. Heres a week-by-week timeline of the gestation period.

    Note: Be sure to chat with your veterinarian about warning signs you should be on the lookout for during pregnancy and during the delivery (called whelping). You will want to know what things are normal and what is a cause for concern.

    Breeding occurs when the female dog is receptive to the male, usually, 10–20 days into her heat cycle, and her eggs are fertilized. Note that because canine ovulation results in a number of eggs, it is possible for dogs to conceive with more than one father in the same litter of puppies.

    Once fertilization occurs, the embryos travel into the horns of the dogs Y-shaped uterus and embed into the uterine lining.

    Embryo development is occurring. You may start to notice changes in your dogs appetite and energy levels.

    By days 25–28 of gestation, a veterinarian can feel the growing embryos with her hands (please leave this exam to a trusted professional so the pregnancy isnt put into jeopardy) and can detect heartbeats with an ultrasound. In the coming days, increasing fluid in the uterus will prevent the palpation of the puppies until closer to delivery. Your dogs appetite will increase as her litters development continues at a remarkable pace.

    “Have plenty of food available to her during these high-demand times,” Nielsen says. She also recommends feeding your pregnant and nursing dog a high-quality puppy food to ensure her nutritional needs are met.

    Your pregnant dog is now in stage two of her pregnancy. In this stage, the term for her yet-to-be-born puppies changes from embryos to fetuses. As the fetuses continue to grow and develop organs they will increase dramatically in weight (as much as 75 percent!) and your dogs belly will become noticeably larger. You may notice that she starts to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.

    The coats and skeletons of the fetuses are developing as your dogs belly becomes larger and more rigid and she might become uncomfortable depending on how many are in her litter and their sizes.

    You will notice your dogs breast tissue is swollen, her nipples are prominent and dark, and you may notice colostrum, a cloudy fluid known as “first milk” leaking from her nipples. She may start to shed the hair from her belly. You may also be able to see and feel the fetuses move beneath her skin.

    The puppies are now fully developed and beginning to move into position in the birth canal. You may notice a lot of movement in your dogs abdomen and she may be exhibiting anxiety or a determination to find a safe, quiet place to deliver her litter. Help her build her nest by offering her clean blankets, towels, and/or newspapers in a kiddie pool or crate or another enclosure that gives her privacy and comfort. Keep in mind the bedding in her nest will be ruined during the birth. You will want to have another set of bedding to line the nest after the birth.

    It is time for whelping. You may start taking your dogs temperature daily. “A rectal temperature is preferred,” Nielsen says. “Normal is 100.5–102 degrees Fahrenheit. Prior to delivery, her temperature will drop by a few degrees. Thats a sign that labor is very close—it will usually start within 24 hours.” Once labor begins, Nielsen says to keep an eye on your dogs progress, but let nature take its course. “Dont freak her out by having the whole family and all the neighbors over to watch,” she says. “Most often, it all goes off without a hitch.”