First of all, congratulations are in order!
Embarking on the journey of dog pregnancy raises countless questions for pet owners. The waiting game, uncertainties, and lack of clarity often become overwhelming.
We have created this page that contains a dog pregnancy calendar and calculator, together with a ton of useful information that will help you and your dog get through this happy occasion like a breeze.
Dog Pregnancy Calculator
Please Note: Our Dog Pregnancy Calendar and Calculator Tool is meant for use solely as an estimation tool for the delivery date of a pregnant dog. Differences between individual dogs are not considered.
- How Long Do Dogs Stay Pregnant?
- How Do I Calculate A Dog’s Due Date?
- Signs of Dog Pregnancy
- How To Check If Your Dog is Pregnant?
- Dog Pregnancy Calendar: What To Expect Week by Week During Dog Pregnancy
- The Process of a Dog Giving Birth
- Postnatal Care For A Dog
- Dog Pregnancy Calendar and Calculator: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Do Dogs Stay Pregnant?
On average, a dog stays pregnant for an average gestation period of 63 days, or 2 months. This measurement is from the day of successful mating to the due date of delivery.
Our dog pregnancy calculator is designed around the above knowledge, but that being said, you know how nature works.
This means that it’s not set in stone, and it can vary between 58 and 68 days.
I also highly recommend that you mark this date on your calendar. Don’t wanna be caught unprepared!
How Do I Calculate A Dog’s Due Date?
To determine your dog’s due date without using our calculator, follow these simple steps:
- Note down the date when your dog mated. If the exact mating date is unknown, use the closest estimate you can remember.
- Grab yourself a calendar and now add 63 days to the mating date. This will be the approximate date for when the new pups are expected.
- Again, keep in mind that your dog’s delivery date normally ranges from 58 days to 68 days, with some dogs even going beyond 70 days. Calculate this range from the mating date to establishing a window of expected delivery dates.
- Mark these dates in your calendar to ensure you are prepared for your dog’s labor and delivery.
- 70 days and no babies yet? Contact your veterinarian right away.
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Signs of Dog Pregnancy
How can you tell if your furry friend is whelping soon? Read on to find out more!
- First, keep an eye on those physical and behavioral changes. Is your dog’s appetite going through wild swings, with a sudden surge or decrease in food cravings?
- Next, have you noticed getting bigger and heavier? Your dog will sure begin to experience weight gain due to the growing life within.
- Also, look closely at the lady’s nether regions. Ahem, I mean her nipples. Do they seem larger and maybe even sporting a different hue? They tend to become slightly larger, and its color will change to a deeper shade.
- And has she transformed into a nesting maniac? Gathering blankets, fluffing pillows, and preparing for motherhood like Martha Stewart on a caffeine-fueled crafting spree?
How To Check If Your Dog is Pregnant?
You have your suspicions, but how do you confirm it? Here are the most common ways to do so.
- If you’re aware of the specific mating date, your veterinarian can perform a palpation test 28 days after breeding to confirm the pregnancy.
- If you’re uncertain about the mating date, don’t worry. Your veterinarian can estimate the gestational age and due date by conducting a simple and painless ultrasound check.
- Another method to monitor your dog’s pregnancy progress is through an X-ray once the gestational process has advanced. But, during the early stages of pregnancy, the puppies may not be visible due to limited ossification.
- Lastly, your veterinarian may assess the level of relaxin, a hormone produced exclusively during pregnancy, to further investigate your dog’s condition.
Dog Pregnancy Calendar: What To Expect Week by Week During Dog Pregnancy
Week One (Trimester 1)
During the initial seven days after mating, ovulation and fertilization occur.
The fertilized eggs then travel and implant themselves into the uterine wall.
Identifying your dog’s ovulation period is vital for creating an accurate canine pregnancy calendar and predicting the due date.
It can be a bit tricky doing so, but tracking your dog’s heat cycle can help confirm ovulation.
Most dogs do not exhibit noticeable signs of pregnancy at this early stage, but hormonal changes are taking place within their bodies.
You might not notice any physical changes now, but some dogs may start to experience the occasional morning sickness.
During this stage, continue providing your dog with the best quality dog food, regular exercise, and playtime, just as before she became pregnant.
It is generally unnecessary to introduce nutritional supplements at this point unless advised by your veterinarian.
Week Two (Trimester 1)
In the second week of your dog’s pregnancy, the developing embryos begin a gradual growth process.
At this point, the embryos are still tiny and do not require significant calories for development, which means that you can continue feeding your dog the same diet as before.
However, what you can do now is to regularly measure your dog’s weight and closely monitor any changes.
Ideally, your dog’s weight should either remain the same or increase by no more than 10 percent until the end of the fifth week of pregnancy.
If you notice any weight loss, you should check in with your vet right away as it may pose a risk to the puppies.
You can continue exercising and playing with your dog as usual during these early days of pregnancy.
Grooming and bathing routines can also remain unchanged.
You will not need to introduce nutritional supplements unless specifically recommended by your veterinarian.
Week Three (Trimester 1)
In the third week of your dog’s pregnancy, the embryos begin to implant themselves into the uterine lining.
Within the protective membrane, they receive the necessary nutrients for proper growth and development.
At this stage, the puppies are less than one centimeter in size, so again, there won’t be any significant changes in your dog’s overall appearance.
Continue feeding and exercising your dog as you did before, making sure to maintain her regular routine.
Some dogs may experience an increased appetite around this time, and what you can do is slightly increase (5%) her portion sizes to meet the needs of the growing puppies.
BUT, it is still too early to make significant alterations, so avoid excessive feeding.
Week Four (Trimester 2)
The fourth week of the dog gestation calendar is a critical time when significant developments occur.
During this period, an experienced breeder or veterinarian can confirm the pregnancy by gently palpating your dog’s abdomen.
I highly recommend you leave this task to experts to prevent any harm to the unborn puppies.
Your veterinarian can perform an ultrasound to provide a rough estimation of the litter size.
By the middle of the fourth week, you should schedule a veterinary visit for your dog, even if she appears completely healthy.
In addition to checking the mother’s well-being and discussing litter size expectations, your veterinarian can identify any potential developmental deformities in the puppies.
By the end of the fourth week, the puppies will have grown to approximately one and a half centimeters in length.
Their facial features will begin to take shape, and they will develop eyes and a spine.
As the fourth week is a crucial stage of pregnancy, the puppies are at the highest risk of sustaining developmental abnormalities.
During this stage, it is important to limit rough play and avoid strenuous activities that may endanger the puppies.
While exercise should not be stopped entirely, caution should be exercised.
Opt for long walks instead of high-intensity exercises to reduce any risks.
This is also the best time to talk to your vet about your dog’s changing dietary needs. They may recommend supplements to support your dog’s delicate state and suggest appropriate food options.
Week Five (Trimester 2)
By the fifth week, the first stage of gestation, embryogenesis, comes to an end, and the second stage begins.
Puppies begin to form organs and rapidly gain weight, transitioning from embryos to fetuses.
The good news is that from this point onward, the puppies are less susceptible to developmental issues.
During this week, puppies will start developing individual toes, and their claws and whiskers start to grow.
They also develop their male and female organs, allowing your veterinarian to determine the genders of the puppies through an ultrasound.
At this stage of pregnancy, puppies start to gain weight more rapidly, resulting in a considerable increase in your dog’s weight as well.
It is also at this time when it becomes necessary to adjust your dog’s diet.
I recommend that Instead of two main meals, you can provide several smaller meals instead (up to 4 times a day).
Depending on your dog’s current diet, it may be appropriate to switch to a specially formulated food for pregnant dogs.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding your dog’s food, consult your veterinarian.
They can advise you on the appropriate amount of food she needs at this stage of pregnancy and may recommend the best food options for pregnant dogs.
Week Six (Trimester 2)
During the sixth week of your dog’s pregnancy, the growth and development of the puppies accelerate.
They acquire distinctive features, and their bones and skeleton begin to solidify.
During this time, your dog’s belly will noticeably enlarge, making her pregnancy evident to everyone.
If you have not done so already, you should be moving to high-quality dog food formulated for pregnant dogs to prevent nutrition and calorie deficiencies.
Unfortunately, some dogs may experience a decreased appetite during this stage due to pregnancy discomfort,
The thing is, you still need to ensure your dog continues to receive an adequate amount of calories to support the ongoing growth of the puppies.
If this happens, what you can do is offer several smaller meals or provide food for free feeding to ensure she receives sufficient nourishment.
Week Seven (Trimester 3)
By the seventh week of pregnancy, the puppies begin to develop hair, and their bones further solidify.
It’s also normal for your dog to shed hair from her belly as she prepares for the upcoming birth. You can rest easy as this is a typical behavior exhibited by dogs in preparation for giving birth.
During the seventh week of your dog’s pregnancy, it’s time for you to prepare for the arrival of the new puppies.
This is an ideal time to designate a quiet and safe area for whelping.
I highly recommend that you choose a location away from foot traffic where your dog can feel secure and comfortable when bringing her new puppies into the world.
Take into account that your dog will spend several weeks in her nursery after giving birth, so find a room that will not be needed for other purposes.
The chosen birthing area should be warm and easy to clean.
If you’re not anticipating frequent breeding, a simple whelping box made of cardboard and lined with blankets can do the job well enough.
Week Eight (Trimester 3)
By the eighth week, the puppies’ skeletons should be fully formed.
At this time, an x-ray can be performed by your veterinarian to confirm the exact size of the litter.
It’s not 100% required, so maybe talk to your vet about it first as you want to minimize any invasiveness to your dog at this point.
Right now, your dog can go into labor at any moment, so stay alert and ensure that everything is ready!
Around the end of the eighth week, your dog will begin lactating, which serves as a clear sign that she will go into labor soon.
Most dogs start lactating approximately a week before giving birth, providing a reliable indication of when the puppies will arrive.
You can also consider trimming the hair around her nipples and rear quarters to ensure your dog’s comfort during whelping.
Week Nine (Trimester 3)
Alright, your dog may start whelping at any time, so be prepared to welcome the new puppies!
Your dog will begin nesting in her whelping box and may exhibit restlessness and anxiety as she prepares for birth.
If your dog allows it, you can begin measuring her temperature as a potential indication of labor.
A drop of 1.8°F signals that labor will commence soon. However, refrain from doing this if it causes stress or discomfort to your dog.
When your dog goes into labor, try to remain calm and provide comfort and support.
Most dogs possess the instinctual knowledge to manage the birthing process on their own.
To ease your mind, inform your veterinarian that your dog has started whelping and keep them on standby in case any assistance is needed.
The Process of a Dog Giving Birth
The process of a dog delivering its babies, also referred to as whelping, can slightly differ depending on the breed and individual dog.
That said, there exist general stages and steps involved in the process.
Here’s an outline of the typical course of a dog giving birth:
- Nesting: The pregnant dog seeks a comfortable spot.
- Drop in Body Temperature: The dog’s body temperature decreases.
- Stage 1 Labor: Restlessness, nesting, and loss of appetite.
- Rupture of Membranes: The water breaks.
- Stronger Contractions: More frequent and intense contractions.
- Birth of Puppies: Puppies are delivered individually.
- Cleaning and Stimulating Puppies: Mother cleans and stimulates each puppy.
- Placenta Delivery: The mother delivers the placentas.
- Postpartum Care: Monitor mother and puppies’ well-being.
Postnatal Care For A Dog
Now that the puppies have come into our world, the job is almost done, but not quite yet.
Taking care of your dog and its babies after delivery is as important as during pre-natal and the delivery stage.
A lot of care and concern needs to be put in to ensure the health and well-being of both mother and children.
There are tons of resources around the internet that goes into detail, and here are my simplified tips to help you get started:
- Set up a clean and cozy space for the mother and puppies.
- Keep an eye on the mother’s health and behavior, and contact a vet if anything seems off.
- Watch the puppies closely for their growth and well-being.
- Feed the mother a good diet to support milk production.
- Give the mother a quiet area for nursing, and let her do her thing.
- Keep the whelping area clean to prevent infections.
- Schedule a vet visit for a postnatal check-up and vaccinations.
- Help the puppies socialize gradually with humans and other dogs.
- Enjoy bonding time between the mother, puppies, and your family.
Dog Pregnancy Calendar and Calculator: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When can a dog get pregnant?
A female dog can get pregnant once she reaches sexual maturity, which usually happens around six to nine months of age. That said, it’s generally recommended to wait until she is at least one to two years old before breeding, as it allows her body to fully develop and reduces potential health risks.
How much does a dog ultrasound cost?
The cost of a dog ultrasound can vary depending on factors like location, veterinary clinic, and the specific purpose of the ultrasound. It usually starts at $200, going up to $500. It’s best to check with your local vet for a more accurate estimate based on your dog’s needs.
How many puppies are there in the first litter?
The number of puppies in a first litter can vary widely depending on the breed and the individual dog. Factors such as the breed, health of the mother, and quality of care can all influence the final number.
Should your dog get a pregnancy ultrasound?
Getting a pregnancy ultrasound for your dog is not a must, but it can be helpful in knowing the number of puppies, their development, and potential complications. It provides valuable information for the health and care of the mother and puppies. Consulting with a veterinarian can help you decide if it’s necessary for your dog.
When would a dog start showing if pregnant?
A dog may start showing signs of pregnancy, such as a swollen abdomen or weight gain, around the third or fourth week after mating. However, it can vary between dogs. Some may not show noticeable signs until later in the pregnancy. If you suspect your dog is pregnant, consult with a veterinarian for confirmation.
Can a dog be pregnant for three months?
No, a dog cannot be pregnant for only three months. The average gestation period for dogs is around 63 days, which is roughly two months. If a dog is pregnant for longer than that, it may indicate a potential complication and veterinary attention should be sought.
Can a dog be pregnant for 70 days?
Yes, it is possible for a dog to be pregnant for approximately 70 days. The gestation period for dogs can range from 58 to 68 days, but some dogs may carry their pregnancy a bit longer. If you have concerns about your dog’s pregnancy duration, consult a veterinarian for guidance.