Female dogs are able to get pregnant whenever they come into season, this happens after every eight months. This period of fertility is normally referred to as being in heat and usually lasts up to 3 weeks. Dog pregnancy lasts for a period of between 61 – 65 days. Dogs are pregnant for about 3 trimesters with each lasting twenty one days long. Pregnancy is often met with fear for human beings so it must be very tough for dogs. This is why it is important to know the common sign that mark a canine’s pregnancy so that you can help them to remain healthy during this difficult period.
10 ways to tell if your dog is pregnant
It is critical for pet owners to know how to tell if their dog is pregnant. It is good to always remember that the very first thing to do when you suspect your dog’s pregnancy is to quickly take her to a veterinary officer. There are many changes that occur in a dog’s body when she is pregnant and those are the signs to look for.
The following are 10 ways to tell if your dog is pregnant:
Change in eating habits
If there is a change in the eating habits of your dog, notably a decrease in her appetite then she might be pregnant. Many dogs usually eat less in their first weeks of gestation. The opposite is also possible. Owners should be keen to notice such shifts in diet quantities and try as much as possible to accommodate them.
Change in nipple color
When a dog is pregnant, there is a visible development in her nipples and this is followed by a color change. At first, the nipple coloring will only change slightly. The first 4 – 6 nipples close to the hind legs will be the first to change. The typical color of dog nipples is light pink or slightly grey when she is not pregnant. There are also not visible when she is not pregnant as they are covered in hair especially for breeds with long hair. The pink color of a dog’s nipples become stronger and may even appear flush on pregnancy. This is usually due to an increased blood flow in that region of her body.
Change in physical activity levels
The energy levels of a dog is a strong indication of her pregnancy. It is no surprise for dogs to quiet down once in a while but those with high energy rarely quite down. The only challenge with this method is that the loss of energy is not just at a single point in time but rather occurs whenever during the pregnancy. Dogs that are expectant require more energy to accommodate the growth and that is why her physical activity levels will decrease and she will tend to sleep more.
A pregnant dog will have an enlarged abdomen. This occurs in the middle and late stages of pregnancy. The weight of the dog can also be checked as it increases by 20% – 50% at around the 40th day of pregnancy.
All pregnant dogs are known to display some form of behavioral changes. There are female dogs that become clingy while others are quite affectionate towards their owners as they are not sure of the changes that they are feeling. On the other hand, some dogs get a little grumpy and will prefer to remain to themselves.
This sign is common even to human beings. A pregnant dog may vomit a little in the early stages of gestation. However, if the vomiting continues then the owner should notify a veterinary doctor.
Pregnant dogs experience an increase in vaginal discharge. This expected to occur about 4 weeks into the pregnancy.
Pregnant dogs tend to display territorial or nesting behavior. If owners notice such behavior then there is a high probability of pregnancy. This is normally displayed by the dog sleeping in the same area especially if it is quite large and protected.
Relaxin can be described as a hormone that is normally present at high levels when a dog is expectant. Elevated levels of relaxin can be tested by a veterinarian to establish the pregnancy of a dog.
Change in size
A pregnant dog will increase in size and will experience challenges in maneuverability. However, not all dogs carry a full litter thus their increase in size may not be noticeable.