How to Determine if A Pet Dog is Pregnant?

Sep 24, 2023

How to Determine if A Pet Dog is Pregnant?

Generally, dogs are naturally bred or artificially inseminated. So how can we determine if a dog is pregnant after mating? In the early stages of mating, the changes in dogs are relatively small, so we can only wait patiently. After two weeks, some dogs may experience a decrease in appetite. Around 25 days after mating, the nipples of the female dog will slowly turn red, and by day 35, the nipples have turned pink and are slowly growing larger and drooping. By day 45, the nipples are significantly swollen and drooping. The belly also starts to swell up. This may indicate that the dog is pregnant.

Most female dogs can be positively identified as pregnant approximately 45 days after mating, especially with multiple pregnancies, but there are also some dogs that have given birth before or have few offspring, whose changes may be relatively small and difficult to judge by eye. In these cases, we can continue to observe for another week.

Generally, dogs will begin to experience pregnancy reactions such as decreased appetite and vomiting after mating for about two weeks. Later on, their breasts will develop redness and their bellies will become enlarged and bloated. However, false pregnancies can also occur, even with symptoms such as breast secretions, which can be a dead end. Some dogs may also experience bleeding from their private parts a week after mating, which is called "return of blood" and has a high chance of being pregnant. I have personally encountered many situations like this, and they were all positively pregnant in the end, but this is not a guarantee as it only occurs in some cases. Additionally, around 30 days after mating, some dogs may have transparent mucus like snot coming out of their private parts, which also indicates a high chance of pregnancy. After 45 days, more than 80% of female dogs can be positively identified through observing their breasts and belly factors such as swelling and size changes.

The first day of mating is the day you mate your dog for the first time, and most breeders will mate their dogs 2-3 times with a day break between each mating to increase the pregnancy chances of the female dog if successful fertilization occurs. Sperm will swim upstream towards the uterine cervix.

From the second to third day of mating, sperm search for mature eggs to fertilize.

From the second to third days to around the fourth or fifth day after mating, sperm await eggs in the oviducts.

Around days 4 to 6 after mating, fertilized eggs will travel down the oviducts to the uterus until there is sufficient space for embryo development. During this time, eggs will also develop into blastocysts.

Around days 12 to 14 after mating, blastocysts will implant into the uterine wall.

From days 12 to 26 after mating, blastocysts develop into embryos, and important organs will gradually form over the next two weeks.

Around days 15 to 22 after mating, female dog's nipples will become larger and pinkish in color, and the hair around the nipples and belly will start to become thinner.

After day 21 to 28, due to hormonal changes or tightening and expanding of the uterus, some pregnant dogs may experience morning sickness and appear less active than usual.

They may also refuse food or experience vomiting between meals at this time. It is recommended to feed them smaller meals more frequently or take medication from a vet to help relax their uterus.

Around days 26 to 30 after mating, embryos begin to take shape like a walnut-sized mass, and some experienced breeders or veterinarians can diagnose pregnancy by touch based on the size and number of embryos developing in the uterus.

Around day 29 after mating, you can gradually increase your dog's food intake but avoid overfeeding and excessive weight gain as the fetus is now fully developed into a puppy-sized mass.

Around day 35 after mating, female dogs' bellies start to swell up.

Around day 45 after mating, it becomes easier to feel the presence of puppies inside their mother's belly, but it's still difficult to count their number accurately at this time.

From days 48 to 56 after mating, female dogs will spend more time grooming themselves and their bellies will become even more swollen as they start to search for a suitable place to give birth.

Days 50: The female dog may lose her appetite due to her stomach being full of puppies, so it is best to feed the dogs smaller meals more frequently. At this time, it is also easy to feel the movements of the puppies inside their mother's belly.

Days 55-57: The nipples and genital area can be cleaned with warm water, and the hair around the abdomen and nipples can be shaved off to facilitate the puppies' easy access to breast milk after birth. Some milk may flow out of the nipples.

Day 58: The body temperature of the female dog can be measured in the morning and evening.

Day 59: 24 hours before giving birth, the body temperature of the female dog will drop from 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.5 degrees Celsius) to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Celsius), and some clear secretions will also flow out of the genital area.

Day 60: This is the expected delivery date for most female dogs, but it is just an average and the delivery can occur anywhere from day 58 to day 63. Puppies born earlier than day 58 may have difficulty surviving due to premature birth, and there are also risks if delivery occurs later than day 63, as it may lead to edema or asphyxiation. Generally, after days 59-60, pay attention to observe whether the female dog has any signs of labor, such as digging or a decrease in body temperature. If there are such signs, it means that she is about to give birth! If cesarean section is needed, it is usually around day 60!

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