The arrival of puppies in the family is an exciting time, but also full of uncertainties. How do you know if a dog is pregnant? There are several physical and psychological changes that can give you clues to prepare and know what to do when your dog is pregnant.
Pregnancy in bitches
Bitches can become pregnant during the heat period. Depending on the breeds, estrus begins to manifest itself from 6 months of age until 15 months of age. When the dog reaches sexual maturity, estrus occurs every 7 to 8 months. The fertile period lasts from three to four weeks. The gestation of puppies lasts about two months, between 58 and 65 days.
How to know if a dog is pregnant
At the beginning of pregnancy it is not so easy to detect the symptoms of a pregnant dog, especially if you are new to pet ownership.
In the fourth week of gestation, a first ultrasound can be performed to see how the pregnancy is progressing.
You must pay close attention if you want to detect a pregnancy, some changes are subtle or begin to manifest from the middle of gestation.
Symptoms of a pregnant dog
Nausea and vomiting
One of the most common symptoms of a pregnant dog is nausea. Other digestive pathologies must be ruled out. Her appetite may also decrease, so if she does not eat much, you can include some food that is attractive to her to cheer her up. From the second month of pregnancy, the opposite effect occurs: the dog increases her desire to eat and will also gain weight.
Less physical activity
The extraordinary energy expenditure involved in pregnancy will make your dog less active and playful than usual. Some bitches need more sleep during pregnancy.
The pregnant bitch experiences psychological changes. She may shy away from human contact and other dogs. At the end of pregnancy, it is normal for her to be more shy and even nervous.
Before delivery, the dog will start looking for a safe place to give birth. She will scratch in the area, carry blankets and other objects and spend more time than usual in that place.
Changes in the belly take time to appear and are most noticeable after day 40. Pregnant bitches do not like to have their tummies touched, but if she allows you to, you will be able to notice the movement of the puppies in the last stage of pregnancy.
The breasts begin to swell about a month after fertilization. They begin to prepare to produce milk. The area will have more blood supply and this causes the nipples to change color and become pinker.
Weight gain begins in mid-pregnancy and the dog can gain up to twice her normal weight.
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Care for a pregnant dog
What to do when your dog is pregnant? The care of a pregnant dog is based on providing her with a comfortable and calm environment, a good diet and her pertinent check-ups by the veterinarian.
Caring for a pregnant dog starts with giving her a soft, wide and comfortable bed. The viscoelastic mattresses for dogs from Baluka viscoelastic dog mattresses are perfect for your pregnant dog's changing body. Its high-density foam has a "memory effect," so it adapts perfectly to her body. In addition, the viscoelastic promotes proper posture and relieves pressure points in the joints, which are affected by weight gain.
In addition to her Baluka bed, don't forget to offer blankets, stuffed animals and other comfort items to your dog - think of how busy she is creating new lives!
Adapt the intensity of exercise. Take quiet, comforting walks. A massage avoiding the belly area will help your dog to be more relaxed after physical activity.
At the beginning of gestation, the caloric intake should not be increased. But from the very first day you should offer your pregnant dog a healthy diet with all the necessary nutrients. From week 7 of pregnancy onwards, the amount of food should be increased by 20 to 25 percent.
Specific feeds provide the right nutritional profile for pregnancy. But if you are going to combine feed and homemade food, do not mix them to avoid difficult digestion.
To stimulate her appetite, offer food to the dog more times a day and in smaller quantities. You can also take advantage of the time after the walk to feed her and make this gesture a routine.
Lots of love
Accompanying your pregnant dog in this process is very important. Pay attention to her signals and give her lots of cuddles.
Just before the birth, the dog will look for a safe place to have the puppies. It is important that you keep an eye on the process, but you should not intervene unless there is a problem. Your bitch knows what to do.
You already know the answer to the question how to know if a dog is pregnant and what care she needs. Remember that, if in doubt, it is best to consult your trusted veterinarian.