Dog Pregnancy Tips

How to Take Care Of Pregnant Dogs And New Puppies

you expecting a litter of puppies or did you discover that your dog is pregnant? Well anyways, as a responsible dog owner you ought to take extra care of your dog if you want her to live a long and fulfilled life, especially during that 3 months pregnancy period.

The first thing you need to know about pregnancy in dogs is that it is a completely natural process. Your dog can handle it completely on its own, her instincts will guide her, but your assistance is still needed.

You can only play a supervisory role by assisting and encouraging her, you also need to make sure that the newborn puppies are safe and comfortable. You also need to have your dog pregnancy supplies ready and waiting for the big day.

Then whelping. This is a medical term used to describe pregnancy in dogs. Your dogs go into the whelping period about 3 months after mating. This is where are the signs will begin to show and you can start taking care of your pregnant dog.


Pregnant Dog Tips

As a new pet owner, you may have run into a little trouble detecting pregnancy in dogs, plus dogs don’t have a pregnancy test kit. So, what do you do? How do you know that your dog is pregnant?

When planning to breed your dog, you need to know the length of the whelping and gestation period in dogs. So, when she goes into labor, it doesn’t take you unaware.

Your dog will be a mommy so, so everyone has to be on high alert. Knowing your dog pregnancy period is pregnant will prepare both you and the pregnant dogs for things like veterinary checkups, whelping, feeding, and even workout routines.

These are the best ways to know your dog’s pregnancy status.

1. Visit your Local Veterinarian

Vet doctors can easily verify pregnancy in dogs. During your dog pregnancy period, you will need to see your veterinarian 2-3 times a week to determine the due date for labor, medication changes, nutrition, and the number of puppies.

Your veterinarian can also run blood tests, ultrasound, hormone, relaxin tests, and abdominal palpation. Your local vet can also help you determine if your dog is having a false pregnancy [a condition were a dog looks and acts pregnant but she’s not] or just a bit sick.

2. Go for Ultrasound

Ultrasound machines are one of the best ways to know our dog pregnancy status. You should take your dog for Ultrasound tests 3 weeks after mating. The Ultrasound machines allow you to see the puppies in your dog’s womb and determine the number of puppies by detecting fetal heartbeats in her womb.

When your dog is close to labor, you will begin to see the pups moving inside her. If you are expecting a litter of 5 puppies but only 4 were born, you will need to take your dog for emergency medical care for operation.

3. Use an X-ray

X-rays are also some of the best ways to know if your dog is pregnant. You’ll have to wait for around 45-55 days after mating for you to go for an X-ray test. This is because the puppies’ skeletal framework does not show until the 6th week. When it’s time, the X-ray should pick up there give an accurate number of puppies in the womb.

4. Perform A Diagnostic Test

You can also tell if your dog is pregnant by performing abdominal palpation. abdominal palpation allows you to verify your bitch pregnancy by feeling the puppy sacks inside your dog’s belly.

You can only perform this type of diagnostic test 20-30 days into the pregnancy. By then, the newborn puppies feel like rounded like little lemons or golfballs.

Abdominal palpation has a kick to it, it is very tricky so it has to be performed by specialized or trained. Any misstep could damage the pups if not done properly. So, do not perform abdominal palpation without assistance from a veterinarian.

5. Change in Appetite/Habits

You can also know if your dog is pregnant by taking notes of er behaviors which include her appetite, aggression, constant whining, and weight gain. These behaviors vary in breeds and location of the dog.

Signs of Dog Pregnancy

Although using X-ray and ultrasound machines are the best ways to know if your dog is pregnant, there are also other good signs of dog pregnancy that you need to look out for such as:

  • Increase in appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Increase in Abdomen size
  • Viginal discharge
  • Constant vomiting
  • Discharge mucus and lick her vulva
  • Restlessness & fatigue
  • Frequent meals 
  • Increase in nipple size

These behaviors differ in dog breeds and location.


1. Go For Pre-Natal Check-Ups:

you need to for regular veterinary checkups to make sure your dog and her puppies stay healthy during pregnancy. Your veterinarian will also inform you of health issues, illness, discomfort or malnutrition if any.

You need to make sure that your dog gets proper prenatal care. This will ensure that your dog and her puppies come back strong after labor and delivery respectively. The immune system of newborn puppies is not strong enough to combat certain diseases, thus increases the chances of most of them dying just days after delivery.

If you want to ensure the safety of your dog and her puppies make sure you vaccinate her before whelping. It is not advisable to vaccinate a pregnant dog. So, you should make sure that vaccines administered ahead of time either after mating or the early pregnancy stage. Make sure your dog is vaccinated before she goes into labor. 

You also need to get your dog dewormed to protect both your dog and her puppies from internal parasites. These parasites can easily be transferred from pregnant dogs to her puppies. Is will sad to have newborn pups that refuse to eat right? So. Ask your vet for the best medication for pregnant dogs.

2. Exercise

You will also need to have little work out sessions with your pregnant dog so she can stay strong, healthy and keep her muscle tone throughout before and after the pregnancy.

You don’t need to do push-ups and high jumps just short paced daily walks. Allow her to stroll around the house, garden or lawn.

You should also stay away from dog parks or congested areas to avoid injury or infections.

3. Proper Nutrition

Nutrition is one of the most important factors that determine the outcome of a pregnant dog and her puppies. Make sure your bitch receives proper nutrition. Pregnant dogs should only receive good quality dog food and have a healthy weight before they go into labor.

Some misguided websites recommend giving your dog calcium but your dog does not need any additional calcium. Extra calcium can cause eclampsia, affect the health of your dog which are fatal in most cases since it disrupts the dog’s ability to regulate calcium.

The best thing to feed a pregnant dog is a protein-rich diet. Pregnant dogs have higher nutritional demands. Adding meats to your dog’s meal plan will make her decrease her carbohydrates and energy consumption. The Puppy food and meal plan should also contain a significant amount of protein, essential vitamins, energy, fat, and minerals.

You should also increase your dog food by don’t need to make any change to her diet unless instructed by your veterinarian. Also, avoid feeding your dog large-breed dog foods during whelping because these types of dog food do not contain enough energy or calcium for pregnant dogs.

4. Medications

You should also take your dog to see the vet 2-3 times a week for recommended treatments and medication. Do not administer pills or syrup yourself, some medicines are dangerous to the pregnant dog and her unborn puppies.

Talk to your veterinarian about dog flea and tick treatments, dewormers, supplements, vaccinations, and injections for pregnant dogs. Emergencies also happen during dog pregnancy, so be prepared for one. You can also ask your vet for dog pregnancy emergency tips.

If your dog is on long-term medications talk to your veterinarian immediately concerning the effects of these drugs on pregnant dogs. So you can know whether the dog will stop or continue taking the drugs.


Weeks Symptoms
Week one (days 0-7) This is the period after mating, fertilization will occur and your dog may begin to have signs of morning sickness.
Week two (days 7-14) The fertilized eggs have reached the uterus and will begin to develop into small embryos. The vet won’t be able to detect pregnancy in the dog until after 25 days.
Week three (days 14-21) The fetuses have attached to the walls around the uterus, this is the stage where your dog typically have an increase in appetite.
Week four (days 21-28)  The growing puppies can now be seen on an Ultrasound machine and X-ray. This is where fatigue sets in on dogs.
Week five (days 28-35) The amniotic fluid increases in the uterus as well as the size of the pups in the womb. This is the phase where your pregnant dog begins to add weight.
Week six (days 35-42) This is the final stage of gestation, her nipples should enlarge till it becomes visible. There will also be more frequent discharge from the vulva.
Week seven (days 42-49) Your pregnant dog will begin shedding the hair around her abdomen and should start producing milk. At this stage, your dog will always look for a private place to rest.
Week eight (days 49-57) The pups begin to move around her stomach. The dog will almost always be on its side lying down. You should not let her partake in any strenuous activity to prevent premature labor.
 Week nine (days 57-65) Your dog will always be in the whelping area and it will be soaked with milk dripping from her breast. There will also be a drop in her body temperature which signals the arrival of new pups.
Pups birthday [Whelping] This is the end of it all, after about 2 hours of labor, you will have a new litter of puppies searching for milk. This is where the irresistible puppy smell sets in and you’ll have to shop for puppy food.

Dog Pregnancy Emergency Inventory and Supplies

  • Big Sized whelping box for easy movement.
  • Clean Cotton towels, Paper towels and cotton wool to clean pup the new pups.
  • Whelping pads
  • Calendar and notebook
  • Thermometer for a temperature check
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubbing alcohol &Anticeptic
  • Dental floss or heavy thread to tie the umbilical cords.
  • Scale to check the weight
  • Unwaxed dental floss to tie off the umbilical cords
  • Clean/sterilized scissors to cut umbilical cords
  • A heating pad to keep the puppies warm.


  • After her 5th week, she will be tired and exhausted, so allow her to rest as long as she needs it.
  • Dogs can be aggressive during and after Whelping, so you would want to give her some space.
  • Do not supplement your dog’s food with meats, vitamins or minerals unless instructed by your veterinarian.
  • Pregnant dogs still need Daily walks and low-intensity exercise to stay in great shape.
  • Keep your dogs away from other dogs especially strays during the last weeks to labor.
  • Keep your dog whelping box in a private place that doesn’t draw to much attention, so she can rest properly.
  • Do not overfeed your dog, even if you increase her plan. The meal should be just enough to satisfy her and also keep a little extra in case she gets hungry before the next meal.


  • Make sure that the Whelping box is always clean and free from sharp objects.
  • Do not cut the placenta, live it to dry up.
  • Make sure the puppies are warm enough before you go out.
  • Do not let other pets get too close.
  • Keep extra food and water close to the whelping box for both the bitch and her pups.

I wish you a magical experience. That’s how to Take Care Of your Pregnant Dogs And New Puppies.

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