Dog Pregnancy: Signs, Care, and Preparing for Puppies : Dr. Vikas Sachan (MVSc. Veterinary Gynaecology)

Know your pet : Dog’s Pregnancy

“Pregnancy” is a period when our pets need extra care. It is the physiological phase with considerable stress which is characterized with preparations for future neonates. It is always beneficial to know about pregnancy for healthy pet parenting.

  • Pregnancy in dogs lasts about 63 ± 5 days.
  • Signs of pregnancy are not remarkable at early stage but appear after 2-3 weeks.
  • Noticeable Weight gain and abdominal enlargement continues from 20-25 days of pregnancy till end. At the end sometimes moving pups may be observed in abdomen.
  • Teats/nipples becomes more prominent, erected and pinkish in color after about 30 days of pregnancy. After 40-45 days mammary glands enlarge and some secretion may also be observed.
  • Clear mucoid vaginal discharge may be there at later half of pregnancy
  • Nausea and vomition are less common.
  • Pregnancy confirmation can be done with ultrasonography at earlier period. X-ray is excellent for diagnosis after 40 days of pregnancy.
  • Hormonal estimation (Relaxin; a placental hormone) can diagnose the pregnancy at 20-25 days.

General Care During Pregnancy

  • Provide the healthy diet (well balanced and easily digestible) with increased calories especially during later half of pregnancy.
  • Never change the food stuffs, diet frequency and amount of food suddenly. Changes should always be gradual.
  • Multivitamins and multi-minerals may be provided as supplement but calcium should not be given at later half of pregnancy.
  • Exercise should be continued while pregnancy. It should never be vigorous or stressful preferably after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Walking of about 30minutes twice a day may prove best at advance pregnancy.
  • Any type of vaccination is not recommended during pregnancy.
  • Deworming can be done but only with advice of your vet as some deworming salts may cause abortion.
  • On observation of any type of abnormal vaginal discharge (reddish or brownish), immediate contact to your veterinarian.
  • Visit your vet at least every 15 days during pregnancy regarding general health examinations.

Happy Pet Parenting !