10 Ways To Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant

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Most dog owners know what to do when their pet is in heat. They will keep the animal confined but even if you are extremely careful, pregnancy can happen.. In many situations the pet owner does not even realize that this is the case. It does not take a lot of time for a dog to become pregnant. In many situations, just a few moments when the owner is not watching is enough.

The most important thing is to know the early signs of pregnancy in a dog. Sometimes even those are missed but if you are really attentive and you look at the signs mentioned below, there is a pretty good possibility that you will figure out if the dog is pregnant or not.

Remember that whenever you suspect dog pregnancy, the best thing that you can do is to take her to the vet. The veterinarian can so easily figure out if there is a pregnancy or not. There are many changes that happen in the body of the expecting mother and through simple and cheap tests, the vet can tell you if the dog is pregnant or not. Also, the vet can let you know what you have to do in order to take good care of an expecting mother.

Eating Habit Changes

dog bowls

If you notice decreased appetite, it may be because the dog is pregnant. This is a really early pregnancy sign in dogs. Many females will not have this problem but there are cases in which dogs end up eating less during the gestation’s first weeks. When this is the case and the dog is pregnant, it is important not to force her to eat. You want to call the vet in the event that the dog refused to eat for over 3 consecutive days.

With most expecting females an early sign of pregnancy is the exact opposite, an increased appetite. It is really common to see a pregnant dog eat all the food really fast and then stay near the bowl, practically asking for an extra dish. You can allow the dog to eat more. Just make sure that you do not overload the tummy. A good idea is to go for over 3 feedings per day. This keeps food inside the stomach and does not overload the area, which can lead to some problems for the little ones and the female.

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Nipple Color Changes

dog laying down

Nipple development will eventually become quite visible as it grows and colors will change. Nipple coloring will only slightly change at first. The ones that are first changing are the four to six ones that are closer to hind legs.

Dog nipples are normally slightly gray or light pink. When the female is not pregnant, you will barely see them, especially if the breed has long hair. As pregnancy appears, nipples change color. The pink noticed becomes stronger and the entire area can look flush. This happens as there is an increase in the blood flow that is present in the area.

Be careful when inspecting dog nipples. Many animals do not like that and if the nipples are changing, they also become more sensitive to tough. You want to carefully inspect them and remove the hair to see better. Nipples also normally grow in size as gestation continues.

Know Everything About Your Dog

cute german shepherd

Did you know that the pregnancy term of a female dog is normally of just 2 months? Most of the dogs will remain pregnant between 58 and 67 days. This means that we have a really short gestation period, one in which you can easily miss out on the various pregnancy signs that may exist.

What is really important is to know everything about the dog breed. All the information you need is available on the internet for free. All that you have to do is to read. You have to read before there is a possibility that the dog becomes pregnant.

At the same time, you want to pay close attention to your dog. In most cases the dog owner will not realize that the dog is pregnant but he/she will figure out that something is wrong. A trip to the vet then offers the news that the female dog is pregnant. Play with your dog and look at what she does. Whenever changes in behavior appear, you want to keep a closer look on the matter and if necessary, go to the doctor.

Use A Dog Pregnancy Test

dog pregnancy test

It is a little funny to notice people trying to use human pregnancy tests to see if the dog is pregnant. This will not work. However, there are pregnancy tests that are designed for dogs on the market at the moment. You can easily find one at a veterinary pharmacy. Alternatively, you can go to the doctor and ask for some brand recommendations.

In the event that you live in a remote area and you cannot find a dog pregnancy test, feel free to look online. You can find many options since stores from your country will ship to your address. In most situations the pregnancy test will reach you in just a couple of days.

Use the dog pregnancy test according to the indications that are offered by the manufacturer. We recommend that you buy and use two. Just as with the human tests, it is possible that an incorrect result will appear. If you have some extra time, see what brands are more accurate according to the information that is available online and what you can actually have shipped to your address.

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Physical Activity Level Changes

grumpy dog laying down

The dog’s energy levels can indicate that she is pregnant. It is normal for dogs to sometimes take some time off but those dogs that have really high energy levels are rarely going to quiet down. You need to think about whether the dog is simply less active or if she is not happy. If you see that everything is the same as before and happiness levels should be high, it may be due to the fact that puppies are on the way.

The difficulty with this way to tell if your dog is pregnant is that this loss of energy does not appear at one specific point in time. It can be whenever during the pregnancy. You will initially think that the dog is depressed but when only the energy level is the problem and there are no other signs of depression, you will want to consider other ways to check and see if the dog is pregnant. Since the expecting dog needs more energy to accommodate the growth, it is normal that she will no longer run as she used to and will sleep more.

Feel The Abdomen

pregnant dog

You have puppies growing inside the dog that is pregnant. Because of this, the abdomen will end up being enlarged. During middle and, of course, late pregnancy stages, the large abdomen is the clearest possible sign that you are looking at a pregnant dog. You can also check the weight at that time to see if it grew. The expecting mother will have an increased weight of 20 to 50 percent at around day 40 in the pregnancy.

Feeling the abdomen of the dog can help you to be sure if you do not see the nipples as large enough or if the body weight is not as high as it should be during pregnancy. It is possible to feel the puppy kicking. If this does not happen, do not be discouraged. Just as with humans, sometimes there won’t be a kick when you inspect the abdomen.

Be advised that some expecting dogs will not appreciate being rubbed on their stomachs. You want to try to avoid the nipple regions as much as possible since they can feel sore when touched. Also, if you see that the dog is not comfortable with your movement, you want to stop immediately.

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Go To The Vet

dog at vet

This is the best possible way to tell if your dog is pregnant or not. Whenever you have a suspicion that this is the case, you will want to visit the doctor and let him know what you think. The great thing about going to the vet is that he knows exactly what to look for. You do not even have to share other information with him.

When the dog is pregnant for a long time, the veterinarian can figure out if she is expecting puppies by simply feeling the abdomen. After an initial physical check, the vet will perform different tests to see if his suspicions are true or not.

An ultrasound scan can be done to detect the pregnancy. This is possible around 4 weeks after breeding. Alternatively, the use of an X-Ray machine can highlight the presence of puppies around 50 days after breeding. However, X-Rays will only be performed in some cases. Most of the doctors will do a Relaxin test. Relaxin is the name of a hormone that will be present in the body of the mother at a really high level. This test can identify pregnancy starting 21 days after breeding.


dogs laying down

A few days after the breeding, the pregnant dog will start to nest. This is sometimes hard to notice since the expecting dog can choose the same area where she sleeps at night for the “nest”. That is especially the case if the area is protected and quite large.

Look at where the dog spends most of the time. Is she often in the same place? Maybe she is nesting. As the delivery date gets closer, you will see that the mother spends more and more time in just one area of the home. This is sometimes a clear sign that the puppies are on their way and you have some days to prepare.

Sometimes the dog can feel bad or can exhibit some medical problems that could make her stay in the same place. However, when nesting, you will often see the dog on the side instead of the regular positions that you saw her sleep in till then. This is done to protect the puppies. Generally, the mother will eventually sleep only on the side.

Not Playing With You Anymore

dog playing with hose

In fact, the dog might not play anymore, period. If your dog is really playful and often comes to you asking if you will play with her, it is weird to see that the behavior does not continue. This may be due to a pregnancy.

Even if dogs are tired, if they are really friendly and often play, you will see them come over and at least stay with their muzzle on your lap or lie down near you. If the dog is pregnant, something like this rarely happens. As time passes you will notice a decline in how much the dog wants to play with you. Eventually, you will hear no invitation.

Once again, it is really important that you know your dog and that you notice behavioral changes. This lack of desire to play with is normally seen as something that dogs do from time to time as they have mood swings. In the case of a female dog, it may be that she is pregnant. You want to go to the vet to be sure.

Not Being Around Anymore

dog on path

When you have a dog that often sits outside and that you do not spend much time with, you may end up in the especially unwanted situation in which the female dog actually gave birth and you have no idea that this happens. When the dog is pregnant, she may want to nest so she will end up spending less time around you. Since the gestation period is of over a month, close to 2, you may not even realize that this happens.

If you see that your dog is often going away to hidden places in the backyard or climbing the fence and going to the nearby forest, you will want to follow. This is especially the case if you see that he takes food with her since it may be that she already gave birth and has some little ones to take care of.

Dog owners say that something like this is impossible as they would realize it if the dog is pregnant and especially that she gave birth. You would be surprised to learn how often this happens, especially with some dog breeds that are more secretive by nature.

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