A pregnant dogs body is going through many changes as the puppies are growing inside her therefore her needs are going to increase. They need special care to ensure they are in tip top shape before the big day. A dog’s pregnancy generally last from 60 to 63 days.
The symptoms and signs of a pregnant dog:
Three weeks after mating, the female dog may have an upset stomach and not want to eat for about a week to 10 days. One way to tell if your dog is pregnant is to check her vulva. The swelling would not have gone down after her heat and looks enlarged. Thirty days after being bred a blood test can be done by a veterinarian to confirm pregnancy. At 21 days an ultrasound can be done to confirm pregnancy and at 45 days radiographs can be taken for an accurate count of puppies inside.
During the first 30 days of pregnancy she can eat her normal diet, only as long as it is a high quality dog food. This food has plenty of nutrients. During the last month of pregnancy start switching her over to a high quality puppy food, make the diet change over a week’s time. Also, be aware that there are some vitamin supplements that can cause birth defects so check with your veterinarian before choosing the wrong one. Do not give her any vitamin supplements.
Try to take her on several daily walks for a good source of exercise. It is important that she does not become overweight during this time and the walks will keep her in shape for delivery. Letting the dog run in the backyard is not equal to a walk, a walk is mental and physical exercise. During the last 3 weeks of gestation do not take her out and do not expose her to other dogs as added protection against disease.
Never give a pregnant dog any kind of vaccination. Some vaccines can cause still births. Vaccinations should be given prior to breeding so that the protection can be passed to the puppies by the mother’s milk.
One week prior to birth, start taking the mothers body temperature. A normal bodily temperature for a dog is about 100.5 – 102.5. About 24 hours before giving birth, her temperature will drop a few degrees. This will give you time for necessary preparations.