How To Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant
A responsible owner should be able to recognize the signs and symptoms that indicate a possible pregnancy in your pet, in this case we are talking about bitches. It is essential to know all the information that we will provide you to adapt the environment of your pet to your new needs as a future mother.
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The best you can do is take your dog to the vet if you suspect that you are pregnant, but if you can not make an appointment quickly or do not have the money to do so, rest assured that at YourCatCareguide we are going to help you with information about the gestation of bitches . Keep reading and learn how to tell if your bitch is pregnant .
Gestation in the bitch
First of all, you should know how long a bitch’s pregnancy lasts . On average, a gestation of the bitch lasts around 2 months and about 62 days. Nature is not exact, so this time is an estimate, the normal is from 58 to 65 days, at the end of which the bitch must give birth. Normally the litters are between four and eight puppies, although depending on the breed they can be born up to more than nine puppies or, on the contrary, less than four.
By the time the bitch gets pregnant, it is normal that you can not immediately see a growth of your belly. Normally you will only see this increase from the fourth week of gestation , half of the pregnancy. This increases the risk factor for puppies, as they may not receive the necessary nutrients and care during their development. To learn all about bitch gestation week by week , do not miss this article.
Physical changes that indicate that your dog is pregnant
Although the growth of the belly is not something that we can notice until the first month of gestation, there are other physical changes that indicate a pregnancy in the bitches. Then let’s explain the first symptoms :
- Enlargement of the mammary glands : The normal is that from the first weeks of gestation there is a swelling in the breasts of your dog, a small increase in its size that to be able to notice it will have to look very well. In addition, it is a sign that is not always present from the beginning, since it may appear during the second half of pregnancy.
- Pink nipples : This sign is one of the easiest to detect and complements the previous sign, of your bitch having swollen breasts. In this way, if you notice that your dog has nipples that are rosier than normal, you should begin to suspect a possible pregnancy.
- Vaginal lengths : It is also likely that during the first few weeks your dog will have vaginal discharge, a clear or light pink liquid. This liquid acts as a “buffer” to protect the puppies in pregnancy. Also, it is normal for your pet to urinate more times than normal, since the bladder has less room to store urine in this state.
Behavioral changes that indicate that your bitch is pregnant
In addition to the physical signs we have seen before, there are also behavioral changes that will help you to detect if your bitch is pregnant or not. First of all, you should be aware that you know your bitch better than anyone else and that if you notice a change in your daily behavior, you should be alert. Some of the behavioral changes that may indicate a pregnancy in your bitch are:
- Eating changes : Early in pregnancy, your dog may eat less than he or she used to eat. But this is something that will change as the pregnancy progresses, the normal is that after the first two weeks, your dog shows an increased appetite. After the second month, increased appetite is even more remarkable, something completely normal as babies grow and consume more energy and nutrients.
- Changes in the relationship with you : it’s a common change since many bitches are looking for their owners more when they are pregnant. They like to be petted or to be beside their owners, seeking protection and comfort for the state in which they are. In case your dog is suspicious or frivolous, it may be that this feature is even more pronounced during pregnancy. It is very likely that after your dog does not want to touch it, much less in the area of the abdomen, where they feel more sensitive.
- Apathy and lethargy : It is normal for your dog to jump less than normal, to behave less energetically than usual. It may be that it runs less, that it does not want to walk or that, it moves less generally. It is also normal for your dog to spend more time sleeping or resting during his or her pregnancy.
- Move away from other animals : it is common for a pregnant bitch to move away from other dogs during pregnancy, because at this stage they prefer to be alone.
- Look for possible nests : a pregnant bitch will try to find a place to have her cubs, a kind of nest. You may notice this if your bitch scratches the ground, put blankets in a particular corner of the house or hide in dark, lonely places that can later serve as a nest for your babies.
Confirmation of pregnancy
With all these signs you can already have an idea if your bitch is actually pregnant , then you can confirm better from the second month of gestation when you see your abdomen increased, and if in addition feel movements that may be the future puppies. However, to be absolutely sure, you should consult the veterinarian , who must perform different tests after three weeks of pregnancy to confirm the diagnosis. The tests that are usually performed are the following:
- Auscultation to listen to babies’ hearts.
- Ultrasound from the third week.
- Blood test that will tell you if your dog is pregnant or not.
- X-ray examinations and palpation from 28 days of gestation.
Care during pregnancy
If your bitch is pregnant, you should consider a number of care that will ensure that she and her babies are healthy and strong. You should be careful with your diet, get her to exercise and give her lots of love. It is best to take your dog as soon as possible to a veterinarian who will advise you of the care you should take with your pregnant bitch.