How to Examine if your Dog is Pregnant

Pregnancy in dogs can be difficult to detect. A responsible pet owner will want to know the signs and symptoms of pregnancy to ensure proper health care. The most accurate way to know if your dog is going to have puppies is to take a trip to the veterinarian. A simple blood test and X-ray will give you your answer. But if your female dog is not spayed and you suspect that she may be pregnant, there are some signs and symptoms that you can look for on your own. The normal gestation period for a dog is 63 days. This time period can be from the first or last breeding so remember to take in the latter dates when starting to worry.

  • Within three weeks, many veterinarians can palpate the mother to see if she is pregnant. This is done, by placing the dog on the floor, standing up and the doctor cupping the abdomen near the rib cage in his hand. He then squeezes gently, sliding his hand back toward the pelvis of the dog. If pregnant, he will feel a thickening of the uterus and “bumps” within. These bumps are your future litter. This is not a fool- proof method. Its reliability depends on the practice, sense of touch and expertise of the doctor.

  • At a later date, the doctor can do an x-ray to look for skeletons. This is an excellent method for it gives you a definite answer as to pregnancy and it also can tell you how many puppies there are. This is useful information when the mother decides to give birth in the middle of the night.
  • Build her a nest to deliver in. Although this can be something as simple as a cardboard box, children’s wading pools seem to work the best. They are easy to keep clean and disinfected, lightweight and inexpensive. Put blankets, sheets or old towels in to make the mother feel more comfortable. Word of warning: make sure anything you put in can be thrown away later. The stains of birth will not come out of all material.
  • During the pregnancy, encourage the mother to be as active as normal. She isn’t really in a “delicate condition.” By running and keeping fit, she will be much more capable to handle a long, drawn out labor. Remember, some of the larger breeds can have up to twelve or fourteen puppies in one litter. A litter this size will be a several hour ordeal for mother and owner.
  • The actual delivery can be anticipated by several means. The first way is to look up the actual due date based upon the breeding dates. Another method is checking the mother’s temperature. The normal temperature of a dog is 101F. Many times, a female will drop to below 100F within twelve to twenty-four hours of delivery. This method will work on the majority of pregnant dogs.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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