How Long Is A Dog Pregnant?

How Long Is A Dog Pregnant?

Most female dogs, or bitches, become pregnant for about 63 days from the first day of breeding. However, there is a wide range of gestation lengths with bitches, and some may take as little as 57 days or take as long as 70 days for the puppies to be born. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to help determine the approximate length of pregnancy.

How Long Is A Dog Pregnant?dog preg 5

A dog’s pregnancy usually lasts for around 63 days, though it can range anywhere from 57 to 70 days, depending on the breed and litter size. Towards the end of the pregnancy, the mother will often become anxious and may even start to pace or dig as she prepares to give birth.

When Can Dogs Become Pregnant?

Female dogs usually come into heat twice a year and can become pregnant during this time. The first heat typically occurs between 6 and 12 months of age. Peak fertility usually occurs between days 9 and 14 of the heat cycle. Breeds of smaller size can become pregnant at an earlier age, while larger breeds may not reach sexual maturity until 18 months old.

The Reproductive Cycle in Dogs

  • Dog males reach sexual maturity and are able to produce sperm at about 6-12 months of age.
  • The female dog’s heat/estrus cycle starts around 6-12 months of age, depending on the breed.
  • The estrus can last 2-3 weeks and will happen approximately twice a year.
  • During estrus, female dogs will release a hormone known as a pheromone, which signals their availability to mate with nearby males.
  • Male dogs are attracted to the pheromone and will mate with the female.
  • After successful mating, the female will produce eggs, which will travel down to the uterus. The sperm will travel to meet the egg and fertilize it.
  • The egg will divide and start to form the fetus.
  • After half a month of development, the fetus will implant itself into the uterus wall.
  • At this point, the pregnancy has officially started.
  • After an average of 60 days, the female will give birth to puppies.
  • 1After the puppies are born and weaned, the cycle is complete, and the female will go back into heat and will be ready to start the cycle again.

How Long After Mating Can You Tell A Dog Is Pregnant?

It typically takes about 58-68 days after mating to be able to determine if a female dog is pregnant.

How To Tell If A Dog Is Pregnantdog preg 3

In order to tell if a dog is pregnant, it is important to look for certain signs and symptoms. These can include:

  1. Weight Gain: One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is an increase in the dog’s weight. This is often due to the developing fetuses and the dog’s increasing appetite.
  2. Swollen Nipples: After conception, the hormone levels in the dog increase, which can cause the nipples to become swollen and more visible.
  3. Nesting Behavior: Typically, between two to three weeks after conception, the dog will begin to exhibit a nesting behavior. This can include collecting toys, blankets, and other objects and arranging them for comfort.
  4. Appetite Changes: Dogs may start to eat more or less than normal, often due to hormonal changes.
  5. Abdominal Enlargement: Once the fetuses start developing, the uterus will begin to enlarge and apply pressure on the dog’s abdomen.
  6. Test Kits: Veterinarians can use a pregnancy test kit to test the hormone levels of a female dog to confirm that she is pregnant.

If you suspect your dog may be pregnant, it is important to seek advice from a qualified veterinarian. They have the necessary tools and knowledge to determine whether or not a dog is pregnant.

What To Feed Your Dog During Pregnancy

When your dog is pregnant, it’s important to make sure she has a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Offer small, frequent meals, and provide plenty of fresh water at all times. Feed her high-quality puppy food or specialized prenatal nutrition for pregnant dogs. A pregnant pup should receive 25-30% of her calories from protein, 20-30% from fat, and 40-50% from complex carbohydrates. Supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, taurine, and calcium may also be beneficial. Avoid feeding table scraps and treats.

Care And Nutrition For A Pregnant Dogdog preg 4

Care for a pregnant dog starts as soon as you know she is pregnant. Provide your pup with extra love and attention during this time, as she may seem frightened. Grooming is also important, ensure to keep her coat clean and knot-free.

Nutrition for pregnant dogs is essential for their health and developing puppies. Ensure she is getting adequate protein in her diet. An increase of up to 50 percent depending on the stage of her pregnancy is recommended. Provide her with high-quality, nutrient-dense foods and increase the amount of food available to her as she gets bigger and closer to birth.

During the last few weeks of pregnancy, it is important to provide your pet with additional calcium, as her puppies are demanding more of the nutrient for their own growth. Vitamin and mineral supplements may also be beneficial during this time. As labor approaches, she may benefit from a larger meal the night before, which should consist of easily digestible proteins. Offer soft treats she can easily accept and stay away from fatty foods that may cause an upset tummy.

After giving birth, continue to monitor her nutrition closely. It should consist of small, frequent meals with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients. If she is formula feeding the puppies, provide her with additional nutrient sources in her food. Her young will also need extra attention to make sure they are getting all the vital nutrients they require.

As your pregnant pup transitions to motherhood, the care and nutrition provided during this time are especially important for her and her puppies’ health.

How Long Is A Dog’s Gestation Period?

The average length of a dog’s gestation period is approximately 68 days.

How Long Is A Dog Pregnant French Bulldog?

A female French Bulldog’s gestation period typically lasts between 56-68 days.

How Long Does A Pregnant Dogs Temp Stay Low?

A pregnant dog’s temperature typically stays below 100 degrees Fahrenheit until the last few days before delivery.

What Are The First Signs Of Pregnancy In A Dog?dog preg 2

The earliest signs of pregnancy in a dog are embedded deep in the body and may not be easy to recognize. However, as the pregnancy progresses, the most telling signs of pregnancy in a dog include:

  1. Increased Appetite – A pregnant dog may eat much more food compared to normal, this increased appetite may start around the fourth, fifth, or sixth week of pregnancy.
  2. Weight Gain – As the litter of puppies grows in size, the dog’s abdomen will begin to swell and she will gain weight rapidly.
  3. Morning Sickness – Some dogs may experience morning sickness during the first few weeks of pregnancy. This is usually mild and will not require medical attention.
  4. Pink Discharge – About the third week of pregnancy, many dogs will experience a pink discharge from the vulva. This is referred to as a “ bloody show ”, and is a sign that the puppies are developing.
  5. Nesting Behavior – As the due date approaches, most pregnant dogs begin to “nest”; that is, they will search for a safe place to give birth. She may become especially interested in corners and closets.

SEE ALSO: How To Stop Dogs From Fighting

45 Days Pregnant Dog Symptoms

When your dog is 45 days pregnant, she is near the end of her gestation period. You and your veterinarian should begin preparing for the labor and delivery process. During this stage of her pregnancy, many dogs experience physical changes such as increased appetite and abdominal enlargement as the puppies grow larger. Signs of labor, including nesting behaviors and panting, can also appear. Other symptoms that could be seen during this time include:

  • Increased appetite: Your pregnant dog will need a lot of calories to sustain her growing puppies; around 50-60% more than what she consumed prior to gestation.
  • Abdominal enlargement: As her puppies grow in size and number, her abdomen will become visibly larger than before.
  • Restlessness and nesting: Your dog may begin to show signs of restlessness and become agitated as she gets closer to giving birth, such as panting and pacing. She may also begin to nest and look for a quiet, comfortable spot to give birth.
  • Increased need to go outside: Your dog may need to urinate more frequently, so make sure you take her out regularly for potty breaks.
  • Milk production: On or around the 45th day of pregnancy, her body will start to produce milk. You may notice small drops of milk dripping from her nipples.
  • Her temperature will drop: Before your dog goes into labor, her body temperature will drop below 100°F to indicate the labor is near.
  • Contractions/Labor: Your dog’s labor process can take anywhere from 1–24 hours, but most canine mothers will give birth within the first 8-12 hours. Contractions will become more frequent and stronger as labor progresses.

Dog Pregnancy Calendar

Week One:

  • Pregnancy officially begins. Depending on the breed your dog may gain some weight
  • Eggs in the female dog are fertilized
  • Body temperature drops and rises as hormones fluctuate

Week Two:

  • Puppies start to develop
  • Heartbeats can be detected with an ultrasound
  • Teats swell due to increased blood flow

Week Three:

  • Puppies are forming all major organs
  • Skeletal structures begin to form
  • Anxiety and morning sickness may occur

Week Four:

  • Head and limb buds become visible
  • Puppies start to move within the womb
  • Breasts enlarge in preparation for lactation

Week Five:

  • Jaw and spine become more defined
  • Face and ears start to form
  • Markings and fur begin to grow

Week Six:

  • Eyes and noses start to appear
  • Fetuses move into position for birth
  • Puppies are now the size of a mouse

Week Seven:

  • Internal organs are in place
  • Vital signs can now be monitored
  • Breeds start to show more noticeably

Week Eight:

  • Provisional markings become visible
  • Fetuses become more active
  • Teats start to produce milk

Week Nine:

  • Puppies grow rapidly
  • The mother may start to nest
  • Birth may take place any day now

How Long Are Dogs In Labor?dog preg 1

The length of labor varies from dog to dog. Generally, labor lasts for 8-12 hours but can last up to 24 hours. If labor lasts longer than 24 hours, contact a veterinarian.

How Can I Support My Dog To Prepare For Puppies?

  • Start to introduce your dog to the concept of a puppy soon and start to socialize the dog by introducing it to new puppies.
  • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccines and regular vet visits so it is healthy and ready for puppies.
  • Change your dog’s diet to provide extra nutrition in preparation for the puppies and make sure they have plenty of fresh water.
  • Purchase or make nesting bedding for the puppies in advance and make sure your dog has a place to rest while they are caring for them.
  • Provide toys and chew bones for your dog to encourage them to play manageably and also to get used to taking care of multiple puppies at once.
  • Provide a secure, safe space in your home for the puppies.
  •  Train your dog in basic obedience to give them a better understanding of how to behave around the puppies.
  • Schedule regular puppy play dates with other puppies and dogs for socialization.
  • Consider enrolling in a puppy kindergarten class to better prepare your dog for the arrival of the puppies.

Should You Breed Your Dog?

No, not unless you are an experienced, responsible breeder. Breeding dogs is an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor and any puppies produced must be properly socialized and cared for. Unless you have the knowledge and resources to breed responsibly and ethically, you should not breed your dog.

How Long After Giving Birth Can A Dog Be Spayed?

It is recommended to wait 6-8 weeks after giving birth before spaying, as the hormones a female dog produces while nursing will interfere with anesthesia. Waiting 8 weeks minimizes the risks associated with the procedure.

SEE ALSO: Blood Blister on Dog


Q. How many months is a dog pregnant?

A. A dog’s gestation period is approximately nine weeks (or 63 days) long. This equates to around two and a half months.

Q. Are dogs pregnant for 12 weeks?

A. Dogs are pregnant for approximately 63 days or 9 weeks. There are several stages in a canine pregnancy, including the pre-heat stage (before mating), heat stage (when the dog is receptive to mating), pregnancy stage, and whelping (birth) stage.

Q. How long does it take to find out if a dog is pregnant?

A. A dog’s gestation period is approximately 63 days, so it typically takes about two months to determine if a dog is pregnant. A veterinarian can diagnose a pregnant dog in one of several ways, including palpation of the abdomen, palpation of the mammary glands, and ultrasound.


A dog’s pregnancy typically lasts an average of 63 days, although it may vary by a few days depending on the breed and size of the dog. However, early signs of pregnancy can often be seen as early as 15 days after breeding and the early stages are important for monitoring the health and progress of the pregnancy. It’s best to monitor the health of the pregnant dog closely with a veterinarian throughout the entirety of the pregnancy and after to ensure a safe and healthy birthing process.

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