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At what age can a dog get pregnant?

Updated on June 21, 2009

Dogs are lovable and adorable creatures. Who could ever say no to a cuddly bundle of fur that licks your hand and looks at you with eyes that seem to be imploring you to love him? Unfortunately, much as we would want these dogs it would not be possible to take them all. Consequently, hundreds of these adorable puppies are abandoned, strayed and are put to sleep every year. The government spends quite a large amount to have dogs and other animals without a home euthanized.

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Dogs are great companions but the responsibility of taking one goes beyond providing food and shelter. Responsible owners would ensure the safety and the health of the pet. A conscientious owner must take measures to safeguard the pet from unwanted pregnancies. Spaying would make sure that unwanted puppies will not be abandoned, put in shelters or put to sleep. However, spaying is not always the option of dog owners. Spaying is an irreversible surgical procedure, thus owners would seldom decide to have the dog fixed.  But if you have an escape artist in your hand, a night out with the dog down the street can result to adorable puppies that can either be raised or given to new homes or simply abandoned or euthanized.

This is why it would be necessary for the owner to know at what age the dog can get pregnant to prevent the pet from mingling with its “admirers” during the period when it will most likely get pregnant. Dogs vary in personalities as well as in physical development. While it would take longer for large breeds to mature, small breeds like terriers mature early. The reproductive cycles of dogs differ greatly but it depends largely on the size and on the breed of the dog. While one dog can have its first heat estrus cycle (heat cycle) as early as 5 or 6 months, some dogs would be ready to be mated only at 2 years of age.  Generally, the first heat cycle will occur when the dog’s age is between 6 to 12 months.

There are four stages in the canine reproductive cycle – the proestrus, estrus, diestrus and anestrus. In the estrus cycle, the bitch will accept the male dog. This is the period when pregnancy could occur. If pregnancy is to be avoided, the dog must be confined in a well fenced area during this stage. Refrain from taking the dog for a walk during this time as the urine mark will invite male dogs to flock in your doorstep.

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    • tectonic profile image


      7 years ago from Singapore

      Valuable hub you have provided .

      Great job!


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