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How Long is a Dog Pregnant for Before Giving Birth to Puppies

Updated on July 22, 2015
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In my childhood, I adopted a puppy that changed my life and attitude towards animals—I have since become a lifelong animal lover.

How long are dogs pregnant for? No matter what the breed of your dog is, its gestation period is within a similar time frame. The due date differs depending on the size of the litter that the dog is carrying and the size and breed of the dog.

How long is a dog pregnancy term? Under normal circumstances, the pregnancy of a dog lasts for 58 to 64 days. Most dogs give birth on the 63rd day. If you are wondering when to begin counting, you simply have to take note of the date when the dog mated, then begin your 64-day countdown.

Why is it important to know how long is a dogs pregnancy cycle? Similar to humans, the pregnancy of a dog can also become risky. In many cases, when puppies are born earlier than the 58th day, there is a high risk that these pups will either be stillborn or die after a few days.

Average Pregnancy Period

Minimum Days
Maximum Days
Note: In many cases, Puppies are born earlier than the 58th day also!!!
How Long Is A Dog Pregnant For Before Giving Birth To Puppies
How Long Is A Dog Pregnant For Before Giving Birth To Puppies | Source

The last few days of the pregnancy is extremely important because this is the phase when the puppy's lungs are developed. Before the 58th day, the puppy's lungs may already be functioning, but these are still not fully developed. This is the reason why it is risky for a female dog to give birth earlier than 58 days. There is still a chance for the puppy to survive even if it was born earlier than expected. You have to immediately seek the veterinarian's help so he/she can monitor how the lungs are responding and to increase the newborn's chance to survive.

Even though you already know about how long does a dog pregnancy last, how can you be certain that it has given birth prematurely when you aren't sure when the dog mated? In this case, you can count the days since the last time that she was on heat. You can also tell by simply looking at the puppies if these are born prematurely. The paws of the puppies that were prematurely delivered are bright pink and they have no fur.

Why is it important to learn about how long are dogs pregnant for? This will give you enough time to prepare. This is essential, especially if you know how delicate the condition of the dog is, such as the smaller breeds or if this is your dog's first pregnancy. You must begin preparing for the delivery of the puppies two weeks before your's dog's supposed due date. To determine this, you need to count 63 days from the time that the dog mated or the date of her last heat cycle.

How Long Does A Dog Pregnancy Take - Pregnancy Term/Cycle
How Long Does A Dog Pregnancy Take - Pregnancy Term/Cycle | Source

Learning about the Signs of Pregnancy

Aside from finding out about how long is a female dog pregnant for before giving birth, dog owners must also know to decipher the pregnancy signs of their pet. This information is helpful to those who did not know that their dogs had mated and people who intentionally got their dog's bred.

These are the top signs that will help you determine if your dog is pregnant. This way, you can start finding out more about how long is a dog pregnant before she has puppies.

  1. In many cases, the nipples of a female dog swell during pregnancy. This often happens to dogs that have already given birth before.
  2. At the start of the pregnancy, you will notice a drastic change with your pet's eating habits. The dog's appetite decreases or it may refuse to eat. When this happens, you have to allow your pet to rest. Do not force it to eat. You need to leave your dog food so that it can try to chew on something whenever it feels like it.
  3. If you have intentionally bred the dog and you are expecting it to become pregnant, you will notice a change in its attitude. It will seek for more attention and may seem to feel insecure if you won't give in to its clamor. This is only one of the signs, but do not expect to count how long are dogs pregnant for judging by this kind of attitude.
    This may also mean that the pet feels neglected and wants you to show more care or it wants to play with you. If the dog experiences this sign along with several more pregnancy indicators, there is a good chance that your pet is expecting. This gives you the go signal to know more about how long does a dog pregnancy take.
  4. The dog becomes more affectionate at the start of its pregnancy.
  5. Most pregnant dogs discharges something that is similar to milk when they are pregnant. This is normal and the discharge does not have any smell. This is not a cause to bring the dog to the veterinarian, but instead, focus more on learning about how long are dogs pregnant for. This is a good sign the your pet is expecting and you will soon need to prepare for its delivery.
  6. Many pregnant dogs become less playful than usual. You may catch your dog often sleeping rather than doing the activities that it used to enjoy. This must not cause you to panic. Your pet is feeling changes in its body and it is trying to adapt to these. You have to let them do what they want. Your role is to observe the dog. If you think that it is getting too lonely or the inactivity is causing the dog health problems, then it is time to help your pet and bring it to the vet.
  7. If your dog has been bred, but you aren't sure if it was successful or not, you can ask the vet's help to find out if it is pregnant. Count the days from the point that your pet was bred. Bring the dog to the vet three weeks after the breeding period. This is a good time for the veterinarian to find out if the dog is expecting. At this point, the vet can already feel the uterus of the animal.
    If you did not intentionally breed the dog, but are suspecting that it is pregnant, count three weeks after its last heat cycle before you bring it to the vet.
  8. As the pregnancy ensues, the dog will have a tendency to avoid eating. It may refuse to taste the food that you leave and may go about the day without eating. Do not allow this to go on further. Try to change the food that you are giving the pet. It may have developed a sudden dislike for the food that it used to like. You have to experiment on the kinds of food that your dog will accept at this point as you continue your countdown on how long is a female dog pregnant for.
  9. Similar to humans, a pregnant dog will become bigger as the litter inside its body continues to develop. It will become very obvious at this point that it really is expecting. By this time, you need to focus more on learning more about how long does a dog stay pregnant for and prompt you to do the necessary preparations.
  10. Your dog will become more irritable, especially when its due date is really near. Do your share of taking good care of the animal, but make sure that you give the dog its needed space. Do not test its patience. It may easily get mad when you pick it up when it is obviously not in the mood. Ask the people in the house and your house guests to stay away from the dog during this phase of its pregnancy. You would want anyone to get accidentally hurt by a temperamental dog while you are busy counting the days of how long is a female dog pregnant for.

More about Chihuahuas

How long is a dog pregnant for Chihuahua? This kind of dog is small. It is risky for a Chihuahua to get pregnant. You have to be quite observant and help your dog throughout the process. Most dogs of this breed undergo the cesarean operation in giving birth. The general length of its pregnancy is still similar to other dogs, which is 63 days. It will begin to go through the labor process between the 60th to the 65th day of its pregnancy.

Aside from knowing how long after breeding is a dog pregnant, you have to learn about the timeline of a Chihuahua's pregnancy. Its stomach will become bigger 15 to 30 days after it has conceived. You will become sure that it is expecting on the 45th day. The dog's x-ray results will show clear images of developing puppies.

Even though you already know about how long is a dog pregnant for a small dog, you have to bring it to the vet as long as you fear that your dog is pregnant. This is especially true for dog owners who did not intentionally breed their Chi's. It is more risky if the small dog has been mated by a larger dog. This is the point when you really have to seek a professional help. Only a vet can confirm your hunches about your dog's pregnancy and know how to handle the case to increase the chances of survival for your dog and its litter.

How Long Is A Dog Pregnant For Chihuahua And Small Dog
How Long Is A Dog Pregnant For Chihuahua And Small Dog | Source

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    • profile image

      Sandra Hansen 

      2 years ago from Maxwell ca

      My. Pitbull is getting ready to have puppy's and I want to make sure that I can help what can I do to make sure that she's ok and help her


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