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How to tell if the dog is pregnant

Updated on May 9, 2011

Dog breeding can be planned or unplanned. Owners anticipating the pets’ pregnancy would attribute the physical changes as well as the emotional changes to the dog’s expecting condition. However, owners that take measures to keep an intact pet contained may attribute the changes to medical concerns. It is important to ascertain the pregnancy of the pet so that proper prenatal care will be given. If the breeding is planned, the owner would certainly know when the breeding took place and would be able to give the dog the necessary care. But if the mating is accidental, here are the signs that will tell you that the dog is pregnant.

Pregnant dogs

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A dog’s morning sickness

Dogs, similar to anticipating humans do have morning sickness too. Seven to ten days after mating, the dog will have poor appetite. The dog may eat less or may altogether refuse to eat. The dog’s vomiting will be attributed by unknowing owners to an upset stomach.

Emotional change

Pregnant dogs would be lethargic…lazy. For the first few days the dog will be seen sleeping the day away. You need not worry if the usually lively and playful dog is not its usual self. Pregnant dogs are less energetic. The dog may also become more affectionate and demanding of the master’s attention. Other dogs would manifest an opposite behavior. A once friendly dog may be wary of strangers and may even ignore the human family. These emotional differences are attributed to the dog’s hormonal change. On the last week of pregnancy the dog may become possessive of its toys and its territory. By this time the dog would exhibit a nesting attitude by making a dark or a peaceful corner warm and comfortable. This corner will be the dog’s “delivery room”.

Physical changes

Dogs would have decreased appetite in the first weeks of pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, the dog’s appetite will increase. The pet would require more food and consequently would gain weight.  Increase in size would be more evident on the dog’s abdomen. The abdomen would be firm when touched because of the growing puppies in the womb. The nipples will enlarge and would take a pinkish color. This is the dog’s way of preparing to nurse the puppies. Days before the dog gives birth, the vulva will swell and a discharge will be noticed. Urination will be more frequent.

The vet’s diagnosis

Dog’s with one or two of the mentioned pregnancy signs may be pregnant or have an underlying medical concern. It is possible that the dog may be undergoing a false pregnancy. Nothing would beat a vet’s professional expertise in diagnosing the condition of the dog. For this you would need to shell out a hundred dollars or more but you can be sure of the dog’s condition and give the needed pre-natal care if necessary.

Puppies :)

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Pregnant Dog Care

When Will My Pregnant Dog Go Into Labor?


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    • profile image

      Janel christine fernando inumerable 

      6 years ago

      I wish I will have my dog give birth

    • tectonic profile image


      7 years ago from Singapore

      Insightful information you have provided .

      Waiting to see your other articles


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