Pregnancy in dogs is a lot different compared to pregnancy in humans! A dog’s pregnancy cycle (also known as gestation) only lasts about 9 weeks compared to the 40 weeks for humans. Therefore, the signs may be a little less obvious in dogs. This article will teach you about some basic information on reproduction and how to tell if your dog is pregnant.
Intact female dogs are dogs who have not been spayed. These dogs typically go through their estrous cycles two to three times a year. When this happens, your dog may become pregnant. Their vulva swells, and bloody discharge is visible. Keep in mind that the average dog will have her first “heat” before one year of age, and cycles may not occur regularly until she is two or older. Dogs who have been spayed will no longer go through estrous cycles, which means that pregnancy will not occur.
If you suspect that your dog mated at the time of her estrus, there may be a good chance that she is pregnant. Some signs of pregnancy may include decreased activity and increased sleeping. There are some dogs that experience a change in appetite early in pregnancy which may also result in vomiting. However, appetite will need to increase towards the final weeks of pregnancy to help with the production of milk.
The overall affection of a dog may change if they are pregnant. They may try to seek isolation and increase their nesting behaviors. It is important to know that some dogs may experience false pregnancy which is when the hormones released after estrus can cause attitude changes and nesting behaviors even if the pregnancy did not occur.
The signs of pregnancy in female dogs can be subtle, and it can be easy to confuse these signs with false pregnancy or illness. You may need to consult with your Veterinarian just to make sure that your dog is pregnant after all. If so, proper care and patience will be necessary to keep them at ease throughout the process.