Hopefully your dog's pregnancy was a planned event. If it was, you may have already done some research to find out more about the canine gestation period and what to expect when your dog is expecting. Knowing how to tell if your dog is pregnant is an important step in this process.
If you don't know how to tell if your dog is pregnant, this is probably your dog's first litter. While this article will answer some of your dog pregnancy questions, it's important that you take your pet to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
A vet will give you all the information that you need to know about the length of a canine pregnancy, what and how to feed a pregnant bitch, and general pregnancy tips for dog parents of pregnant dogs. A vet will also examine your pooch to help you determine exactly how far along she is in her pregnancy stage, and if there are any possible issues.
How to Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant
A dog's gestation period lasts for about 63 days (or 9 weeks). You probably won't notice any signs of dog pregnancy until your pooch is about 3 weeks along. And will not notice a ‘baby bump' until your dog is in the final third of her pregnancy (6-9 weeks).
The early signs of pregnancy in dogs include:
- Morning sickness (just like in humans)
- Lack of energy
- Behavior changes
- Enlarged nipples that look pink in color
Dog Pregnancy Tests – Is That a Thing?
Some pet owners, instead of learning how to tell if a dog is pregnant when she begins showing natural signs, will start seeking out an over-the-counter dog pregnancy test to purchase to do the job for them.
Yes, pregnancy tests for dogs are available. No, they are not very accurate. They are also very rare and hard to find, specifically because nobody uses them. The only one you can buy on Amazon is the Synbiotics brand.
While even human pregnancy tests are sometimes inaccurate, the ones for dogs have far less research behind them, and will often be extremely inaccurate, to the point where most of them are simply useless.
You also cannot use a human pregnancy test on dogs. Because humans and dogs are different species, the test simply does not work and will not provide you with any information whatsoever.
Ultrasound Devices to Detect Dog Pregnancy
Because dog pregnancy tests are inaccurate, the only over-the-counter product you can buy to use as a type of dog pregnancy test is a canine pregnancy detector with probe, such as this popular Draminski PDD ($339.99) or CONTEC Probe ($940.00).
These are ultrasound devices often used in breeders to detect pregnancy in dogs. They're accurate and provide fast results, but they're also very expensive and generally unnecessary for pet owners, especially when a visit to a veterinarian's office will be far cheaper (and easier).
To avoid performing guessing games yourself or spending hundreds on pregnancy detectors for dogs, talk to an expert instead and have them run some tests.
Generally, the best way to tell for sure that your dog is pregnant with puppies is to bring her to the veterinarian. They will perform a pregnancy blood test to precisely tell you whether or not your female dog is expecting. This test is 100% accurate.
Dog Pregnancy and Your Dog's Breed and Size
Your dog's breed, age, overall size and the size of her litter (number of puppies she is carrying) will determine your steps in how to tell if your dog is pregnant.
For example, small breeds have small puppies, which means it may take a little longer to tell if your dog is pregnant. Big dogs carrying a larger litter of puppies may show signs sooner than dogs only carrying 2 or 3 pups.
Remember, it is crucial to seek veterinary care if you believe that your pet may be pregnant. Not only will they tell you about pregnancy, but they can also educate you about proper prenatal dog care and help you prepare for when your dog delivers. They will also assist you in caring for mother dog and her puppy litter once she gives birth.