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How long does a dog’s pregnancy last: the most important facts and information

a group of puppies sleeping together

The duration of pregnancy in dogs generally ranges between 57-63 days, with an average of 63 days, as the duration of pregnancy varies depending on the breed of the dog and the number of puppies in the the case of planned mating, the day on which mating occurred should be recorded, and if mating occurs twice, the two days on which mating occurred should be recorded, and the due date is expected to occur after 63 to 65 days.[١][٢]


Signs and stages of dog pregnancy

There are several signs that indicate the presence of pregnancy in the dog, but it may also be an indication of the presence of a disease, so it is important to follow up on any changes that occur in your dog such as; appearance, appetite, or changes in its activity level, the signs and stages of pregnancy are the following: [٣][٤]

A change in the activity of the female dog, as she becomes a lot of sleep, and is quickly tired when walking or playing, but it will be more difficult to notice a change in activity in lazy dogs than others.

A change in the actions of the bitch, so that she remains attached to her owner and needs more attention and care from him, she also lies down next to him to feel comfortable, it is possible that she isolates herself from her owner, refuses attention, feels upset from him.

The nipples have grown in size and changed their color to dark red; due to the increased pumping of blood in the area, they also become rounded, and later in pregnancy milk will come out of them.

A change in appetite throughout pregnancy, at the beginning of pregnancy, the bitch loses her appetite and may also vomit, and this is similar to morning sickness, and her appetite will increase during the middle of pregnancy, which will gradually increase weight.

You can notice the bitch’s swollen belly about 40 days after conception.
In recent weeks, the bitch will start trying to build a safe place for her little ones by tearing bedspreads and the like, and during this period she becomes withdrawn and irritable, preferring caution and keeping her away from children.

Caring for dogs during pregnancy

Caring for dogs is necessary during pregnancy to maintain their health and the health of their puppies, and caring for them is carried out as follows:[٥][٦]

Keep dogs properly fed, and avoid increasing the amounts of food in the early stages of pregnancy, as the increase is gradually carried out after 42 days of pregnancy until the increase reaches about 35-50% of the usual amount of food, and it is also recommended to provide puppies food because it contains protein and energy higher than the food of large dogs, so you will not need to give them vitamins or supplements.

Exercise during pregnancy, but exercise should be light and not exhausting, and exercise after 30 days of pregnancy will also be limited to walking for short and intermittent periods.

Visit the veterinarian twice during pregnancy if there are no problems with her, the first visit will be early on the 21st day of pregnancy for an ultrasound and blood test, and the second visit will be 45 days after pregnancy to make an X-ray image to find out the size and number of puppies, and attention should be paid to avoiding giving the bitch any vaccinations during pregnancy.[٧]

Give the bitch pills to prevent intestinal parasites from the fortieth day of pregnancy until two days after birth; so that these parasites are not transmitted to puppies during childbirth.

Preparation for childbirth, as the needs of childbirth must be provided with tools, a first aid box, diapers, and a place for childbirth is also prepared so that it is warm and quiet and allows the dog to exit and enter easily.

Symptoms of the stage of childbirth in dogs

The symptoms of childbirth are divided into three stages, which are the following: [٨]

The first stage: its duration ranges from 6 -12 hours, and is as follows:
The temperature drops below normal 38-39 Celsius, 24 hours before birth to 36.5-37 Celsius.
The bitch feels anxiety and discomfort, as well as vomiting and refusal of the food offered to her.
You start by equipping the place of birth by bringing clothes and fabrics.

At the end of the first stage the cervix completely expands, and here childbirth begins to occur.
The second stage: is the stage of the birth of puppies, and consists of the following:
The stage begins with contractions, a movement in the intestines and abdomen, as well as increased tension.
After the birth of the first puppy, the bitch will probably go into a state of rest for up to four hours, after which she will start giving birth to the rest of her puppies, and in some cases, she will give birth to all her puppies quickly.
The third stage: the following happens at this stage:

The bitch takes out the placenta 5-15 minutes after the birth of each puppy.
If more than one puppy is born at the same time, the bitch will put more than one placenta according to the number of puppies that were born, and then she returns to the second stage, which is contractions or entering the rest period.

Problems that you may encounter during the birth of dogs and ways to address them
Some of the problems you face when giving birth to dogs
If you notice any of these problems or feel that there is a danger to the life of the mother and her puppies, you should seek the help of a veterinarian or a specialist in pet obstetrics:[٩] [١٠]

The duration of pregnancy has reached 70 days and childbirth has not occurred.
Not to enter the second stage of childbirth 24 hours after her temperature drops.
The occurrence of severe contractions for more than 45 minutes without childbirth.
Increase the rest period by more than 4 hours, which indicates that the puppy has stuck inside the uterus, and it is possible that the puppy’s tail will appear first instead of his head, in this case, you can pull it slowly and carefully, and if you cannot, seek the help of a specialist.
Severe pain, severe vomiting, and lethargy.

The appearance of an unpleasant odor and bleeding from the mother.
The number of placentas is less than the number of puppies, this indicates that the placenta has stuck inside the uterus and must be removed to avoid complications and exposure to the disease.
The mother bitch does not cut the umbilical cord and clean her young from the placenta and dirt.
A decrease in the level of sugar and calcium in the mother’s blood is likely after childbirth.

Address the problems that you may face when giving birth to dogs

The following are ways to treat some of the problems mentioned earlier: [١١] [٩]

In the event that she does not go into labor due to the absence of contractions in the uterus, the mother is given medication to stimulate contractions.
If the duration of rest is increased or the bitch has difficulties with childbirth and the drug does not find useful, a cesarean section is performed to remove the puppies.

A drop in sugar and the calcium level is treated by giving the mother an injection of calcium and an injection of dextrose to help strengthen uterine contractions.
In the event that the mother does not clean herself and her puppies, you carefully remove the placenta around the puppy’s nose and mouth and cut the umbilical cord with special surgical scissors at a distance of 3.5 centimeters from the puppy.

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