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All you need to know about caring for your dog during pregnancy

All you need to know about caring for your dog during pregnancy

Is your dog about to become a mom? Are you scared and confused on what to do and how to behave? Don’t worry, we’ve got you!

During this period you’re probably full of questions such as, how long are dogs pregnant, how do you care for a pregnant dog and what is needed in preparation for the blessed event?

The first thing you need to do is confirm with your vet that your dog really is pregnant and help you prepare for the changes your dog will go through in the weeks ahead.

How long are dog pregnancies

Formally your dog’s pregnancy is called dog gestation period. The entire gestation period is approximately nine weeks, or 63 days, although it can range from 58 to 68 days, depending on your dog.

What are the symptoms

During the first few weeks you might not notice any changes, however as your dog’s pregnancy progresses, you may notice:

  • Occasional short-lived episodes of vomiting
  • Loss of appetite for duration of pregnancy or ravenous appetite
  • Abdominal distention
  • Mammary gland development
  • Slightly pale mucous membranes (pale pink gums, as opposed to their normal pink) due to the physiologic anemia associated with pregnancy

How do you take care of your pregnant dog

The most important thing is to make sure your dog is under a veterinarian’s care throughout her whole pregnancy.

Another important thing you need to take care of is maintaining an appropriate dog food regiment.

If your dog is usually on a raw diet talk to your veterinarian and consider switching to kibble during breeding, pregnancy and lactation to reduce chances of abortions and neonatal losses.

Increase the amount of food you give your dog by 50 percent, however, keep the portions smaller in quantity but feed them more frequently. 

Veterinarians also recommend regular deworming and parasite prevention, but it’s important to use products approved for use during pregnancy and lactation.

Fish oils have been shown to be beneficial for your pregnant dog as well.

Potential health emergencies during pregnancy

There are several potential emergencies during pregnancy that might occur. If you observe any of the following you should immediately contact your vet:

  1. Extreme lethargy (listlessness)
  2. Complete loss of appetite (unless within 24 hours of giving birth)
  3. Bloody vaginal discharge
  4. Foul-smelling, yellowish or green discharge
  5. Vomiting (more than just “morning sickness”)
  6. Fever
  7. Extreme abdominal pain
  8. Very pale (white) gums