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Dog Gestation Period — Canine Pregnancy

A highly pregnant dog’s owner trying to calculate dog gestation period

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Before you breed your dog, there is so much information that you have to learn! You need to educate yourself on how to, firstly, detect your dog’s pregnancy. Secondly, how the dog gestation period goes. And thirdly — what to do when your dog goes into labor.

In this article we will go over the basics of pregnancy and the gestation period.

If you want to read a more detailed article about how to know if your dog is pregnant — click here.

However, if you want to read something about different stages in a dog’s pregnancy — click here.

To learn how to care for your dog during pregnancy — click here.

How long are dogs pregnant?

Dogs are pregnant for approximately two months, or 62-64 days. Predicting the time of your dog’s delivery can be tricky, even to the most trained vets. The length of a dog’s pregnancy also depends on it’s breed and the litter size.

By the end of the first month of your dog’s pregnancy, your vet will be able to detect a heartbeat. During the second month, he could recognize the puppies on an ultrasound. At the end of the second month and the start of the third, the puppies are ready to come into the world!

Dog gestation period

The stages of s dog’s pregnancy are much quicker than in humans. The puppies develop rapidly and are ready two be born in just a fraction of the time it takes to develop human babies.

We will go over the dog gestation period month by month.

First month

During the first month, the embryos travel from the uterine horns in the uterine lining. This happens from day 7 after the fertilization to day 16. The fetuses then take shape from day 22. Already by day 28 to day 30, your vet will be able to detect a heartbeat on the ultrasound.

It’s very common for dogs to not show any symptoms during their first month of pregnancy. However, some possible symptoms your dog may show are:

  1. Increase in the appetite
  2. Enlarged or more strongly colored nipples
  3. Affectionate behavior
  4. Tiredness or lack of physical activity
  5. Vaginal discharge
  6. Morning sickness

Second month

The development of the fetuses will move very quickly during the second month. Eyelids form by day 32 and toes are visible by day 35. The claws form by day 40, and the coat and skeleton follow a few days later. Your vet will be able to reveal the size of the litter by day 50. Your bitch will start seeking for a nesting place by day 58.

During the second month, the signs of pregnancy will be more obvious:

  1. Weight gain
  2. Increased urination
  3. Change in demeanor
  4. Enlarged abdomen
  5. Visible puppy movements by day 50

Third month

By the start of the third month — your bitch is ready to go into labor. The development of the puppies is complete by day 58. The pups will move into position in the birth canal in the last few days of your dog’s pregnancy.

Signs your dog will be going into labor soon:

  1. Appetite loss
  2. Restless behavior
  3. Drop in body temperature
  4. Pacing, digging, panting and shivering
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