What Is The Gestation Period For Dogs?

Having puppies playing around in the yard is something that most dog owners treasure a lot. If your dog is in its gestation period, waiting for the arrival of the newborn puppies could seem to be taking an eternity. The gestation period for dogs normally takes at least 58 days or an average of 65 days in most instances. Keep on reading to learn more about gestation period for dogs.

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What To Expect Of Gestation Period For Dogs

Swelling Of The Vulva

To get ready for breeding, there will be hormonal alterations which occur during the heat cycle. This leads to the swelling of the vulva. It happens as the female dog gets ready for breeding. To be sure that this is a sign of pregnancy, some other symptoms do follow the swelling of the vulva.

Change In Nipple Color

dog's nipples turn pink

An early sign of a dog in its gestation period, two weeks after conception, is that its nipples experience a change in color because they turn pink. This is as a result of an increase in blood flow to the nipples area. There are other changes which accompany the pinkening of the nipples such as appearing conspicuous and a little swollen. The change in nipple color occurs at the same time with breast development. These are changes that occur two weeks into the gestation period.

Noticeable Body Changes

Just like human beings, the body appearance of a dog changes while it is in its gestation period. It experiences an outwards growth of its tummy as well as thickening of its waist within a period of four to five weeks.

Constant Vomiting And Reduced Appetite

Dogs experience ‘morning sickness’ too. In the first two weeks of the gestation period, dogs eat less due to reduced appetite. They later make up for the food not eaten in the later stages of their pregnancy. Another common symptom at this stage is frequent vomiting.

If your dog is expecting these symptoms, forcing it to eat is not a good solution. In case the reduced appetite continues for more than three days such that it barely eats anything, that is a cause for alarm, and so you need to consult your veterinarian. You can try to entice your dog by availing some kibble, mixed with rice or ground beef which has been boiled.

Heavy Appetite

Your dog can experience an increase in appetite during its gestation period. It will often gobble down the food in its bowl and still seem to want more. Letting it feed to its satisfaction is okay, but the best way of feeding it is by offering smaller portions of food, instead of a single large meal per day. This will ensure that its nutritional needs are met and that it is in a position to provide sufficient nutrition for the growing puppies.

Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge during a dog’s gestation period occurs four weeks into the pregnancy. Some instances could cause alarm, such as: if the discharge occurs earlier than mid-pregnancy, discharge of mucus which produces a bad odor, mucus with blood stains and a non-clear mucus discharge.

If any of these happens, you need to consult your veterinarian because there is a probability that your female dog has an infection, probably obtained during or after the heat cycle or during mating.

Abrupt Decrease In Activity

Normally, dogs are energetic and very active. Once it gets pregnant, you will notice a decline in its active nature. This could be as a result of fatigue as the level of their hormones increases. The condition occurs two weeks after conception. Your bitch’s active nature is restored immediately it gets used to its condition. An increase in the dog’s size may make it want to sleep more other than moving around.

Breast Development

Just like in women, breast development is a clear sign that your female dog is going through changes due to pregnancy. This is caused by the development of the milk glands underneath the nipples as they get ready for production of weaning milk and the nursing process. This change is evident in the early stages, two weeks into the gestation period.

Gradual Change In Behavior

behavior changes in gestation period

This happens some days after conception. Your dog may opt to stay secluded as it deals with the changes it is experiencing in its life or, in a different case; it may get clingy to its owner and show more affection due to the uncertainty as a result of the mixed feelings about changes in their body.

Look Out For Puppy Movement

During the last stage of gestation, you can see dog’s tummy moving from side to side due to the movement of the puppies within its womb. Placing your hand on the spot where you can see the movement will help you feel the movement.

It is not guaranteed that you will feel the movement because the puppies are deep within their mummy’s tummy, inside a sac of amniotic fluid.

Tips For Gestation Period For Dogs

Taking care of your four-legged hairy friend is important although it can handle most of it by herself. Here are some few things through which you will help your dog have its gestation period easy.

  • Take your dog to the vet to be sure that the symptoms which could be relating to pregnancy are not an indicator of a disease.
  • Provide a suitable and comfortable place for it to rest.
  • Make sure that it does not experience stress of any kind during its gestation period.
  • Get an appropriate litter box for your dog.
  • Get it to have just enough exercise to keep fit and prevent it from getting overweigh.
  • Feed your dog on a properly balanced diet. Keep adding the quantity of food you feed it on proportionally to its growth. To provide a calcium supplement, you can add some cottage cheese, two teaspoons full.

I hope you have learnt a lot on what to expect when your four-legged hairy friend is expectant. Your dog relies on you so that she can experience a smooth and successful gestation period. Try as much as possible to make the make your dog enjoy its gestation period. Be on the lookout for any complications and seek your vet’s assistance if necessary.

Helena Foster
 

Helena Foster is a Veterinary Nurse and the founder of PawsomeWorld. She has a lovely dog – Lulu. With the love for dogs, she’s willing to share her experiences for dog owners to help them make a better life for their own dogs.

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