Dog lovers are too choosy when it comes to selecting a dog. Everyone likes some different breed of dog. If you ask them about choosing a companion for their dear canine, they choose their ‘favorite’ one. Nevertheless, do all dog lovers know how long the pregnancy period of a dog is? Here we will discuss some important things about pregnancy in dogs including gestation period of dogs.
Length of dogs’ pregnancy
An average dog pregnancy is somewhere between 58 and 67 days. Most of the dogs are pregnant for the period closer to 63 days, which is roughly 2 months. It might look like a long time to a dog owner, but this is much less than that of an elephant, which is pregnant for 660 days.
To be fair, the period between conception and delivery is quite short and within over nine weeks, the puppies delivered.
Dog Pregnancy – Factors that affect it
The length of pregnancy varies on multiple factors and depending on one or more of these factors; one may judge the duration of gestation of a dog. We have enlisted some of these factors below and discussed whom these factors play a role in affecting the length of pregnancy.
- Breed Size
Primarily, the factor that affects dog pregnancy is breed size. The size of the mother dog is one big factor. Surprisingly, smaller breeds of dog remain pregnant for longer periods than a larger breed of dog.
Therefore, a breed like the German Shepherd, which is a larger breed, may deliver closer to 58 days while a smaller breed like Pug may deliver in about 67 days.
- Size of Litter
Next deciding factor is the size of the litter of pups. If a mother dog is expecting only one or two pups, it takes more time to deliver. On the other hand, if the mother dog is expecting around five to six puppies, it may deliver early because as the puppies grow there is not much space in the womb.
- Family Line Average
One other factor that can have a large effect on the length of pregnancy is family line average. If that is possible, it is a good idea to see if there are any records for the average duration of gestation of your dog’s mother or grandmother.
Professional breeders generally keep a record of the same. They can give you an estimate time forecast about the expected period of pregnancy.
Most of the veterinarians suggest that 58 days is the earliest date that puppies can be born on safely. By this time their lungs are mature enough and the puppy born will survive. Anything less than 58 only increases the risk of puppies dying after birth.
However, it still may be possible that slightly premature puppies will survive in exceptional cases. You can always spot premature pup from their paws, which are bright pink, and there is very little fur on them.
Dog Pregnancy – details
- Week 1
In the first week, a female dog accepts the male dog. It happens only when the female dog is ovulating. After mating, the sperm can take several days to reach the ovum. Once that happens, fertilization occurs.
It is better to avoid or if possible not to use any flea treatments at this time.
- Week 2
During the week two of gestation, the newly fertilized cells begin to grow and separate. These cells slowly and steadily become embryos. Embryos, then, start drifting down to the uterine horns and float there in the uterine fluid.
- Week 3
During the week 3, the embryos begin to attach themselves to the uterine walls. Here, embryos eventually wrapped up in a membrane. This layer protects the little embryos and supplies them nutrients that are essential for their growth.
- Week 4
It is in the week 4 that you know for sure that your dog is pregnant. So the fourth week is a crucial stage where the future puppies are most vulnerable. It is in this week that they start developing face while they are still 1.5cm long.
- Week 5
During the week 5, the embryos turn into fetuses and their growth speeds up. It is now that they develop into males or females and grow toes, claws, and whiskers.
- Week 6
In the week 6, the mother dog will start looking pregnant as her stomach bulges out. She will need extra food and comfortable place.
- Week 7
Mother dog might start shedding hair on her stomach in week 7. At the same time, puppies grow their hair.
- Week 8
In week 9, the mother dog may start nesting. She will start getting comfortable in a place where she plans to give birth.
- Week 9
Finally, in the 9th week the mother dog is ready to deliver at any moment. Keep feeding her as much as she wants and keeps a check on her.
Pregnancy care is an important thing that you should not neglect. Some breeds may show morning sickness, and she may look tired and less active and will show vomiting tendencies. If you are sure about dog’s pregnancy, then it is better to take her to a veterinary doctor for the checkup. You can take your dog for check p after 2-3 week from the mating day.
You can have your many doubts clarified from a veterinary doctor, and you will be able to have a food chart what is right for your dog. Moreover, if she required any additional test or scanning that also could carry out. On a general term, a dog does not need much care and attention, but you can make your that your dog is in perfect condition and enjoys the essential comfort.