At home meals, it is important to follow a number of rules:
- not to allow feeding of expired, low-quality products;
- meat, offal, fish are thoroughly boiled;
- exclude bulky feed (“empty” cereals, soups);
- avoid giving foods that cause bloating (black loaf, potatoes, peas).
To compose the diet of a shepherd dog, they use lean meat, offal, cottage cheese and cereals (rice, buckwheat), boiled vegetables (pumpkin, zucchini, carrots). With this type of nutrition, it is imperative to use vitamin and mineral supplements.
If the pet is kept on industrial feed, in the second half of pregnancy and during lactation, they use a diet for puppies up to two months of age (Royal Canin Maxi Starter MotherBabydog and others). It is better if the food is of the same company that was fed earlier, the transition to a new diet is carried out within a week.
From 3 weeks old, the bitch is fed three times a day, and from 7 weeks. 4 times a day. Frequent feeding in small portions eliminates unnecessary pressure on the horns of the uterus. Water is given to drink ad libitum, usually pregnant females experience increased thirst.
What does a pregnant shepherd look like?
In the second half of pregnancy (from 5 weeks), signs become obvious even for novice dog breeders.
The bitch may just look fat, but with multiple pregnancies at the end of the term, the dog’s figure becomes pear-shaped: the swollen belly drops.
- The mammary glands enlarge, change color.
The nipples may swell as early as the fifth week, the skin on them becomes darker. By week 7, hair falls out around them. Sometimes the bitch facilitates this process by carefully licking her belly. A few days before giving birth, milk appears in the glands, sometimes it spontaneously drips from them.
How to care for a pregnant shepherd
Hosts should start planning for pregnancy well in advance of pregnancy. While the dog is carrying puppies, the use of any medication is highly undesirable. All chronic diseases, if any, should be treated to a stable remission in advance. It is necessary:
- get preventive vaccinations at least a month in advance;
- give anthelmintic broad Spectra a week before mating;
- in the warm season: pick up drugs for fleas and ticks approved for use by pregnant animals (Bravecto tablets, collars and drops based on essential oils).
After mating, the dog is considered pregnant, and although in the first month there is no need to change the diet or load, it is necessary to treat the bitch as carefully as possible.
When playing with a pregnant shepherd, care should be taken that the dog does not injure itself
How is a German Shepherd pregnancy going?
Pregnancy with a German Shepherd is almost always a welcome, planned event. To get a strong litter and keep the bitch healthy, she is provided with proper care. It is important to know how much a pregnant dog walks: the German Shepherd is a multi-fetal breed, and many owners even try to take time off to attend the birth and then help take care of the newborns.
At what age does a shepherd give birth
German Shepherds, like all large breed dogs, are late maturity. Until 15 months, they continue to grow and develop, and an early pregnancy of a shepherd dog will harm both the mother and the fetuses.
The first mating is usually carried out in the third estrus, at the age of 1.5-2 years. Up to 4-6 years old, bitches retain high reproductive abilities.
But we should not forget that pregnancy and childbirth are a serious burden on the body of the German Shepherd. Good breeders do not breed dogs every heat, but only once a year so that internal reserves can be restored. And even under such conditions, the body works “for wear and tear”, so you should not force to whelp bitches older than 8 years.
One litter usually gives birth to 6-7 puppies, but fertile females have 10-12, and even 15 puppies. Firstborns rarely have numerous litters.
How long does a German Shepherd get pregnant?
The gestational age cannot be predicted with certainty, since the time of gestation differs from bitch to bitch, and even differs from one dog to another depending on the number of fetuses.
On average, shepherd pregnancy lasts 60-65 days.
The last week is very important for the formation of fetuses, puppies born before 53 days of gestation are not viable. On the other hand, prolonged pregnancy is also a cause for concern: if the dog is walking (more than 70 days), a caesarean section may be required.
Owners need to carefully write down how many days after mating the dog gives birth. This will help avoid medical intervention in situations where it is not required. If a pet constantly puppies for 70 days, while the litter is healthy, the veterinarian should not suggest a cesarean section for 65 days.
Early signs of dog pregnancy- How to Tell if your Dog Is Pregnant ? dog health tips
The duration of pregnancy is often miscalculated by counting the days from the mating date. It does not always coincide with the date of fertilization. The gap between these events is sometimes 1-6 days (in the genital tract of the female sperm retain the ability to fertilize for a week). Experienced breeders try to mate during ovulation.
The fact that a dog carries puppies is not a reason to give up walking. In the first month, the dog can lead a normal life. Further walks should be long, but calm. A puppy bitch is not allowed to take barriers, jump, play with other dogs. In the summer, overheating is very dangerous, so they walk in the early morning and evening, in the shade.
A high level of activity allows the dog to maintain muscle mass and not put on weight. Obesity greatly complicates labor, labor will be mild, and oxytocin may be needed.
At what age does the first heat start
The time of first estrus may vary from dog to dog of the same breed. The onset of spotting usually occurs between 6-12 months of age. The stream can last for a different number of days, in some cases. up to 25 days. This period depends on the temperament of the pet and the presence of other females nearby.
It is not recommended to knit a shepherd dog in the first heat for a number of reasons:
- The large breed belongs to the Molossian. a variety of dogs with a late ripening period. During the first rut, the body has not yet formed for the development of the puppies. Pregnancy drains the shepherd, the dog looks exhausted, may have problems with bones and hair.
- Maternal instinct in young females is poorly developed. A young mother can leave the cubs after giving birth, there may be problems with lactation. The owner will feed young offspring on his own.
- In an immature organism, the reproductive system is not yet fully functioning. In the first and even second estrus, ovulation may not occur and pregnancy will not occur.
It is better to breed offspring for 3 estrus, in a dog it occurs at the age of 18-22 months. A dog should be allowed to mate no earlier than 2 years. For inexperienced dogs, a specialist is invited, he will show the dog how to approach the female and the mating will be successful.
Attention! Early mating is undesirable for a German Shepherd. It can cause health problems.
Problems during childbirth include strong discharge from the genitals, prolonged contractions. To avoid trouble, a specialist is invited to give birth to a purebred dog.
How Long Are Dogs Pregnant Before They Give Birth?
Young females may not have milk. The puppies process causes stress in the animal, she can become nervous, leave the puppies.
The dog’s mammary glands enlarge, the belly grows. At this time, the puppies are in active development, the spine, eyes, and internal organs are being formed. They try to treat the shepherd delicately, do not load it with active long walks.
Recommended! You need to add vitamins to the diet of a pregnant dog.
How to feed a pregnant dog
A pet that bears its offspring especially needs a balanced and correct diet. The main danger is calcium deficiency, which causes eclampsia or the so-called “milk fever”. Eclampsia is usually a fatal condition associated with a rapid decline in total blood calcium levels.
Early pregnancy problems H4
- the first two weeks. lack of appetite. At this stage, the dog should not be forced to eat, and the food should be light and well digestible;
- the third week. the presence of toxicosis and morning vomiting. Such problems usually go away on their own. Portions should be small, and a good result is the introduction of broths into the diet to prevent the development of dehydration;
- the last weeks. the appearance of apathy, weakness and poor appetite. At this stage, it is necessary to supplement the diet with easily digestible products in the form of milk and cottage cheese with a low percentage of fat.
All dogs that are carrying their first offspring must necessarily receive special dietary supplements with calcium from the very first day of pregnancy, and from the fourth to fifth week they are transferred to an enhanced diet.
It is interesting! Magnesium can only be absorbed together with calcium, and such an element is vital for the full functioning of the central nervous system. However, excessive intake of magnesium and calcium negatively affects the reproductive function of the dog.
For dogs with allergies or nutritionally problematic animals, the diet is selected in accordance with the composition, after consulting a veterinarian or professional dog handler.
The dog becomes lethargic in the morning, pink discharge appears on the female’s labia. At this time, you should not give the animal drugs against worms.
At the sixth week of pregnancy, the dog is already clearly visible. The abdomen is dense, the appetite is increased. Feed the pregnant shepherd as much as she asks. The pet goes to the toilet often, walking should be on demand.
What does a pregnant shepherd look like?
In the first 3-4 weeks of an interesting position, the animal may become drowsy, demanding more food and water. In the second month, the expectant mother is actively gaining weight, her sides are rounded, her belly sags. The female becomes slow, shows more affection.
About 10 days after mating, the bitch may have an increase in appetite. In this case, the diet is increased by introducing additional feeding with a smaller amount of food. Ideally, by the end of the first month, the dog should gain some fat (this is not about the volume of the belly, but about the amount of fat on the ribs). But just a little, obesity is the enemy of a healthy pregnancy.
What affects the duration of pregnancy
How long it will take for your pet to bear puppies depends on many conditions.
8 week (49. 56 days)
The temperature of the nipples of the bitch rises slightly, when pressed, they release colostrum.
The dog can start “building a nest”: digging a rug, dragging bedspreads and pillows into place. Females with increased excitability show interest in objects that resemble puppies (toys, squeaks). The tailed reinsurer can independently “move” from the usual place, choosing another, where she will feel safe. All this suggests that it is time for the owner to equip a “den” for future offspring.
Help with toxicosis
The nature of the onset of toxicosis in dogs is almost unknown. A bitch’s refusal to eat due to nausea can cause irreparable harm to the health of future puppies. To avoid this, use our tips:
- long, slow walks help work up an appetite;
- it is better to feed the bitch a little, as often as possible;
- in especially severe cases, dry food is soaked in water, rolled into balls and given in tiny portions, like medicine, to the root of the tongue;
- dried apricots help to bring down nausea, but it is important not to overdo it, this dried fruit is very weak;
- the company “8 in 1” along with vitamin and mineral complexes produces energy paste for pregnant dogs. She will not allow the body to starve until the symptoms of toxicosis subside;
- after a mandatory consultation with a specialist, you can start taking veterinary prebiotics for pregnant bitches (for example, Eniferm).
The main process
In pedigree animals, childbirth lasts from 3 to 15 hours. First, contractions appear, and then the dog begins to push. The waste of water signals the appearance of a baby. Usually the firstborn is the largest puppy.
The mother independently frees the baby from the amniotic membrane and gnaws through the umbilical cord. Licks the newborn thoroughly. Sometimes dogs in the process of licking eat the offspring, so the owners need to control the situation.
The offspring are temporarily separated from the mother and placed in a warm, dry box. The bitch is admitted to the children upon completion of postnatal walking on the street and carrying out sanitary and hygienic procedures.
The interval between the birth of dogs is from a few minutes to an hour. At this time, the sheepdog eats the remaining afterbirth. She needs to replenish the balance of proteins in the body. However, more than 4 consecutives are not allowed. Excessive amounts lead to intoxication.
Stages of an interesting situation
The normal course of pregnancy in a German shepherd takes 60-65 days. During this time, intrauterine development of the fetus occurs. It consists of several stages:
- The heart is formed by day 21.
- By the 27-28th day, the body takes on a full-fledged appearance, but without hair.
- By day 32, 25% of the required body weight in the fetus is reached. At this time, it is recommended to do an ultrasound.
- By day 34, a stable skeleton is formed.
- By the 37th day, the formation of the main organs and systems ends.
- On the 45th day, you can accurately determine the number of cubs (video author Anna Fedorchuk).
Responsible preparation for the upcoming childbirth requires knowing exactly the duration of pregnancy in a German shepherd. There are 2 ways to calculate:
- by mating date;
- according to ultrasound data.
Medical diagnostics allows you to determine the date. With multiple pregnancies, whelping occurs earlier than with infertile.
The day before the start of the contractions, the animal is shaved off the pile around the anus, genitals and on the abdomen. Normally, puppies appear within 3 hours to 1 day (video from the channel “MY LIFE and MY DOGS / MY LIFE and MY DOGS”).
The first signs of impending whelping appear 5 days before it starts. The female behaves restlessly, runs around the house, whines. Bitches giving birth ooze milk from the nipples. In firstborns, the mammary glands swell and begin to work immediately before contractions.
It is extremely important to observe the appearance of mucous discharge from the genitals. Their color indicates the health status of the animal:
- transparent and greenish. normal;
- pink or brown. critical.
On the eve of the onset of contractions, the behavior of the shepherd dog and its appearance change markedly:
- breathing and heart rate increase;
- the pupils of the eyes dilate;
- the sides fall, and the back arches;
- body temperature drops by one and a half degrees, to 37C.
Visually, signs of pregnancy become noticeable in an animal 1-1.5 months after fertilization. The body of the female takes on a rounded shape, the abdomen hangs down. The nipples are well felt. They swell and harden from the rush of milk.
However, similar symptoms appear during a false pregnancy. To finally make sure that your pet is in an interesting position, it is better to contact your veterinarian. He will carry out a thorough examination and help to establish the time of delivery.
Timing and signs
German Shepherd Dogs do not have a clear schedule for the duration of pregnancy. Each dog bears offspring at an individual time, on average 60-65 days.
The long-term practice of observing pedigree animals has made it possible to establish a number of patterns:
- In firstborns, pregnancy lasts longer than in females who have given birth.
- The number of future babies in the litter affects the gestation period: the more puppies, the faster the birth occurs.
- Cubs born earlier than 53 days do not survive.
- Delayed labor over 70 days requires surgery (caesarean section).
A pregnant female changes her behavior noticeably. She becomes calmer, spends more time with the owners. During the gestation period, the animal eats and drinks a lot. However, inexperienced bitches who become pregnant for the first time often continue to lead an active lifestyle. Owners need to carefully monitor the behavior of the expectant mother so that she does not harm herself and her offspring.
In the prenatal period, the owners should surround the expectant mother with care and attention. She needs to be walked more often, since the urge to urinate increases. During the walk, do not under any circumstances allow heavy loads on the animal. The bitch should walk calmly, not run or jump.
When carrying offspring, the diet undergoes changes in the direction of an increase in the proportion of foods containing vitamins (A, B, D, E) and calcium. It is advisable to feed the female with meat (beef, lamb), cottage cheese, eggs. In addition, she needs a large amount of liquid every day, so the drinker must be constantly filled with clean water.
10-14 days before delivery, a special box is built, in the form of a wooden box with removable walls and no bottom. They give you the opportunity to examine it and get used to it. The length of the structure corresponds to the size of the dog in the supine position. The bitch paws against the side, which helps her to push during fights.
At the bottom, the floor is covered with disinfected oilcloth and bedding. The woman in labor should be comfortable and warm. Very often labor attempts in thoroughbred animals are sluggish, so it is better to invite a veterinarian in advance. He will help the pet at a crucial moment to produce offspring.
What you need to know about German Shepherd pregnancy and childbirth?
The German Shepherd is ready to bear and give birth to offspring at the age of three. The ovulation period lasts only 2 days. At this time, dogs are mated. The owner needs to remember the date so that it is easier to calculate the moment of the onset of labor. At the same time, the question often remains: how long does a pregnant German shepherd walk??
The birth process can cause a shock state in the bitch, especially the first-borns are predisposed to it. The animal is noticeably nervous, chaotic and senselessly moving around the room. The body and limbs of the dog are cramping. She shivers as if from cold. Saliva begins to drip from the mouth, and breathing quickens.
These signs are characteristic of titania. postpartum shock. In this state, the shepherd dog does not control its behavior and is capable of harming the cubs, even chewing and eating them.
The owners should not lose sight of the woman in labor, it is necessary to closely monitor her during the first day. In case of the appearance of dangerous symptoms, the newly-made mother is isolated from the offspring. They try to calm and warm the dog. If the animal could not be brought back to normal, then it should be shown to the veterinarian.