home Dogs How to understand that a dog is pregnant shepherd

How to understand that a dog is pregnant shepherd

Pregnant dog

Pregnancy is a stressful period not only for humans, but also for the dog. At this time, it is important to pay due attention to the animal, to provide conditions for the full development of the fetus.

How long a dog walks pregnant depends not only on the breed, but also on the individual characteristics of each dog. Usually whelping occurs between 55 and 72 days. Of course, only a veterinarian can determine a more accurate date, but his forecast is not always correct. It is much better to just monitor the condition of the animal, compose the correct exercise and nutrition and, of course, try to correctly distinguish the dog’s mood.

But it should be determined initially whether the animal has really entered the stage of pregnancy, or this process is false.

Dog grooming

  • Give the dog the opportunity to move independently and actively enough.
  • Do not allow you to run up stairs or jump.
  • Walk daily (in cold weather. in warm clothes and shoes for dogs).
  • It is permissible to lift it up, but only without touching the stomach and not turning it up. It should also be done slowly.
  • Weaning the dog from other animals.
  • Forbid the animal to lie or sleep on its back, as this threatens with serious complications during childbirth.

Site preparation

In advance, the dog should be introduced to this place, let it lie down for a while and sniff everything. Additionally, you can put a heating pad, or put any heater next to it. In the first days after giving birth, the most optimal temperature for puppies is 28C. It gradually decreases to 20C.

Initially, you should prepare the following things:

  • Oilcloth. After that you need to lay it under the dog.
  • Saline.
  • Silk threads.
  • Sterile wipes.
  • Diaper.

In addition, you need to prepare medications that the veterinarian will recommend. If necessary, you need to self-inject the puppies or the dog.

Discharge during pregnancy

In addition to such secretions, it also happens that the loop, contrary to claims, is covered by them. They are usually transparent and slimy, odorless or colorless. There are no reasons for concern, if the number of them is not particularly large, and the condition of the dog does not worsen. But the appearance of a pungent odor, color, green or yellow tint indicates a serious pathology. Only a veterinarian needs to deal with it.

Toxicosis is usually not noticeable, but if the animal often has lethargy, decreased appetite, diarrhea or vomiting occurs, then nutrition should be adjusted. It is better to have it compiled by a doctor, as he will be able to assess the condition of the internal organs of the dog.

Signs of labor

  • If you put your hand on your stomach, the puppies will not move. Their fading speaks of imminent childbirth.
  • Anxiety is clearly visible, especially in primiparous.
  • The animal whines and even moans sometimes.
  • Increased breathing rate.
  • Noticeable body tremors.
  • Many begin to rush, tear the bedding.
  • Some stop eating, while others willingly eat and go for a walk. But after it, they can immediately go to their place.
  • Back sagging becomes more noticeable a few days before delivery. This happens due to prolapse of the uterus.
  • noticeable softening and enlargement of the loop.
  • Temperature jumps, but before childbirth it drops noticeably.
  • The discharge becomes more abundant. If they take a slightly different color, then you should contact the clinic. In most of these cases, a caesarean section is required.

How to tell if your dog is pregnant

After mating the dog, you need to monitor its condition. Pregnancy allows you to identify the following signs:

  • Blood discharge disappears in case of successful mating.
  • Change of habitual lines of behavior. A dog can become both overly aggressive and dominant towards relatives, and shy. She becomes very affectionate with the owner.
  • After a couple of weeks, changes in the mammary glands become noticeable. They become slightly larger, the skin around the nipples becomes lighter.
  • The wool becomes softer.
  • Lethargy, vomiting, nausea, refusal to eat. these symptoms appear already in the third week and characterize the moment when the embryos attach to the uterine wall.
  • The appearance of mucous secretions.

The number of puppies can be found out after thirty days of pregnancy. An experienced veterinarian can gently feel the belly and also do an ultrasound scan. At this point, the viability of the fruit is also determined. If possible, you should not delay the procedure, since by the thirty-fifth day the puppies will become larger, and their projections will overlap. One procedure is enough not to seriously disturb the dog.

In the future, pregnancy will be manifested by an increase in appetite and abdomen. The movement of puppies can be felt only a couple of weeks before the expected date of birth by placing your hand on your stomach. Visually, this will become noticeable only a few days before.

X-rays are performed at a very late date. It is he who allows you to accurately determine the number of puppies.

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False pregnancy

It is necessary to cope with such a condition with the help of a veterinarian, who will prescribe the necessary psychotropic or sedative agents. In this case, it is necessary to reduce to a minimum all the liquid. Milk should be discarded altogether. You should also muzzle your dog to prevent self-stimulation of the mammary glands. If they produce a large amount of milk, it will be necessary to bandage with an elastic bandage.

A change of scenery and active walks will help the animal to gradually distract itself. A change in diet works the same way.

Veterinary diagnostics

Not all owners have enough visual methods for determining pregnancy, which can be used at home. With planned mating, it is extremely important for the owner of the female to understand whether mating has occurred or whether a repeated meeting with the male is required. For a more accurate diagnosis of fertilization, measures are used to determine the optimal period for conception.

Naturally, if you need professional help, you need to contact a veterinary clinic. You need to understand that changes in behavior or at the physiological level that alerted you may indicate not only pregnancy, but also the development of various pathologies. When choosing a method of examination, the veterinarian will proceed from the history and the estimated timing of pregnancy.

Most likely, the veterinarian will begin by visually examining the dog and feeling its abdomen. Many experienced doctors can determine pregnancy for a period of 2 weeks or more by palpation of the peritoneum. However, no veterinarian will give a guarantee about the presence of pregnancy or its absence without a more “in-depth” examination.

Note! Palpation will be more successful if performed from 27 to 35 days after the intended conception. Before 27 days, puppies are too small, and after 35 days, embryos in the uterus can be confused with clusters in the intestines.

After palpation and visual examination, the veterinarian listens for the dog’s heartbeat. Don’t be surprised when your vet listens to your entire chest and abdomen. The fact is that from 5-6 weeks there is a possibility of listening to the fetal heartbeat if the dog is carrying no more than 2-3 puppies. Again, this method is not accurate as there is a greater likelihood of hearing sounds in the abdomen behind the puppies’ heartbeat.

A more accurate way to determine early pregnancy involves taking blood for analysis. In addition to general indicators, the blood is checked for the presence and concentration of the so-called pregnancy hormone relaxin. The veterinarian can guarantee that the dog is pregnant and is more than 28 days old if the relaxin test is positive. Up to 28 days, even if the dog is pregnant, the test can be false negative.

Ultrasound examination is also considered a reliable method for determining early pregnancy, but it has a large error in determining the number of fetuses. The positive aspects of ultrasound are that pregnancy can be detected as early as 28 days of gestation. If more than 16 days have passed since the moment of presumptive conception, most likely, with the help of ultrasound, the veterinarian will be able to give a final conclusion about the pregnancy.

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Note! Counting the number of fetuses by ultrasound is a standard procedure, but you should not rely on it. During gestation, a so-called partial miscarriage or resorption of the fetus may occur.

Another fairly reliable way to determine pregnancy in a dog is X-ray. Recently, radiography is almost not used to determine pregnancy, since it is replaced by ultrasound examinations. On x-rays, the dog receives a small dose of radiation, which can adversely affect the puppies. However, experienced veterinarians often insist on testing, especially when it comes to gestation from 12 to 16 days. At this time, the puppies are in bubbles with water, show enviable activity and are difficult to see during ultrasound examination. X-rays are often prescribed in late pregnancy so that during childbirth the owner knows how many puppies his dog should “bring”.

Behavioral change

Dog owners often expect behavioral changes from their pregnant pet. As a rule, inexperienced dog owners come to the conclusion that their pet is not pregnant, since no changes occur to her. However, you should not rush to conclusions, dogs that are calm by nature may not show any behavioral signs of pregnancy in the early stages.

In theory, in the early stages of pregnancy, the expectant mother becomes calm, sleeps more, and her activity may decrease. It is important not to confuse the “symptoms” of pregnancy and signs of poor health.

The first behavioral signs of pregnancy, most often, appear only in the third trimester. As the belly of the dog grows, its movements become more awkward. You may notice that the pet has become more cautious on walks, tries to bypass other people’s dogs and asks to go home as soon as it goes to the toilet. During the second and third trimester of pregnancy, you may notice that your dog is sleeping and eating more.

A change that only an experienced owner will notice is a gradual increase in the amount of food consumed.

  • By the second trimester of pregnancy, if the dog’s diet is not enhanced, it will appear visibly hungry.
  • In the third trimester, the dog cannot eat the usual portion at a time, since its internal organs are displaced.
  • In the last stages, the dog needs to be transferred to fractional feeding.

It is advisable to feed your pet 4-5 times a day, dividing the required daily rate into equal parts.

Important! In the first and second trimester of pregnancy, the dog may suffer from toxicosis, which will lead to a decrease in the amount of food eaten, a noticeable feeling of nausea or vomiting. In case of toxicosis, pregnant dogs are given a special, neutral diet and fractional feeding is prescribed.

Many dogs become more melancholic during pregnancy and begin to show maternal instinct. If there are no other animals in the house, toys or other inanimate objects will become the object of care of the expectant mother. You may notice that the pet has begun to actively respond to squeaking sounds. Usually maternal instinct manifests itself at the end of the second and or beginning of the third trimester.

How to tell if your dog is pregnant: visual, behavioral and medical methods

Many owners doubt that a dog is pregnant until its belly becomes impressively rounded. However, there are some signs and methods that make it possible to understand whether conception occurred after mating at an early gestation period.

How to Tell If Your Dog is Pregnant (Without Dog Pregnancy Test)

Physiological changes

Until the last few weeks of gestation, it is difficult to tell whether the dog is pregnant or not, while the enlargement of the belly is difficult to miss. The best way to find out is through a veterinarian examination. However, the owner will not be hindered by knowledge of the physiological and behavioral changes that indicate the pregnancy of the pet. Even in the early stages of pregnancy, some signs that the mating was successful can be considered obvious.

One of the earliest signs that can be detected as early as the third week of gestation is a change in pigmentation in the nipple area. Usually, the color of the skin on the abdomen changes, becomes a little pinkish, the skin itself looks slightly swollen. At 3 weeks old, you may notice slight changes in the dog’s physique. On close examination and palpation, you will find that the abdominal cavity has become more “filled”. Many owners confuse primary abdominal fullness with swelling or bloating.

If you do not want to be a victim of doubts, do not increase the amount of food consumed by the dog in advance. A significant increase in the portion of food eaten is relevant only in the last trimester.

By doing this, you will intentionally make your dog obese, and this, in turn, can confuse you. Only a veterinarian can determine early pregnancy in a dog and distinguish it from the initial degree of obesity (in which adipose tissue accumulates in the peritoneum). What’s more, if the dog is pregnant and has gained weight, the veterinarian may not be able to probe the puppies early.

An obvious physiological sign of pregnancy appears at 6-9 weeks of gestation. The so-called distribution of the bandolier takes place, which indicates the descent of embryos from the horns of the uterus into its cavity. Against the background of a noticeably enlarging belly, the dog’s nipples continue to swell and fill. Pigmentation of the skin on the abdomen becomes more pronounced, there may be a slight local increase in temperature.

understand, pregnant, shepherd

On the eve of birth, the dog’s nipples may start to release “false” colostrum or milk. If the discharge is transparent or whitish, without a pungent odor, you do not need to worry, but it’s time to get ready for childbirth. If the nipples become too hot, the discharge is yellowish or contains bloody inclusions, the dog must be urgently shown to the veterinarian, as symptoms indicate the development of mastitis.

A few weeks before the puppies are born, you can feel their movements when you feel the dog’s belly. In short-haired dogs, the movement of babies is noticeable even visually, when the dog is stationary or resting, you can notice a distinct vibration of the abdominal walls. In furry pets, the movements of the puppies can be masked by the fur, but they will be clearly felt with the palm of the hand.

Important tips for owners

As mentioned above, any behavioral signs of pregnancy can indicate the development of a disease. The situation is rather twofold, because during mating, if the dogs have not been examined for genital infections, they can infect each other. In any case, you need to be careful and patient.

Normally, the first 2-3 weeks of pregnancy in a dog are asymptomatic. If you notice that your pet has become lethargic in the first two weeks after mating, this is a reason to be alert and show your dog to the doctor. Perhaps your dog is suffering from toxicosis, the symptoms of which need to be eliminated after the fact.

If you suspect that your dog is pregnant, never jump to conclusions, much less resort to self-treatment. In the first two weeks, if the pregnancy is proceeding normally, the dog does not suffer from toxicosis, and you should not notice any changes in behavior. Closely examine the mucous membranes for pallor or blue discoloration. Normally, during the period of fixation of the fetus in the horns of the uterus, the base body temperature may rise slightly, which will lead to a weakening of the pigmentation of the mucous membranes of the gums and eyelids.

Important! A slight pallor, against the background of normal body temperature, may indicate the consolidation of embryos in multiple pregnancies. Do not worry if this phenomenon is temporary and does not last more than 2 days. If your dog’s gums appear gray or blue, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Behavioral changes, especially mood swings, can indicate both pregnancy and severe discomfort. If your dog has become calmer or apathetic, the first thing you need to do is take its body temperature. Suspicious apathy can indicate any well-being problem, including the development of latent infections.

Many owners who have no experience of watching pregnant dogs, for some reason, believe that their pet should become more affectionate and sociable. Of course, this can happen, but most often the female becomes withdrawn and aloof.

Note! The desire to hide in a dark place, to avoid contact with the owner and other dogs, can indicate both pregnancy and feeling unwell.

External signs

Early pregnancy is difficult to determine. But there are indirect signs that will help the owner to closely observe the behavior and changing habits of the animal. Here are some signs of pregnancy in a dog in the early stages, he can see:

  • Choice of food (refusal of favorite food).
  • Decreased activity, drowsiness.
  • Behavior change. Sometimes the dog tries to attract the attention of the owner, fondling him, and sometimes the always sociable pupil becomes indifferent and apathetic.

Knowing the features of the behavior of his pet, an attentive owner will pay attention to the changes that have appeared and after a while will be able to find other signs that confirm her interesting position.

In the second week, a pregnant dog’s nipples swell and the skin around them thickens. These signs can be identified by palpating her abdomen.

To make sure in their owner, they can conduct a more detailed examination of it in a veterinary clinic.

Relaxin test

There is a laboratory study of the blood serum of an animal, which is called a relaxin test. This is almost 100% reliable method, which is recommended for 2-3 weeks of pregnancy, although a more accurate result is guaranteed when testing for 3-4 weeks.

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Relaxin is a specific hormone produced in the dog’s body only during pregnancy. It is produced by the placenta of developing puppy embryos.

The test is carried out in laboratory conditions, since the study requires the venous blood of the animal. The hormone is determined in the blood serum.

What does ultrasound give?

  • Confirms or excludes signs of pregnancy in dogs.
  • Determines the number of developing embryos.
  • Allows you to assess the viability, size and location of fruits.
  • Determines the existing pathologies of pregnancy.

It is recommended to conduct an ultrasound examination of the dog at least once during pregnancy. The optimal time is 24-28 days of the deadline. At a period of 28 days, pregnancy in dogs with the help of ultrasound is diagnosed almost 100%.

If an ultrasound scan shows any deviations in the animal’s condition from the norm, then repeated studies are needed to make adjustments and prepare for childbirth.

Why carry out an ultrasound

Some dog owners are of the opinion that ultrasound is harmful to pregnant animals. This opinion is completely unfounded, since ultrasound examination for the expectant mother and puppies is completely harmless.

Late pregnancy

From the second month, signs become apparent:

  • The animal begins to gain weight, the mammary glands swell, the belly increases in size.
  • Active weight gain.
  • When palpating the abdomen, puppies are well felt (this procedure is not recommended for owners of pregnant dogs on their own to avoid injury due to lack of professional experience).
  • Colostrum may be excreted in parous dogs by day 40. In primiparous bitches, milk may appear only before childbirth, or immediately after them.
  • An indicator of upcoming labor is a decrease in rectal temperature. It drops sharply to 37-36⁰С 10-24 hours before the onset of labor.

How to tell if your dog is pregnant

Pregnancy of a dog is a crucial period, starting from its first days. During this period, special care is needed for the animal, since not only the health of the pet, but also her offspring depends on the course of pregnancy. But the early stage of pregnancy in dogs, especially primiparous, is practically invisible. Therefore, it is important to understand in time that the dog is pregnant.

R- research

How do you know if a dog is pregnant at a later date? This can be done using radiography starting at day 42, when the fetus is undergoing skeletal calcification. X-rays determine the exact number of developing fetuses in the uterus, their position, the ratio of the size of the pelvis of a pregnant dog to the size of the fetus. Such information is of great importance for the existing pathologies in the animal in order to timely choose a strategy for managing labor.

External signs of pregnancy in dogs

Despite the fact that in dogs pregnancy proceeds relatively quickly and the fetus develops at a high rate, external changes in the animal are noticeable only by the middle of the second trimester.

By the end of the fourth week, the appearance of the nipples changes in the pet, and from 30-35 days after fertilization, the dog will begin to gain weight. During this period, the animal must be provided with a varied diet, enhanced with vitamin complexes and microelements, but also the dog should not be overfed in order to avoid the development of obesity and subsequent complications during childbirth.

In late pregnancy, the frequency of meals often increases. With the growth of the fetus, the pressure on the stomach increases, the volume of food consumed per feeding decreases, and, therefore, in order to be satiated, the dog begins to eat more often in small portions.

The gestation period for puppies is on average 9 weeks, but depending on the individual characteristics of the animal or the characteristics of the breed, it ranges from 55 to 70 days.

The first signs of pregnancy in small breed dogs

Pregnancy is more uncomfortable for small breeds than for large dogs. Since there are usually many puppies in the litter, the dog begins to gain weight early.

  • By the time of birth, the weight of the pet may increase by half. The abdomen is significantly rounded, in later terms the outline of the fetus in the womb is easily guessed, and palpitations and tremors are palpable.
  • Because of the vulnerability, the pet becomes more affectionate, sometimes intrusive. Demands the owner’s attention.
  • The animal quickly becomes clumsy. At the first signs of pregnancy, small dog breeds should limit physical activity and replace intense activity with frequent calm walks.
  • A large number of puppies being nursed usually affects the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. The pet cannot consume large amounts of food, she needs crushed food and frequent meals.
  • Also, due to the strong pressure inside the abdominal cavity, the urge to urinate increases in the animal, the dog cannot stand it in the later stages, and it has to be walked more often.
  • In addition, the more puppies in the litter, the faster intrauterine development takes place, as a result, pregnancy in small breeds of dogs lasts an average of 58-63 days.

How to tell if your dog is pregnant

As a result of breeding changes, the health of modern dog breeds has become extremely vulnerable. During the period of gestation, the animal needs high-quality care, a balanced diet and preparations that support the correct development of the offspring. In order to timely adjust the diet and schedule, breeders need to find out about the pregnancy of their pet as early as possible.

The first signs of pregnancy in dogs

The most reliable first sign of changes in the body of pregnant bitches, confirming the success of mating, is the cessation of estrus within a week after mating. Otherwise, there are no clinical symptoms of pregnancy in the first couple of weeks.

Within 14 days after fertilization, the owner can notice in the pet only indirect behavioral signs of pregnancy:

  • the animal seeks solitude;
  • reduced daily activity;
  • the female seeks to dominate in relation to other pets, if such live with her in the same territory;
  • the dog hides the belly, and can also show aggression when trying to touch it.

However, if there is no change in the behavior of the animal after mating, the likelihood of pregnancy should not be ruled out.

During the period under consideration, the pet should not have any vaginal discharge, temperature changes or lack of appetite. If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately visit your veterinarian.

Signs of pregnancy in large breed dogs

Pregnancy in large breed dogs does not manifest itself externally for a long time. The dog retains grace and mobility, avoiding only jumping and increased stress on the hind limbs.

  • The female does not gain much weight, in direct proportion to how many puppies are expected. If the pregnancy is thin, then the volume of the abdomen practically does not increase.
  • Large breeds carry puppies on average 3-4 days longer. Since the puppies are quite large, there are few cubs in the litter, most often 2-3.

The main signs of pregnancy in dogs

In general, the course of pregnancy in all breeds of dogs is identical.

In the third week, most females have a decrease in appetite, which is associated with a change in hormonal levels. Animals tolerate toxicosis caused by hormone imbalance in different ways. Some individuals are likely to develop nausea and vomiting.

By the end of the first month of pregnancy, the dog becomes lethargic, rests more often and longer between games and walks, sleeps more than usual.

Also, by the end of the third week, the female may have abundant mucous discharge from the loop. Normally, the owner may not notice them and determine only by the fact that the dog began to groom more often.

How nipples change in a pregnant dog

One of the earliest signs of pregnancy in dogs is considered a change in the appearance of the nipples.

In giving birth dogs, the halos become lighter (turn pink) by the end of the second week after fertilization. During the first pregnancy in a female, this symptom may be mild. often the skin on the nipples thickens and slightly coarsens.

On the 45-50th day, the nipples of a pregnant dog swell strongly, especially those closest to the pelvis. The body temperature around them changes noticeably. When pressed, colostrum is released. Irritation of the mammary glands can cause discomfort in the dog.

Psychological and physiological changes in later stages

It would seem that at a later date, the answer to the question of how to find out if a dog is pregnant becomes obvious. Still, some people have problems. However, here, too, several characteristic features can be distinguished:

  • Each female has a nesting effect. From the 3rd week after fertilization until the very birth, the pet will begin to behave strangely: sleep in a box or other container; carry rags and blankets into it. This suggests that the pet began to equip a home for its future cubs.
  • The uterus of the dog will noticeably increase in the later stages. Accordingly, it will begin to squeeze the stomach and bladder. The dog will be satisfied with a small amount of food and will often go to the litter box.
  • In the third trimester, the dog’s weight will increase significantly. It will become difficult for her to walk. She will spend most of her time asleep.
  • If you put your hand to the belly of the animal, then you can feel slight movements. At a later date, the points can also be seen visually.
  • Gradually, it will begin to “round off”. Because of this, her gait may also change.
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As for the psychological signs, there is no objective version. Each organism begins to react to a new state for it in different ways. The dog may become calm and affectionate, aggressive, lazy, or its mood will not change at all.

Physiology or signs “on the face

How do you know if your dog is pregnant at home? The owner will be able to make the correct verdict if he notices several characteristic signs:

  • Nipples. Human anatomy is arranged in such a way that when a new life is born, the female’s nipples visually change. For example, in women, they become darker, and small folds appear on the skin. The dog has similar symptoms. 2-3 weeks after fertilization, the nipples turn bright pink. In addition, they swell and, as if, begin to bulge out of the abdomen.
  • Some animals change their behavior: they become sleepy, lethargic and lazy.
  • Approximately 30 percent of bitches change their eating habits. They stop eating the food they like so much.
  • A pregnant dog needs a supply of vitamins that it needs to carry a baby properly. In late spring, summer and early autumn, you can see how she actively uses greens.

If this is not the first time a dog has been carrying puppies, then the owner himself already understands how to find out if the dog is pregnant at home. As a rule, the state of individuals during all “interesting positions” is identical.

The most interesting facts

How do you know if your dog is pregnant? There are many possible methods for detecting the presence of small pets in her belly. But, there are a few more important points that relate to this unusual situation:

  • The gestation period in dogs varies in days. The total duration is from 58 to 65 days. Most females give birth on the 63rd day after conception.
  • By one year, the bitch’s body is already fully mature. This means that, in theory, he is ready to bear a new life.
  • Dogs, like many other animals, can become pregnant only when they are in estrus. 2 times a year.
  • A non-standard method for finding out that a dog is pregnant: hang a ring over it, tied on a string. If it began to make circular movements, it means that the individual is soon waiting for an addition.
  • A caring owner should wish his pet well, that is, so that her childbirth would pass without complications. To do this, she needs to be trained during pregnancy. Of course, this does not mean that you need to run with her and climb on the horizontal bars. Hiking will be enough.
  • There are also sexually transmitted diseases in dogs. Unfortunately, in most cases, they lead to termination of pregnancy.

There are many versions of how to find out that a dog is pregnant. The most plausible is a diagnostic examination, which can be passed in a qualified veterinary clinic, other methods are very dubious and have no scientific explanation.

Care advice

Having figured out how to find out if a dog is pregnant, you need to learn how to properly handle it during this period. A bitch carrying puppies needs special care, since the health of the future offspring depends on this.

Throughout the entire period, you need to monitor the well-being of the dog and its diet. In addition, it is recommended to provide the animal with the opportunity to actively move around, while not allowing it to jump or run up the stairs.

It is also important to provide your pet with daily outdoor walks. Some experts recommend protecting a pregnant dog from contact with other animals, since there is always a risk of catching some kind of infectious disease.

Myth Her body shape changes.

In the first and second trimester, no changes in the structure of the dog’s body are observed. The belly will begin to thicken only after the 5th week of pregnancy.

Myth The animal began to behave differently

There are people who believe that after fertilization, the dog will necessarily begin to behave differently. He will constantly sleep, eat, rest, or, conversely, begin to pounce on the owner. This is an ambiguous version. First, not all dogs undergo any kind of change. Secondly, changes in the behavior of a pet can be a sign of not only pregnancy, but also a serious illness.

How do you know if your dog is pregnant? How to determine?

Why do people have dogs? Someone for interest, pleasure. There are people who do this for the sake of protecting their home. And some create entire kennels of elite breeds for financial support: trips to exhibitions and sale of puppies. Whatever the purpose of this decision, it is important for everyone to have at least minimal information about this beautiful animal. This article will discuss how to know if your dog is pregnant.?

What does a pregnant shepherd look like?

In the second half of pregnancy (from 5 weeks), the 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.

Breast enlargement

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.

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 the 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.

In one litter, 6-7 puppies are usually born, 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 accuracy, since the time of gestation differs from bitch to bitch, and even for the same dog, it differs 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, a 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.

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.


If you understand that the German Shepherd is pregnant, you need to as early as possible, the owners go to the veterinary clinic. Starting from 4 weeks, pregnancy can be determined using ultrasound diagnostics, and an experienced specialist can perform ultrasound from 21 days.

The veterinarian will establish the very fact of pregnancy and assess the condition of the fetuses, but one should not demand to name the exact number of pups: the probability of error is too high. To find out the number of puppies, an abdominal X-ray is taken on the 48-50th day.

An ultrasound scan is necessary if the dog’s condition suddenly worsens. vomiting or refusal to eat, depression appears. The examination will help make sure that the fetus is alive. With a frozen pregnancy or fetal hypoxia, urgent medical attention is needed.

False pregnancy

If a bitch has milk 5 weeks after estrus and her behavior changes abruptly, it is most likely a hormonal imbalance and the dog is not actually pregnant. False pregnancy can occur later, 2 months after estrus.

If mating was carried out, the cause of such a violation may be the death and resorption of the fruit for up to 4 weeks. Some bitches are genetically predisposed to this disease, and can feed other people’s cubs. Signs:

  • the dog equips the nest and nurses inanimate objects like puppies (soft toys, slippers), protects the den and can show aggression;
  • refuses to walk, hides in a secluded place, whines and worries;
  • the mammary glands swell, milk is produced.

It is necessary to hide all pseudo-puppies while the dog is out for a walk and contact the veterinarian. False pregnancy itself is not dangerous and often goes away without treatment, but it can cause severe mastitis.