Ever wonder how long are dogs pregnant for? Every mother knows that pregnancy can be both a hard time and a beautiful time. Today, even us human pet parents can’t help but get a little excited when our female dogs enter pregnancy! So, in this article, we’ll teach you all you need to know about pregnancy in dogs and how long are dogs pregnant for!

How Long Are Dogs Pregnant? Gestation Period in Dogs

Before we get into the real fun stuff, it is important to clarify some terminology you may come across.

Whelping is a term used to describe the act of giving birth. Your veterinarian may also use the word parturition, which means the same thing! Gestation refers to the time period of when and how long a female dog carries her pups!

Now, that you know the two basic terms, you’re probably dying to know, how long are dogs pregnant for? 1 month, 5 months, or 9 months?

Well, A healthy mother dog will have a gestation period of anywhere from 55 to 68 days. However, some canine pregnancy can last up to 70 days! Wow, now imagine if we humans could carry babies for such a short time!

Dog Gestation Period and Dog Pregnancy Calendar: How Long are Dogs in Heat?

Ever wonder what’s happening in your dog’s body during gestation? On day 1, after breeding with a male. It can take anywhere from 48 to 73 hours for your female dog’s eggs to completely be fertilized.

During the first week (roughly 7 to 10 days) after mating, you’ll notice that your dog’s vulva remains swollen and her mammary glands (aka nipples) will enlarge.

At around 3 to 4 weeks (21 days) after mating, you’ll notice that your bitch will go off food for some time. This is totally normal! It simply means that she is now experiencing morning sickness. This is because it is at 3 to 4 weeks when the embryo now plants itself in the uterus.

After 4 to 5 weeks (30 to 35 days), you’re going to see more signs of pregnancy. During the 5 week mark, female dogs will often have vaginal discharge. It is highly recommended that during the 35 days post mating, dog owners take their pooch to the vet for a blood test to determine if your pooch will be a mummy!

Around 45 to 60 days post-breeding, your veterinarian may choose to perform an ultrasound or take an x-ray. This is because, during this time, the bones of any fetuses will become visible due to calcium formation.

Finally, at around 58 days and onwards you will be able to feel the puppies in your dog’s uterus. It is also during this time when your bitch will begin producing milk. Closer towards her due date you may notice changes in her behavior and a drop in her temperature. Once her this occurs it indicates that she will give birth to her puppies with 12 to 24 hours.

How Long are Cats Pregnant: Cat Gestation Period

From the start of spring, a female cat (also known as a Queen) can go into estrus every 2 to 3 weeks until fall. This means that a Queen is able to have a minimum of 5 litters each year! 

Exactly How Long are Cats in Heat

Now cats only reach sexual maturity between 5 to 9 months of age. Once pregnant, the gestation period of a cat can range anywhere from 63 to 65 days.  Generally, if a cat has not queened past 65 days, then it is important to take her to your veterinarian.

Is My Dog Pregnant? How to Tell if Your Dog is Pregnant

If you think answering the question—How long are dogs pregnant for?  is hard work. Then you probably have yet to ask, How do I tell if my dog is really pregnant? Well, the fact of the matter is that a female dog will not show many noticeable signs of pregnancy during the first month.

However, during the second month of postmating, you’ll probably notice changes to your dog. For example, she will begin to consume more and more food. And so you’re very likely going to see 20 to 50% weight gain. In addition, she’s very likely going to start urinating a lot more often and occasionally she may have clear vaginal discharge. 

During the end of the second month of pregnancy and towards the final third month. The female dog’s abdomen will greatly increase in size. Upon abdominal palpation, veterinarians will be able to get a rough idea as to how many puppies she’s carrying.

Finally, towards the final month of her pregnancy, the female dog will appear to have a slimmer waist. This is because her puppies are now in the process of moving into her birth canal.

She will also experience several behavioral changes such as pacing, panting, shivering, and general restlessness. But, these behavioral changes most often occur just before labor.

Help My Dog is Going into Labor! When Do I Call My Vet?

The birthing process can be quite a challenging time for both pet parents and female dog. So, it is always a good idea to have your veterinarian on speed dial in case of emergency. Here we have listed a few situations on when you’ll need to call your vet.

  • On her final days, just before she begins to go into labor. Should you notice that your dog is weak, straining for a long period of time then call your vet.
  • During whelping, you’ll notice that fetal fluid comes out with each puppy. If you only notice fetal fluid and no signs of a puppy coming out then its time to call the vet. As a rule of thumb, a puppy should come out within 1 to 2 hours, if not less when fetal fluid is present.
  • The average temperature of a dog is 38.5 degrees Celsius. It is normal for the temperature to fluctuate during labor. However, if her rectal temperature drops to 39.5 degrees Celsius then call your vet.

3 Facts About Dog Pregnancy and The Dog Heat Cycle

  1. Provide a whelping box: Week prior to your female dogs due date, you should get her comfortable around a whelping box. These boxes should be warm and large enough for your dog to comfortably give birth to her pups.
  2. Prevent parasitism: One of the most dangerous worms to puppies is Toxocara canis. This type of roundworm can infect fetuses as they spread transplacentally. In high burdens, Toxocara canis can cause anemia in both the puppies and bitch. In addition, it can be fatal to unborn puppies. So, it is highly recommended that you treat your dog with the appropriate anthelmintic such as Panacur to prevent this problem.
  3. Supplement, Supplement: Just like humans, even dogs pregnant female dogs require supplements during pregnancy. Talk to your veterinarian about the best supplements for your pooch! Vets Preferred Advanced Milk Rx is a great example of what pet owners should be feeding their pregnant or lactating dogs.

False Pregnant Dog: What is it?

False pregnancy in dogs is referred to as a pseudopregnancy. Dogs with canine pseudocyesis often experience physiological symptoms seen in pregnant dogs. However, a pseudopregnancy is not a real pregnancy. In other words, the female dog will not actually be carrying puppies. Nor does it indicate that the female has mated in order for this to occur.

So, how long are dogs pregnant for? How Long is a Dog in Heat?

So, how long are dogs pregnant for? Well, unlike the 9 month gestation period of humans. Dogs are only pregnant for approximately 55 to 68 days. But remember, some female dogs may begin whelping on the 70th-day mark!