Caring for a dog is exciting, as they easily become members of the family and lifelong friends. However, if you don’t spay her, you could suddenly discover that your dog is pregnant. Knowing the common warning signs of canine pregnancy can help you better prepare for the arrival of puppies. You’ll ensure your dog is happy, healthy, and comfortable throughout her pregnancy.

A vet telemedicine appointment helps many pet owners prepare for their animal’s pregnancy, especially if it’s their dog’s first time being pregnant. The team at Penny Paws Animal Clinic provides a wide range of pet services and can help you learn how pregnancy affects your dog. Consider this helpful guide to learn about pregnancy prevention, signs your dog is pregnant, delivery advice, and ways to support them.

Tips for Preventing Canine Pregnancy

You can prevent your dog from unexpectedly having babies by scheduling spaying services. You’ll have a healthier and happier dog that has more energy. Consider these other helpful suggestions to avoid having a pregnant female dog and having several babies to care for:

  • Supply your dog with a diaper while she is in heat.
  • Keep her away from male dogs during this time.
  • Walk her close to you and with a leash.

You might decide to fix your dog after she delivers her first litter or not want her to get pregnant at all. Contacting a trusted veterinarian can help you explore safe, healthy, and effective options to avoid unwanted canine pregnancies.

Dog Pregnancy Signs To Look Out For

Like humans, dogs have pregnancy indicators that owners can spot. Consider the following clues that your dog is pregnant, then begin preparing your home for what is typically a two-month pregnancy period. Dogs will also need care after they give birth to their puppies, so keep this in mind.

Look for these clear signs that your dog is pregnant.

1. Weight Gain and Stomach Enlargement

After about a month, you should start to notice your dog’s weight gain. Some dogs who are already big, are experiencing their first pregnancy, or have a small litter might not show as much, so it’s a good idea to look for other pregnancy signs, too.

Your dog’s stomach should increase, meaning that her nutritional needs are changing to feed the babies. You could also spot a more rounded look to her belly in the first two or three weeks of pregnancy. As they get closer to delivery, you’ll notice a more prominent, swollen belly and bigger nipples.

2. Increased Fatigue and Desire to Sleep

Does your dog typically have a lot of energy and love to play? Your female dog is potentially pregnant if she wants to sleep more or take frequent naps. She is under a lot of stress and has many developing puppies in her stomach, making her more tired than usual.

Some other related symptoms of pregnancy are:

  • Vomiting (similar to human morning sickness)
  • A small amount of discharge from the vaginal area

3. Larger-Than-Normal Nipples

When a dog is pregnant, their nipples will change in color and size, often appearing more pink and vibrant. The nipples are preparing for breastfeeding the puppies after delivery. More blood travels to this area of the body, causing more obvious visual changes.

4. Changes To Her Typical Behaviors

Your dog could change her behavior for a variety of reasons, such as sickness, a reaction to food, or pregnancy. It’s difficult to predict exactly what your dog will do, as the personality of each dog can affect their behavior.

Your dog could want to spend more time with you and act clingier. On the other hand, your furry friend could become more angry and irritable, wanting to spend more time alone and sleeping. As she nears the end of her pregnancy, your dog might exhibit nesting behavior, where she tries to prepare an area for the puppies. She could feel angry and stressed as her body is changing and making her feel uncomfortable, so you should do what you can to meet her needs and show her love.

What To Do During Your Dog’s Delivery

Dogs are equipped to handle their pregnancies and deliveries alone, but as your pet’s owner, you can help make her more comfortable. You can prepare an area for her to give birth with towels and blankets, but you could do this during the nesting period as you draw closer to the whelping period. Some mothers prefer a whelping box to feel safe and secure and to properly protect their puppies, keeping them all together.

If your dog shows any signs of complications, you should take her to the vet immediately. Ensuring that the mother and her puppies are safe and healthy during and after delivery is essential. When the babies aren’t nursing or your dog is collapsing, trembling, or struggling, you should get help.

How To Care for a Pregnant Dog

During the gestation period, you will need to help your dog stay healthy and comfortable. Here are some key tips to assist your pregnant dog:

  • Address Her Nutritional Needs: Since your dog will exert a lot of energy during and after pregnancy, you’ll need to make sure she has the right nutrition for her needs. Remember to give your dog water often and give her larger meals to address the new diet.
  • Schedule a Veterinary Check-Up: You can visit your vet to confirm your dog is pregnant or to check on her health throughout the pregnancy. If you’re considering breeding your dog, bringing her to the vet and ensuring she has all her vaccinations is a good idea.

A veterinarian can also provide advice on what to do if your dog experiences a pregnancy complication or needs spaying in the future.

Book an Appointment With Penny Paws Animal Clinic, Texas’s Trusted Clinic

Now that you know how to tell if your dog is pregnant, get in touch with Penny Paws Animal Clinic. We provide comprehensive veterinary care to pet patients throughout Texas. If your dog is pregnant and you’d like to talk to a veterinarian, schedule a appointment with our staff!