Dog Gestation Period

How Long Will The Dog Gestation Period Last?

Is your dog showing signs of being pregnant? Unlike the human, it is hard to determine whether or not a dog is pregnant. You need to bring her to the veterinarian and undergo the time-sensitive testing methods before you can confirm her condition. Some of the tests your vet may conduct include hormone tests, palpation, x-ray, and ultrasound.

Maybe your next question to your vet would be how long is your dog gestation period will be. If the human pregnancy lasts for nine months, the dog gestation period is around 63 days from conception, but this can vary by several days.

Actually, it is hard to tell as to how long your dog pregnancy will be since the sperm can live for several days inside the female dog, and the eggs remain fertile for 48 hours. This means that the mating itself is not the exact measurement of pregnancy. It is really hard to tell how long the pregnancy of your dog will be without the help of a veterinarian.

The dog gestation period is the time from when the canine becomes pregnant until the time she delivers her puppies. The approximate length of gestation is nine weeks or 63 days, but this may vary depending on your dog. (

It is important that you know what to expect during her pregnancy so you can treat your dog right. If this is first-time your pet will get pregnant, you have to read this post so you will have an idea as to what to expect during your dog pregnancy.

The Stages of Dog Pregnancy

Dog’s gestation period is short, as the puppies inside her womb develop fast over a period of two to three months. Your dog may experience some changes in her normal routine and might have some difficulties during the pregnancy. Below are some of the conditions or changes that you might notice during the gestation period.

  Week #1

During the first week of pregnancy, your dog may experience morning sickness, loss of appetite or may become more clingy or detach than before. It is in the first week that the embryos start to travel to the uterine horns.

  Week #2

The morning sickness will continue and her appetite becomes worse, but she will regain her eating habits soon. The embryos are now embedded in the uterine lining.

  Week #3

She will still experience morning sickness and you might notice slight changes in her behavior. The fetuses are starting to take shape.

  Week #4

This is the exciting week of your dog gestation. The fetuses are starting to grow and develop in your dog’s womb. You might notice some vaginal discharge but this is normal. Also, her nipples start to swell. During her check-up, the vet should be able to find fetal heartbeats on an ultrasound.

 Week #5

You will notice that your dog’s abdomen is becoming bigger, and her weight increases. Fetal development during this stage is fast.

  Week #6

Your dog’s nipples become enlarge and darker than usual. This is the stage of pregnancy where your dog’s appetite increases. She will eat up to one and a half times her normal intake. Giving it in six smaller meals each day can improve stomach upset. It is important not to overfeed your dog since excess weight can cause complications to pregnancy that will lead to caesarean section.

 Week #7

You might notice that your dog is shedding her coat around her nipples. Do not worry. This is normal in anticipation of suckling puppies.

 Week #8

During this stage your dog will start to prepare a place where she can have her puppies safe after they were born, this is known as the nesting instinct. You can help her by creating a whelping box. It is best to make a bigger one, maybe 1 ½ times the length of your dog this includes her tail, with a 4 inches tall rail on the sides without a bottom.

You can use paper, plastic and flannel material on the bottom to make it easier for you to clean up. Also, it will keep the puppies warm. It is also best to put a small light above on one corner of the box so, your dog and her puppies can move toward it for warmth or they can keep a distance from it if they prefer a little cooler. The temperature of the whelping box should be between 80 and 85 degrees for the first week.

During the eight week of pregnancy, everything is formed, the eyelids, toes, claws, coat and the skeleton.

  Week #9

This is the final stage of pregnancy. During an x-ray, the vet can see the number of puppies inside the womb. The puppies are fully developed and will start to move into whelping position in the birth canal. To determine if the delivery time is near, check the dog’s rectal temperature two times a day. The normal temperature of your dog’s rectum is between 100.5 and 102.0 degrees. If it starts to drop two degrees, expect to have the puppies within 24 hours.

During this period your dog will become restless. She will also lose her appetite again. You will see her shiver or dig. If you see these signs be prepared, your dog is in labor.

The Signs Of Labor

About 24 hours before going into labor you will notice her vulva is swollen and a clear mucous discharge. Then abdominal contraction will occur, the dogs strain and create heaving motions. The first puppy normally comes out within one or two hours of contractions. Normally, the placental membrane ruptures before the first puppy come out, but this is not always the situation. Some puppies are born covered in their membranes.

If you notice something is wrong with your dog during labor or if the labor takes more than 24 hours, it is best to call your vet to check on her condition. This could be an indication of complication and both your dog and her puppies might be at risk.

Hope this post answer your question how long will the dog gestation period last. If you think this article is helpful to you, feel free to share it with others.

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