The onset of puberty will greatly vary from breed to breed but gestation period is generally the same. The average length of pregnancy in all breeds is nine weeks or 63 days. If your dog is pregnant you have to give or take one week on either side of the due date before you can see the adorable puppies. The length of pregnancy is usually shorter if the bitch is carrying a large litter. If the litter is small gestation usually takes a few days longer.
Breeding dogs can be a joy. Certainly there will be a sense of pride and fulfillment in producing healthy puppies. Breeding dogs though is no joke. Although wild dogs have existed, reproduced and survived in the wild without any human intervention, breeding domesticated dogs would be a different matter. It is extremely important for an owner to know whether the dog is pregnant or not. You may have no intention of breeding the intact pet thus it is kept within the securely fenced yard. However, the neighbor’s resourceful and industrious dog has managed to find ways to be with your dog. This can result to pregnancy. You may have planned the breeding. However, mating the dog is not an assurance that it will get pregnant. It will be very frustrating if after all the preparations were made for the arrival of the puppies you will learn that the bitch is not pregnant after all.
The owner will have an idea when the dog will deliver the puppies if the breeding is planned. Mark the 63rd day from the first time you breed the dog. The whelping is most likely to happen on this day. However, it is not common for the dog to deliver a few days before or a few days after the due date. But what if the dog has just gone to the back door one night and had a date with the neighbor’s dog? It would be difficult to calculate the whelping date if the breeding date is unknown. If you suspect the pet to be pregnant your best recourse is to take the dog to a vet. The vet can determine if the dog is pregnant through physical examination and abdominal palpitation. Ultrasound imaging, hormone assays and ex-rays are methods used to determine the whelping date of the dog.
It is important to know if the dog is pregnant or not in the same manner that it is important for a dog owner to know the due date of the pet. Similar to pregnant humans, pregnant dogs would need to be “spoiled”. It will be your responsibility to give the pet the best prenatal care. The dog will need high quality diet. The dog will require an exercise program to maintain the good condition of the body and the muscles but the exercise activities must be suited to the condition of the pet. Giving vitamins and medications is one of the very important factors why a dog owner has to know how far along in the pregnancy the dog is. Pregnant dogs must not be given vitamin supplements during the first month of pregnancy. Administering medication must be done only upon the order of a vet as these drugs can be harmful to the developing puppies and result to birth defects. Dogs generally deliver the puppies without the help of the owners but some dogs can have difficult pregnancies. Veterinary intervention would be extremely necessary if the dog has been pregnant for more than 70 days or if the dog’s temperature has dropped for 24 hours and puppies are not delivered.