Your dog is expecting puppies - congratulations! But whether your dog being pregnant was planned or was a happy surprise, this journey will be important for both you and your dog and rich in emotion.
Here are some pieces of advice so that your dog's pregnancy goes as planned.
The length of gestation
The duration of a dog's pregnancy is relatively short, varying between 58 and 70 days. Growth of the foetus is a lot quicker during the final days of the pregnancy.
You should consult a veterinary
It is important for your dog to be examined by a veterinary once you realise that she is pregnant in order to make sure that all is going well.
The veterinary will be able to estimate the number of puppies that will be born. This will allow you do adapt the diet of your dog correctly and also track the growth of the puppies. It will also help detect any anomalies.
You will spot physical changes
The mammary glands of your dog will grow after the 20th day. Her abdomen will grow start to grow after the 4th week of pregnancy, approximately.
If you touch her belly, it is important to do it very gently as you risk putting your pregnant dog's health at risk, as well as her puppies.
The importance of nutrition for a pregnant dog
The quantity of food that your dog will need will increase, especially during the last third of their pregnancy. It is essential that your dog has a healthy and balanced diet during this time.
The foetus need water and proteins in order to develop. Food specifically designed for pregnant dogs can be found commercially.
Watch out for signs such as agitation, nervousness, needing to urinate often or making a 'nest'. This means that the happy moment has arrived.
Normally, a dog can give birth without any particular help. She will get her puppies out of their water pockets, cut the umbilical cord and begin to clean her puppies.
Nevertheless, if your dog seems panicked and doesn't seem to know what to do, you can help her. You can get the puppies out for their water pockets and cut the umbilical chord with clean and sharp scissors.
When the work is done, you should change the towels. Remember to replace them with clean towels.
If you don't want your dog to reproduce
If you don't wish for your dog to reproduce, you should spay her.
It is important to take into account the amount of animals abandoned each year and the overpopulation in shelters. You should also make sure that each puppy finds a good family. You should also take into consideration the time and money that you will have to spend on the puppies until they are adopted.
Abortion is envisageable with an unwanted litter or if the health of your dog won't allow her to have a healthy litter.
Has your dog already had a litter?