How To Know If Your Dog Is Pregnant- 6 Important Signs

    How To Know If Your Dog Is Pregnant

    Wondering how to know if your dog is pregnant? You can easily find this out by looking at a few important things and facts. You might have noticed that your dog is acting quite lazy than usual. Some people also notice that their dog has been eating less food than usual, what are these signs? is its weakness, some disease, or pregnancy in dogs?

    These nancy in dogs, it is very important to find out signs to find out how to know if your dog is pregnant. When your otherwise healthy and fit dog acts wired, you should be ready to welcome new puppies in the house. While some signs are close to the illness so it is important that you mark a change in their appetite, appearance, activity, etc.

    Below given are some important signs that indicate your dog is pregnant and you need to bring them to the vet.

    How To Know If Your Dog Is Pregnant

    Look at all the signs carefully.

    1. Decrease In Activity

    This is probably the first sign seen in pregnant dogs. If your dog becomes tired and exhausted very early or your dog is spending less time while napping, it may indicate that your dog has become pregnant. If your dog was highly active before and now acting in such a manner, it is important that you take them seriously and find out the reasons behind it. For those who have a dog that usually snoozed all day long or was lazy prior to this situation too, it is important that you look for other signs in them. Try paying closer attention to their eating habits.

    2. Change In Appetite

    rottweiler, puppy, dog
    Photo by kim_hester on Pixabay

    Appetite usually fluctuates a lot when the dog is pregnant. Depending upon what is the stage of pregnancy and the breed of dog, it can vary highly. When the dogs are early or midway in their pregnancy, they might eat less comparatively and vomit frequently due to morning sickness in canines.

    Sometimes the opposite happens too, the dog might start eating more than usual and still be dissatisfied with the amount and quality of food. These high fluctuations are generally due to change in their hormones. There is a lot of food you can feed them during pregnancy.

    3. Unusual Behavior

    When your dog becomes pregnant, you might start noticing some change in its usual habits ad unusual behavior. For example, they might seek your comfort and cuddle more often even if they did no do it before. Your pregnant dog might spend more hours by your side. They might also require some extra attention during this stage in their life like every female requires.

    But some dogs act opposite to this, they do not wish to be bothered and they might wish to seek isolation from the owner and their family. When they are given attention, they might seem to get irritated easily and seem quite depressed. You have to notice the signs and leave them be if they wish to.

    4. Having Discolored Or Enlarged Nipples

    If you have had female dogs prior to this one, you might have noticed that they have small nipples. When your dog becomes pregnant, the size of their nipples becomes enlarged or grows in size while they are in their early pregnancy period. The areoles acquire a somewhat rounded shape rather than being the usual flat shaped.

    ALSO READ:  Is Ramen Bad For You? 3 Vital Points To Find Out (Best Tips For Healthy Meal)

    You might also notice that in some dogs their nipples turn slightly darker than they were earlier. This indicates an increase in the flow of blood which happens during pregnancy. This is during the initial days of pregnancy, in later stages of pregnancy, their nipples might also secrete slight milk.

    5. Enlarged Abdomen And Weight Gain

    When the puppies grow, so does their abdomen. The abdomen keeps increasing in size. You can think of it as the clearest indication that the dog has become pregnant. If your dog does not have any other reason due to which they have gain weight, you can think of this as the reason. Weight gain is common during pregnancy.

    However, the abdomen being enlarged occurs quite late in a dog’s pregnancy stage. This means that you will notice other signs and most probably you will be able to figure out that the dog is pregnant quite before you see their abdomen being enlarged in size.

    Whenever you notice the signs, just take your dog to the vet immediately to get everything diagnosed and checked.

    6. Nesting Behavior

    When your dog is in their last few weeks of pregnancy, you will notice that your dog will start shredding bedding or other material which is available to them for creating or building their nests. This is the time when your dog behaves most reclusive and irritated, so it is best if you are not making them in direct contact with small children.

    As compared to human beings, the gestation period in dogs is short, it is between 56 to 70 days. Due to such a short period, you need to act on their signs of pregnancy as quickly as possible to ensure that they give a comfortable and safe birth to their puppies.

    Once you get your dogs examined by the vet, they will give you all the tips and guides to handle the pregnancy. In this way, you will find out how to know if your dog is pregnant and how to take care of them.

    Also, similar to human pregnancy, dog pregnancies can also be confusing and complicated. Understanding how to know if your dog is pregnant is highly important if you are planning to breed your dog.

    There are few more things you should know as a dog owner other than how to know if your dog is pregnant. Let’s see one by one what are these important points.

    Frequently Asked Question

    How Long Dogs Remain Pregnant?

    For female dogs, their sexual maturity reaches when they become 6 months to 12 months old. This indicates that your dog can become pregnant after they have become 6 months of age. You can expect the normal pregnancy of your dog to last for nearly 9 weeks which means nearly 60 days. This is just a common number, you can expect your dog to give birth sooner or later than the given time.

    Sometimes some dogs can also experience Phantasm pregnancy. In such time, they will show all the signs of being pregnant but they are not pregnant. Your dog might gain some weight, have larger nipples or breasts, display nesting behavior, and every produce milk, but even after showing all these symptoms of pregnancies, they are not pregnant. This is a very rare phenomenon that only occurs in dogs and no other beings. If your dog is also showing phantasm pregnancy, it is crucial to consult a dog to find an early solution.

    If you are not able to figure out how to know if your dog is pregnant through common signs by looking at them, you need to take them to a vet for performing diagnostic tests that will help in figuring out more about their pregnancy.

    ALSO READ:  Can Dogs Have Vanilla Ice Cream? 6 Important FAQs Answered!

    The more accurate way through which you can find out about your dog is pregnant is through these diagnostic tests.

    Diagnosis For Pregnancy

    There are few diagnosis tests through which one can find out if their dog is pregnant or not.

    Abdominal Palpation

    In this process of diagnosis, the vet will massage the dog’s tummy carefully and gently to feel if they have puppies growing inside their uterus or womb. You have to be mindful that abdominal palpation should only be done in the presence and guidance of a vet or you may hurt your dog and their puppies inside. Abdominal palpation is performed by the vet to find out about the dog’s pregnancy after 3 weeks of their mating.

    Ultrasound Scanning

    Your vet might also perform an ultrasound scan to find out about the dog’s pregnancy. This can be done after 3 weeks of the dog’s mating to determine if they are pregnant. An ultrasound scan is performed in humans as well as it is a great way to determine the heart rate of puppies too. Through an ultrasound scan, the doctors will be able to tell how many puppies your dog is carrying. By performing an ultrasound scan, the vet will be able to mention more about the due date of your dog so that you can take them to the vet once they are about to give birth.

    Witness Relaxin Test

    You can also ask your vet to perform an inexpensive witness relaxin test to determine if the dog is pregnant or not. This will help them test the presence of relaxin after passing 4 weeks of the gestation period in dogs. Relaxin is a kind of hormone present inside the dog or released when they are pregnant. This will easily help the vet determine if your dog is pregnant.

    X-Ray Test

    This is probably one of the most effective ways to find out about dogs’ pregnancy. But for this process, you will have to wait for at least 6 weeks of gestation. This is because the skeletal system of developing puppies is only visible after 6 weeks of pregnancy.

    You can think of x-rays as one of the most reliable ways to determine the dogs’ pregnancy and how many puppies are there inside the dog’s womb. However, you should also know that some people often argue about using the x-ray method as they think it can harm the puppies inside the dog’s uterus due to the strong radiation it uses.

    Once you have found out how to know if your dog is pregnant and got positive results, you also need to know how to take care of them.

    Caring For The Dog

    dogs, poodle, white boxer
    Photo by sdnet01 on Pixabay

    Once you have known how to know if your dog is pregnant and you have diagnosed them from the vet, know that their pregnancy period is not 9 months like humans, it is just 9 weeks. In the span of 9 weeks, you should take care of the dog very nicely so that they can give birth nicely to healthy pups.

    There are few important things you should take care of once you have learned how to know if your dog is pregnant. These are:


    During the initial weeks of their pregnancy, you can give them their normal food which you earlier included in their diet. You are not supposed to fill their diet with a lot of supplements in the initial days themselves. However, as time passes and your dog’s pregnancies progress further, they require extra calories o that their pup’s growth is not inhibited.

    Many vets suggest eating puppy food to the dogs as it is highly rich in important things like minerals, proteins, and fats. You should give your dog puppy food because it is rich in these essential components and easier to digest for the dog. While you are feeding the dog that is pregnant make sure you give them meals in smaller portions or sizes but feed them frequently. This is because the dogs cannot have large portions as the puppies already acquire a large space in their tummy, which leaves no size for food.

    ALSO READ:  9 Symptoms of Dog Losing hair


    If your dog already does a lot of walking or running around, you do not have to worry and you can keep doing your own thing. But make sure that you allow them to do mild exercises like simply walking around inside the house. If your dog just likes laying around, play with them a little bit to keep them active. You can also engage in some light games and activities like playing fetch and catch with them.

    Whether you are walking with them or playing light games, just make sure you are keeping the sessions really short. Overexerting the pregnant dog is not a good idea and it’s really bad for their health as well the health of puppies growing.


    Make sure you are not rushing towards vaccination when your dog is pregnant. You should always vaccinate them when they are not pregnant if they get out of date or the vaccination is out of date. You can get the vaccination done before your dog get’s pregnant rather than giving it after their pregnancy.

    Veterinary Visit

    It is very important that you take your pregnant dog to a vet for getting them checked and having their routine check-ups completed. There are many important check-ups during their pregnancy that should not be missed. This is necessary to make sure that the dog and puppies are safe.

    Once you learn how to know if your dog is pregnant and important things that one should know to take care of dogs, it is important that you prepare yourself for the pregnancy and the due date as assigned by the vet for safe delivery.

    How To Prepare

    how to know if your dog is pregnant
    Photo by ArtisticOperations on Pixabay

    For preparing for pregnancy the first important thing is knowing the due date. Try to talk to the vet and take your dog for an ultra scan so that the doctors can inform the due date this will avoid a lot of buzzes later on. This will also help you prepare better for their delivery.

    When the delivery time draws near, you have to keep checking the temperature of your dog every other day because the dogs should go into their labor within a day after their temperature falls from the normal which is 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit to 99 degrees Fahrenheit or lower than this.

    Once your dog is about to give birth it is time to prepare a whelping box for them. Dogs usually look for warm, safe, and comfortable places to give birth or deliver their babies. If you are having more than one dog, make sure you create a whelping box and keep them in slightly unfamiliar places where the other dogs cannot have access to it. You may put any towel, sheets, or blankets over the whelping boxes. Make sure you set it up a little bit earlier so that your dog gets time to get accustomed to it.

    While getting it ready, put your pregnant dog’s bedding inside the box this will help them getting used to the box and place faster. You do not have to worry about staying with them during the delivery as the delivery goes normal without any interference. But is always good that you stand by far and watch them in case the delivery runs into any sort of complications.

    Make sure you inform the vet too before the due date so that they can get ready in case there is a mishappening.

    This was all you needed to know on how to know if your dog is pregnant and what are other necessary steps one should take if their dog is pregnant. The best to welcome your dog and puppies home once they have given birth is to make them a good cake. You can check some of the amazing recipes mentioned here to welcome new family members.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here