Your dog’s pregnancy can be stressful, confusing, time-consuming, and expensive. You’ll also need to know how to recognise the signs of pregnancy in dogs and how to best care for your expecting puppy. Some of your questions have been answered below.
Pregnancy in dogs can be detected in several different ways. They include abdominal palpation, ultrasonography, relaxing testing, and radiographs. For determining the most accurate pregnancy, each method has a specific time frame. Abdominal palpation is possible if the female is cooperative.
If the female is cooperative, abdominal palpation can be performed. A tense abdomen makes it difficult to feel the uterus in a nervous woman. This method is most accurate in detecting pregnancy around days 28 to 30 after ovulation. Palpating and determining pregnancy in large dogs and dogs with only a few pups in the cranial part of the abdomen can also be difficult.
Sedation is commonly used to reduce anxiety and stress associated with radiography, to facilitate the acquisition of high-quality diagnostic studies with fewer repeats, and to control pain associated with manipulation in animals with painful disorders such as fractures and arthritis.
Ultrasound is particularly useful in distinguishing pregnancy from other causes of uterine distention (eg, hydrometra, pyometra, mucometra). The gestational age can be calculated using ultrasonographic measurements.
A blood test to check your dog’s hormone levels may be administered by the veterinarian. When dogs are pregnant, their levels of a hormone called relaxin rise. By measuring levels of a hormone called relaxin, the blood test detects pregnancy in the pregnant dog. Following embryo implantation, the developing placenta produces this hormone, which can be detected in the blood of most pregnant women as early as 22-27 days after conception.
Dogs usually stay pregnant for nine weeks. Food intake shouldn’t be much higher than normal for the first six or seven weeks. Her appetite may wane or disappear in week nine. This is frequently an indication that the babies will be born within the next day or two.
Always consult a book or an expert to learn what behaviours or events to expect, as well as what signs indicate trouble.
The food should contain at least 22% protein and 1600 kcal digestible energy per pound. Give the pregnant or nursing dog as much food as she wants unless she tends to gain weight. Try moistening the food or switching to a more nutritionally dense food if she appears to be losing weight.
While some foods will be considered toxic for your pregnant pet they can be;
- Peanut Butter
- White Rice
- Dietary Products
- Plain Popcorn
You may need to change the food you give the mother at the beginning of the pregnancy and after lactation stops. Make the transition to new foods gradually over 7-10 days.