Morning sickness, breast development, irritability… Can your pooch be pregnant? If your dog is expecting, it’s best to know well ahead of time to make sure she gets proper care. You want to make sure the mama pup is at her best, so her puppies will grow and develop well.
Dogs do throw up when pregnant due to morning sickness. Other tell-tale signs of a dog’s pregnancy include breast development, a change in the color of the dog’s nipples and the classic nesting behavior, all of which indicate that your pooch is due very soon!
Discover more about these signs of pregnancy in dogs to ensure the soon-to-be-mom’s optimal health and prepare for the new puppies’ most-awaited arrival. Here are 13 signs to look for.
13. Breast Development
And lastly, breast development is a clear sign that your pooch is undergoing some changes due to pregnancy. Unbred female dogs usually have smaller breasts that may even appear flat. However, this is the complete opposite with pregnant dogs whose breasts become more pronounced, along with the nipples.
The breasts and nipples become more enlarged in preparation for nursing. In many cases, breast development starts as early as two weeks in the pregnancy.
12. Nipple Color Change
Before her pregnancy, your dog’s nipples look light pink or even pale gray. But as she approaches the later weeks of pregnancy, her nipples will start to look flushed and somewhat rosy.
The closer the nipples are to her hind legs, the darker they appear. This is due to the increased flow of blood in that area, in preparation for the birthing process.
11. Barking And Whining More Often
Dogs communicate through barking, and it’s how they express how they feel. Pregnancy can be a challenging time for your pet because of all the things she is going through – discomfort and occasional difficulties included.
This is why your soon-to-be mama pooch may bark or whine more often during this period in her life. Just the same, be sure to give her the love and support she needs and do your best to make her feel at ease.
10. Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge in pregnant dogs is not really an early sign of pregnancy as it usually happens during the second or third trimester. It is usually just a small amount of discharge without any foul odor.
However, if you notice a discharge during the earlier parts of pregnancy, then you should seek advice from your vet. This is particularly true if you observe a bloody and/ or mucus-like discharge that is slightly cloudy or with an “off-smell”.
9. Shedding Of Belly Hair
Later on in your dog’s pregnancy, not only will she develop breasts (more on that in a minute) but her belly hair may start to shed, too. This makes the fetuses’ movement more apparent beneath the skin.
This belly hair shedding is in preparation for giving birth. Also, the nipples will become more exposed, which makes it easier for the mama pup to nurse her young later on.
Behavioral changes are quite common among pregnant dogs. They may be irritable and a lot more grumpy, as a result of some physical discomfort they experience, especially as they approach the later periods of pregnancy.
As the fetuses’ skeletons and coats develop quickly, the mother’s belly also becomes heavier and more rigid. This can be quite uncomfortable and can cause her to become irritable.
7. Weight Gain
During the second trimester of your dog’s pregnancy, you may notice that she’s starting to regain the weight she has lost during the earlier weeks. However, this weight gain is not from eating a massive amount of food at a time but from smaller meals throughout the day.
In addition to an increase in appetite, the fetuses are also developing at a quicker rate. This is why you may observe up to a 75% increase in your pet’s weight, along with a rounder belly. Do not be surprised if your pooch pants a lot more while carrying all that weight around.
6. Reduced Activity Level
Before pregnancy, your pup may be active and agile. But this all changes during pregnancy, and you may even notice that your pooch is not as energetic as she used to.
Expecting pups may also feel exhausted more as a result of hormonal changes. This is usually common during the first couple of weeks of pregnancy. As your pet adjusts to the changes, she will have more energy but with reduced activity level.
5. Nipple Discharges
At Day 40 or so of your pup’s pregnancy, your pet’s nipples will not only get larger and darker but some discharge may be observed, as well. This discharge is milky or clear, and it is absolutely normal among pregnant dogs.
In some cases, milk develops earlier while in other dogs, this may come after they give birth. The oxytocin hormone released during labor and delivery triggers the milk to come out, which is what’s needed to feed the young.
4. Enlarged Abdomen
A round and full belly is a clear sign of a dog’s pregnancy. This happens, however, during the later weeks, once the fetuses have grown and developed more.
It is also interesting to note that you may begin feeling her puppies move in her big tummy while she is lying down. A visit to the vet is a good idea, which can also help you to know how many puppies your pet is expecting.
3. Nesting Behavior
Closer to the end of your pup’s pregnancy, you will notice some nesting behavior taking place. This is a sure sign that your pooch is preparing herself to deliver her young soon!
Mama pups will begin to exhibit signs of anxiety and the desire to find a quiet and secure place to give birth. You may help your pet prepare for her nest by providing clean towels or blankets in a crate or an empty kiddie pool.
2. Decreased Appetite
As the mama pooch goes through episodes of morning sickness, her appetite will change drastically, as well. You may notice that she is not eating as much, and it’s quite normal. Small portions of food are ideal to keep her nourished during this period in her life.
You may also try to offer some tasty meals such as her favorite kibble with good quality cooked meat and rice, just to support her nutritional needs. But if your pet refuses to eat for more than a couple of days, you may want to check with your vet to know what can be done about it.
1. Throwing Up
Just like with pregnant women, pregnant dogs also go through morning sickness. This usually happens during the third or fourth week of pregnancy when hormonal changes happen.
Some dogs throw up more often than others, which can also impact their appetite and energy level. If your pooch is throwing up more frequently, it is best to give smaller meals and increased fluid intake.
When Does A Pregnant Dog Vomit? Pregnant dogs usually vomit during the third or fourth week of pregnancy due to morning sickness. This can affect their appetite, so your pregnant pooch may not be interested in eating more than she used to.
Do Dogs Throw Up Just Before Giving Birth? When a dog is in labor, it is possible for a dog to vomit but this does not happen all the time. Panting, shaking and nausea are typical before giving birth and may last up to 12 hours until the mama pup delivers her young.
TWhat Can I Give My Dog To Stop Pregnancy? If you take your dog immediately to the vet after mating to stop pregnancy, she may be prescribed diethylstilbestrol (DES) for 5 days, which serves as a canine “morning-after” pill. Estradiol cypionate, along with DES, is usually given to prevent pregnancy if mating has occurred for over 5 days.