How To Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant? These Signs Are Your Answer!

Female Mastiff wearing glasses and reading a book about dog pregnancy

If you own a female dog, you may be seeking to breed for a new litter to grow your puppy family. Or, your dog was in heat, and you forgot about that for a quick minute. You may start wondering how to tell if your dog is pregnant.

How​ ​Long​ ​Is​ ​Dog​ ​Pregnancy?

labrador retriever pregnant on white sheets

Why are you looking at me like that!

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Before​ ​we​ ​get​ ​into​ ​the​ ​signs​ ​of​ ​pregnancy,​ ​there​ ​is​ ​something​ ​you​ ​should​ ​know:

Your​ ​dog’s​ ​pregnancy​ ​will​ ​last​ ​only​ ​for​ ​about​ ​63​ ​days.

Considering​ ​that​ ​the​ ​early​ ​signs​ ​will​ ​start​ ​showing​ ​only​ ​at​ ​the​ ​beginning​ ​at​ ​the​ ​third​ ​week​ ​of gestation,​ ​you​ ​won’t​ ​have​ ​enough​ ​time​ ​to​ ​adjust​ ​then.​ ​Therefore,​ ​knowing​ ​what​ ​to​ ​do​ ​and what​ ​to​ ​expect​ ​during​ ​a​ ​dog’s​ ​pregnancy​ ​is​ ​necessary.

Here’s an article from DogsAholic on the stages of dog pregnancy.

How to Tell if Your Dog Is Pregnant?

Just​ ​like​ ​humans,​ ​a​ ​female​ ​dog​ ​shows​ ​signs​ ​of​ ​pregnancy​ ​before​ ​even​ ​visiting​ ​the​ ​experts for​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time.​ ​However,​ ​unlike​ ​humans,​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no​ ​way​ ​for​ ​your​ ​dog​ ​to​ ​pick​ ​up​ ​a pregnancy​ ​test​ ​and​ ​leave​ ​it​ ​in​ ​the​ ​kitchen​ ​as​ ​a​ ​surprise​ ​for​ ​you.

So​ ​what​ ​signs​ ​to​ ​look​ ​for?​ ​Here​ ​is​ ​your​ ​answer.

28​ ​Days​ ​After​ ​Mating

I​ ​am​ ​assuming​ ​here​ ​that​ ​you​ ​know​ ​when​ ​your​ ​bitch​ ​was​ ​bred;​ ​therefore,​ ​you​ ​should​ ​be​ ​aware when​ ​to​ ​go​ ​for​ ​a​ ​check​-up.​ ​At​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​first​ ​of​ ​pregnancy,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​see​ ​and​ ​feel​ ​the​ ​puppies after​ ​your​ ​vet​ ​confirms​ ​the​ ​pregnancy.

ultrasound dog pregnancy at day 61

An X-Ray of a dog at 61 days of pregnancy.

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They​ ​can​ ​either​ ​perform​ ​an​ ​abdominal​ ​palpation​ ​or​ ​do​ ​an​ ​ultrasound​ ​in​ ​the​ ​fourth​ ​and​ ​fifth week​ ​of​ ​pregnancy.​ ​If​ ​the​ ​dog​ ​is​ ​actually​ ​pregnant,​ ​the​ ​vet​ ​can​ ​safely​ ​assume​ ​the​ ​number​ ​of puppies​ ​to​ ​expect​ ​from​ ​the​ ​new​ ​litter.

You​ ​should​ ​ask​ ​questions​ ​about​ ​nutrition​ ​and​ ​care​ ​for​ ​the​ ​pregnant​ ​dog.​ ​However,​ ​please refrain​ ​from​ ​asking​ ​questions​ ​about​ ​the​ ​litter​ ​until​ ​the​ ​second​ ​visit,​ ​a​ ​few​ ​days​ ​before​ ​the dog’s​ ​whelping.

Check out this article on reproduction in dogs from VetWest, and watch the video down below that stages of pregnancy week by week.

Early​ ​Dog​ ​Pregnancy​ ​Signs

If​ ​you​ ​have​ ​forgotten​ ​that​ ​your​ ​dog​ ​was​ ​in​ ​heat​ ​for​ ​a​ ​second​ ​and​ ​you​ ​are​ ​afraid​ ​that​ ​she might​ ​have​ ​mated​ ​with​ ​another​ ​male​ ​dog,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​good​ ​to​ ​know​ ​the​ ​few​ ​early​ ​telltale​ ​signs​ ​of dog​ ​pregnancy.​ ​

These​ ​may​ ​only​ ​indicate​ ​that​ ​your​ ​dog​ ​is​ ​pregnant,​ ​but​ ​that​ ​she​ ​may​ ​be​ ​in distress​ ​or​ ​worse.​ ​Therefore,​ ​let’s​ ​hope​ ​that​ ​she​ ​is​ ​only​ ​pregnant.

female bitch english bulldog pregnant

A female dog in (probably) the 6th week of pregnancy.

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Change​ ​in​ ​Appetite

Dog​ ​breeds​ ​react​ ​differently​ ​to​ ​pregnancy.​ ​That’s​ ​why​ ​it​ ​is​ ​not​ ​sure​ ​whether​ ​this​ ​sign​ ​would help​ ​you​ ​much.​ ​However,​ ​keeping​ ​an​ ​eye​ ​on​ ​your​ ​female​ ​dog’s​ ​appetite​ ​is​ ​necessary.

In​ ​the​ ​early​ ​stages​ ​of​ ​pregnancy,​ ​some​ ​breeds’​ ​appetite​ ​decreases​ ​as​ ​they​ ​don’t​ ​eat​ ​as​ ​much food​ ​as​ ​they​ ​usually​ ​do.​ ​However,​ ​that​ ​only​ ​lasts​ ​for​ ​a​ ​few​ ​days.​ ​Their​ ​appetite​ ​increases relatively​ ​and​ ​steadily​ ​especially​ ​in​ ​the​ ​second​ ​month​ ​of​ ​pregnancy.

Some​ ​other​ ​breeds​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​eat​ ​a​ ​little​ ​bit​ ​more​ ​from​ ​the​ ​get​ ​go.​ ​They​ ​will​ ​show​ ​a​ ​slight​ ​weight gain,​ ​especially​ ​if​ ​you​ ​have​ ​the​ ​habit​ ​of​ ​picking​ ​them​ ​up.​ ​BTW,​ ​you​ ​should​ ​stop​ ​that​ ​if​ ​your dog​ ​is​ ​pregnant.

Low​ ​Energy

Your​ ​dog’s​ ​energy​ ​won’t​ ​change​ ​overnight.​ ​However,​ ​the​ ​bitch​ ​will​ ​have​ ​less​ ​and​ ​less​ ​energy as​ ​the​ ​days​ ​go​ ​by.​ ​It​ ​won’t​ ​be​ ​noticeable​ ​the​ ​first​ ​week​ ​or​ ​two,​ ​but​ ​at​ ​the​ ​start​ ​of​ ​the​ ​third week,​ ​she​ ​won’t​ ​have​ ​the​ ​same​ ​usual​ ​levels​ ​of​ ​energy​ ​for​ ​exercise​ ​and​ ​activity.

If​ ​you​ ​notice​ ​that​ ​your​ ​female​ ​dog​ ​gets​ ​tired​ ​sooner​ ​than​ ​usual,​ ​it​ ​may​ ​be​ ​a​ ​sign​ ​of​ ​many health​ ​problems,​ ​and​ ​pregnancy​ ​is​ ​the​ ​best​ ​answer​ ​you’d​ ​want​ ​to​ ​hear.​ ​Taking​ ​the​ ​dog​ ​to​ ​the vet​ ​is​ ​the​ ​best​ ​way​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​that​ ​she​ ​is​ ​healthy​ ​and​ ​the​ ​litter​ ​is​ ​safe​ ​too.

Body​ ​Change

Much​ ​like​ ​humans,​ ​female​ ​dogs​ ​have​ ​visible​ ​body​ ​changes​ ​when​ ​they​ ​are​ ​pregnant.

Although​ ​the​ ​first​ ​two​ ​weeks​ ​may​ ​show​ ​no​ ​signs,​ ​the​ ​third​ ​week​ ​will​ ​be​ ​eventful.​ ​Your​ ​dog’s nipple​ ​starts​ ​to​ ​take​ ​a​ ​brighter​ ​pink​ ​and​ ​grow​ ​bigger​ ​than​ ​usual.​ ​Her​ ​belly​ ​will​ ​slowly​ ​get bigger,​ too,​ ​as​ ​the​ ​puppies​ ​grow​ ​inside​ ​of​ ​her.

These​ ​body​ ​changes​ ​are​ ​common​ ​for​ ​pregnant​ ​dogs​ ​and​ ​are​ ​a​ ​sign​ ​of​ ​pregnancy.​ ​However, they​ ​may​ ​be​ ​accompanied​ ​with​ ​some​ ​other​ ​health​ ​issues.​ ​Therefore,​ ​a​ ​trip​ ​to​ ​the​ ​vet​ ​is​ ​the best​ ​way​ ​to​ ​be​ ​sure.

Sick and sad black dog

I’m tired. I need to rest as much as possible.


Bitches​ ​start​ ​to​ ​vomit​ ​in​ ​the​ ​fourth​ ​week​ ​of​ ​pregnancy​ ​due​ ​to​ ​the​ ​change​ ​of​ ​hormones.

Usually,​ ​she​ ​will​ ​vomit​ ​for​ ​a​ ​few​ ​days​ ​(3​ ​maximum),​ ​she​ ​will​ ​lose​ ​her​ ​appetite​ ​too,​ ​but​ ​she will​ ​soon​ ​regain​ ​all​ ​that​ ​as​ ​the​ ​second​ ​month​ ​of​ ​pregnancy​ ​starts.

Nevertheless,​ ​if​ ​your​ ​dog’s​ ​vomiting​ ​seems​ ​excessive​ ​or​ ​too​ ​bothersome​ ​for​ ​your​ ​dog, please​ ​take​ ​her​ ​to​ ​the​ ​vet​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​possible.​ ​We,​ ​including​ ​you,​ ​may​ ​guess​ ​that​ ​she​ ​is pregnant,​ ​but​ the​ ​vet​ ​will​ ​tell​ ​for​ ​sure.

Behavioral​ ​Change

In​ ​accordance​ ​with​ ​a​ ​decrease​ ​in​ ​energy​ ​and​ ​activity​ ​levels,​ ​some​ ​behavioral​ ​changes​ ​will inevitably​ ​occur.​ ​However,​ ​these​ ​are​ ​entirely​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the​ ​dog​ ​and​ ​her​ ​instincts.

Some​ ​dogs​ ​have​ ​a​ ​tendency​ ​to​ ​be​ ​more​ ​dependent​ ​on​ ​their​ ​owners.​ ​Therefore,​ ​they​ ​show more​ ​affection​ ​and​ ​ask​ ​for​ ​more​ ​attention​ ​when​ ​they​ ​are​ ​pregnant.​ ​Although​ ​they​ ​are​ ​not​ ​as much​ ​active,​ ​they​ ​will​ ​try​ ​their​ ​best​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​their​ ​owners​ ​as​ ​close​ ​as​ ​possible.

Some​ ​other​ ​dogs​ ​will​ ​push​ ​everyone​ ​away​ ​and​ ​stay​ ​alone.​ ​That​ ​instinct​ ​is​ ​a​ ​pure​ ​motherly instinct​ ​that​ ​shows​ ​how​ ​protective​ ​the​ ​female​ ​dog.​ ​If​ ​that​ ​happens,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​best​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​at​ ​a​ ​safe distance​ ​that​ ​the​ ​dog​ ​allows.​ ​If​ ​there​ ​is​ ​any​ ​way​ ​to​ ​help​ ​provide​ ​comfort​ ​for​ ​her,​ ​please​ ​do.

Dog​ ​Whelping

Your​ ​dog​ ​will​ ​likely​ ​deal​ ​with​ ​giving​ ​birth​ ​to​ ​the​ ​litter​ ​on​ ​her​ ​own​ ​without​ ​any​ ​help.​ ​Most​ ​dogs can​ ​do​ ​it​ ​without​ ​any​ ​complications.​ ​However,​ ​that​ ​does​ ​not​ ​mean​ ​that​ ​you​ ​should​ ​not​ ​be ready​ ​for​ ​the​ ​worse.

Here is a great article about whelping from PetEducation. Also, down below is ​a​ ​quick​ ​checklist​ ​for​ ​what​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​do​ ​on​ ​the​ ​whelping​ ​day. Watch this video to know how to build a whelping box.

A​ ​Checklist​ ​for​ ​What​ ​You​ ​Should​ ​Do​ ​When​ ​Your​ ​Dog​ ​Is Whelping

  • Build​ ​a​ ​Whelping​ ​box​ ​one​ ​month​ ​before​ ​the​ ​due​ ​day.
  • Make​ ​the​ ​dog​ ​feel​ ​comfortable​ ​in​ ​the​ ​whelping​ ​box.
  • Have​ ​the​ ​vet​ ​and​ ​the​ ​emergency​ ​phone​ ​numbers​ ​close​ ​by.
  • Bring​ ​clean​ ​towels,​ ​Iodine,​ ​a​ ​thread​ ​or​ ​dental​ ​floss.
  • Have​ ​small​ ​food​ ​scale​ ​to​ ​weigh​ ​the​ ​puppies.
  • Call​ ​the​ ​vet​ ​to​ ​schedule​ ​a​ ​visit​ ​to​ ​check​ ​on​ ​both​ ​the​ ​mother​ ​and​ ​her​ ​litter.

So, what do you think? Is your dog pregnant? Do you know what to do if your dog is ever pregnant? Do you have a pregnant dog? Let's us know in the comments down below.

If you have any questions, ask away. We'll answer them as soon as we can.​

About the Author Youness Bermime

Hi, there! My name is Youness, a professional content writer and marketer. I love dogs, and I think Huskies are, for most of the time, better than humans. I am, also, the owner and editor of WritersDo. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post because I enjoyed writing it. Don't forget to share it with your friends!

Leave a Comment:

Julius Wither Amberfield says December 11, 2017

It was really helpful when you said that oftentimes, pregnant dogs are more dependent and affectionate towards their owners and although they are not as active, they will do everything they can to be as close as possible. Actually, I have noticed that my Lab has been a lot dependent on me lately. She’s sleeping next to me and would prefer to eat besides my work table. I was preparing to take her to the vet thinking that she’s sick, now I think I’m in for a pleasant surprise. Thanks for sharing.

    Youness Bermime says December 13, 2017

    I’d still take her to the vet to make sure that she is doing well, and that the puppies are healthy. You need to know how many new fur babies to get ready for as well.

    Please do send us pictures of the new family members when they are born! I’d love to see them!

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