Are you confused if your dog is pregnant or not? Pete the Vet has the answers!
Ok so your dog is pregnant you know she is going to have pups, I’m not going to get into the debate whether it was planned or unplanned and if it was planned should she really be producing puppies or not. We’re not going to go there, we’re just going to talk about this pregnant dog and she’s going to have pups, a really important thing for you to know about is when is that going to happen, what date and what time is it going to happen because you have to be ready for that so how do you know? Well the first thing at the very beginning is what day was she mated?
That’s important because a dogs pregnancy is four days on average so that will give you an overview of roughly when it’s going to be, an approximate guide, the second thing is if you’re not sure what time that time was, as time passes you will notice her after swelling up and she gets bigger and bigger and you will also notice that her mammary glands will start to produce a little bit of milk when you squeeze the tets you find a little bit of yellowish milky stuff comes out and that will be a sign within a week or so of the pups being born, those are some of the big picture things to think about. What about getting closer?
How do you get to the precise time when they are going to be born, well the most useful thing you can do is to measure their temperature, a simple way to take your dog’s temperature is use a rectal thermometer, these days you get very simple electronic ones put it into the dogs rectum, press the button, wait for twenty seconds and you have the temperature, normally a dogs temperature is between one hundred and one to one hundred and two degrees Fahrenheit but if you do that three times a day with your pregnant dog you will see that it’s consistently that temperature, then what happens is it drops down to ninety eight to ninety nine degrees Fahrenheit and it’s a very obvious drop, suddenly being one hundred one and two, suddenly it’s down to ninety nine, when that happens you know for sure that the dog is going to swell within twenty four hours and if she doesn’t then you need to get her to the vet.
That’s a really simple but important tool that you can use at home to predict when she is going to give birth, so once the temperatures dropped, then it’s time to look at any other signs of her behaviour that she is going to give birth and one of those will be that she stops eating, just go off their food, another thing will be that they start to get a bit restless and their behaviour would change, she might not want to go for a walk anymore and she might go to the nesting area which you as a good owner have prepared for her to have the pups, she will go to the nesting area and spend time there, walk around and her behaviour will change and she might start to look at her side, she will having contractions and while they don’t seem to be painful as such, as humans have pains when they have contractions, dogs don’t seem to have pain in that way but they are certainly very aware of it, looking around themselves at the same time as this happens as time passes a bit more you will see a bit of a green discharge happen and that green discharge is a sign that whelping is very imminent.
The final thing would be as whelping starts, you will find she starts to strain, contractions really kick in, you will start to see her put her head forward, head back and she will push and push and that’s what she will do, once that starts, the clock has really started kicking and a rule of thumb that’s really important to know that if she’s contracting and she’s pushing for more than an hour and there’s no progress, then you absolutely need to go to the vet as soon as possible, it’s an emergency, if she’s pushing and she produces a puppy and then she’s pushing and she produces another puppy and an hour passes by while that’s happening and that’s fine because progress is being made, the key thing is that if she is pushing and no progress is being made, it’s really important that you know that, by the way whelping, it’s such a sensitive time, a dangerous time, just for the puppies, it’s dangerous for the mother, it’s a time of massive changes, so you need to know about this stuff so do take time to search online for whelping my bitch so you can learn as much as possible before this happens, it’s really, really important.