Just like humans, the pregnancy period is a critical time for dogs. Considering this fact, the owners must be well-prepared for the arrival of the little add ons to the dog family. But more often than not, it is difficult to examine whether your pup is expecting something or not. And this aspect hinders in rendering proper care and attention to your pooch. Here are some of the pregnancy signs that you might get to notice during your dog’s incubation period.
Observe physical changes
In dogs, the gestation period can last for 60 to 65 days, i.e., nearly two months. During this period, know that your dog will undergo some of the physical changes that are often apparent. Some of the early symptoms that can elucidate much about her condition are:
Nipples growing bigger
During pregnancy, your female dog will experience swelling of the nipples and thus an increase in their size. Along with this, a change in their color can also be observed, turning into a darker shade of red.
To nurture the newborns, the hair around the nipples also starts thinning out. You might even get to notice some milk dripping out of the nipples during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This indicates that your dog is pregnant.
Change in the body
During pregnancy, it is quite evident that your female dog will go through some physical changes. Some of these include a bulging belly towards the end of the 5th week of pregnancy and swollen mammary glands to provide milk to the young ones.
However, all these alterations do not come about until the second half of the gestation period.
Noticing any changes in your dog’s behavior lately?
Paying heed to your pup’s behavioral shifts, along with the physical changes, will also let you be mindful of your dog’s pregnancy. Although spotting any changes in the behavior might be an arduous task, some of the early symptoms tend to appear much before then noticeable physical changes.
However, behavioral alterations cannot be entirely trusted when it comes to confirming pregnancy in dogs as there can be various other reasons behind their changed attitude. Thus, both physical and behavioral signs must be taken into consideration.
Drastic changes in your dog’s attitude can be a sign indicating pregnancy during the first half of the period. It will be hard enough to look for particular changes as each dog gets to respond to the level of the changing hormones differently. Your pup might become calmer yet tired out or come to be more defensive.
Loss in appetite
The mother dogs can get to endure conditions like morning sickness or nausea. For this very reason, they might experience loss in appetite and may eat very less during the first trimester, i.e., 3rd or 4th week of pregnancy. However, the dogs tend to get back to their diet once getting over with the condition.
Nesting for the new ones
Towards the end of the gestation period, the mother dog will begin looking for a nesting place where she’ll be delivering her babies. She’ll find a warm, safe place that she finds suitable for her pups. Also, you might spot her collecting and assembling the clothing pieces from all around to prepare a comfortable home for her family.
Consult to a veterinary Doctor
If even after showing up of all these symptoms, you are still not sure about your dog’s pregnancy, reaching out to vet can only help you in providing 100% assurance. He will make a thorough evaluation of the mother dog’s condition by conducting specific tests.
While making physical examination, the veteran will feel the presence of the puppies by gently caressing the mother dog’s belly and listen to pups’ heartbeats using a stethoscope.
These may then be followed by performing an X-ray scan where radiations are used to develop images of the young ones. The veteran may then get along with measuring the Relaxin hormone level as it is at its peak during the incubation period. This can be another way to confirm pregnancy in your female dog.
Be mindful of false pregnancy
Dogs can be subjected to false pregnancies at times. In such cases, the mother dog will show all the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy, yet will not be pregnant. Hence, if you can’t feel the puppies in your dog’s belly even at the second stage of the term, it can be an indication of false pregnancy.
Howsoever, yet again, consulting a veterinary doctor remains the best option to verify all your suspicions. Thus, take your dog to the vet in case you get to observe any unusual signs or changes.