For those who have a pet friend at home, care is always present, but they need to be redoubled during the pregnancy of a dog. Special attention needs to be given to food, health, and the future canine mother, as well as their owners, need to adapt their home and routine to the arrival of their babies.
The heat of bitches
Usually small breeds start the heat period at six months, while larger breeds start to come into heat at 12 months. And the heat period lasts about three weeks, repeating itself every six months. It is a period when the dog may become more needy, nervous or agitated.
The dog pregnancy
Puppy gestation lasts between 56 and 70 days after conception, but parturition usually happens around the 63rd day. It is common for bitches to have an average of 6 puppies.
During the first 30 days of pregnancy, there will be no physical changes, and to be sure of the existence of the puppies in the belly, it will be necessary for a veterinarian to carry out an ultrasound examination after 25 days.
But from that period on, the changes in dog pregnancy become visible with the growth of the nipples, initiating the preparation of milk production. There is an increase in appetite, which makes her gain weight quickly and she will be more affectionate and sentimental, wanting the presence of the owners. In addition, she will show signs of tiredness, remaining in bed longer.
Dog pregnancy care
Your furry companion’s energy needs will increase during pregnancy so, as soon as it is confirmed, provide a larger daily amount of food. The average is 5% more feed per week, until farrowing, increasing throughout the day.
It may be that in the first few weeks she feels nauseous and doesn’t want to eat. A tip to alleviate the problem is to mix the feed with a wet food that she likes. If it doesn’t work, ask the vet for help, as she shouldn’t go long periods without feeding.
Her hydration also needs to be adequate for the puppies to develop well. Make sure she is drinking the available water.
During dog pregnancy, your little friend may not be as willing to play and walk. She may prefer to have quieter times, especially in the early and late days.
You must respect her disposition, suspending activities that demand a lot of effort. The walks can continue, as long as they don’t demand too much from her. You can take her for light walks to keep her muscles strong.
When the day of delivery is approaching, prepare a suitable place for your puppy to have her babies in peace. Possibly she herself will “build” a nest by pulling blankets and cloths to the place where she wants to have her young. Respect that.
It’s a good idea to bathe and groom your dog a week before giving birth so that everything happens more hygienically and the puppies are able to breastfeed more easily as soon as they are born. But if your partner doesn’t like bathing and feels scared or nervous, she should avoid it.
Leave a free space for the mother to have her puppies. Remove pillows or other items that might get in the way. Also take care that the place is protected from cold and rain, as puppies cannot regulate their own temperature as soon as they are born.
After the first contractions, the bitch can take about two hours before the first puppy is born. If it takes longer than that, look for the vet, as she must have some difficulty. Intervals between chicks can also take up to two hours.
With these precautions, the gestation of a dog will be very peaceful and soon you will have several fluffy puppies in your home.