Dogs are fascinating animals, and their pregnancy is nothing short of incredible. Their pregnancy is much shorter than that of humans, and they go through many changes in a short time.
So, to find out more about dogs and how their pregnancy works, keep reading.
How Many Months Do Dogs Stay Pregnant?
Dogs are pregnant for about two months. Their gestation period typically lasts nine weeks or 63 days. Using a dog gestation calculator can make the calculation easier.
Studies show no significant difference in large and small dog gestation periods, but there are variations with different breeds.
More Impressive Dog Pregnancy Statistics
We’ve covered everything you need to know about dog pregnancy. Let’s go!
There are nine stages of dog pregnancy.
(Baldivis Vet Hospital, 2019)
A dog’s gestation period starts with mating, and the stages change weekly. Here’s the pregnancy timeline.
- Fertilization of the egg
- Stabilization of the embryo (you need to maintain your dog)
- Nidation — development of the embryo and lining
- Confirmation of the pregnancy
- The embryo becomes a fetus
- Fast growth (when your dog needs more nutrients)
- Hair and skeleton development (start preparing for birth)
- Dog starts lactating
- Whelping starts
1–12 pups can come from one pregnancy.
(American Kennel Club, 2021)
This depends on an individual dog, but also breed and size. Large dog breeds usually carry more puppies, while smaller ones carry fewer. The average puppy litter has around 4–6 puppies.
Your vet can tell whether your dog is pregnant from the 21st day of mating.
They check the dog’s hormone level and do an ultrasound afterward.
It’s not that easy knowing whether your dog is pregnant before this, as the symptoms and signs appear around 30 days after mating. The only early symptom is vomiting, with fluid discharge, swelling, and weight gain occurring much later.
Be aware that basic insurance plans don’t cover pregnancy checks and whelping, so you need to buy a wellness plan.
The whelping — giving birth can last up to two days!
(MSD Veterinary Manual, 2020, East Bay Veterinary Clinic, 2021)
The dog can prepare for giving birth for a full day and be giving birth for 24 hours. However, on average, this lasts much shorter.
Some dogs might even require a C-section. This is rare and happens only if the dog has birth problems, usually with one puppy pregnancy or large puppies.
A dog can first become pregnant when they’re six months old.
(American Kennel Club, 2020)
Depending on the breed, they might reach their first heat as old as two-years-old!.
But, even though they can become pregnant, the recommendations are to skip breeding in the first heat. The dog is still developing, so carrying puppies and taking care of them might be too much on a young dog.
As dog pregnancy lasts for only 63 days, what dogs go through in such a short time is impressive. Their bodies completely change, and their puppies are developed and born in only two months. So, if you have a pregnant dog, give her lots of love — she’ll need it.