Whether you suspect your own pet might be expecting, or you’re curious about a new dog, you’re here to get a quick answer for…
How to tell if my dog is pregnant: a pregnant dog, early on, may be lazier and grumpier than normal. Later, her nipples grow and turn pink. By the time there’s obvious weight gain, your dog may be in the last stage of a pregnancy.
Well, that’s the quick answer; but stick around for a few details that are good to know at a time like this. Let’s see what the experts say about checking a dog for pregnancy
Table of Contents
- Checking a Dog for Pregnancy
- Is There a Dog Pregnancy Test?
- Should a Pregnant Dog have a Special Diet?
- Resources for Further Exploration
Checking a Dog for Pregnancy
A word of caution: if you suspect your dog might be pregnant, never feel around her belly, to check for signs of growing puppies. An AKC article states…
Abdominal palpation should not be attempted without the assistance of a veterinarian, as it could damage the pups.”AKC Staff
Is There a Dog Pregnancy Test?
Unfortunately, this won’t be as simple as grabbing a pregnancy test from the dollar store! Blood tests are not the preferred method, either. Dr. Lauren Jones explains why:
…they are inaccurate and not a valid method for determining pregnancy…A female dog’s hormones after a heat cycle are remarkably similar, whether pregnant or not.”Lauren Jones, DVM
The best and safest way to tell if a dog is pregnant is by ultrasound, and even that is not done until a few weeks into the process.
Should a Pregnant Dog have a Special Diet?
Your veterinarian can help you with prenatal diet specifics, but Dr. Ernest Ward provides these basic guidelines:
- ‘Feed same amount during the first two-thirds of pregnancy.
- Use high-quality diet and supplements, such as DHA, as approved by your veterinarian.
- After Week 6, gradually increase food intake (high energy/low fiber).
- As the fetuses get bigger, it’s hard for your dog to consume her usual, big portions; so break up her feeding into several smaller meals.
- During the last three weeks, increase food by up to 50%.’