A young, healthy dog is likely to have a successful pregnancy and delivery, but knowing what to expect and how to care for her can make the process easier for you both and give you peace of mind about her wellbeing. In the early stages, simply learning about the pregnancy process and scheduling a checkup is enough; as your dog’s pregnancy progresses, you’ll need to prepare for the eventual delivery and the arrival of new puppies. Your dog’s pregnancy will last for about two months; if you have a planned pregnancy, you should be able to pinpoint the delivery date pretty well. If the new puppies are a surprise, your vet can help you target a range for delivery.
If you suspect your dog is pregnant, you should schedule a checkup at the vet; we’ll be able to make sure she is healthy, make recommendations about diet and give you some tips for your specific pet. At your vet visit, you’ll get confirmation of the pregnancy and an idea of what to expect next. An ultrasound can help determine how many puppies you are expecting and give you an idea of what you should prepare for.
Once the pregnancy is confirmed, feeding your dog a high quality diet and gradually increasing the amount of food she receives can help support the growing puppies; her appetite will increase as the puppies grow. You’ll also need to visit the vet again to confirm all is well and to learn how to prepare for the birth. This is the time to talk about delivery and read up on what to expect and what to do as your new pups arrive.
At the end of two months, your dog will be getting close to delivery. She will need a whelping box; a safe, secure and enclosed zone where she can deliver in comfort. You can build, buy or create a box; you should introduce it in the weeks before delivery, so she is comfortable inside. When you see your dog’s appetite decline and she begins building a “nest” in the box, you can be sure delivery is near.
Your dog should instinctively know what to do, and since you have prepared in advance, you will be able to intervene and assist if needed. If you have any concerns about your pregnant dog’s health and wellbeing or preparing for the delivery, schedule a visit. We’ll walk you through the process, schedule your upcoming appointments and give you a checklist of items to have on hand and materials to read before the big day. We’re here for you both as you go through the process and will help ensure your pup stays healthy and well.