Week by Week Details About Canine Gestation

This article covers everything you need to know about canine gestation and a dog’s pregnancy cycle.

Dog gestation is nothing like the gestation of a woman. While women are pregnant for nine months, a canine gestation period is only nine weeks. Imagine, after only 2 months, there will be puppies running around everywhere.

Sidebar: Grab a Witness Relaxin Pregnancy Test if you want to know if your bitch is pregnant!

A dog gestation can have some complications. But normally, things are pretty smooth. Once a bitch (female dog) has mated, knowing whether she is in gestation is not easy. Only after a few days will a veterinarian be able to confirm the gestation through the method of an ultrasound. Around the fourth week of gestation, the veterinarian can normally feel the abdomen and may be able to tell how many puppies are in the abdomen.

There are gestation calculators available online. By entering the date of conception, these calculators can advise on the exact date that the dog is due.

Although, this may be more or less, since a dog’s due date varies between 58 to 67 days. Smaller dogs will have smaller gestation periods.

Here is a quick glance at the weeks of a canine gestation:

Week 0 to 1:

• The dogs will breed together.

• Sperm will reach the eggs to fertilize them.

Week 2:

• The eggs make it to the uterus for implantation.

• Mood of the dog may change. Agitation and aggression is possible, as is affection.

Week 3:

• The Embryos are beginning to develop.

• The dog may experience morning sickness, which may or may not be evident.

Canine Gestation

Week 4 – The middle of the gestation:

• Fetuses can be seen through ultrasound.

• The appetite of the dog will increase.

• Spinal cords on he fetuses are forming.

Week 5:

• Fetuses begin to look like puppies, sexual organs are formed.

• The dog’s belly will begin to swell.

Week 6:

• Puppies continue to grow in the womb.

• Some dogs may experience vomiting.

• There may be some discharge fro, the vulva

Week 7:

• The puppies are almost fully developed

• You may be able to get colostrum, or milk from the nipples.

Week 8:

• The puppies are fully formed. They are beginning to crowd each other in the womb.

• The dog may begin to pace, looking for a place to have the puppies.

Nearing the end of the canine gestation:

• Rectal temperatures should be taken. Normal temperature is between 100 and 101 F.

• The dog is ready to whelp (give birth).


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The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.