Dog Pregnancy Term? How Long Will Her Gestation Last? How Long Will My Dog Be Pregnant?

Learn about a dog pregnancy term right now? Learn how long her gestation will last. Find out about her estrus, reproductive cycles, and even cleaning her vulva!

Female dogs, or bitches, become pregnant when they are in oestrus, often called "being in heat." Oestrus in a dog generally averages about 25 days. A female dog pregnancy term or gestational period can vary from 54 to 72 days, or 9 weeks from the day of ovulation.

What exactly is Oestrus?

Female dogs have reproductive cycles every 6 or 7 months. During this cycle there is a period of time when they become sexually active, this is estrus.

This is the time when a bitch will breed with a male dog. If you do not plan to have your dog spayed, then Estrus is inevitable. Estrus lasts on average 5 to 9 days.

How will I know if my dog is pregnant?

It is nearly impossible to tell if your dog is pregnant in the beginning. Generally the only way that your vet will be able to tell is through ultrasound, so it’s time to take a trip to the vet office.

Fetal heartbeats normally can’t be heard until about the 25th day. However, most vets can tell if a dog is pregnant by feeling her abdomen, normally about 20 or 30 days after conception. If your dog is large or obese, then the vet may have a more difficult time determining gestation by abdominal palpation.

Pregnancy can also be determined by x-rays. The skeletons of the puppies can be seen at approximately 40 days. X-rays normally cannot be done until late in the dog pregnancy term, and by then, the gestation will most likely already have been confirmed. It’s a great way to get a look at the size of the puppies though.

Dog Pregnancy Term

Now it’s time to get your dog comfortable. Feed her well and get your supplies ready. Some clean towels, a comfortable box for her and puppies, something big enough so she doesn’t squish anyone.

She will be grooming herself almost continuously. The hair on her belly is probably quite thin. Cleaning her nipples is a good idea, as is cleaning her vulva. This way you know the puppies are being born into a clean area. The nipples will be clean of any dirt, ensuring they don’t have any problems latching on.

So the dog pregnancy term may have seemed long, but you are rewarded for all of your waiting by having adorable little puppies to lick your face.


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The dog pregnancy term 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.