How to Tell If Your Dog is Pregnant by Feeling Her Belly

by Naomi Millburn
Appetite shifts are common in canine pregnancies.

Appetite shifts are common in canine pregnancies.

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If your dog is expecting a litter of adorable puppies, she won't exactly break the news to you through a giddy newsletter. That doesn't mean that you have to be in the dark about her gestation, however. Veterinarians typically can detect pregnancies in canines just by feeling your bog's belly.

Veterinarian Appointment

If you want to confirm your pet's pregnancy, take her to the veterinarian promptly. Veterinarians can detect pregnancy by touching your dog's stomach when she's between four and five weeks of her gestation. Dogs are generally pregnant for only about nine weeks, or 63 days. Some dogs, however, give birth after 58 days, others go to 68 days.

Feeling Technique

Your veterinarian feels the belly searching for little lumps, the fetuses. While they're examining your dog, she might even notice that her stomach feels thicker and weightier than normal, too, says veterinarian John M. Simon of "What Your Dog is Trying to Tell You." When a dog is roughly five weeks pregnant, her stomach generally has a larger appearance, according to Suzanne Slade of "Why Do Dogs Drool?" Feeling a belly for pregnancy proves about 85 percent accurate, according to the experts at the Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital.

Other Modes of Confirmation

Other common practices to determine pregnancy are both radiography and ultrasonography. Remember that prenatal veterinary care can go a long way in reassuring you about your dog's pregnancy and upcoming parturition. This is why it's so crucial to take your pet to the veterinarian immediately after you develop a hunch that she might be expecting. Since canine gestation is so comparatively brief, time is of the essence.

Other Pregnancy Clues

A couple telling hints of pregnancy in dogs are nausea and appetite boosts. Nesting patterns are also extremely common in pregnant canines, particularly as their whelping dates get closer and closer. When pregnant dogs nest, they act in unusually antsy ways. They prefer to be on their own. They try to set up cozy "nests" for nurturing their unborn pups. They sometimes even behave in uncharacteristic testy manners, which is why it's a smart idea to keep them away from young children in their final days of gestation.

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