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Canine Conception: 5 Early Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs

Unlike humans who have roughly nine months to prepare for a newborn, dogs’ gestation periods are much shorter. In fact, they often deliver within 58-72 days of conception. For that reason, it’s imperative you know early on if your dog is expecting.

As with humans, there are some tell-tale signs that a dog is pregnant. You may notice more familiar symptoms like decreased activity or nausea. However, it’s not always this black and white.

If you suspect your canine friend is carrying puppies, you should get her checked out as soon as possible. But, if you’re unsure, we’re here to help clear the uncertainty. Check out these five signs of pregnancy in dogs!

1. Appetite Changes

Pregnant dogs often experience their own episodes of “morning sickness.” These feelings of nausea may lead to decreased appetite at the beginning of a pregnancy.

As the term goes on, her appetite will continue to shift frequently. It’s likely that she’ll start eating more than usual and feeling unsatisfied with her meals. These fluctuations in appetite are due to her hormonal changes.

2. Enlarged Nipples

You may not even notice the nipples on a dog that isn’t pregnant. But, once there is a bun in the oven, your dog’s nipples start to grow a considerable amount.

They may even turn a redder or pinker color due to increased blood flow. This tends to occur within two or three weeks of conception. Your dog may even experience milk leaking through her nipples near the end of her pregnancy.

3. Activity Level

If your dog is pregnant, you’ll notice a serious drop in her will to run around and play. Pregnant dogs lounge much more than usual.

Not every dog has the energy levels of Air Bud. It’s harder to notice a decrease in activity level if your pet is already somewhat lethargic. Pay close attention to how she behaves when she does walk around.

4. Abdomen Changes

Is your dog exhibiting some of these other changes, but not gaining weight? You should do a thorough inspection of her belly. Get her on a scale or feel if her belly has enlargened.

However, keep in mind not all dogs appreciate having their stomach touched. If this gesture appears to make her uncomfortable, stop immediately.

5. Nesting

When it gets near the time of her due date, your dog will begin ‘nesting.’ This means she’ll pick one central area of the home to lay in and prepare.

To protect her puppies when nesting, your dog will likely lay more on her side or back. Once she begins this process, you have a few days to prepare.

Signs of Pregnancy in Dogs

The signs of pregnancy in dogs are highly variable. Many of the symptoms listed above will occur in dogs at different stages throughout their pregnancies.

Is your furry friend expecting? Bring her in for a visit at Sykesville Veterinary Clinic! We’re currently offering a special this month -$5 off cat exams and $20 senior pet blood work.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment!