Dog gestation period

Are you expecting a litter and you want to know more about the gestation period of your dog? Have you ever wondered about the details about pregnancy in dogs? How long are dogs pregnant?
Female dogs carry their puppies for around 2 months or nine weeks and there are some magical moments during the gestation period.

Dog gestation period

Check out the infographic below to see some quick facts about the dog gestation period:


dog gestation period infographic

4 Stages of the Female Reproductive Cycle

  • PROESTRUS – 9 Days (Attracts males but is not receptive)
  • ESTRUS – 3 – 11 Days (Attracts males and it is receptive)
  • DIESTRUS – Occurs around day 14
  • ANESTRUS – 6 Months (The period between two cycles)

Normal gestation period is about 63 days from the day of conception.
Sperm lives several days in the vagina and the eggs stay fertile for 48 hours.

The 3 Stages of Labor:

  • Stage 1: lasts 12-24 hours
    – Restlessness
    – Loss of appetite
    – Nesting
    – Vomiting
    – Panting
    – Clear vaginal discharge
  • Stage 2: lasts 1-24 hours
    – Each puppy should be delivered in 30-60 minutes
  • Stage 3: delivery of the placenta

How to tell if your dog is pregnant?

There are not so many visual signs in the beginning of a dog’s pregnancy and unfortunately there are not quick test like for humans. So, in order to find out if your dog is really pregnant or not, the vets are here to help you. Veterinarians use 4 methods to determine whether a dog is pregnant.

They can do a hormone test, to look for the hormone relaxin. This test can be done only after 30 days from the conception, to be fairly accurate.

Veterinarians can do a palpation test, which can be  done between the 3-4 week. They palpate the uterus area of the dog’s stomach and determine if there are puppies.

During later pregnancy, veterinarians can do x-rays to determine how many puppies is the bitch carrying.

The method that is the most accurate and that can be done earliest in the pregnancy, is ultrasound. With ultrasound the veterinarian can tell if the do is pregnant in the 25 and 35 day of gestation.

If you liked this article, read “Animal gestation periods” on our blog.

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