How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?

How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?

Everyone adores how adorable, lovable, and lively they are. A new puppy’s arrival can seem like a lifetime thing to dog breeders and pet owners alike! Fortunately, a dog’s pregnancy lasts a lot shorter than a human’s.

Here’s a breakdown of dog pregnancy, focusing on what owners need to know, including preparation tips:

How Long Does Dog Pregnancy Last?

  • Average: 63-65 days (about 9 weeks), much shorter than humans!
  • This applies to all breeds, regardless of size.
  • Mark the breeding date on your calendar, so your vet can accurately estimate the due date.

The Three Trimesters

  1. First Trimester:
    • Minimal physical changes, some may have mild morning sickness
    • Vet Visit is CRUCIAL: Confirms pregnancy, rules out problems, advises on diet
  2. Second Trimester:
    • Belly starts to grow, nipples enlarge
    • Keep life normal – exercise, play, etc.
  3. Third Trimester:
    • Puppies visible on x-ray (around day 45) – helps vet assess birthing risks
    • Big belly, possible milk leakage
    • Dog may start nesting (preparing a birthing spot)

What to Expect: The Good & the Challenging

  • Your dog’s appetite will fluctuate: more hungry at first, less as birth nears.
  • She might feel puppies move in the last few weeks!
  • Most dogs handle birth naturally, but knowing what’s normal helps you spot trouble signs.

How to Prepare

  • Nesting Box: A quiet, private spot with blankets, puppy pads, familiar toys.
  • Supplies: Towels, puppy nail clippers, warming pads (microwavable)
  • Vet’s Number Handy: For questions AND in case of emergency C-section
  • Be Present, But Hands-Off: Your dog has instincts, but be ready to assist if needed.

Key Takeaways

  • Dog pregnancy is exciting, but also a responsibility. Be informed, not just hopeful.
  • Early vet care makes a HUGE difference for a healthy pregnancy and birth
  • Preparation reduces stress for you AND your dog when the big day arrives.
  • Pregnancy is short, but those first few weeks with puppies are a whirlwind! Get ready for both.

Additional Notes

  • If you didn’t intend for your dog to get pregnant, talk to your vet about spaying to prevent further accidental pregnancies.
  • Raising puppies is rewarding but also time-consuming. Be honest about whether you’re up for it.

How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?

“How long are dogs pregnant?” Regardless of breed or size, a dog’s gestation period typically lasts between sixty-three and sixty-five days. Dogs have three trimesters during pregnancy, the same as humans, however, their gestation period is shorter.

They all endure roughly 21 days. Put the date on paper if you believe or know that your dog has been bred so that your veterinarian may be certain of your dog’s expected birthday. When your dog is pregnant, you should anticipate the following.

First Trimester:

Other than putting on a little weight gain, your dog’s look won’t often alter throughout the first trimester of her pregnancy. In weeks three or four, some dogs may show symptoms of morning sickness;

however, these are typically not as severe as in humans, and you may not notice anything at all. Don’t worry if your dog throws up once or twice, appears exhausted, or loses appetite during this period.

To help with nausea, give her a few light meals throughout the day. See your veterinarian if your dog’s sickness and lack of appetite persist for more than a few days or if you have concerns about her health.

If you suspect your dog is pregnant, schedule a visit with your veterinarian even if your dog appears healthy. When your dog is bred, let your veterinarian know and schedule a prenatal exam during the first trimester. You have a perfect opportunity to ask questions about what to feed a pregnant dog to your veterinarian.

Giving your dog a complete and balanced diet designed for nursing or pregnant dogs is the best option. At this point, your veterinarian might also suggest doing additional tests, such as monitoring hormone levels doing an ultrasound on the fetuses, or testing for parasites. A safe and non-invasive method of assessing the puppies’ health is with an ultrasound.

Second Trimester:

When does your pregnant dog’s appearance start to change? It’s possible that your dog will start to gain weight and appear pregnant during the second trimester.

In order to store all the milk they will need to provide the puppies, her nipples along the mammary chain, or the glands along the left or right side of her body, will begin to expand and maybe color. During the second trimester, not much else happens. Your dog can carry on with her regular schedule and exercise.

Third Trimester:

On an X-ray, the puppies can be seen on day 45, which is the start of the third trimester. In addition to determining the number of puppies your dog is carrying, your veterinarian will make sure the heads of the puppies will fit through the birth canal without incident.

This usually affects dog breeds that have brachycephalic heads, as their birth canals may be too small to accommodate large puppy heads. When your dog is finished gestating, she will need a cesarean section, or C-section, to remove the puppies if your veterinarian finds that they are too huge to fit through the birth canal safely.

During the third trimester, your dog’s pregnant belly will also grow larger and may wobble slightly back and forth beneath her while she walks. She may experience nipple leaks and an enlargement of her mammary chain.

Your dog may probably be more hungry than normal at first, but as delivery approaches, her hunger will probably decrease. Additionally, during the final two weeks of pregnancy, you might feel and see the puppies move.

Your dog will probably begin searching for and getting ready for her birthing nest as the time draws near. A cardboard box or a dog bed with high enough sides to keep the puppies inside when mum needs to take a rest can work just fine for this.

In addition, she would bring blankets inside her nest and arrange them precisely. Allow her to do her tasks, but ensure sure the nesting and birthing location is kept in a temperature-controlled space for the first several days, ideally between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

During the latter weeks of pregnancy, make sure you have your veterinarian’s number on speed dial in case something goes wrong or if you need assistance or guidance. Contact your veterinarian right away if your dog doesn’t go into labor by the 65-day due date or if she exhibits symptoms of dystocia, or trouble giving birth.

Mother dogs typically have an innate ability to conceive, give birth, nurse, and care for their pups until they are ready to leave the nest. Dogs can, however, occasionally require our assistance, so being aware of how long a dog can expect to be pregnant and what to anticipate will help ensure that your dog’s pregnancy is safe and enjoyable.

How To Prepare For Dog Giving Birth?

See below how to prepare your dog for giving birth…

Build A Nest:

Create a private, calm, and peaceful area for your dog to give birth and care for the puppies. Line a sizable cardboard box, often known as a whelping box, with fresh bedding and puppy pads. To help her get used to it, add her own clean toys and blankets.

Prepare Ahead Of Time:

Assemble little blankets, nail clippers, and clean towels. If for some reason you must relocate the puppies away from their mother, microwaveable bean bags can offer warmth.

Contact Your Vet:

Speak with our knowledgeable veterinarians to learn the warning signals of labor and discomfort. While you should try to keep a low profile, you should always be there to help and step in when necessary.

Be Ready For Caesarean Section:

Dogs frequently give birth at night, necessitating an emergency cesarean section.


For dog parents, a dog’s pregnancy is an exciting moment. Knowing every step of the way can help you estimate when the new puppies will be born. You’ll also be aware of what your dog ought to be going through at every phase. When the big day finally arrives, you’ll be more than prepared thanks to all of this knowledge and preparation. It can be a trying time for you and your dog when they are pregnant, but it will be less stressful if you are aware of your dog’s path to motherhood.

For more detailed information and further guidance, consider exploring the following resources:

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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