How Long Does it Take a Dog to Get Pregnant?

How Long Does it Take a Dog to Get Pregnant?- Like humans, dog pregnancies are also an intricate process. Understanding the dog pregnancy and knowing how long it takes a dog to get pregnant will be of too much help if you are a dog owner or you are planning to breed your dogs.

Here’s a comprehensive guide about dog pregnancy, including key information and a takeaway:

Understanding Dog Pregnancy

  • Canine Reproduction: Unlike humans, female dogs have heat cycles (estrus) twice a year, roughly every 6 months. This is when they’re fertile and can conceive.
  • Mating and Fertilization: Sperm can survive several days in a female dog. It takes approximately 48-72 hours to fertilize the eggs.
  • Gestation Period: Dogs are pregnant for 63 days on average (9 weeks). However, this duration can vary slightly.
  • Pregnancy Stages:
    • Month 1: Embryos form and implant, early fetal development begins.
    • Month 2: Rapid fetal growth, physical changes in the mother dog become noticeable.
    • Month 3: Puppies are fully developed, the mother prepares for birth (whelping).

How to Tell if Your Dog is Pregnant

  • Physical Changes: Enlarged belly, increased nipple size, weight gain.
  • Behavioral Changes: Increased appetite, nesting behavior, possible morning sickness, decreased activity later in pregnancy.
  • Veterinary Confirmation: Ultrasound (as early as 3 weeks), blood tests, abdominal palpation, x-rays (later in pregnancy).

How Long Does it Take for a Dog to Get Pregnant?

The actual process of getting pregnant is complex. Key factors include:

  • Heat Cycle Timing: Mating during the fertile window is crucial.
  • Sperm Survival: Sperm can survive several days inside the female.
  • Egg Fertilization: Eggs can take up to 72 hours to be fertilized.

Due to these factors, pinpointing the exact start of pregnancy can be difficult without veterinary help. Hormonal measurements can provide more accurate estimates.

Labor and Delivery

  • Stages:
    • Stage 1: Contractions begin, behavioral changes.
    • Stage 2: Puppies are born (usually 30-60 minutes apart).
    • Stage 3: Placenta is expelled.
  • Duration: The labor process can take several hours. Seek veterinary attention if there are complications or prolonged delays.

When Can A Dog Get Pregnant Again?

Most dogs go into heat twice a year. While back-to-back pregnancies are possible, they are detrimental to the mother dog’s health. Allowing time for full recovery between litters is crucial for her well-being.

Key Takeaway

Understanding dog pregnancy, from heat cycles to delivery, is essential for responsible pet ownership and breeding. If you suspect your dog is pregnant, consult your veterinarian for confirmation and guidance on providing the best care for both mother and puppies.

Important Considerations

  • Unplanned Pregnancies: Spaying and neutering are the most effective ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies and contribute to reducing pet overpopulation.
  • Ethical Breeding: If you plan to breed your dog, research your breed, genetic health, and responsible breeding practices thoroughly.
  • Prenatal Care: Proper nutrition, veterinary checkups, and a safe whelping environment are vital for a healthy dog pregnancy.

How to Find that Your dog is Pregnant?

If you have planned to breed your dog, you must know the signs that the breeding was successful.

A Bigger Belly

As the pregnancy progresses, the pregnant dogs will start having bigger bellies. You may not see the weight gain in your dog. However, sudden weight gain can also be a disease symptom, so you need to go to a vet for a checkup.

Increase in Appetite

You should be alert if you see any changes in your dog’s appetite. A dog that is pregnant will eat more than the usual dog. Morning sickness can also be a sign of your dog being pregnant. However, morning sickness in dogs ends fast and lasts only a few days.

Increase in Breast and Nipple Size

 The breast size of the dog will increase, and its nipples will become swollen. You might find some milky texture fluid as well.

Body Discharge

You will notice a mucous discharge from the vagina of your dog if she is pregnant.

Increase in Weight

As the pregnancy happens, the dog’s weight will start to increase. She most likely gains 15%to 20% of weight depending on the puppies she carries.

Stages of Dog Pregnancy

There is a quick passage of the stages of pregnancy in dogs. As mentioned above, dogs ‘ gestation periods are shorter than humans, meaning that the puppies’ development takes place in the womb for two to three months.

Month One

In the first month, the embryo starts travelling to the uterine horns around the 7th day, and embryos are implanted in the uterine lining around the 16th day. The fetus starts taking its shape by the 22nd day, and by 28th and 30th, a vet can detect the fetal heartbeats on an ultrasound.

Many dogs are asymptomatic during the first three weeks of their pregnancy, but some of the symptoms that you should notice are:

  • Increased appetite
  • Morning sickness
  • Enlarged nipples
  • More lovable behaviour
  • Lower physical activity
  • Vaginal discharge

Month Two

Fetal development is fast during the second month of the pregnancy. The eyelids of the fetus form by the 32nd day, and toes can be seen by the 35th day. The claws are formed by the 40th day, and the coat and skeleton start growing a few days later, around the 45th day.

By the end of the 50th day, an x-ray can detect the number of puppies, and the dog will start looking for a place to nest on day 58.

The most obvious signs of pregnancy that can be shown during the second month are :

  • Behaviour changes
  • Weight gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased urination
  • Clear vaginal discharge
  • Enlarged abdomen
  • Decreased appetite gradually
  • Visible puppy movements

Month Three

 Your female dog will start whelping by the start of the third month. The development of puppies is done by the end of the 2nd month or 58th day, which means puppies are ready to move in the whelping position during the ending days of pregnancy

Symptoms included in the last few days of pregnancy in dogs are:

  • Waist start trimming as puppies will love the birth canal
  • Appetite loss
  • Decrement in the body temperature
  • Restless behaviour
  • Shivering and panting

How Long Does it Take a Dog to Get Pregnant?

The gestation period is defined as the time between conception and birth, during which the embryo develops in the uterus.

Before understanding the pregnancy period of the dogs, you must know the following terms:

Whelping is a term used to describe the act of giving birth. Parturition can be replaced in place of whelping.

Gestation in dogs refers to the period of when and how long the female dog is carrying her puppies.

A healthy mother dog can have a gestation period of about 55 to 68 days, and some canines’ mothers’ pregnancies can last up to 70 days.

Sperm can live inside the female’s body for several days, and after fertilization, the egg can remain fertile for up to 48 hours.

This means mating is not the only criteria to measure gestation. This can make it hard to understand the length of the pregnancy without the assistance of a vet.

However, measurements in the hormonal level can give you a more exact measurement for gestation.

Many breeders use vaginal smears and do blood tests to find out what is the perfect time of mating for your female dog, to know the length of gestation and estimated birth due date.

Gestation length, according to hormonal measurements, is:

  • 56-58 days from the start of diestrus.
  • 64-66 days from the first rise in progesterone.
  • 58-72 days from the first time the bitch has been bred.

Pregnancy in dogs is comparably shorter than in humans. Recognizing the length of the gestation periods will help you to keep your dog healthy along with her puppies.

It is also used to keep an eye on nutrition and care during pregnancy.

When Can Your Dog Get Pregnant Again?

Generally, pregnancy does not affect the timing of the female heat cycle or fertility. The cycle also doesn’t affect the milk production for her puppies.

You have to do some math regarding your dog’s heat cycle and the time when she can get pregnant again.

An average breed dog goes into heat twice every year or 180 days. This is the approximate time before she can get pregnant again or bear puppies again. Make sure to go through and gain deep knowledge about your dog’s breed and heat cycle.

The average gestation period in dogs is 63 days, which means approximately four months. Take note of your dog’s heat cycle and other nearby male dogs.

A female dog is most likely to get pregnant if she mates during her heat cycle. Even dogs who were recently delivered puppies can get pregnant again, but this can be very dangerous as it affects the dog’s health and even can’t survive medical procedures.

How Long are Dogs in Labor?

Once there is an end to the gestation period, labour begins. There are three types of labour.

Stage One

 The first labour lasts 12-24 hours and is not often visible. Contractions happen in the internet wall, which keeps on increasing both in strength and frequency. The major symptoms during the first labour are:

  • Change in behaviour
  • Restlessness
  • A shut-away behaviour
  • Refuse to eat
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Vaginal discharge

Stage Two

The delivery of puppies happens in stage two. This stage can take place anywhere and anytime between 1 to 24 hours, and the mother dog delivers one puppy at a time. Each delivery must occur in 1-2 hours and normally occurs every 30- 60 minutes.

Stage Three

At this stage, the dog delivers the placenta. Atte 2 and stage 3 occur at the same time. Stage 3 is completed when the complete placenta is delivered.

You should take care of your dog if the act takes more than 24 hours or if more than 2 hours pass between each delivery. Otherwise, that will be a sign of complications.

Tests to Determine Dog Pregnancy

Early detection of the dog’s pregnancy is extremely difficult.

  • Blood test – A blood test can find the pregnancy in dogs.
  • Abdominal palpation – A vet can also perform abdominal palpation about 3-4 weeks after mating.
  • Ultrasound scan – An ultrasound can be done as early as three weeks after mating to check if your dog is pregnant
  • Witness relaxin test – You can ask your veterinarian to do the witness relaxin test 4 weeks after gestation.
  • X-rays are the most effective way to determine if your dog is pregnant. But you must wait six weeks after gestation to perform this test.

How long does it take a dog to get pregnant? The answer to this question is long enough to develop and give birth to little balls of happiness.

As long as you are educated and follow the proper rules and instructions, from feeding and taking care of your pregnant dog to having a proper newborn puppy, you will give the healthiest life to your fur balls.

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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