The gestation or pregnancy period in a dog generally lasts for about 60 to 63 days or 9 weeks. Depending on the breed, the gestation period may vary from dog to dog. However, the puppies are normally delivered between 58 and 64 days. There is no standard urine or blood test, which would help determine, if your dog is pregnant. In case, you want to confirm the pregnancy of your pet, it is always better to take him to a veterinarian. The doctor would simply feel his abdomen and detect any signs of pregnancy. You can also determine whether or not your dog is pregnant by undergoing radiography (X-Ray) after 45 days. Read on to learn more about the various changes visible during the gestation period of canines.
Changes During Gestation Period
Generally, you cannot predict whether or not a dog is pregnant, even after 5 weeks of conception. During the first few weeks, there are no noticeable physical changes, apart from the fact that the dog gets a little quieter than normal. Some amount of weight gain may be seen after 5 weeks, only if the litter is big enough. The breasts may also get enlarged to some extent. In the sixth or seventh week, the dog urinates more often than usual. With a couple of pups, the dog might gain a little weight just 2-3 weeks, before delivery. In fact, it is only three weeks before delivery that the abdomen gets considerably enlarged. The mammary glands produce milk about 6-7 days before delivery.
You might notice many conspicuous changes in the behavior of your pet during the gestation period. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, it might display symptoms, such as, restlessness, anxiety and also seek solitude. With the growing discomfort of an enlarged abdomen because of developing puppies during the last three weeks, your pet might also get a bit aggressive. At this stage, make sure that you keep it away from little children. It might also soil the house and tear papers and clothes with an obvious attempt of 'nest building' for her brood, during this period.
The gestation period of your pet is equally challenging for the owner as well. As a responsible person, you should see that your pet gets all the comfort and attention that it requires. Make sure that you provide it with a well-balanced and nutritious diet, during this period. Include lots of high protein supplements, like eggs, meat and liver in all the meals. Feed your canine several small meals and cater to its increased nutritional needs, especially during the last 5 weeks. An increase in the intake of fluids is usually noticeable at this stage. You might also take the help of your veterinarian and prepare a special diet, if necessary.