After breeding your dog, you may be wondering if there are any dog pregnancy symptoms to watch for.
To first answer the question of, "How long are dogs pregnant?", the answer is 63 days.
The only way to know for sure if your dog is pregnant is to take her to the vet. However, there are some dog pregnancy symptoms that she may have.
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Every dog is unique and behaves differently during their pregnancy, but there are a few symptoms that are more common than others.
Early in pregnancy, your Golden Retriever will usually become even more affectionate than normal. She may follow you around a lot wanting to be petted constantly.
Depending on her individual personality though, she may instead want to be left alone a bit more than normal.
Most of my Golden Retrievers become extremely affectionate, but one of my females is happier being left on her own. This doesn’t continue throughout her whole gestation, just the first few weeks.
Other symptoms include, her nipples becoming slightly enlarged and softer than they were before.
Her appetite will actually decrease, rather than increase. Your dog may have a version of morning sickness where she will actually throw up some of her food.
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This is nothing to be alarmed about, as it will go away after a couple of weeks, but then restart later in her pregnancy.
Other symptoms include her sleep habits, as a dog will sleep more than normal.
Your dog will need special care throughout her pregnancy concerning various things such as vaccinations, wormings, diet, and activity level.
During the middle part of her pregnancy, her appetite will not only return, but will return with a vengeance!
She will eat a large amount of food, and sometimes act as if there is not enough food in the world to fill her up!
Dog pregnancy symptoms during the middle part of her pregnancy will not be as obvious, other than the amount of food that she is consuming.
She will return to her playful self, and her behavior will be back to normal.
Some symptoms may include a larger belly, but not always. If you feel her belly, it should feel a bit firmer than it used to.
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As she gets farther along, there will be several dog pregnancy symptoms.
Her appetite will decrease once again, and she will nibble on her food from time to time, but not really eat a whole meal at once.
You may be tempted to start giving her vitamins or a special diet due to her loss of appetite.
Do not do this, as you may inadvertently cause a calcium imbalance which can lead to milk fever, a very serious and fatal condition.
Other symptoms may be, that she will need to urinate more than normal, and will go back to sleeping quite a bit.
Her nipples will be quite big, and usually her belly will be growing much bigger also.
However, depending on the way that she is carrying her pups, her belly may not appear to be growing very much and you may start to wonder if she is truly pregnant!
One of my Golden Retrievers did not even appear to be pregnant when you looked at her belly, until 10 days before she delivered, and she gave birth to 12 healthy, full-sized pups!
©Photo Courtesy of Gill Fotheringham
Dog pregnancy symptoms during the last week of her gestation usually involves her vomiting up some of her water after she drinks.
If she is a first time mom, do not be surprised, if you do not see or feel any milk from her nipples yet.
Generally, it is during a 2nd pregnancy that a dog’s milk comes in a few days early.
It is also during the last couple of weeks that you can feel her puppies moving around inside of her. That is exciting!