Dogs have an incredible rate of reproduction, often giving birth to puppies within two months. On average, dog gestations last only 56-70 days!

Breeders or those waiting for their first puppy may be wondering how long dogs stay pregnant. It is wise to act upon any signs of pregnancy so that your puppy arrives safely at its intended destination.

Symptoms and Signs of Pregnancy
Your dog’s appetite and energy level will likely be affected during pregnancy. She may appear restless or more irritable than usual or show signs of nesting behavior as she prepares for her puppies’ arrival.

Her nipples may become darker and larger as she begins producing milk. She may also experience tummy swelling and enlargement of her mammary glands. You might even detect some milky fluid oozing out of her mouth!

Additionally, pay close attention to her gums. If they appear pale pink, this could indicate that she is expecting puppies.

At this stage, taking a sample of your dog’s blood can confirm the presence of relaxin – a hormone produced by the developing placenta that indicates pregnancy – and the date of conception as well.

Ultrasound is the most precise way to confirm pregnancy and can be done as early as three weeks into it. Not only does this provide an accurate diagnosis of pregnancy, but it can also determine if the fetus is alive by listening to its heartbeat.

Another way to confirm pregnancy is by taking an abdominal X-ray. This will tell the veterinarian how many puppies your dog is carrying and when an elective cesarean should be performed.

Breeders should prioritize having X-rays taken as soon as possible to guarantee your puppies’ well-being and safety. By doing so, you will ensure your dogs and their offspring receive top-quality healthcare.

Abdominal X-rays are only useful in the later stages of pregnancy when the fetal skull and spine are visible. To ensure accurate counting and when an elective cesarean may be necessary, your dog’s x-ray should be performed after day 55 of gestation.

It is essential to note that X-rays can be harmful to puppies, so it’s best to get them done during the last two weeks of pregnancy. This way, your vet can safely perform an elective cesarean without endangering either your pup’s or her puppies’ lives.

Additionally, ensure your dog has plenty of space to move and eat during her pregnancy, so she can keep up with her growing litter. She may require special nutrition during this time as well.