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Is My Dog Pregnant? Are You Considering Spaying Or Neutering Your Dog?

Your dog is in heat and you notice the stud next door eyeing her up. They are left alone for a few hours and chances are they mated. So how can you tell if your dog is pregnant? There is no missed period, and no mood swings. There is not even a home pregnancy test that dogs can take. Not only do they not make them, but a dog will go through the same hormonal changes whether she is pregnant or not so there is no HCG produced in a dog’s body. So a blood test is out also. 

How to tell if a dog is pregnant:

There are signs you can look out for. If your dog’s stomach looks swollen or she looks like she had sudden weight gain and her nipple area seems swollen these are all signs that your dog could be pregnant. The most definitive way of knowing is by going to your vet. Your vet will do an ultrasound to determine if your dog is pregnant.

How long is a dog pregnant:

So what can you expect now that your dog is expecting? For starters it is a quick pregnancy. A dog is only pregnant for anywhere from 60-63 days. Sounds like a dream come true.


Your dog usually will not need any extra nutrients throughout most of her pregnancy. In fact you might find that your dog will lose some of her appetite and vomit a few times in the beginning of her pregnancy. It is just like our morning sickness only it lasts a week or so and it usually comes about 2 to 3 weeks into your dog’s pregnancy.

Take a look at some of our other entries, like this one: Time For Puppy Preschool Part 5: Preparing For Dog Graduation. There you will find some guidance into advanced dog training exercises, keeping your dog motivated, dealing with separation anxiety, and more.



Do Pregnant Dogs Need To Be Fed A Different Diet?

During the last 3 to 4 weeks of pregnancy you might want to increase her food slowly so that by the time she delivers she will be eating only about 25-30% more than she was beforehand. That really is not a lot. Make sure you add this in slowly and try not to overdo it. You do not want your dog gaining too much weight.

A lot of well meaning pet owners start increasing their soon-to-be-a-mommy’s food intake right from the start because they are under the assumption that they need the extra calories to grow their puppies. This is not true at least not for the beginning and middle of the pregnancy. It is only in the last few weeks. The reason why you are going to wait until the end of the pregnancy to increase her food intake is because that is when the puppies really begin to grow. Your dog will need more nutrients and energy to grow these pups. Some vets will recommend you switch her over to a growth/puppy food because it will provide the nutrients for her growing family. Other vets will suggest you put her on a nursing/lactation diet.

It is up to you on how you want to feed her. You may want to feed her two small meals throughout the day. It might be hard to feed her in one feeding because her puppies may be taking up a lot of room and she might not be able to eat it all at once. You might even want to break the rule of not leaving food in your dog’s bowl all day for these last few weeks. It might be beneficial to your dog if you do this, but make sure you are watching what she eats.

Dogs can develop toxemia or eclampsia late in their pregnancy if they do not eat enough or have a poor diet. Again some doctors will give your dog vitamins during pregnancy and others will not. Do not add any vitamins or minerals on your own to your dog’s diet. It can be deadly to both the mom and the pups. Especially calcium which can increase the chance of eclampsia and even a milk fever after birth.

Milk fever is when the mother does not have the ability to move calcium into their milk without taking it from themselves.

Are you more of a cat person? Perhaps this entry is more for you: Owning A Domestic Cat 101: Cat Food And The Health Of Your Feline. Here you will get the basics of cat feeding, figuring out if your cat is overweight, what to expect from a healthy cat, spaying, neuterization, parasites, and more.


Things To Be Cautious About

A pregnant dog can still exercise, in fact it is recommended to keep her on a light exercise program. This will not only keep her muscles tone but it will also help with the weight gain. Just as with humans, obesity in pregnancy can cause some serious complications.

Right before your dog is about to deliver, she will probably stop eating for a day or two. This is one of your first signs that delivery is immediate. You might want to keep some food out for her though, just in case she wants to nibble here and there to keep her strength up.

Once she has given birth and all is well you are going to see a remarkable increase in her appetite. She is nursing after all and lactation brings upon more demands on her body. Expect her nutritional needs to multiple by 3 or 4 times. This does not happen at all once. Expect to see an increase the 20 to 30 days following the birth as the puppies grow and nurse more.

By the time the puppies are a month old, your dog should be eating at least four times of what she did before she was pregnant. Keep an eye on her, if she seems to be getting too thin you can supplement the food more with some flavored canned food. Once 6 to 8 weeks have passed since delivery you should start weaning the pups and getting the mom back to normal.

Is your dog’s barking becoming a problem? Sometimes our dogs’ incessant barking might become a real trouble for our own mental stability as for our neighbors tranquility. It is for the best if we find out why our dog is constantly barking, and learn how to control it.


Getting Back To Normal

To wean puppies you have to help the milk supply dry up. Withhold food and give her half of the water she normally drinks for one day. The next day, give her only a quarter of what she was eating before she got pregnant and half her water. From then on, give her all the water she wants and slowly over the next five days increase her food until she is eating what she was before her pregnancy. By the time she is back on her pre pregnancy food, her milk supply will have dried up and the puppies will have been weaned.

So for a short while she will be fed more than normal, there is no reason to start going crazy with the feeding of your dog when she is pregnant. Keep her on the same schedule until the last month or so of her pregnancy. If you are unsure of when conception took place, your vet should be able to make an estimated guess for you and you can use that as a guideline. Even before your dog gets pregnant you should make sure she is eating a balanced meal and is not overweight.

How do you know if you have an overweight dog? And if you do, what can you do to help your dog get a more healthy body? Here you go: Best Diet For Dogs And What To Do When You Have A Fat Puppy.


Spaying Of The Female Dog

Spaying of the female dog is undertaken to control the unwanted pregnancy. The spaying of the dog reduces the aggressiveness of the dog. By spaying, one can reduce the incidences of the commonly encountered reproductive diseases like pyometra.

Spaying also helps to control the population in case of stray animals and many nations are doing these operations by removing the ovaries from the female animals. Experienced veterinarians are required to do the spaying in case of female dogs and the postoperative care is to be given more emphasis. If proper control measures are not taken after the surgical operation for the removal of ovary, then the infections may start setting in and the animal may end up in development of peritonitis and then toxemia sets in, causing unwanted health problems. Death of the dog may finally occur, if the dog is not provided an effective and proper veterinary care.

A female dog that is spayed before the occurrence of first heat will have almost a zero chance of development of mammary cancer, which is more common with the dogs that are not spayed.

A female dog generally comes to heat once in eight months or so. During the heat occurrence, there is bleeding from vagina and the dog may cross with the unwanted male and the spaying activity prevents all these. In case of aged dogs, the dog may often get signs of increased thirst, loss of appetite, vomiting etc. that are so common with pyometra.

Pyometra means the presence of pus in the uterus. Once pyometra occurs, it involves many discomforts to the animal in addition to the cost factor involved for the therapy also. Such pyometra is totally prevented by spaying because in the case of spaying, you are removing both ovaries and the uterus.

Ever heard of Coccidia and Giardia? They are nasty intestinal protozoan parasites that are common in young puppies. Vibralife Health Supplement Multivitamin and Natural Dewormer Alternative is packed with all-natural ingredients like reed sedge peat and diatomaceous Earth which work as a team to bind and remove toxins and parasites from your pet.

Surgical Neutering Of The Male Dog

Surgical neutering of the male dog is important in helping the dog owners to control the male dog’s aggressive behavior. Yes. By doing the surgical neutering, it becomes possible to control the dog’s restlessness, which might have caused so much agony for the owner and hence, neutering corrects such activity to the benefit of the dog owner.

When the dog is in the puppy stage, the dog may be subjected to the surgical neutering technique. Hence, the hormonal impact is highly minimized in such male dogs.

The surgical neutering of the male dog helps to prevent the incidences of prostate gland diseases. In canine patients undergoing the surgical neutering, the incidences of prostate enlargement are totally minimized.

Sometimes, the adult male dog has more difficulties during defecation. However, one has to rule out the feed borne constipation like lack of fibers etc. before resorting to the fixation of prostate enlargement as a cause for this. Constipation is mainly due to the increased size of the prostate gland. Neutering makes shrinkage of the prostate gland. In surgical neutering, the incision is placed in front of the scrotum and the testicles are removed in a surgical manner using aseptic techniques.

The wound does not need to be closed except for the tying up of the cord after cutting of the testicle. However, in two to three days after, as a routine tissue reaction, some swelling may occur in the scrotum. Once you administer the antibiotic that has a broader spectrum of activities, the condition gets recovered in a satisfactory condition. Septic shock may occur if the surgical site gets infected with some microbial infections and in these cases, the wound needs a thorough dressing procedure and the patient needs to be continuously monitored in a clinical environment.

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