Even pregnant dogs need special care and attention, which begins by computing the expected due date for the dog. Dogs can get pregnant either by choice, when two dogs are allowed to breed during the ovulation period, or accident. As more and more people get their dogs neutered, however, accidental pregnancies are slowly becoming less frequent. Here’s how you can estimate the due date for your pregnant dog.
Ovulation dates. First, you should be aware that the countdown for the due date for a pregnant dog does not actually begin on the day when the dogs have bred. Instead, the countdown will begin when the dog begins ovulating. If you have intentionally bred your dog, you can determine the ovulation period by looking at the LH hormone levels. Two days after the peak of the LH hormones, ovulation will begin.
Setting the calendar. The calendar for the countdown will last around 63 days after the ovulation period, or approximately nine weeks.
Waiting. The actual waiting period for the pregnant dog, however, will vary from one pet to the other. Just as some people will give birth earlier or later than expected, dogs too have a range of 56 up to 72 days. Usually, however, the extremes are not common. Still, it is best to keep the pregnant dog in a safe place during this time period and to be present at all times to assist with the birthing process. Although the dogs will be able to give birth by themselves, it is best to be able to help in keeping the pups warm afterwards. Be sure, however, that you allow the mother dog to clean off the pups herself, since this is a way for the mother to establish the pups as her own. There have been reported cases of mothers refusing pups that were not cleaned by herself.
Preparations. As preparation for the pregnancy of a dog, you can set aside a part of the house and add pillows and soft fabrics for the dog. This will be the place where the dog will give birth to the puppies. Make sure, however, that you keep the area dry and clean and odor free. You should also introduce the pregnant dog to the birthing spot several days or weeks before the expected due date, so that the dog will have an idea of where to give birth.
After the due date. After the due date, the parent dog will have to feed the pups with her own milk. Because of the extra effort that her body is making at producing milk, she will need more nutrients than usual. As such, you should provide plenty of food and add in vitamin supplements if possible. After several days, you can also nurse the small puppies with a bottle of milk yourself although the mother dog will usually have enough milk to feed her litter.
Welcoming new puppies into the world can be a very exciting event. By knowing how to calculate for the due date of the dog, you will have enough time to prepare for the new puppies.