How Long Do Dogs Stay Pregnant: Big and Small Breeds

How long do dogs stay pregnant: the duration of the pregnancy in big and small breeds + the peculiarities of taking care of the animal?


Dog’s pregnancy is a period of development of the fertilized ovum into the future puppy until the moment it is born.

If you do not know how long your dog is going to stay pregnant, you should read our article on how long do dogs stay pregnant.

The symptoms of pregnancy in dogs

Right after the service you cannot define for sure whether the animal is pregnant because the animal almost has no changes in behavior and its activity is of the same level.

Two weeks later some dogs can stay in the depressed mood, lose the appetite and become sleepy.

It’s a completely normal state under the condition that the blood emission from the whole stopped.

3 symptoms that your dog is pregnant:

  1. In the period of the first four weeks the pregnant animal has its nipples increased: they become big and bright pink.

    The rest of its appearance or behavior does not change and it can have a wonderful appetite and sleep.

    It even may play with joy.

    In this period the owner should increase the number of meals to three times a day and increase the amount of protein in food with the help of meat and dairy products.

  2. Starting from the second month of pregnancy, the experienced owner can observe the bigger stomach in the area of the ribs.

    It is especially noticeable when the animal is sitting.

    The lacteal gland is growing and swelling, the animal is less quick and active and avoids the sudden jumps.

  3. Two or three weeks before giving birth, it begins to grow very fast and it seems that the belly is growing right in front of your eyes.

    When it is lying, you can notice how the puppies are pushing.

How long the different periods of pregnancy last?

A normal dog stays pregnant for 60-62 days.

However, the revivable puppies can be born on the 58th day or even later than the average period – on the 72nd day. It may also be connected to the individual peculiarities of the breed.

The reason of the premature delivery (even earlier than the 58th day) can be a trauma, the hidden disease or being unready to give birth: emaciation, excess obesity, too young or too old organism.

If the gyp does not deliver on its own till the 72nd day, the surgery is required (caesarean section).

  • The 4th week – it refuses to eat, may vomit on the 20th – the 22nd day after matching.

    One day before it the little ones start to have hearts;

  • After the 26th – the 27th day the experienced doctor can discover the fetus, which can be of the walnut size in a breed of the average size;
  • 28 days – the formation of the appearance is over but they do not have fur;
  • On the 5th week, one can notice how the belly increased, how the nipples become pink and how the skin around them becomes light;
  • On the 32nd day, there is a possibility to be examined with the help of the ultrasound.

    The fetuses already have 20% of the weight they are going to have at birth;

  • The 33rd day – the bones get stronger in the limbs and ribs;
  • On the 36th day, the main systems of the organism are formed;
  • The 7th week (48-50 days) there is a possibility to make the X-ray examination which is sure to say how many puppies you are going to get;
  • 10 days before giving birth you should decrease the amount of protein in the diet;
  • The 8th week (55-57 days) – one is likely to observe the often licking clean and the search of the place where to give birth;
  • 8 – 36 hours before giving birth the dog’s temperature gets lower (to 36 degrees).

The owner should stay with his pet during the process because often without the owner’s help the puppies do not survive.

How long do big dogs stay pregnant?

The pregnancy lasts 63 days, though there were cases when everything ended successfully after 55 or 72 days.

If there are many fetuses, the duration of pregnancy may be shorter and on the contrary, if there are only several fetuses, it might last longer.

Very often the big breeds bring fewer puppies than small ones.

The first long weeks of pregnancy can pass with the usual physical load except very fast running and jumping.

The next stages of pregnancy should have less loading because the animals feel it and become calmer.

Within the first six hours after delivery, you should put a bowl with water near the pet and do not give it food.

One should additionally feed the big breeds in their everyday diets – cottage cheese, meat broth, rice water and meat cut into small pieces.

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How long do dogs stay pregnant is they are a small breed?

The dogs, which belong to the small breeds, usually stay pregnant for 62 days.

In order to find out the number of puppies on the early stage, one may have the ultrasound and later an experienced doctor may find them by groping.

Before giving birth, the dog’s temperature falls down 1 or 2 degrees.

Small breeds are extremely sensitive to the temperature changes.

That’s why you should make sure the room is rather warm and it’s not too hot or soggy there.

The stomach’s volume is less in small breeds and it has a huge impact during pregnancy because most of the place is occupied by the dam.

You must secure your pet with many calories and make sure the food is divided into small pieces.

Pick some vitamins, depending on the breed and the veterinary physician’s recommendations.

The differences in behavior of the dog’s pregnancies

  1. The first time is almost like all future ones but the symptoms appear later than in the dogs which already gave birth at least once.

    The milk also appears only one day before the delivery or the same day.

  2. The small dogs which are pregnant usually have the same symptoms like the medium and big ones.

    However, there may be some light differences in the behavior.

    The small breeds have a gentle and soft nervous system and the behavioral reactions may be more expressed.

  3. The old animals more often stay pregnant longer and they usually have the symptoms of weakness at the late pregnancy (such as respite or paw’s edema), that’s why they need special diet and care.

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How to feed dogs while they stay pregnant?

The diet of the pregnant gyp must be changed.

Especially, in the second half of the long period.

If you buy ready-made food for dogs, you should order special food for pregnant dogs. If the usual pet’s food does not have such kind, you should pick the food for puppies.

If you feed it with homemade food, you should increase the amount of protein.

However, one week before the birth you’d better decrease its amount lest the animal was stubborn.

You must give it some medical products like calcium, but do not overdose.

The food must be cut because the dam suppresses the stomach.

Do not give your pet too much food because it might lead to obesity or too big puppies, which will make birth giving rather troublesome.

How long do young dogs stay pregnant?

You should not expect many puppies from a young dog.

It’ll be able to bring more puppies when it is 3 or 4 years old and then fewer again.

Young dogs usually do not stay pregnant as long as the old ones do.

Moreover, it’s not always possible to define a young dog is pregnant, too.

In addition, there may be situations when the fetus dies and when it’s out it disappears (a young dog simply eats it).

Often the owners do not notice that the pet is not pregnant anymore because it is active and feels well.

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Some recommendation you need to know when you learn how long do dogs stay pregnant

Well, you made sure your pet is pregnant.

Now you should be ready to take a better care of it.

Love, patience, and knowledge will be the basic elements of successful pregnancy, delivery, excellent health of the future mother and its children.

Your actions while your dog stays pregnant:

  • Watch that your dog kept moving but was not too tired;
  • Do not worry the would-be mother by the long rides in the car;
  • Avoid stuffy and noisy places;
  • When the dog is pregnant, it should stay in the well-aired room;
  • Cancel too active games and do not let your dog jump too high or from the height;
  • If you need to take it in your hands, you must do it slowly, without any hurry, carefully keeping from the bottom and lapping.

Pay enough attention to the hygiene procedures because in this period they must be short and sparing.

One week before giving birth, you should wash the dog’s belly and apply a baby cream.

How long do dogs stay pregnant?

The process goes usually normally and does not bother the owners much and two months later the dogs deliver healthy puppies.

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