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All About Dog Pregnancy

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.


Important Things to Know About Your Dog's Pregnancy

After your beloved dog has been matched with a handsome stud and successfully bred, the 63-day countdown begins. A mix of emotions pours over you, of course: lots of excitement, but also anxiety, as this is the first time you've owned a dog expecting puppies. It is normal to feel slightly overwhelmed at first, but take a deep breath and relax as things will very likely go pretty smoothly and nature will take its course.

There are a few things that an owner must be aware of. The information below will help you get through the whole 63 days without worrying excessively.

Has the Countdown Started?

First of all, even though your dog was in heat and was bred various times, there is still a chance she may not be pregnant. And some dogs are prone to "phantom pregnancies."

As you already may know, there are particular fertile days to watch for when scheduling a breeding. If your bitch was bred during her estrus phase, and you witnessed a "tie" where the male stud and your female bitch were connected for some time, chances are pretty high that puppies are on their way.

A Look Into the Heat Cycle

Here is an explanation of the heat cycle, so you can better evaluate if your dog was bred at the right time.

The heat cycle averages about 21 days and is divided into three phases.

The first phase, "pro-estrus," lasts about 7 to 10 days. You will be aware of this phase because it is when vaginal bleeding and vaginal swelling occur. If male dogs are around during this phase, they will be interested in the bitch, but she will be reluctant and refuse to be mounted.

The second phase, the "estrus phase," is the fertile phase, lasting about 4-13 days. This is when the female is fertile. The bleeding stops and is replaced by a yellowish vaginal discharge. During this phase, she will be more tolerant of males, and will keep her tail to the side. She will allow the male to mount. If you witness "a tie" where they are both stuck together for a while, then very likely puppies are on the way.

The third and final phase, "diestrus," is a time when the female will again be reluctant to mate, because she is no longer fertile. The male, though, may still try to mount.

The estrus phase is the crucial phase, the time you will be looking for if you want to breed successfully. Although it usually begins between the 7th and 10th day after the bleeding starts, there is really no very exact way to pick the best time to breed. This is why some professional breeders have their dog's hormones checked by a vet to improve their chances of breeding on the most fertile day, although even this is not enough to guarantee a pregnancy.

Early Pregnancy Signs: Third Week

Around the end of the third week and the beginning of the fourth, some bitches will develop typical morning-sickness symptoms (nausea, lack of appetite), just as humans do. This morning sickness may be hardly detectable in some dogs and pronounced in others.

Testing for Pregnancy

You can use a kit to do a test for the hormone relaxin (a substance produced only during pregnancy). This test can detect pregnancy in the first 21-25 days, as early as 20 days after the surge of luteinizing hormone. The kit is especially good for breeders, since there are five tests in the kit, and it's also great for distinguishing real pregnancy from pseudo-pregnancy. Results are fast; it only takes about 10 minutes. The kit may be available online.

The test requires a blood sample from your dog, which can be challenging for some owners, and it requires a centrifuge to separate out the plasma for the test. You can ask a vet to draw the blood and spin it for you, for a small fee, and finish the test yourself. Or you can have the test done totally at the vet's office.

A vet may be able to hear puppies' heartbeats with a stethoscope 25 days after breeding, and may be able to feel embryos by palpating your dog's abdomen 28 days after breeding. However, an ultrasound is a more accurate test and may even determine how many puppies your bitch is expecting. An X-ray can show the puppies' skeletons 45 days after breeding.

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Considering Diet Changes

Once your vet has confirmed pregnancy, make sure to mention diet to your vet. Starting about 35 days after breeding, your dog will need to be fed more often and with a more nutritionally balanced diet. Your vet may recommend special diets and supplements.

Early Signs of Pregnancy: Five Weeks

Usually, the first outward signs of pregnancy show about five weeks after breeding. They include slightly larger and darker nipples. It is always a good idea to take pictures of the nipples shortly after breeding, so you can compare color and size at five weeks. You may notice some slight weight gain, especially if you expect a large litter.

How Many to Expect?

Dogs may have just one pup, or as many as 14. The breed and the size of your dog do narrow down this wide range somewhat; as a general rule, larger breeds have closer to ten puppies, and medium breeds closer to five.

Later Signs of Pregnancy: Eight Weeks

Eight weeks after breeding, the nipples are much larger and may start to secrete a whitish fluid. By now, the abdomen will be enlarged as well, and when the bitch is at rest, the movement of puppies can sometimes be detected.

Getting Prepared

Now, you may start shopping for a nice whelping box. A whelping box should be big enough to allow your dog to stretch out easily with her puppies. You may fill the box with newspaper. A heating lamp may be helpful as well to prevent the pups from getting too cold.

Last Signs of Pregnancy: Week Nine

Your dog may start exhibiting nesting behavior. She may rip up papers or other material to make her own whelping box. Fortunately, you have already thought about this and made her a very comfy one.

Last-Minute Preparations

Arm yourself with a thermometer, and starting around day 56, start recording her temperature about twice a day. Bitches normally have a rectal temperature of about 100.2-100.8 oF. About 24 hours before birth, this temperature should drop to about 98-99.4 oF.

Keep your veterinarian's contact numbers handy and have your car ready in case of complications. If possible, give your vet a heads-up when your dog's temperature drops.

The Dog Birthing Process

Check your clock and note down when the first contraction starts. A first-time mom may not be able to tell the difference between giving birth and defecating, so she may want to go outside. You may take her, and, of course, monitor her. Your dog may be panting pretty heavily, shivering, and pacing, but this is normal in the midst of contractions. Sometimes simple movement such as walking around may expedite the birth process, which can turn out pretty lengthy, even up to 10 hours!

You should notice that contractions are getting more frequent. Eventually, within thirty minutes of the beginning of straining, the water sac will appear. Shortly afterward, a puppy will follow, and then its placenta. Your dog may want to eat the placenta. Only allow this once, as eating multiple placentas may cause a bout of diarrhea.

Once a pup is born, your dog will clean it and chew off its umbilical cord. Do not be alarmed if some pups are born tail first; this is pretty common in dogs. A vaginal discharge after birth is normal. The discharge may be green or reddish brown, and should be odorless. This discharge may persist up to eight weeks postpartum.


Ok, the above scenario looks pretty smooth, but what are the signs that suggest a vet visit?

When to Call Your Vet When Your Dog Is in Labor

  • It is past day 69.
  • No signs of labor begin within 24 hours of the temperature drop.
  • Prior to labor, your dog excretes a greenish fluid.
  • You suspect your dog has more puppies inside, but no more are born after four hours.
  • Your dog strains with strong contractions for more than an hour without producing a pup.
  • A puppy appears stuck in the birth canal.
  • A placenta is not expelled after each puppy.
  • Your dog is exhibiting unusual or extreme pain.

Of course, call when anything happens that worries you or seems out of the norm.

While all this information may seem overwhelming, it can be helpful for the first-time breeder. It is highly recommended to have the bitch and puppies seen within 24 hours to ensure the health of the new family.

If you are still concerned about your dog's wellbeing and the possibility of complications, here's a statistic to give you peace of mind: over 98% of all dogs deliver without assistance or complications. If you are still worried about that mere 2%, learn this article by heart and have your vet's contact number handy, and you should be fine! Best of luck!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: My bitch is 6wks into her pregnancy, is it normal for her to pant fast?

Answer: Panting a lot at this stage of pregnancy is not unusual considering that, at this point, the puppies are growing considerably causing added weight and general discomfort. If she is panting constantly though, you may want to play it safe and have her see the vet to ensure there isn't any other health issue going on.

Question: My dog is going to have her babies within a couple of days. She already has milk coming from her nipples, but one of them has some blackish water coming out. Should I be concerned?

Answer: I would have her checked out by your vet. If it's only coming from a nipple, there is a chance she is developing mastitis, an infected mammary gland.

Question: What food can boost a bitch stamina to mate? Anytime the dog wants to mate she does not allow?

Answer: There is no such thing as a food that will make a female dog want to mate. If your female dog is refusing to mate, there are often several things that may be going on. It can be that she's isn't yet in the estrus part of the the heat but in the proestrus stage. Usually, during this stage, the female dog has a pink discharge. She will attract males but refuse to mate. Waiting a few more days may help if this is the case. The pink discharge should turn straw-colored when she is at the estrus stage.

Other causes of females not wanting to mate include stress and health issues like painful hips. At times, if the issue is just her moving, it may help to leash her and have a helper guide the male dog. It is not unusual for dogs to attempt to mate for 45 minutes or so. Often after so much activity, the female will tire out and relax enough to allow to be bred. If all fails, you always have the option of artificial insemination.

Question: My dog is due anytime now, and she usually follows me everywhere I go, but in the last 30 minutes she's been sleeping in a cage, and she doesn't like them. Could this be an early sign of labor?

Answer: It may be considering that wild dogs were whelping in dens. Your dog may be getting ready to give birth, and is instinctively choosing the enclosure as it may be the closest similarity to a den.

© 2008 Adrienne Farricelli


Raymond on September 08, 2020:

I saw dark brownish blood after 3 week of mating why

Shaleena on April 15, 2020:

My dog is nesting and due any day but my male just locked her up while I was outside is this going to be ok?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 11, 2019:

You can certainly wash the area and some breeders also trim the hair behind just to keep things clean and neat when the dog has puppies. Your groomer can do that for her too.

Shirley Smit on October 22, 2019:

Hi everyone

My pekinese is birthing any day now, but i saw she has poop stuck in her hair.. Can i wash her? Wat can i do to help her.

Lorin Hartwell on October 05, 2019:

My Mama is on day 63. She is having a hard time breathing. It’s not panting, it’s just inhaling is hard for her. She stutters on inhale. Should I worry?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 03, 2019:

From her behavior and signs, it seems like she's on her way to giving birth soon. The moving weeds around is likely her attempt to building a "nest."

Jamie on September 27, 2019:

Hi my dog is on her 64 day of pregnancy. Yesterday she didn't want to eat slept all day. That morning at 3am she woke me up due to throwing up and pacing. Her temp went from 98.5 to 100.4 now today it is at 99.6. she dies have milk is I squeeze lightly. She tried to move weeds around outside while i took her out to potty. But inside she just sleeps. Will second labor be happening soon? This is her first litter

Violet clay on August 14, 2019:

My dog is pregnant an has blood shot eyes shaking an breathing really hard should i be worried

Ali Richelle on June 07, 2019:

My dog is a pug she usually breathes heavy when she's scratching or just got done running. She is also pregnant and she is a pretty large size so I think she might be having contractions because she's breathing heavily non stop. She's not panting or nesting. She's still sleeping and still eating every once in a while.

Cierra on May 27, 2019:

My mom's dog is going to have her puppies today but she hasn't had them.

Linda on May 21, 2019:

My dog is about 48 days into her pregnancy she is panting a lot sleeping more things are very large it's because they want us to know and she cries a lot should I be concerned and why did she crying so much she doesn't want to eat her food only wants dog treats

Jenny on February 24, 2019:

My German Shepherd is supposedly having her puppies in at least 2 weeks. Her nipples hasn’t started leaking or anything, and she hasn’t had any discharge or anything like that. But she has been wanting to bed, she’s painting a lot and her tummy is very hard. Breathing very heavily and has been laying for for hours. Should I be worried? Is she going into early labor?

Hem Srimal on February 14, 2019:

Im from Nepal and I have German shepherd dog. She is still not getting pregnent from the same male dog. Plz give me some ideas to get her pregnent....

Crys on January 19, 2019:

If you have a small breed dog half boston terrier and part teacup aussie if she is pregnant by a larger breed could it hurt her?

Tiffany on December 26, 2018:

My dog mated in oct 30 when will she have puppies?

Arnoldo Cavazos on December 25, 2018:

Ok I have a female Pitt bull and she is pregnant really big are bed sits up high so she's always jumping up and down to the bed with the puppies in her and just right now I noticed when she jumped off the bed to go to get something to eat from behind her where her private parts at like long slimy thing was hanging out looked clear so I kinda freaked out I want to Know beyany chance she might be going in to labor ,and this is her first time being pregnant her name is baby girl the father of the puppies his name is Hercules and he stays real like right next to her at all times extra follows or around he licks her down there there and make sure that she's okay I guess he's laying next to right now and I don't know I think she might be in labor?

Rhonda Diel on December 08, 2018:

My pitt had9 puppys she got milk over night and the got real hard but the milk is white

Contrina Reid on October 16, 2018:

my dog mated aug 13 and 18 she is really huge when will she have her babies

Tessa on September 27, 2018:

My best friends dog is pregnant gor the third time and shes not even two years this safe?

William Harding on September 24, 2018:

My lurcher bitch has whitish discharge coming from her only small bits at a time and is taking her food into her pupping area she's gone over due date any ideas

HisRoyalFidel on September 03, 2018:

I notice a little whitish fluid from my pregnant German Shepherd dog behind about 40minutes ago .. Is she in labour?

PS: She was breed on the 1st, 4th and 7th of July.

DuneMadGirl on July 23, 2018:

My dogs due date is today (23/07) and is panting all the time. She doesn’t feel hot but isn’t very restful. What does this mean?

Tisha walker on June 13, 2018:

My dog is ready to give birth her temp is 98.6 wen will she deliver all she doing is laying around

Ava on May 02, 2018:

My dog is in labor I was wondering if there is anything I could do for her? Can I touch her? Will she get turn on me once she has her puppies?

Tom on March 25, 2018:

I've just got a American bulldog and I defo know she's pregnant but don't know how far gone she is I can see puppies moving near her back end when she's relaxed she wines all nite but really active still through out the day what's the best thing for me to do

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 25, 2018:

At times, female dogs may attract males when they have an underlying medical condition such as a UTI or anal gland issue. Something to consider.

Chris on January 21, 2018:

Hi, I mated my bitch 20 days a go, so I have not yet established if she is in whelp, that will be next week at 28 days. Both my male dogs, neither of whom are the father, are treating her as if she was in season. I have not experienced it before.

Is this normal?

Adam Campos on January 05, 2018:

This was well-written and helpful. Thank you!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 26, 2017:

Tammy, if she just had puppies last week, it would be very unusual for her to be in heat again. If you are seeing bleeding, it would be a good idea to have her see the vet to rule out things like a uterus infection.

Tammy McBride on December 18, 2017:

My Sadie had six puppies last week and she had a hard time with the 5th and 6th puppy I gave her water and snacks to get her strength up to push them out. Sadie is a laso apostle part toy poodle. I'm going to get her fixed after she is done feeding in 6 weeks because it was hard for her and over whelming for her. Now today is Monday and Sadie started her menstrual that worries me because the father of sadies puppies I have to keep him away from her now until 6 to 7 weeks because I don't want her pregnant. But the puppies are fine.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 09, 2017:

I hope all went well,been off my computer for some time, it sounds like she was very close to giving birth, hopefully by now she has whelped a litter of happy, healthy pups.

Ashley on December 07, 2017:

My mini Aussie is having her first litter. She is 65 days pregnant; confirmed via ultrasound. Since 12am (now 4am) she's been whinning a lot, liking, pacing and has really loud gurgling from her abdomen. Could this finally be labor? My concern is all the whinning and gurgling noises, that maybe she's in pain. Is this all normal?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 07, 2017:

Jeannie, see if there is a vet working for the shelter that can offer discounted Cesareans or apply for care credit.

Jeannie on October 25, 2017:

How can I help my small dog deliver her big pups I don't want her to die and I have no money to take her to vet I'm homeless wat is there I can do she throwing up I think she ready to have them but nothing I see them moving alot in her but they nothing yet how can I help her she my life I don't know wat to do plz help

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 19, 2017:

Could something outside have startled her? Did she create a 'whelping area" indoors and is reluctant to leave it?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 19, 2017:

It could she is planning to use it as her whelping spot. I would bring her inside.

Amanda Gilbert on October 17, 2017:

I have a female pitbull that is about 3 weeks pregnant my question is, "why is she hesitant on going outside to potty"?

Julie on October 11, 2017:

My German Sheppard is in her last 2weeks dew to deliver she's laying around a lot doesn't want to leave her dog house should I let her stay in there or try to bring her inside

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 03, 2017:

Only a vet visit can reveal if your dog is truly pregnant or not. Consider that a false pregnancy produced similar symptoms as a real one and that even includes the production of milk sometimes. If she is acting sick, please see your vet.

Chassity on August 31, 2017:

My min daschound is acting weird just not herself when i picked her up today milk ran down my arm but she has not gained much weight at all either. She is not spayed so pregnancy is possible I know. She has never had a litter. She is 4 yrs old. She did not want to come out of her crate this am at all stayed in there all day, which is not her at all . Is she is pregnant how long do you think I have ?

Alina on August 24, 2017:

My pits belly has dropped and she has had the squirts. Puppies r moving like crazy. I'M worriec

Abby on July 13, 2017:

I don't no how far along my dog is. But at night she is very restless and cries if I'm not in the room with her. Plus she is breathing very heavy. Is there anything wrong with her or is this normal?

Candice Christians on July 13, 2017:

My dog is pregnant and I'm sure about to give birth... a hernia type of bum had appeared on her stomach which was not there earlier and has hardened since I discovered it about 2 hours ago. She is restless but wont leave her bed and is whimpering. Any suggestions as to what may have caised this bump or if i need to be alarmed?

BEAGLE on June 02, 2017:

Hi! My dog is 61 days pregnant is she about to give birth? because sometimes it takes hours before she ate her food.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 27, 2017:

Always best to see the vet when in doubt.

Kt on May 19, 2017:

my mother in laws Chihuahua, fox terrier mix has been excreting dark green almost stringy like mucus for 4 days and has not produced any puppies nor has she gone into labor. Is this normal? There hasn't been any yellow secretion. She has been like herself the entire time.

Tracy on May 16, 2017:

My dog is about 6 weeks pregnant she isn't eating today n is laying in my bed is this normal or should I take her to the vet I am very concerned

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 09, 2017:

If this happened overnight rather than gradually, please see your vet, the signs seem concerning!

Kenley on April 03, 2017:

My dog is a female lab and she has a stomach like a watermelon and it's stiff and her stomach makes weird noises and we saw here with another dog is she pregnant

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 09, 2017:

Sounds more like pain. I would get her checked out.

Karen on March 08, 2017:

I have a Female Parson Russell and she is about 3-4 weeks pregnant. Today we noticed that she is acting weird (tail between her legs and the hair on her back is standing up) and she is panting a lot. Could this be signs of morning sickness (she's not eating a lot either)? I'm really worried about her.

clare on January 26, 2017:

my dog is still pregnant it has been over a year ?

Alex on January 25, 2017:

Why do you call the dog B**ch???

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 29, 2016:

Anthony, Most likely, she should go in heat again in the next 6-8 months or so.

Tjm on December 28, 2016:

My dog is about 63 days the last two day she has been laying around in her box yesterday she was dischargeing brown reddish stuff so we kept her near by nothing has happened she still has a little bit of discharged I'm worried is this normal plz need info first time to have puppies for her and me

Anthony on December 19, 2016:

My german shephard had a miscarriage about 6 weeks ago when do I expect it to be on heat again

Te'a on September 30, 2016:

Help, my beagles is on her 60th day of pregnancy. She is having a brownish colored discharge then clear. Is this a sign something is terribly wrong. She acts normal.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 28, 2016:

Sammie. it could be, but only your vet can tell for sure.

Sammie on September 27, 2016:

My dogs belly is tight is there any chance she is pregnat?She has been with the male for 1 year now.

Dave on July 14, 2016:

Had a progesterone test dog done on dog day 3 of coming into heat and was0.4 ended up taking her to stud on day ten they tied for 20 minutes. Only one breeding. It's day 19 and she was all excited to today and tried jumping my leg. Is there a chance she may be pregnant? Took her down by my male and he sniffed her but really didn't do anything else.

Danielle Hadlock on July 14, 2016:

My rescue had puppies 5 weeks ago. She had 10, lost 2 a couple days after birth. Birthing was quick no complications. Puppies are healthy. She is but a pup herself she is only 11 months old. She started bleeding bright red today from her vagina. I don't have the money this week to get her to the vet due to an unexpected expense. Will definitely get her in next week but was wondering if she could be in heat again. Also she has stopped producing milk.

Kim on June 01, 2016:

My dog is pg not sure when she is due she has been leaking water for 4 days and heavy breathing and painting off and on is she due anytime now

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 22, 2016:

Please see the vet if there are contractions and no pups.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 22, 2016:

Should be soon, I bet she had a litter of pups already!

Jackie on May 14, 2016:

My Golden Reteriver/ yellow lab is pregnant for the third time. She's 63 day's into her pregnacy! She ate her food at 11:15 this morning but I put food in her dish at 6:30am. I took her temp at 12:30 this afternoon and it was 98.6. How much longer will it be for labor. Thank you!

Britney on May 06, 2016:

My dog is having puppies but it was un expected know I don't know if she's havin her puppies soon or not she has had contractions for about 5 hours and no puppies are yet on there way I'm really stressed out and don't know what to do it's also her first litter I'm scared to go to sleep and she has her puppies help please.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 19, 2016:

If the panting in contextual, meaning only upon seeing the dog walk and then stops after a few minutes, then you know it's triggered from the sight of the dog, if it keeps going on though even with no trigger or explanation see your vet.

Xena on April 16, 2016:

My dog is 44 days pregnant she is breathing heavy ,but she also was excited after seeing another dog walk by shoukd there be a concern?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 31, 2015:

I am not sure how it can be your vet didn't know what he's talking about? May be time to change vet! There should be no colored discharge before the birth of pups. I would see another vet as soon as you can so he/she can assess the discharge and giving you a better idea of what's going on inside to be safe. This sounds concerning.

Heather on July 30, 2015:

Hello my Mini Dachshund is 67 day Pregnant she has this black fluid she been leaking for a few days but today it getting worse and her temp is 101.2 this morning she been nesting for a few days I took her to the vet yesterday and we did a x ray and she has puppies in her but the Dr not sure of anything it seems like he didn't know what he talking about maybe you'll be able to help me I'm just worried this is her 2nd litter she was on time last time do you think there something wrong?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 17, 2015:

It's hard to tell because dogs may pant for many reasons, stress, warmth, exercise, pain, happiness and she could be fatter because she may be moving less and eating more since she's off the streets now. At the same time, a dog roaming the streets, is also likely to be pregnant if she wasn't spayed obviously and there are intact male dogs around.

Shatrece Hays on May 17, 2015:

I rescued a little girl almost 7 weeks ago, she was roaming the streets. When I brought her home she was a little lazy but came around and is so lovable now, just last night she began to pant heavily and has become more clingy. She is still very happy and playful and nothing else has changed. She has become a little fatter. Could she be pregnant?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 14, 2015:

With all those multiple matings, it's likely she'll be pregnant, but there's no way to know for sure until you see the vet. On average large dogs as such may have 7-10 pups, but it's not unheard of some having 1 or even a dozen.

melissa palmer on May 13, 2015:

hello i have a german sheperd pit mix who is 1 yr old she started bleeding on april 20(which was her first heat) she has tied with my male golden pit (age 9) on may 4,5,6 and then today the 13th i thought she was done being in heat since she wasn't really bleeding anymore but then after tying she started to bleed again.. do you think that she is pregnant and with this breed how many pups should i expect? i plan on taking her to the vets for an xray but in the mean time was hoping for a guesstimate. i did not intend for her to get pregnant she is my first female dog and i figured it was safe to let them out together since i did not see blood and they were not showing any signs of interest in each other actually every time my female breathed my male would growl at her or walk away to the other room.. haha guess i was very wrong and after this litter she will be spayex. thanks for the help in advance.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 06, 2015:

Sorry, have been away for a while from my computer, how is your dog doing now?

Margarita on April 01, 2015:

My rottweiler is 8 weeks and shes bleeding is that normal

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 19, 2014:

Typically, pregnant dogs do not gain much visible weight in the first 4-5 weeks of pregnancy because the embryos remain quite small, so they really start getting big though in the last 3 weeks. If she was mated the 19th of August her due date would be anywhere (bearing in mind conception may not take place on that exact day) between Oct 17 and the 23nd. By now she should therefore be bigger and getting ready to whelp. You should also feel or see movement behind the ribs when she is laying down. Her temperature should drop and she should start nesting behavior. It doesn't sound like that though from your description. Please consider as well that ties aren't always a guarantee of pregnancy. However, I must admit that there have been cases of dogs giving birth, without gaining much apparent weight leaving the owners in dismay, so pregnancy can't always be excluded 100 percent and there is history of people who have lost bets on it.

christina on October 19, 2014:

Hi my chawhinnie 53 days pregnant i did mate her august 19 th we had three succesful ties but my problem is she has not gained any weight her nipples just started dropping i cant fill any pups my husband and i over the road truck drivers so finding a vet is not easy but not impossible she was given a clean bill of health 30 days after conception but pregnancy was not confirmed if this was false pregnancy would her nipples start dropping this late into the pregnancy

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 06, 2012:

Jenns, sounds normal.Consider that a normal pregnancy in dogs lasts 63 days but that time is calculated from the point of ovulation not the breeding day. Best wishes!

jenns on November 06, 2012:

my female pitt is 66 days preg its her first litter still no pups?yesterday she had a dark greenish discharge NO SMELL she was licking herself clean also her nipples were dripping alot she has her nesting spot and is resting today she is acting like nothing i called the vet and they said we were doing everything just fine not to be alarmed by the discharge that the puppies will arive soon....does this all seem normal??

ashleyashley on July 02, 2012:

Yes aye read it after aye put the post up it was very helpful thanku very much since then mum and pups have been seen from. The vet and all r doing great xx

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 01, 2012:

I wrote a hub about dog pregnancy complications after giving birth and it addresses the panting issue, you can read here:

ashley on June 30, 2012:

She still panting a wee bit but nothing compared to lastnight before she gave birth there was 2 sacs coming from her vigina it looked like the 2 were joined one of them had dirty mucky liquid in it and the other had like black liquid in it is that natural xx

ThussaysNanaMarie from In my oyster on June 30, 2012:

I don't know but how is your dog now?

Ashley on June 29, 2012:

Aye have a staffy cross who has given birth today she had 5 and all seemed well until a wee while ago when she started heavy breathing and becoming restless is this anything to be worried about this is her first litter

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 25, 2012:

Dogs generally take anywhere between 57 and 63 days to give birth and the rectal temperature is a good sign of impending birth, here is a guide:

Ruth on April 25, 2012:

ummm i have a dog and i don't know when she's due i squeezed colostrum from her nipples today and was wondering about whrn she would give birth

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 08, 2012:

Panting may be caused by pain, nausea, infection, hot environment, or any other causes for fever. This is too early for a litter to arrive and be healthy, so if it looks like she is getting ready to whelp I would be concerned. Here is an article about panting:

gemma on March 08, 2012:

My lab is 49 days into her pregnancy with her 2nd and last litter, she has been panting quite heavily on and off for the past hour or so, surely she can't be due to have the pups this early, is this possible? I'm probably over reacting but i want to ensure i'm with her all of the way like i was last time. She went 60 days into her pregnancy last time. Thanks in advance

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 28, 2012:

If you have great lines the best age would be minimum 2 ideally 3 years of age once her hips, eyes and other tests for the breed come clear and you male does as well. Here is a guide on breeding dogs:

Here is a link about parvo:

Brittany on February 26, 2012:

I have a purebred male German shorthair, and I was interested in breeding him because he has phenomenal qualities. I brought the female home, and according to her papers she turned one year old in January of this year. Within a week of having her, she began a heat cycle, which was about a week and a half ago. She and the male have been caught tied to one another, and I'm not sure if she is old enough. Could her age effect the health of these possible pups? Also, I have a dog that has had the parvo virus and was told that the virus can live for up to 7 years in the home and yard. She has been vaccinated for the parvo virus, but I fear for the pups. Could possible exposure effect them?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 24, 2012:

The heavy breathing and scratching are a possible sign of impending birth. She sounds like she is looking for a place to give birth. Have you prepared a whelping area? How many days is she at? here is a helpful hub:

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 20, 2012:

Here is a helpful hub:

tom on February 20, 2012:

my dog is 7months old and having pups will she be ok

ThussaysNanaMarie from In my oyster on February 05, 2012:

That was really informative. I read it just in time and my lovely Lady Malibu had a text book delivery. Thank you so much for taking the time. It was like having you in the room.

Pam Miears-Ennis on January 28, 2012:

@ Tannisha You didn't mention if you actually bred her?? I can tell you that with our golden retriever her nipples and even her uterus would swell with the false pregnancies, she would even build a "den" in a corner of our living room. When the puppies didn't come she would then steal stuffed animals and keep them in the den. It was even worse when she suffered a miscarriage, instead of keeping the stuffed animals for a few days she kept them for weeks and carried one with her every where she went. You really need to take your girl into the vet though, especially if you didn't breed her and you're fairly sure a dog didn't get a hold of her. As her symptoms could also indicate other illnesses.Good luck.

Pam Miears-Ennis on January 28, 2012:

@ Emma If you haven't already you need to take your new little girl into the veterinarian. Living in the conditions you described she may have several common illnesses, including worms and mange. Does her vaginal area seem swollen and engorged? She may just be going into heat Also it is quite possible that the er "gentleman" mislead you, she may have already had a litter in the past. A bitch as large as vizla or pointer would have definite lumps for each puppy if she is very far along, not just a bumpy belly as you described.( but without seeing her I of course can't say) Also we could be talking about a false pregnancy, our golden retriever,suffered from those. Anyway she needs the vet exam. In the meantime you have a large breed dog under two years old, so I hope you are feeding her a high protein puppy food, because that is what she still is, not really a dog yet. Good luck though, and having just fostered a "teenage" puppy mom I certainly hope she isn't pregnant.

tannisha on January 28, 2012:

I have a chauha I think she is pregnant cause her nipples are full and sagging she has got a bit bigger in her belly but I don't feel and movement or lumps is it because she is a small dog and she just started getting morning sickness. or do there nipples get full ans big if it is a false pregnancy

Emma on January 27, 2012:

Hi, on the 29th of Dec I got a dog for christmas (yay!). The bloke who bred her can't remember whens eh was born exactly, but we think she's about 7-8mnths old. She hasn't been spayed (yet, she will be when we have the money) and the guy had entire dogs running around with her. When I feel her belly, it feels bumpy a bit and I think her nipples are getting a bit bigger. She has been sleeping more recently as well. Oh, and she's a mutt, but her father was some kind of pointer (vizla/german shorthaired) and her mother is a border collie looking thing but my dog looks like a pointer xD.

Pam Miears-Ennis on January 25, 2012:

the panting is normal and may indicate the onset of labor. You don't mention breed or size of the bitch. Has she delivered any pups yet, as your post was several hours ago, I am thinking that she should have gone into full labor by now. If not and her breathing seems more distressed than panting you may want to contact the vet.

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