It is important to keep a close eye on your dog’s heat cycle and when and how often she mates with her stud. This is important because it will be much easier for you to track her pregnancy to better prepare for the birth of her puppies. You will notice many changes in your dog’s behavior and body during this time.
Keep in mind that symptoms and changes in the behavior may vary from dog to dog. Smaller dogs have quicker gestation periods, and may not show all the symptoms you may be expecting. It is important to keep track of when your dog mated because a pregnancy calendar will be much more accurate and easier to read if you have exact dates. This way you can better prepare for your dog’s labour and the birth of her new puppies.
Keep a calendar marked on the days your dog mated. There are even online calculators as well as calendars that can determine roughly how far along your dog’s pregnancy is. These can help you along while your dog is pregnant if you are unsure of how to do it yourself.
Dog Pregnancy Calendar Week by Week
Week 1 – This is the end of your dog’s heat cycle and when mating begins. The sperm will take a few days to fertilize the eggs.
Week 2 – The fertilized eggs will travel to the uterus and implant. This is when you may notice emotional changes in your dog’s behavior.
Week 3 – The eggs begin to grow and develop. Your dog’s nipples may begin to change and swell, and the mood swings and needy behavior will increase.
Week 4 – Ultrasounds may determine whether your dog is pregnant, and how far along she is. This is usually determined around the 28th day of pregnancy. Your dog may become more hungry, so feeding her a few more times a day is recommended. The developing puppies will start to grow facial structure and spinal cords.
Week 5 – This is when your dog’s stomach will start to swell. The pup’s sex organs, legs and paws will start to develop and grow.
Week 6 – Your dog may show signs of morning sickness and fluids may secrete from the vulva. Your dog may show signs of discomfort and restlessness. The puppies’ pigments develop and eyeballs and eyelids will have formed by this time.
Week 7 – Your dog will start producing milk. She will start to drag items around the house to form a whelping box. This is an excellent time for you to begin preparing for puppies. The puppies are almost fully developed by this time.
Week 8/9 – Your dog will appear uncomfortable and irritable. She will likely start nesting in her whelping box. This is normal behavior. The puppies are now fully developed and will be positioned for birth. Towards the end of week 8, start taking your dog’s temperature to tell when labor may begin. Once her temperature has dropped to 97 degrees, it’s time for puppies!