When we decide to have bitches instead of dogs we must be prepared because that whimsical and beautiful being that we have also responds to the normal cycles of all living species of reproduction. With the peculiarity that their process is every six months. Which means that we can end up with 1 to 14 beautiful puppies.
This cycle of jealousy and childbirth may or may not be planned, in either case we are responsible for helping her through her gestation and delivery process.
Bitches every eight months can become pregnant within their cycle of jealousy. Which lasts approximately three weeks. If you want to control your dog’s unwanted pregnancies, the solution is to sterilize them.
How do we know she is pregnant?
After the evident cycle of jealousy of our dog, which usually occurs between 4 and 13 months, we begin to suspect that she is in gestation and we want to make sure to prepare ourselves.
The gestation lasts between 61 and 65 days. If we want to visibly make sure, without the vet’s examination, we must observe the following: the size of the nipples, which increase considerably and turn a deep pink color and can secrete a semi-transparent liquid. Vagina flow which we must be aware of its customary cleaning both by the bitch and by ourselves.
Just as it happens with humans in the first days or weeks of gestation, they start vomiting, but if it persists, you must go to the vet
Around 35 days of gestation the weight gain will become evident. Until reaching an increase of 50% more than its normal weight.
The appetite will increase in the second half of the pregnancy, which implies advice with the vet to supply the nutrients required for her and her puppies, but if you notice that she loses her appetite you should consult with the vet immediately. From the 40th day of gestation, her belly will begin to swell due to the litter.
The magic number for the vet to indicate how many puppies he has in his belly is the 30th day of his pregnancy through a physical examination. It will give you an approximate number of the litter.
Regarding their behavior, this aspect is less detectable because it varies greatly according to the breed and the temperament of the bitch, however, it is usually more affectionate with humans and rejects contact with male dogs.
There is also the search for the “nest”, it is the moment that we see her look for dark and remote places to take refuge and have her litter.
The importance of the vet
This person can never be left out of the gestation process of our pet because he is the one who will guarantee our dogs health and delivery without complications.
The first thing that we need to determine is that the entire litter inside her womb is alive and that the mother is in good health so that the pregnancy and delivery can come to a successful conclusion.
The first thing that the Veterinarian performs is the blood test in order to detect a hormone called “relaxin” which confirms the pet’s pregnancy after 30 or 35 days of gestation. In it he also reveals the health of the pet. This type of examination should be done after 45 days of gestation to avoid x-rays from damaging puppies that are in the process of growing. The objective of this study is to determine the number of puppies and the possible malformations they may have.
The approximate period of time is 58 to 69 days, depending on the size of the litter. The gestation factor is determined by the number of puppies that the dog can have; the fewer puppies the number of days is less, but if you have a high number of puppies the time will be longer.
As the gestation time advances, the dog begins to assume behavior characteristic of her state. The first thing that we will see is a gradual and progressive isolation.
It is possible that she begins to reject contact through grunts with humans or other animals that can live with her, such as cats and other dogs, for which we must protect her and take care of her isolation process. Scolding or punishing her would generate a lot of stress so we must avoid that as much as possible.
What about food?
When starting to run on days 36 or 42 of gestation, the food portion must be increased by 5% to be able to sustain the nutritional requirements of your dog and the offspring. It is important to stimulate her appetite and keep her hydrated, so be sure to keep clean and fresh water permanently.
In the last days of gestation their body will be very swollen, with little space to store food, the puppies are formed and very large, which forces them to eat less food but distribute it several times a day. On the recommendation of the experts they should eat 5 times a day.
Time of delivery
In the ninth week the puppies are ready to go out and see the world. The dog will begin to wander around the house trying to locate a private and comfortable space to relax and give birth. We must wait for her to choose a place, and provide it with its nest in the last two weeks of canine gestation.
We recommend a thick, firm, lined cardboard box large enough to hold the litter, with clean quilts, blankets, or towels.
What should be at hand
Finally we leave you here the essential utensils to assist the delivery of your pet
- Newspapers for the floor
- Sterilized towels to sanitize puppies
- Rectal thermometer
- Disinfected scissors for cutting umbilical cords
- Iodine to disinfect the umbilical cord.