How Long Does A Dog Carry Puppies (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 55 to 63 days

It’s crucial to understand dog pregnancy and birth before you start breeding a dog. If you want to know if your dog is pregnant, you need to consult a veterinarian. Understanding the signals and timing of good whelping will aid in the production of healthy puppies.

It is immensely exciting to welcome a new litter of pups into the world, but canine pregnancies may be perplexing and emotional, and also time-taking and costly. You must be conversant with your breed’s norms as well as the unique breed wellness exam.

How Long Does A Dog Carry Puppies

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How Long Does A Dog Carry Puppies?

Types of breedTime taken
Golden retriever63 days
Labrador56 to 64 days

In the animal world, pregnancy happens swiftly. In dogs, the gestation period lasts about 63 days to 68 days.

Two times a year, healthy female dogs get in an estrous cycle. Female canines prepare for child-rearing for six to eight months for the rest of their lives. Although their menstrual cycles may become unpredictable or even less frequent as they age, dogs unlike humans don’t undergo menopause, remaining viable long into the old life.

They are in the estrous cycle for about three weeks, the final two weeks which are ideal for egg fertilization. Though there may be small differences based on the dog’s breed and size.

Tracking out dog pregnancy signs takes a sharp and watchful eye. Red, enlarged, or swollen nipples, which also occur when a dog is in heat, are the most commonly mentioned signs of pregnancy in dogs. During the dog’s pregnancy, the mammaries will grow even more as she starts to provide milk for the upcoming babies.

A pregnant dog can lose her hunger cravings and become sluggish for the first several weeks of her pregnancy. Vomiting, which is associated with cramps in humans, can occur in dogs, but it is one of the less common symptoms of pregnancy in dogs. These are the finest early warning signs for dog owners who are unfamiliar with the process.

At four weeks of gestation, pregnant dogs should be moved to a higher-calorie diet. This might be a commercialized pregnancy and lactation diet or a puppy diet. They should be continued on this greater diet until they are weaned.

These diets can help guarantee enough nutrition for pregnant and nursing dogs, who have a substantially increased metabolism requirement involved with developing, delivering, and feeding puppies. Because there is less space in your dog’s stomach, she will need to consume lighter, more regular meals.

Why Does A Dog Carry Puppies For So Long?

The majority of dogs give birth 62 to 64 days after the ovarian date, not the day of breeding. You should start increasing your dog’s food consumption a week just before the due date.

The belly will begin to grow around day 40. The nipples may become darker and swollen. When the mother dog moves in the course of pregnancy, the tummy may begin to swing. You should be likely to see and touch the puppies moving within the mother’s belly about 7 days before she gives birth.

When your dog’s pregnancy is nearing its end, you should prepare a calm brooding environment for the delivery procedure. This space should be friendly and warm, and your dog should be allowed to come and go whenever she feels good while guarding the puppies safe.

Dog labor is divided into three phases. Labor pains in the initial stage might last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. Puppies are born 45 minutes to 1 hour apart, however, the dog actually may take a four-hour respite between puppies.

  • The first stage is characterized by cervical loosening and the onset of sporadic contractions. During this period, your dog will be agitated, will move to and from the nest box, will drool, dig, and may even vomit. This stage might last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.
  • The middle phase of the process starts with harder, more regular cramping that ultimately results in the delivery of a puppy. It is typical for the mother to take a break throughout the whelping process, and she may rest for up to 3 hours in between puppies.
  • Passing the placenta is the final step of labor. You’ll see a dark mass of fetal membranes that are discharged after every pup is born.


Pregnancy is not always a difficult period for dogs and their owners. You will be better prepared to care for your dog if you learn more about dog pregnancy in advance. You may experience sweating, restlessness, meal refusal, and possibly vomiting. When Nesting behavior starts. It’s time to put her in the whelping box; perhaps, she’ll be ready to have her pups soon.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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