How Long Is A Dog Pregnant (And Why)?

How Long Is A Dog Pregnant (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 62-64 Days

If people are considering getting a dog, there is a lot of information they need to know. They should know the standard and individual guidelines for screening the health of their breed and their responsibility for raising healthy and well-adjusted puppies.

They also need to know the signs of pregnancy in dogs and know how best to care for a pregnant dog. In domestic dogs, puberty occurs in about six months or a year for both males and bitches, although for some large breeds this may be delayed up to two years, at which time the female will have her first heat cycle.

How Long Is A Dog Pregnant

How Long Is A Dog Pregnant?

Bitches are about 62 to 64 days pregnant or about two months old, although a veterinary manual states that predicting the time of delivery can be difficult because the breeding date does not always coincide with the date of conception. Pregnancy can also vary by breed and litter.

Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC Veterinary services director, explains that during the first month of pregnancy, fertilized eggs enter the uterine horns, where they attach, according to the tests, development of fetal growth is rapid in early pregnancy and these bumps double in diameter every seven days, according to Merck

By the end of the first month, the doctors will be able to detect them. Heart rate and fetal development are accelerated until the second month when the embryos become recognizable and by the end of the second and the beginning of the third month, the pups are ready for birth.

One of the most important things that a person can do for his pregnant dog is to make sure that she is getting enough nutrients. Don’t change her diet for two-thirds of the time. First trimester unless otherwise directed by her veterinarian. In fact, increasing feed intake during this period can be harmful

When weighed If her weight rises in the last weeks of pregnancy, veterinarians recommend increasing the food intake of the bitch gradually until she starts to consume 35-50 percent more than usual. Increase her intake slowly and let her eat small portions often, as large meals can be uncomfortable.


Dogs Pregnant
PeriodTime taken
Proestrus9-10 days
Diestrus14-20 days
Anestrus6 months

Why Is A Dog Pregnant For So Long?

Dogs Pregnant

In dogs that did not undergo neutering, heat in the female dogs occurs approximately every six months, and the estrus cycle lasts 18 to 21 days. The female will mate the males from nine days of the cycle, and they can become pregnant at any time during the next three to eleven days.

Breeders monitor these cycles and conduct tests to determine the optimal mating time so that when the bitch becomes pregnant, the embryos begin to move through the uterine horns around the seventh day. By the 16th day, the embryo is embedded in the mucous membrane of the uterus, and by the 22nd day, the fetus begins to form.

From about 28 to 30 days, your veterinarian will be able to see the fetal heart rate using ultrasound. The eyelids begin to form in puppies around day 32, toes around day 35, claws appear around day 40, hair and skeleton appear around day 45. After day 50, the doctor can take x-rays to see the skeleton of the puppy and form an accurate figure of how much to expect in the litter.

On about day 58, the pups will be fully developed and the bitches will start looking for a home and give birth as soon as the puppies are fully developed. Labor should begin within the next three to four days.

Labor is a three-step process and must be supervised by a veterinarian or experienced person due to potential complications. The first stage of labor lasts 12 to 24 hours. At this time, contractions begin in the uterus, but external signs of contractions may not yet appear and the mother may appear restless, refuse to eat, vomit, paint graffiti, or have other signs that labor has begun.


Female dogs give birth in the second stage of labor, which can last up to 24 hours usually, mother dogs give birth every 30-60 minutes, but not more than two hours at a time.

It is useful to rely on your veterinarian’s x-rays to know the expected number of puppies when the second stage is over as the third stage of labor occurs with the presence of a placenta and probably coincides with the second stage and the third phase ends when the last placenta is born and ends shortly after the end of the second phase.

Hence it is advised to consult a doctor immediately after a female dog is onto her pregnancy.


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27 thoughts on “How Long Is A Dog Pregnant (And Why)?”

  1. While the information is helpful, the breeding and pregnancy of dogs should be approached with great responsibility. Unfortunately, not all dog owners take this seriously.

    1. You’re right, Gordon. There needs to be greater emphasis on responsible dog breeding and pregnancy to avoid overpopulation and neglect of the puppies.

    2. It’s a shame that some dog owners don’t consider the implications of breeding and pregnancy. This is a serious matter that requires careful consideration.

  2. It’s vital for dog owners to recognize the significance of proper nutrition and care during a dog’s pregnancy. This article provides valuable insights in that regard.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Archie. This article effectively communicates the importance of attentive care and nutrition for pregnant dogs.

    2. Indeed, Archie. The emphasis on proper nutrition and care during dog pregnancy is crucial for the well-being of both the mother and her puppies.

  3. The information provided about the gestation period, pregnancy stages, and labor of dogs is both intriguing and educational. Responsible dog owners will greatly benefit from this article.

    1. Absolutely, Sonia. This article serves as a valuable resource for dog owners who are dedicated to ensuring the health and well-being of their pets throughout the pregnancy and labor phases.

  4. An interesting and informative article! It’s important to understand the process of dog pregnancy and labor so that we can ensure the health and well-being of our pets.

    1. I totally agree, Palmer. It’s crucial for dog owners to be educated about this topic to provide the best care for their pets.

  5. This article has provided a comprehensive understanding of dog pregnancy, from the gestation period to the stages of labor. It’s beneficial for all dog enthusiasts.

    1. I agree, Riley. It’s evident that careful consideration and proper care are vital throughout the entire process of dog pregnancy.

    2. Avatar of Walsh Harrison
      Walsh Harrison

      Absolutely, Riley. The depth of information in this article is valuable for anyone interested in the breeding and care of dogs.

  6. The information about dog pregnancy and labor is enlightening and underscores the attention and care required during this crucial phase in a dog’s life.

    1. I completely agree, Liam. It’s imperative for dog owners to be well-informed about pregnancy and labor to provide the best care possible.

    2. Absolutely, Liam. This article serves as a reminder of the responsibility of dog owners to ensure the health and safety of their pregnant dogs.

  7. The detailed explanation of dog pregnancy and labor in this article is commendable. It’s essential information for all dog lovers to be aware of.

    1. Absolutely, Carole. A thorough understanding of dog pregnancy is fundamental to responsible dog ownership and breeding practices.

    2. I share your sentiment, Carole. The importance of understanding dog pregnancy cannot be overstated, especially for those who are considering breeding their dogs.

  8. I never realized the extent of the developmental stages in a dog’s pregnancy. This article provides detailed and fascinating insights.

    1. Yes, it’s amazing to learn about the different stages of dog pregnancy and the level of care required for the mother and her puppies.

    2. I agree, Alfie. The level of detail about the stages of dog pregnancy is truly remarkable and underscores the complexity of the process.

  9. I never knew that the gestation period for dogs is around 62-64 days. This is valuable information for all dog owners.

    1. Absolutely, Beth. Understanding the duration of dog pregnancy can help in planning and preparation for the arrival of puppies.

  10. It’s fascinating to learn about the exact timeline and developmental stages of a dog’s pregnancy. The information is presented in a detailed and informative manner.

    1. I’m glad you find it fascinating, Cthompson. This article truly highlights the significance of understanding dog pregnancy for the well-being of our furry companions.

    2. I couldn’t agree more, Cthompson. This level of knowledge about dog pregnancy is crucial for responsible ownership and care.

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