How Long Are Dogs Pregnant

How Long Are Dogs Pregnant

Puppies! Who could resist their cute looks, amusing actions, and loving nature? Whether you’re a proud pet owner or a dedicated dog breeder, the wait for a new puppy might seem like an eternity. But do not worry, a dog’s pregnancy is significantly shorter than a human’s.

So, how long is a dog pregnant?

Typically, dogs carry their precious cargo for around 63 days, although this timeframe can vary slightly depending on different factors.

Understanding Dogs Reproductive Cycle

It’s crucial to comprehend the phases of the canine reproductive cycle in order to estimate how long a dog will be pregnant. Though this can vary depending on breed and individual characteristics, an untreated dog (one that has not been spayed or neutered) usually goes into heat about twice a year.

Here are the key stages:


The start of the canine reproductive cycle, known as proestrus, usually lasts for nine days. This phase marks the beginning of the heat cycle in female dogs, when they begin to release pheromones that attract male canines.

The female dogs are not yet ready to mate despite this attraction. A vulva that is enlarged and a discharge that may be straw-colored or bloody are physical indicators of proestrus.


Proestrus is followed by estrus, which can last three to eleven days. The female is most open to mating during this time. The vulva gets softer and bigger, and the color of the discharge gets lighter, more like straw.

If pregnancy is wanted, now is the best time to breed.


Diestrus begins at the fourteenth day following estrus and lasts for about two months. The female stops becoming receptive to males during diestrus. Physical signs include the vulva returning to its usual size, stopping its discharge, and showing no desire in procreating.

The uterus is preparing for the implantation of the embryo during this phase, which is critical for the maintenance of a possible pregnancy.


Anestrus, which can last anywhere from four months to six months, is the transitional period between diestrus and the ensuing proestrus. The uterus relaxes and regenerates during this inactive phase of the reproductive cycle in order to get ready for the next possible pregnancy.

The onset of a new heat cycle during anestrus is signaled by hormonal changes that control when the proestrus phase occurs.

Determining Dogs Pregnancy

Detecting pregnancy in dogs isn’t always straightforward. Most often, you’ll need the expertise of a veterinarian to confirm it. Here are the methods used:

Hormone tests:

These tests measure the hormone relaxin, which is released during pregnancy. They are accurate but usually require the female to be at least 30 days pregnant to yield reliable results.

Abdominal palpation:

This involves feeling the dog’s abdomen to detect swellings in the uterus, typically possible between days 21 and 35 of gestation.


Most effective after day 55, x-rays can accurately count the number of puppies and help determine the best timing for any necessary interventions.


Can be performed between days 25 and 35 of gestation to confirm pregnancy and detect fetal heartbeats.

Understanding the Gestation Period

In dogs, the normal gestation period is approximately 63 days from conception, although it can vary. However, pinpointing the exact day of conception can be tricky due to the longevity of sperm and the window of fertility in the female.

Stages of Dog Pregnancy

During a dog’s pregnancy, which lasts around two to three months, the following stages occur:

First Month:

During the first month of a dog’s pregnancy, embryos migrate to the uterine horns by day 7, implanting around day 16, and by day 22, they begin to take shape as fetuses. While these developments happen internally, subtle signs like increased affection, appetite changes, and slight nipple enlargement may hint at the miraculous process occurring within.

It’s a time of anticipation and wonder as you await the arrival of the adorable puppies growing within your furry friend.

Second Month:

During the second month of pregnancy, a dog experiences accelerated fetal development, evidenced by increased appetite, weight gain, and visible puppy movements within her womb. These physical changes reflect the mother’s nurturing role in supporting the growing offspring.

Alongside these developments, behavioral shifts may occur, including heightened maternal instincts and nesting behaviors as the mother prepares for the impending birth. This period serves as a poignant reminder of the miracle of life, fostering a deeper connection between the expectant mother and her human companions.

Third Month:

As the dog’s pregnancy nears its end, the mother prepares for whelping, with her puppies shifting into position within her womb. Signs of impending labor include restlessness, a decrease in appetite, and a drop in body temperature, typically occurring 12 to 24 hours before delivery.

These cues help dog owners anticipate the arrival of the puppies and provide necessary support during this crucial phase of pregnancy.


A dog’s pregnancy is a thrilling journey for dog parents, filled with anticipation and excitement. By understanding the process and recognizing the signs at each stage, you can be well-prepared for the arrival of the new furry additions to your family.

While dog pregnancy may bring some stress, knowing what to expect can ease your worries and make the experience more enjoyable for both you and your beloved pet.

Read Also:

Dogs in Heat: Some Common Queries

Why Do Dogs Like Feet So Much

What is a Dog Cone

How To Tell If A Dog Has A Fever Without A Thermometer


Hello there! I'm Madhav Mantri, the person behind this PetSavvy Solution blog. I'm a digital marketer and a pet enthusiast too! I spend my time making sure everything here is interesting and helpful for you and your pets. I love sharing cool stuff about pets, from the latest trends to heartwarming stories and useful tips to keep our furry friends happy and healthy.

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