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What Is the Gestation Period Of A Dog?

How long does the gestation period of a dog last?

We all agree that Puppies are cute and exciting to watch.  This may make waiting for your dog to give birth, if you are a first-time breeder, seem like an eternity. Luckily a dog’s gestation period is not as long as it is in humans. But how long does a dog’s pregnancy last?

Actually, a dog’s pregnancy lasts for about 63 days which is about nine weeks. This may not be the case for you because different factors may come into play and affect the time.

For many first time breeders being able to tell exactly when their dog became pregnant is next to impossibile. This means that counting the days may not be relied upon to predict 100% accurately when the dog will give birth.

litter of puppies
Image by gilbertobal from Pixabay

Some other factors such as the diet you give your dog, the level of health and comfort may also play a role in the exact number of days the pregnancy lasts. For a first time breeder knowing the gestation period of a dog is not the end.

There are a lot of other things that you need to know about the reproduction of your dog for you to be prepared for what awaits you. Let’s start by looking at the reproductive cycle.

A Dog’s Reproductive Cycle

Female dogs go into heat every six months.  This may vary depending on the dog breed you have and a number of other factors such as the health of your dog and the food you give to it.

Usually, the heat cycle will last for about 18 to 21 days. Your dog will not mate with available males until after the first week and the mating takes place until after day 14. During this period your dog may mate with different males and fertilization may take place on any day during this period.

loving dogs

How do tell if your Dog Is Pregnant

Just like humans dogs also shows signs that can tell you if your dog is pregnant or not. The common signs include noticeable weight gain, morning sickness, lack of appetite, vomiting, and tiredness among others. It is good to remember that many different medical conditions may also result in these symptoms.

There are quite a number of tests your veterinary may use to tell if your dog is pregnant. The most common tests include:

  • Ultrasound,
  • Palpation,
  • Hormone tests
  • X-ray

A Dogs Labor

Once the gestation period expires your dog will go into the nesting mode within 48 hours, where it will be looking for a place to give birth and go into labor. In a normal situation, a dog’s labor period lasts for about 24 hours. If you notice something abnormal during this time make sure to call a vet.

Usually, when your dog goes into labor it can deliver multiple puppies at a time or it can take longer between births. The time between the deliveries of the puppies is around one hour although up to 4 hours is also known. Make sure you check on this also so that you are sure your dog is safe.

Welsh Corgi
Image by Юрий Сидоренко from Pixabay

The period from the fertilization to the delivery date can be a very delicate period for your dog. If you are first time breeder it is important to get your dog checked once you suspect that it is pregnant. This is important as your vet will give you proper advice on how to take care of it until it brings forth the cute little puppies that you are looking forward to meeting.

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Lawrence Pryor
Lawrence Pryor
Hi everyone, I am a dog lover/owner and a blogger for many years and I created this website to share fun and interesting stories about our wonderful dogs. They truly are our best friends.


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