Dog Pregnancy: A Week-by-Week Guide of What to Expect

Dog Pregnancy: A Week-by-Week Guide of What to Expect

Dog Pregnancy: A Week-by-Week Guide of What to Expect

Do you have a pregnant dog, or are you thinking of breeding your dog? Do you know what to expect while your dog is pregnant? Are you looking for more information to help guide you through this time in your dog’s life?

In the article below, you’ll find a week-by-week breakdown of canine pregnancy. You can use this information to prepare for pregnancy in your dog or to better understand her needs if she is already pregnant. Read on to find out more about canine pregnancy by week.

Week 1-2 of Dog Pregnancy

Just like humans, dogs begin their pregnancy when

eggs in the female are fertilized by sperm from the male. This can happen within a week after mating, although it does not always happen with every mating attempt.

Once fertilized, embryos move from the upper portion of the female dog’s uterus down to the lower part. They stay here for the first week or so of the pregnancy.

During the first few weeks, it is important for your dog’s weight to stay where it has been. Don’t encourage her to gain or lose weight during this time. This is a great time, however, to make sure your dog is being fed a high-quality, vitamin-rich food blend. She should be given appropriate amounts of food for her age and weight.

Dog Pregnancy in Cooper City, FL

Week 3-4 of Dog Pregnancy

During weeks 3 and 4, your vet can confirm whether or not your dog is pregnant. Up until this time, it may be impossible to tell for sure.

Your dog may receive an ultrasound during this two-week period. At her first ultrasound, your dog’s litter will be examined for size and any abnormalities. Your vet may be able to estimate the number of puppies at this time, but the estimate could be wrong. Your vet can also tell at this time whether or not there are any risks or causes for concern in your dog’s litter. While ultrasounds can be helpful tools for a dog’s pregnancy, they are not necessary. Many people opt to not get an ultrasound for their dog.

Week 5-6 of Dog Pregnancy

The puppies will begin gaining weight at this time and will become fetuses, rather than embryos. During these two weeks, puppies will increase in weight by about 75%, and your dog will begin to quickly show outward signs of being pregnant, too.

Week six is the beginning of the third “trimester” for pregnant dogs. Your pregnant dog will need to be given a nutrient-rich food blend at this time to ensure the proper growth of her puppies as well as her own health and wellness. She should also reduce her activity levels somewhat during this time.

Week 7-8 of Dog Pregnancy

Your dog may be given an X-ray around week 8 to make sure you know how many puppies to expect. This way, when it comes time to deliver the puppies at home, you will know how many to look for and when your dog will likely be finished giving birth.

Your dog’s milk will come in around this time and she may begin lactating.

Week 9 of Dog Pregnancy

Set up a whelping box for your dog so you can easily find her when she goes into labor. This should be an enclosed, safe spot away from the chaos of the household. It should be lined with old towels for warmth and comfort, and your dog’s food and water should be kept there as well.

Take your dog’s temperature three times a day. If you notice a sudden temperature drop, this means she is likely to go into labor within the next 48 hours. Regularly checking your dog’s temperature can help you recognize when labor is imminent.


Understanding your dog’s health and wellness during her pregnancy is crucial when it comes to helping her give birth to healthy puppies. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your vet for more information and guidance during your dog’s pregnancy.

Remember, too, that not every dog needs to have puppies. It is simply a myth that female dogs should be allowed to breed once before being spayed; there are no health benefits to doing this, and it can be risky in some situations too. If you do not want your dog to have puppies, it is always best to have her spayed early to prevent this risk.

If you are located near  Cooper City, FL  and looking for a veterinarian to see your pregnant dog, Embassy Lakes Animal Hospital is here to help. Our expert veterinarians can be reached at (954) 432-5811, or you can Request an Appointment Online.

Share This Article

Related Articles


Why Does Your Dog Lick the Air? 


Why Is My Dog Breathing Heavy?


Dog Hookworm Infections: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

About Embassy Lakes Animal Hospital

Located in Cooper City, FL, we strive to do more than simply be a full-service veterinarian for your pet. Our decades of experience has served generations of families and their beloved pets and we look forward to serving you as well!