Reg'd

               All pictures and written information come from
                                 National Geographic.


The average time that a dog carries her puppies is 57 to 63 days.  This can vary between breeds and even the same dog can be a little different from one time to the next! We start counting day one as the day that the female ovulates.  We do progesterone testing in order to know when the ovulation occurs.  This allows for a much more accurate whelping date.  For the first few weeks, we don't see much change to the female and we spend a lot of time wondering...is she pregnant or isn't she? But actually quite alot is going on that we can not see:

WEEK ONE(Days 1-7)

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
Fertilization occurs and a two celled embryo begins its life!

WEEK TWO (Days 8-14)

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
Embryo will be 4 cell at the start of the week and 64 cell by the end of the week
Embryo enters the uterus

WEEK THREE (Days 15-21)

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
*Day 19---The embryo is implanted in the uterus.

 
WEEK FOUR (Days 22-28)

This is when we can start to see positive sign of pregnancy in the female! Puppies can be seen by ultrasound about this time.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
The eyes and spinal cords start to develop
Faces take shape
Fetuses grow from approximately 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 an inch
Vet may be able to palpitate (feel) for puppies
CHANGES TO THE FEMALE:
We may see clear discharge
The mammary glads begin to develop
CARE OF THE FEMALE:
We start limiting her exercise and increasing her feed.  An egg or 1/4 cup cottage

cheese can be added to food on alternating days
 

WEEK FIVE (Days 29-35)

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
The toes, whisker buds, and claws start to develop
Fetuses look like dogs and gender can be determined!
Eyes that were previously open now close (When eyes are developing in the uterus, the eyes are developed in an open position and then they close and remain closed until about 10 days old or so. Fetuses grow from 1/2 inch to over an inch
CHANGES TO THE Female
Swelling in the belly is noticeable now
Weight starts to increase
CARE OF THE FEMALE
We switch her over to a puppy food and feed her twice a day now

WEEK SIX (Days 36-42)

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
Development of skin pigment
Fetuses should be almost 2 inches!
Fetal heartbeats can be heard with a stethoscope
CHANGES TO THE FEMALE:
Nipples darken and enlarge
Abdomen continues to enlarge
CARE OF THE FEMALE:
We increase the amount we are feeding her again
An egg or cottage cheese can be given daily
We introduce her to her whelping box


_WEEK SEVEN (Days 43-49)

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
Growth and development continues
CHANGES TO THE FEMALE:
Abdomen hair will start shedding
The mommy starts looking VERY pregnant
CARE OF THE FEMALE:
We slightly increase both meals

WEEK EIGHT (Days 50-57)


Puppies can be seen by X-ray for a reliable count.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
We can start to see and feel the babies move!!
CHANGES TO THE FEMALE:
Milk may be squeezed from the nipples
Mommy's belly is very large now
CARE OF THE FEMALE:
We are very careful that the mommy doesn't do any rough housing
We add a moderate lunch to her feeding schedule



_ WEEK NINE (Days 58-63)

Puppies are due any day now.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:
The puppies are fully developed and spend the rest of this week growing!
CHANGES TO THE FEMALE:
Nesting behavior may be seen
When getting close to delivery she will become restless, panting, pacing, acting uncomfortable
When temperature drops from 100.2-100.8 degrees Fahrenheit to 98-97.5  degrees Fahrenheit, the puppies should be born within 24 hours
Mommy's appetite may disappear as whelping approaches
CARE OF THE FEMALE:
We keep track of her temperature
Someone is always with her, watching, waiting, and comforting!

After nine very long weeks of waiting the big event has finally arrived.  We will spend hours
with our mommy as she goes through her labor.  We want to be there to assist if needed!
After the delivery we all breath a huge sigh of relief and try to get some much needed rest!


 
 
 
 

 

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