Unwanted Pregnancy in Dogs

Written by elizabeth tumbarello
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Unwanted Pregnancy in Dogs

Pregnancy in dogs is accomplished the same way as pregnancy in humans. A female dog mates with a male dog. Unwanted pregnancies in dogs are often the unfortunate result of a number of factors, most of which could have been controlled by the owner.

Failure to Spay

The biggest and most undeniable cause of unwanted pregnancy is that many pet owners refuse to spay their female dogs. Whether they wish to breed her at a later date, or are unclear about the myths and realities of spaying, they do not have the surgery performed.

Partial Spay

A spaying surgery that has been performed incorrectly can not only lead to health problems for the dog, but may also allow the dog to still become pregnant. Any pregnancy after an improper surgery endangers the life of the mother, and veterinary attention should be sought immediately.

Improper Enclosures and Supervision

Failure to keep a proper enclosure and improper supervision may allow your unspayed female dog to run away for a period of time. If she is in heat, she may mate and become pregnant.

False Pregnancy

Some dogs may experience a false or "phantom" pregnancy after spaying. A visit to the vet can confirm whether the pregnancy is real. If it is, measures need to be taken as the spaying procedure might have been done improperly, or not at all.


The termination of unwanted canine pregnancy is often performed in conjunction with spaying. There are alternatives to spaying, such as a drug-induced abortion, but these can have unpleasant side effects and many veterinarians are hesitant to use them.

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