How to Tell How Far Along a Dog Is Pregnant

Written by heather vecchioni
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How to Tell How Far Along a Dog Is Pregnant
Enlist the help of your veterinarian to accurately assess how far along your dog is in her pregnancy. (mother dog with puppy image by Phaedra Wilkinson from Fotolia.com)

If you don't know exactly when your dog was bred, it's often difficult to determine how far along she is. Knowing when to expect the pups is important, as a breeder should know if her dog is past her due date. Similarly, if the dog delivers early, it is helpful to know just how early the puppies are. By looking for symptoms and enlisting the help of a professional, it is possible to determine how far along your dog is in her pregnancy.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Ultrasound machine
  • Radiograph machine

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Look at your dog's nipples. According to seefido.com, your dog's nipples will become pink and swollen about 15 to 18 days into the pregnancy.

  2. 2

    Ask your veterinarian to perform an ultrasound test on your pooch. Ultrasounds are the most reliable and non-invasive methods to detect how far along a dog is into her pregnancy, according to pets.ca. If the doctor can hear a puppy's heartbeat, the mom is at least 25 days into her pregnancy.

  3. 3

    Feel the dog's abdomen. An experienced breeder or veterinarian can determine how far along a dog is just by palpating her stomach. If small lumps are detected, the dog is likely about 20 to 30 days into her pregnancy. The lumps that are felt are actually swellings around the placental sites.

  4. 4

    Note any vaginal discharge coming from your dog. At about 21 to 31 days into the pregnancy, a dog will experience a dense, transparent vaginal discharge.

  5. 5

    Look for movement in your dog's belly. According to seefido.com, it is sometimes possible to observe puppy movement if the mom is lying on her side. In small dogs, this typically occurs between days 40 and 45 of pregnancy. In larger dogs, the movement sometimes won't occur until the dog is about 50 to 55 days along.

  6. 6

    Have your vet take a radiograph of the dog's abdomen. Puppy bone structures are present in X-rays when the mom is about 45 days along. Not only are radiographs helpful in determining the dog's due date, but they also allow you to see how many puppies the mom is carrying.

Tips and warnings

  • The average gestation period for puppies is 62 days.

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