Many dog owners wished that their bitch could also get pregnant one day. But one should be aware of the responsibility on the one hand and the time-consuming care of the bitch during the gestation period, during whelping and the following rearing of the puppies.
In addition, yes it may sound a bit harsh now, you should only breed if you are a registered breeder with the VDH with your dog breed consciously decided to do so. "Just because puppies are so cute" – no, such thoughts should be immediately refrained from. Because here we are dealing with living creatures, which are not only to be raised and trained later on.
Yes, surely they should also get a good home. Above all, they should be born healthy and spend their lives in good health.
Savvy breeders know what to look for. But do you know? Read this article to the end. Then we will see, what you have known everything and where you should perhaps go again in itself whether that will be really a good idea with a litter puppies.
Conditions for pregnancy
A dog is only a human being. As with humans, both overweight and underweight are the enemy of any pregnancy. This is a fact that should be checked even before the bitch is pregnant. In case of doubt the weight has to be adjusted.
What could happen in a pregnancy with overweight? This is a good question to ask, because not every dog owner is deterred from mating by their dog being overweight.
On the one hand it can happen that the bitch does not take up at all resp. quickly rejects the fruit. Also a very small litter can be the result of this problem. Particularly with overweight bitches is to be expected with labor weakness under the birth and following milk deficiency.
But if you think now that pregnancy would be a good opportunity to starve the dog of some kilograms! DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! A pregnancy is a pregnancy and never the right time to lose some pounds.
What about underweight? This scenario should NEVER happen. If the bitch in question is actually underweight, she must first be brought up to the ideal weight before any further thought is given to breeding her. This is not done to the bitch or the puppies, who would have to fight for every gram!
Point 1 – The heat
At the beginning of each pregnancy there is the heat, that is the period of time of each bitch when she is receptive. On average, a bitch comes into heat twice a year. At the same time, each heat lasts a good three weeks.
You can recognize it as a dog owner by the fact that the vulva swells. In addition, a bloody vaginal discharge comes out. Approximately from the 10. The day of the heat is called the hot days of the bitch. This means the fertile days.
As with all living creatures, this period is also something individual. The above mentioned periods are only an approximate indication. If you observe your dog well and perhaps keep a record of all health issues, you will quickly find out that something is changing in the physical, as well as psychological condition of your dog.
No, it is not always tangible, not always visible. It seems to be an inexplicable energy that is in the room. Some bitches are particularly affectionate during this period. Others build dens and litter corners out of all the pillows and blankets they are provided with. Sometimes this time can be very exhausting for the owners. More on the pants in heat.
If it should really come to a mating, it is of course very important to know when the most important three days of the heat have come.
If you want to have a 100% security, you can not avoid to visit the vet. By means of a blood test it can determine when the progesterone level is optimal. The progesterone indicates the ovulation resp. it can be calculated by means of the value. The day of the pregnancy indicates the highest fertility.
We all know the phenomenon that the bitch, still at the beginning of the heat, will flee any male dog, in case of emergency, using her teeth, as soon as an attempt is made to cover her. On the most fertile day, as well as on one or two days before and after, on the other hand, she lets the male approach her and stands still.
However, one should be so fair to create a calm environment for the animals. Give them enough time to get to know each other, to sniff each other out. This is still done under the supervision of the owners. Surely they will be present at the mating as well.
In the case of a free mating act, however, there will be no human intervention. During the mating act itself, the vagina and the penis swell up extremely. This will result in the two animals becoming firmly wedged together. This process may well take a few minutes. As far as the mating act itself.
However, a successful mating does not automatically mean that the bitch has also conceived. On the one hand, of course, the right time is crucial. On the other hand, the quality and number of the sperm is also decisive, whether a fusion of egg and sperm can occur or not. To clarify this, an examination at the veterinarian is necessary.
The pregnancy examination at the veterinarian
Unfortunately there are only two ways to find out if the bitch is pregnant or not. The first option would be to simply wait and see what happens. Very unsure and especially not fair to the bitch, as she will have special demands on food during pregnancy. After all, the puppies should be born healthy.
#Since the urine test does not exist for animals, there is nothing left but to take the bitch to the vet. This has several options to determine for sure that the bitch is pregnant:
- A good 26 to 30 days after the mating an increase in the circumference of the abdomen can be noticed. Not much, but definitely noticeable. The veterinarian, who is well acquainted with pregnancies, can carry out this palpation test. For him the amniotic chambers filled with amniotic fluid are good to feel. Also the number of fruiting bodies can be felt in the best case already. However, it must be added that this pregnancy examination does not always produce correct information. This is due to the fact that at this time it is not always possible to feel all the fruiting bodies. In addition, the filled amniotic chambers can also easily be mistaken for the bladder. Also it can be before the amniotic chamber.
- The ultrasound examination can be performed in this regard with a greater significance. From the 23. Day of a pregnancy it can be made. It also has its weak points. So it is very difficult to see the correct number of fruiting bodies at the ultrasound. At this point, palpation is much more effective.
- The ossification of the skeleton of the puppies occurs only from the 45th day of life. Day of pregnancy. Thus these finally become clearly recognizable also on the X-ray picture. To get an exact view of the uterus, the entire abdominal cavity is x-rayed.
- At the end of each pregnancy the entire milk line of the bitch swells up. A sure sign that she is preparing to cast. Milk production starts within the last days of pregnancy.
Successfully pregnant – what now?
The mating act worked and the vet confirmed it: The bitch is pregnant! Congratulations! As an experienced breeder you know of course what you have to do now. But as a young breeder or. Beginners in this area ask themselves various questions.
As with humans, everyone should know that pregnancy, in this case called gestation, is not a disease. The dog can therefore, if one refrains from the performance sport for dogs, complete a completely normal daily routine. This includes the usual walks and bathing in the river or lake, as well as regular grooming and of course good, balanced food.
The feed is always a special point. But, again as in humans, this does not mean that the bitch now needs more food than before.
Especially in the early weeks, this is absolutely not necessary as long as a good, solid base feed is available. And yes: BARFING is of course still allowed, if the dog is already used to it anyway.
These old feeding habits of the dog should be maintained for a good four weeks. In this point there is only one exception. Small breeds of dogs, which tend to produce large litters or an exact number of puppies is known at an early stage, can already be fed in the 3rd week of pregnancy. Pregnancy week with the administration of high-energy food start.
At the latest from the 5. Pregnancy week this feed change for all pregnant bitches is pending. It should be energy-rich as well as rich in protein. Already now can be changed to puppy food. It is specially designed for pregnant bitches.
Veterinarians have spent a long time researching this special food mixes for the different sizes of dogs, so that for each breed of dogs can find a suitable food for this special time.
Most manufacturers give a feeding recommendation on their food packages. These are very precise, so you can safely stick to them. If once there is no recommendation, you can proceed as follows: For small bitches resp. an expected small litter, the daily feed amount should be increased by 30%.
Large dogs as well as bitches expecting a large litter can expect a good 50% increase in feed quantity. To ensure that there is always enough room for the puppies in the abdominal cavity, these daily feeding amounts should be divided into at least 2, better 3 to 4 portions.
The closer the birth, the less space is available in the abdominal cavity. No wonder that the bitch eats less and less. It can even happen that she gives up eating not only on the day of birth, but already one or two days before it. She has other things on her mind now. But nothing can happen to a healthy bitch who has survived the pregnancy in the best possible way up to this point. She will quickly start eating again after the birth.
So what food is best for the pregnant bitch?
- It must taste good to the bitch.
- It must be rich in energy, protein and vitamins.
- It should be highly digestible, so that it does not burden the organism and can supply it quickly.
- In dry matter, the protein content should be above 25% crude protein.
- To supply essential fatty acids, at least half of the protein should come from animal sources.
- A good 20% of the required energy can come from carbohydrates.
- The bitch needs a fat content of about 10%.
- The energy content should be 410 kcal / 100g TS (dry matter). In larger breeds it can be even higher.
Even if not every dog owner can imagine it, the proportions of minerals and vitamins in today’s dog food are perfectly adequate for the pregnant
To avoid entering the realm of nutrient deficiency, it is irrelevant to feed in the 5. The bitch should be fed a different diet during the first week of pregnancy.
Unfortunately, many dog owners mean it too well. They give supplements, buy special feeds or give special food in addition to the regular food. Caution is advised here. Because it can quickly come to an oversupply in this regard. Of course this must not happen.
By the way, these tips should also be followed if you already have a lot of experience with preparing your own food, for example by BARFING or cooking it yourself.
Yes, it all sounds a bit complicated now. If you do not feel confident to calculate these amounts yourself, you should consult your veterinarian for appropriate feeding advice. He knows exactly when the bitch needs which additional amounts.
Also, if necessary, he could take appropriate samples to be able to determine the actual supply. With his support you can not go wrong with feeding in pregnancy.
🐶 How long is a dog pregnant?
The pregnancy of the dog lasts between 59 and 67 days. If you are asked for an average value, you will get the number 63. If it is a large litter, that is, a large number of puppies, the gestation period is shorter. Small litters tend to stay in the womb a few days longer. The smaller a litter is, the more important it is to keep track of the gestation period. Otherwise it could happen that the maximum gestation period of 67 days is exceeded too much.
🐶 How often is a dog in heat?
Usually a bitch is in heat twice a year.
🐶 How many puppies does a dog get at the first litter?
This question can not be answered in a general way. Different breeds of dogs tend to have smaller or. to get larger litters. It is also difficult to give an average value. At least it is not really reliable. On the one hand, the age of the bitch is decisive. On the other hand, the size of the dog breed is a factor not to be underestimated. Smaller dog breeds tend to have litters of four to five puppies. The larger the breed, the larger the litter. So big dog breeds can give birth to up to nine puppies in one litter.
🐶 When does the dog throw?
The gestation period of the bitch is between 53 and 67 days. It should be noted that the gestation period is all the longer if the litter is small. The larger the litter, the shorter also the gestation period. In order to avoid surprises, it is a good idea to keep a record of the gestation period. Of course, the veterinarian can also determine the size of the litter during his examinations. The more advanced the pregnancy is, the better the number of puppies can be determined.