Veazie Veterinary Clinic
1522 State Street, Veazie, ME
(207) 941-8840

Pregnancy & Whelping

pregnancy & whelping

Pregnancy & Whelping: What to Expect When Your Dog is Expecting

If you have decided to breed your female there is a lot you will need to know to keep her happy and healthy during her pregnancy & whelping. Here are some tips to make sure things are going smoothly.

Pregnancy Diagnosis

After a much-anticipated breeding, it is hard to wait to find out whether your dog has conceived! The diagnosis of pregnancy can be made by palpation (feeling the uterus with the hands), measurement of the hormone relaxin in the blood, ultrasonography, or radiography. Palpation for pregnancy is easiest between 3 – 4 weeks of gestation, however it requires that the female be lean and relaxed. It can only tell whether there is a pregnancy, not whether the puppies are alive or how many there are. (Read More)

Diet & Exercise

A common mistake is overfeeding a pregnant bitch.  For the first two-thirds of the pregnancy, she does not require any more calories than she consumed before her pregnancy.  Continue to feed her the same amount of the well-balanced, complete nutrition diet she received prior to pregnancy.  At around week five the puppies start to grow significantly, and this increases the calorie and nutrient requirements.  (Read More)

Preventive Care

Vaccinations should be up to date prior to pregnancy & whelping.  During pregnancy, modified live vaccines cannot be given.  Vaccination of the bitch creates protective proteins which are passed to the pups through the mild in the first 48 hours of life.  Without these, the pups are at increased risk of infection. (Read More)

Labor & Delivery

Set up the whelping area around a week or so prior to whelping, and allow the pregnant dog to check it out.  Whelping areas need to be out of the normal traffic flow, warm, and dry.  All materials need to be able to be cleaned thoroughly.  Good hygiene is vital to controlling infection early in the puppies’ lives. (Read More)

Care of the Bitch After Whelping

After all the puppies are born, cleaned and fed, it is time for mom to get some rest. Offer water in small amounts frequently. Most new mothers do not want to eat right away, so give her time. (Read More)