The first thing you have to be aware of is if your female dog was in heat when she mated and if she mated at all, it is as you know only for 6 weeks in a year that dogs can get pregnant and the timing has to be right for the conception to take place. If your dog is not in heat, then you are not having puppies and you will have to wait until the dog is in heat.

How to tell if your dog is pregnant

If you have a female dog, then you may have the joy of breeding her and having puppies. If you have ever tried to have puppies then you know that there is no sure fire way for you to know if your dog is pregnant, even if there are some telltale signs that might help you to find out if your dog is expecting, but they are still not a perfect indication of your dog being pregnant, it is only a veterinarian that can give you the exact verification for your dog being pregnant.

But not even a veterinarian can give you any clear answer before the 25 days have gone by and you can tell by either a blood test ultra-scan or picking up the puppy’s heartbeat with a stethoscope.


If you have never had puppies before you are in for a treat, a house full of life and sound, but also for chaos and many hours running around trying to prevent them from shewing up everything in your house with their razor sharp baby teeth.

If your pet is having puppies for the first time it can be very difficult to tell if she is pregnant, many of the normal signs will not be there and the litter they have is normally much smaller and also they do not have as many puppies as the ones having their second or third litter.

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Their body does not change as much, and they do not have the signs that you will see in a dog having their second, third or fourth litter. So if your dog is only having one or two puppies you might miss the signs all together and you will end up suddenly having puppies and the you have to start acting quickly and you do not want to be left having to suddenly build a nest for the puppies or having to rush to the vet for supplies.

It is not only physical changes but also behavior that will change and give you some signs that you in 9 weeks will have puppies. Often the behavior of your dog is the best way to tell early, but there is no sure way of telling. Even many of the old wife tales you hear of can with hundred percent certainty say, how to tell if your dog is pregnant, but they can give you a few pointers to look for.

pregnant dog

One of the first signs is mood swings, you may have a docile friendly pet that suddenly becomes more aggressive and more prove to snarling and biting, it is perfectly normal, the hormonal fluctuations will sometimes do this and like it is with humans it will pass and you will be able to live perfectly normal life afterwards.

You will be able to see all kinds of mood swings, it is the same with people and the dog is not that different. Your dog may be more relaxed, more aggressive or they might even become prone to being cuddled and wanting to stay close to its owners like you would in a pack in the wild.

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You might experience the dog changing mood and suddenly do things it has not done in years like chewing up shoes, destroying things or taking your kids toys like stuffed animals and bringing them to the cradle to sleep with them.

The dog may also suddenly be more aggressive towards strangers, protecting the home and garden as it would a territory in the wild, it is perfectly normal, but it may be something you have never seen from your dog before.

Some female dogs may also become more aggressive towards other dogs, it is something you have to be aware of when you are walking your pet, you do not want you dog to attack another dog or having your dog bitten and forced to have an abortion.

The first couple of weeks of the nine-week pregnancy you will only be able to see really minor changes, the dog may be a little more tired, but a dog that is not feeling well, is also tired so it is not a good indicator to use and not something to be taken lightly and if you have any doubts you have better make a trip to the veterinarian just to make sure the dog is healthy.

Some dog also goes through morning sickness and will not eat, or they might throw up like humans also do in the beginning of the pregnancy but again it is the same with a dog that is ill, so not the best indicator to use as the dog may just have eaten something and really should be taken to a vet for a stomach flu or food poisoning, there is no reason not to be extra careful with a pet that may be expecting.

Another weak sign that your dog is pregnant is only visible for a few days and can be really hard to detect, when the eggs are attaching themselves to the inside of the uterus you will be able to see on your dog’s gums, but only for a couple of days, instead of being the normal pink color, they will turn white, it is a sign that the eggs are attaching themselves and drawing blood to the uterus. It is really a hard thing to detect and you will have to check your dog’s teeth and gums every day from day 16 and onwards to see anything.

You can buy a pregnancy test for your dog, it can be bought either from your vet or you can find them online and order one, but the dog has to be 28 days into the pregnancy for the test to give you a correct answer, so you are just as well of contacting your local veterinarian after 25 days and have them check if your dog is pregnant.

The first signs the dog may show is in the second trimester where you may see the dog is starting to nest, although some dogs do not do this until the last few weeks before giving birth. Nesting is the dog’s way of getting ready for puppies, they are building a warm place full of blankets in a secluded area, like wolfs cave, a place for the puppies to be born and keep them warm and safe.

The nipples on the dog may also start to change color and become a little rosier and be more visible, this can take place as early as three weeks after conception. The dog may also start to change it body a little, but this does not happen until the second half of the pregnancy, the waist will start to become thinner and her abdomen will start to grow leaving room for the litter of puppies than will soon fill your house and your heart.

After 4 weeks after mating you might see some vaginal discharge from the dog, it is perfectly normal and if there is no blood in it, you have one of the surest signs that the dog is expecting puppies.

It is perfectly normal after 4 weeks for your dog to be a little more tired and be spending more time relaxing and resting, it may look like the dog is a little depressed and you will feel the dog is somewhat more determined to just stay relaxed and at ease at home or just settling for shorter walks or maybe the dog will just settle for being in the garden relaxing and preparing for the role of motherhood.

The safest way to tell if your dog is pregnant is using the veterinarian, some say you can just buy a pregnancy test for human and use it to find out, let’s kill that myth right away, it is not a way to find out, the test does not work on dogs.

Your veterinarian can help you out and after around 20 days they can do an examination and tell if you dog is showing signs of being pregnant and what you are to do in the next period that follows.

After 30 days your veterinarian can use a stethoscope and listen if there are any heartbeats from the puppies and they can also use an ultrasound to see if there are any puppies and give you an estimate on how many you should expect.

It is clearly the best way to go when you are looking for signs of pregnancy, your veterinarian can also guide you on what food to use and what to do in the period that follows so your dog can have the best preparations for the role of motherhood. The absolute best way to find out if your dog is pregnant is to have a blood test taken by the veterinarian, it will determine once and for all if you and your dog is expecting puppies.

The veterinarian will draw a little blood from the front leg and the see if there is a pregnancy hormone called Relaxin, this test can be done after 28 days and you can be sure that the presence of this hormone after that date is a certain indicator that you will have puppies in your house in a not so distant future. If the test is taken before that day, you are not sure to get an accurate result and you might end up with a false result telling you the dog is pregnant but in fact it is not.

When you start to see changes in your dog’s body and you are sure the dog is pregnant your vet can do x-rays and get to see how many puppies you are expecting, but ultrasound can do it as well and you will be able to make precautions, having a big litter of puppies can be a handful and you will have to be prepared.

Remember that your dog will gain almost as much as 50 percent of her bodyweight and she will have a lot of stress on her body when she is pregnant and it will not be easy for her to move around.

You should also talk to your vet and make sure you have the food a pregnant animal needs, it is essential she gets all the nutrients in the second part of the pregnancy, she will need to get fed more and correctly to be able to give birth to healthy puppies.

False pregnancy can fool even the best and many veterinarians have had to eat humble pie because they said to early that it looks like a dog is pregnant and it is just a false pregnancy.

A false pregnancy will show a few weeks after pet started to be in heat and she will show all signs of being ready to have puppies and she will begin nesting, her nipples will grow and she will even begin to lactate. It is normal for some dogs to do it every time they have been in heat and it is not something to worry about.

These are the indicators you dog may be pregnant, but it is important to remember that only the veterinarian can tell you for certain if you are expecting puppies and you will have to visit the vet any way to get information on what food to give not only the pet but also he puppies when they start to eat regular food and be weaned of milk something that will happen sooner than you are expecting, so no harm in being prepared.