Canine Pregnancy Calendar
For many dog lovers there is nothing as happy and exciting as having a litter of puppies. If you think you may be expecting a litter, then here is some information to help you and your dam through the experience of being pregnant.
Canine Pregnancy Calendar - OvulationEverything really begins when your dog ovulates. Most bitches are ready to be bred within about two days from this time. If your bitch is bred then, you can expect puppies exactly 63 days post ovulation. Even if your bitch is bred a little later, puppies will come 63 days after ovulation, not 63 days after breeding. If you are trying to plan this breeding, your vet can test your bitchs hormone levels to tell you when ovulation occurs.
Continue to feed her as normal. Make sure she is getting plenty of exercise. This should continue throughout the pregnancy. Do not give your bitch any medications unless they have been approved by your vet. If she hasnt been wormed recently then you should worm her. Make sure she is up-to-date on her vaccinations since her vaccine immunities will be passed along to her puppies.
You should limit your bitch from any strenuous activity, but do continue to see that she exercises. Good muscles will make whelping easier for her. Its also a good idea to add a multivitamin to your bitchs diet. However, do not add extra calcium as this could lead to eclampsia later the result of the bitchs calcium levels being out of whack.
You can start increasing the bitchs food at this time and begin changing her food to a good quality puppy kibble which will have more calories than her normal food.
Canine Pregnancy Calendar - Birth Preparations
You may be able to express milk from the bitchs nipples at this time.
Many people like to have an x-ray taken after day 56 to determine how many puppies are present. This way they will know when the dam is through with the delivery. They can also make sure there are no potential problems ahead with the delivery such as an overly large puppy that might need a C-section.
In most cases whelping goes just fine and there are no problems. Keep your vets number handy and be prepared to take your bitch and the puppies to your vet if there are any problems.
If your bitch is in active labor for more than two hours without producing a puppy you should call your veterinarian. Or, if you just have a hunch that something is wrong, get in the car with your dog and go.
Sometimes people just know when theres a problem. But dont forget that dogs have been delivering puppies for thousands of years and most of the time everything goes very smoothly, as nervous as you may feel.
Good luck with your new litter!
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