My 11-month Puppy May Have Gotten Pregnant...

by Sheridan
(Hernando, FL, USA)

I have an 11-month old puppy, she will be a year the first week of January. She went into heat last week, on Wednesday, December 22, 2010, - well that is when she started to bleed.

I have been putting a puppy diaper on her when she was going out of her kennel and tried to keep a VERY close eye on her, as we have another dog who is six months older then she is.

Last night, December 26, 2010, I turned away for just a minute. During this time she had got out of the diaper and when I called her she came running from the other room with the other dog.

I am really, really afraid she has gotten pregnant. She is a rat terrier/chihuahua, and only weighs about 10 pounds right now.

What suggestions do you have for me. I am really worried with her size that a pregnancy would be really hard on her not to mention how young she is.

Answer From the Editors at Dog-Spoiling

Hi Sheridan,

Thanks for contacting us with your question.

It is possible that your dam was not yet fertile when she slipped away to another room, so you may not have to worry! The fertile period usually occurs about 12 days after the bleeding starts. By that time it will have generally slowed down, become thinner in appearance and have changed from bright red to a brownish-pink.

However, sperm can last for 5 to 6 days!

The actual time it takes to mate can be anywhere from two to forty minutes. Were your dogs together this long? Did you notice the condition of the male's privates afterwards - were they looking normal, everything in its proper place?

If your dog is pregnant, you will not be able to notice any signs of it until about the third week at which time she may have some nipple development, she may be more moody and she may be a little off her food due to queasiness. See our canine pregnancy calendar for more details.

You are right to be concerned about the difference in size between the dogs. If the male dog is considerably larger than the dam, and she is pregnant, this could really complicate things in a dangerous way. Professional breeders advise to only breed dogs of the same size or the female can be slightly larger.

As you have noted, there is also a concern about their young ages - especially the female, being that her own development is probably not yet complete.

Normally the best age for breeding is during the third heat cycle of the dam and when the male is between the ages of 18 months to 4 years.

That being said, if the deed is done, the next best step is to consult with your vet. In fact we urge you to see your vet to get his expert advice and to plan what to do next if your dog turns out to be pregnant.

If your dog is not pregnant and you are not planning any future breeding, you may want to talk to the vet about having her spayed as this would be an appropriate age for the procedure.

With two dogs already in your care, you know what a big responsibility they are.

Best of luck to you with your dogs.

Related page: Care Of Pregnant Dog

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