How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Have Puppies?


How long does it take for a dog to have puppies?

Female dogs are pregnant for 58 to 63 days, says Dr. Gary Richter, Rover’s resident veterinarian on The Dog People Panel. Just like humans, dogs also carry for three trimesters, although theirs are much shorter at roughly 21 days each. A dog’s pregnancy is measured from the day that they ovulate (or release their eggs) to the day the puppy or puppies are born. See if you can guess the dog breed based on its puppy picture.

How do you know if your dog is pregnant?

Early signs of labor in dogs can be easy to miss. You may notice some behavioral changes in your pup, but external changes sometimes aren’t visible until the second trimester, said Dr. Richter. Around week four, hormone changes can cause morning sickness and sometimes a loss of appetite and energy. Also, her nipples will start to swell and become red due to milk production and her body getting ready to feed her puppies. By week five or six, you should start to notice weight gain. If you know that your dog isn’t pregnant, here are some other reasons behind their strange behavior.

“A trained veterinary professional can feel the puppies in the abdomen as early as four weeks, but you should not attempt this at home, as it could result in miscarriage,” says Dr. Richter. So, if you’re unsure if your dog is pregnant, it’s best to take her to a trained professional.

How do you know when your dog is in labor?

When your dog is in labor, Dr. Richter says that she will start displaying the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Pooping/urinating more frequently
  • Checking and/or licking hindquarters
  • Shivering or panting
  • Refusing to eat
  • Nesting—looking for a place to make a safe and comfortable place to give birth

Also, keep an eye on her temperature. “Check her temperature regularly every 12 hours in the days leading up to birth—a dog’s internal temperature runs higher than ours, usually 100 to 101 degrees, but will drop to 98 degrees when she’s ready to give birth,” says Dr. Richter.

Typically, dogs will give birth at home, but if she is displaying signs of distress, has contractions for more than 10-15 minutes without having a puppy, or stops having contractions when there are still more puppies, take her to a vet to get medical attention immediately.

How many puppies can a dog have?

A dog can have a few as one puppy or as many as ten (or more!). Now that you can answer, “How long does it take for a dog to have puppies?” learn about these other cool dog facts you didn’t know.

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