Dog behavior when they are pregnant & How to tell they are Pregnant

Have you not spayed your dog? Are you trying to breed your dog? Then you must be a wonder to know what the signs of pregnancy in dogs are? What kind of behavior do the dogs show when they are pregnant? Here in this guide, we discuss the behavior that dogs show when they are pregnant and the signs of pregnancy in dogs. Also, we will discuss on the similarities of pregnancy signs in between humans and dogs. 

What are the similarities and differences between pregnancy signs in humans and dogs?

The biggest difference between the pregnancy of humans and dogs is the gestation period. The pregnancy in dogs stays for just 64 days, while in humans, it continues for nine months.

As humans have 3 trimesters in pregnancy, similarly, the dogs also have three trimesters in pregnancy. But the trimesters in humans are of 3 months, while in dogs, it is 21 days.

Like humans, some dogs might show the symptoms of morning sickness and nausea, but it is not common in all dogs. 

How does the dog behave when they are pregnant?

After breeding, you might notice that your dog is acting lazier and is eating less of her evening meals. If your dog is also showing the above signs, there are chances that your dog is pregnant. Following are the signs that show that your dog might be pregnant:

Decreased activity

When you notice that your dog is becoming lazier and lazier and is spending most of its time in napping, it indicates that there are chances of pregnancy in your dog. When your dog is used to be very energetic and suddenly starts showing the decreased activity. But for the dogs who love sleeping all day, it becomes even more difficult to diagnose the pregnancy by these symptoms. 

Unusual behavior

The pregnancy might change the behavior of the dog. The pregnancy might increase their hunger for more attention in dogs, and they will expect more attention from the owner side for the attention. While sometimes, they prefer to be isolated and will show aggressive behavior when given extra attention. 

Change in appetite

In pregnant dogs, the change in appetite is also a sign. The dog might show a fluctuation in appetite, and the changes in appetite depend on the stage of pregnancy. 

In the early and midway of the pregnancy, the dog will show more eating behavior, and there will be a marked increase in their appetite. But in the late pregnancy, they might start eating less than normal. 

Weight gain and enlarged abdomen

This is a very common sign of pregnancy in dogs. With the increase in pregnancy stage, they will gain more weight, and there will be an enlarged abdomen. This sign is the clearest indicator that the dog is an expectation and will deliver the pups soon. But these signs appear late in the pregnancy. However, the dog might start gaining weight in the early stage of pregnancy, but the enlargement of the abdomen will be seen in the last or the late stage of pregnancy.

Enlarged of discolored nipples

 This is another clearest indicator of pregnancy in dogs, but it might be the symptom of pseudopregnancy in dogs due to hormonal imbalance. 

When the female dog is pregnant, they will show enlarged nipples, which are bigger than the normal size and the areolas also become more rounded compared to their general flatness. In the later stage of pregnancy, the nipples might drip milk. 

Nesting behavior

In the last few weeks of pregnancy, the dog will start showing nesting behavior. They will start utilizing the shred bedding and other surrounded materials available therein, making the nest. This time, they will become more reclusive and irritable and will show isolated behavior.   

Pregnant dog behavior according to trimesters.

The dogs in their pregnancy will show different signs depending on the trimesters:

1st trimester

In the first trimester, the dog will show signs like an increase in appetite, a slight increase in the size of the nipples, and clear vaginal discharge. Also, this time, they will show more affectionate behavior and will show less physical activity. Also, this time, they might show the symptoms of morning sickness. 

2nd trimester

In the 2nd trimester, the dog will show a notable increase in its appetite, and it is the time when there Is a notable increase in the weight of the pregnant dog. This time, the owner will see much fluctuation in their behavior. Urination and its frequency will increase, and there will be clear vaginal discharge. Abdomen size starts increasing, and the puppy movement can be seen from the abdomen. 

3rd trimester

The third trimester is the last trimester, just before the whelping time. This time, the waist will trim as the puppies move into the cervix, appetite will decrease to zero, and there might be a drop in body temperature. The female mother dog will show restless behavior, nesting behavior, and they might show panting, pacing, and shivering-like signs. 

How to tell that the dog is pregnant?

Along with considering the above signs, there are several more methods to confirm the pregnancy in dogs. Here we are listing the four methods that the veterinarian used in order to confirm the pregnancy in dogs. These are:

  • Hormone testing
  • X-ray
  • Palpation
  • Ultrasound

In the hormone method, the veterinarian will access the presence of relaxin hormone in the dog. The presence of this hormone is a true indicator of the pregnancy of dogs. 

While the x-ray method is another great test to confirm the pregnancy, the x-ray report will tell the confirmation of pregnancy and tell the number of pups that the dog is about to deliver. 

With the palpation method, the veterinarian, by palpating the abdomen of the dog, will tell the conformation of the pregnancy and will give the estimate of the number of pups that the dog is going to deliver. 

The ultrasound method is the best method for the confirmation of pregnancy in dogs. The above method will diagnose the pregnancy in mid or later stage while with ultrasound, it is possible to test the pregnancy in very early stage, 

How to tell that the dog is pregnant at home?

 By noticing the pregnancy symptoms as mentioned above, the owner will get the suspect that the dog might be pregnant. In order to confirm the pregnancy of the dog at home, there are several dog pregnancy kits are available in the market that will confirm the pregnancy in dogs. The best dog pregnancy kits are:

Synbiotics Canine and Feline Pregnancy test kit

Draminski Dog pregnancy detector with the probe

Rubsy Early Pregnancy Test strip dog cat detection Gravidity Diagnostic paper

Along with the above kits, in the later stage, when the abdomen enlarges, it is possible to palpate the pups. 

The bottom line

So this is a complete guide on behavioral change in dogs when they are pregnant. With the symptoms mentioned above, and the testing material, the owner or the breeders can detect the pregnancy in dogs at home.      

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