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Dogs are man’s best friend. What is a better than occasion than when your best friend is having a baby? Dogs are not like humans when it comes to getting pregnant and having babies. This means that different rules apply and different precautions should be taken for the safe delivery of their puppies.
How dogs get pregnant?
Dogs can’t get pregnant at any time. It all depends on the size and age of the dogs but most dogs can only conceive for a day a few days twice a year. Smaller ones can have their cycles 3 times a year while it takes a longer time for larger breeds.
Dogs’ heat cycle:
The dog’s cycle passes through 4 phases. The first phase lasts for about 8 to 9 days. This is called the proestrus cycle. The female dog will have a bloody discharge from her vagina and will attract males, but she won’t allow them to breed with her just yet.
During the next 9 days or estrus phase, the female dog will become fully fertile. She usually starts ovulation after 48 hours from the beginning of the estrus phase. Now she will allow male dogs to mate. The following phase is called the diestrus phase.
This phase lasts for 3 months during which the female will not be mating. Her reproductive organs will be focusing on her pregnancy, if she is pregnant. Some female dogs even experience false pregnancy at this stage.
The final stage of the cycle is called the anestrus. During this phase the female dog will have no sexual interest in mating or male dogs. If she had puppies she will spend this time lactating her newborns and will be focusing on repairing her body.
When do dogs reach sexual maturity?
Most female dogs will have their first heat cycle by the age of 6 months, but vets recommend not to breed a female on her first cycle because this is dangerous to the dog and her puppies will be underweight and weak as well. Larger breeds might reach their first cycle when they are 18 to 24 months old. Male dogs can breed by 6 months although they reach sexual maturity by the age of 1 year. Unlike females, they can breed at any time.
How do dogs mate?
Your female dog will start urinating on her cycle to send hormonal signals to male dogs. This means that you might find other male dogs very interested in your female dog. When dogs mate, they usually remain joined after the session because of the coital tie. It takes some time from a few minutes to an hour for the dogs to separate.
How Long Does it Take a Dog to Have Puppies:
A dog’s pregnancy usually lasts for 60 to 64 days. The early signs of pregnancy include changes in behavior, loss of appetite and decreased activity. You might notice some changes on your dog’s nipples. After a few weeks, your dog’s appetite will be back to normal and your female dog will start to gain more weight.
You will be able to see that the smaller dogs look bigger and show that they are pregnant more than larger dogs. The puppy movement can be felt during the last week of pregnancy because the puppies are getting in position for delivery. You might also see some milk drops leaking from your dog’s nipples.
How to get ready for your dog’s delivery?
Any cozy comfortable place will be good enough to become your dog’s whelping box. You can use old blankets or towels to make the place warm and suitable for the new-born puppies. Otherwise, your dog might start tearing furniture textile to prepare a soft and warm place for her puppies.
The stages of dog’s labor:
Your dog’s temperature is usually between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops to 97 to 99 degrees and stays this way for at least 12 hours, you can be sure that your dog will start having babies within 24 hours. The labor process takes any time from 6 to 18 hours until all puppies are delivered.
- Stage one: Your dog will seem restless and anxious. She will be reluctant to engage in any activity. She won’t even be interested in her most favorite food. At this stage, it is advised to take her to the bathroom because she won’t be able to once she moves into the next stages.
- Stage 2: Your dog will start to have contractions and you will see a green sac of fluid appearing from her vagina. Puppies can be born rear or head first. The mother will open the sac herself if it wasn’t torn upon delivery. She will cut the umbilical cord herself and will start to lick her puppies clean. You can help if you see that it is taking her too long to do so. Rub the puppies with a warm cloth that resembles a mother’s tongue to activate their circulation. You can help her if a puppy gets lodged by pulling him gently using a cloth.
- Stage 3: Your dog will have a resting period for a few hours before she has a new puppy. If she has 2 puppies within a short interval, then her contractions will take longer to fade away.
When to call the vet?
- If a puppy is lodged and can’t be removed.
- she goes into labor for 2 hours without delivering any puppies.
- If she spent more than 4 hours before a new puppy is born.
- When her pregnancy has passed 65 days.
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