How to Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant

When a dog is pregnant, she will give you a number of signs, some more obvious some more subtle. It’s helpful to be aware of these signs, so as to be able to offer the needed support and care for your pet. The pregnancy in dogs lasts for 9 weeks, or 63 days on average.

Absence of the Heat Cycle

A female dog can get pregnant during her heat cycle; if the dog gets fertilized by an adult male during her heat cycle, she will get pregnant. The heat cycle will stop, so you may notice that your dog will have a shorter heat cycle than usual.


At the beginning of the pregnancy, during the first 2 to 3 weeks, the dog may vomit and be uneasy. This is similar to the human morning sickness.

The nausea will influence the dog’s appetite also.

However, it may happen that your dog won’t experience the vomiting episodes; this depends on the dog’s age, health condition and stomach.


During the first stage of the pregnancy, the dog will be agitated. Typically, the dog will calm down as soon as the vomiting episodes stop.

Fluctuations in Appetite

Pregnant dogs will lack appetite during the first 2 to 3 weeks of pregnancy, due to the vomiting and the nausea. You may also notice that your dog will lose a bit of weight.

The weight loss and the lack of appetite shouldn’t alarm you, as your dog will regain her appetite and will also gain some weight as the pregnancy evolves.

Lack of Activity

As the pregnancy advances, the dog will be less active. She will lose her interest in activities and games, preferring to sleep or just relax.

Please note that this symptom alone is not indicative of pregnancy. Lack of interest and inactivity may point to depression or other more serious medical conditions.

Swollen Nipples

The nipples of a pregnant dog will suffer from modifications. You will notice that they are rosier from the first stages of the pregnancy. The breasts will also be larger in volume and more swollen than usual.

As the delivery comes closer, you may also notice that the breasts are very swollen and there may even be white colored discharges, which is the milk.

Behavioral Modifications

Your pregnant pet will become more affectionate as the pregnancy advances. She will come and look for you and ask to be patted.

When the delivery is a few days ahead, the dog will hide, as she will seek a place to build a nest that would be suitable for the puppies. You may find your pet under furniture or hidden in the closet.

Larger Abdomen

If your dog is pregnant, you may feel the puppies as early as 2 or 3 weeks after the fertilization. The puppies will feel like lumps in the abdomen area; the puppies may be seen moving by week 7 or 8 of pregnancy. The abdomen will also become larger.