How To Safely Travel With Pregnant Dogs

Travel with dogs can be a lot of fun. But some owners worry about traveling with a pregnant dog. Here's some more information about dog pregnancy and what you should do to care for your pregnant dog, at home and away.

Dog Pregnancy Basics

Dog pregnancy lasts from about 63 to 66 days. Your pregnant dog and her unborn puppies are most vulnerable during the first three weeks of pregnancy, so you may want to avoid travel during this period.

Your dog needs regular, though not strenuous, exercise during her pregnancy to help maintain muscle tone. Feed your dog a high quality dog food that has all the nutrients she needs; adding additional supplements isn't necessary and could even harm the puppies.

You'll want to begin getting your dog accustomed to her whelping box at least two weeks before her whelping date, so you may want to avoid travel during the final two weeks of her pregnancy as well.

Traveling With Your Pregnant Dog

Pet travel with your pregnant dog should be perfectly safe if it occurs after the first three weeks of pregnancy, and before the last two weeks of pregnancy. Pregnant dog travel during the last two weeks of pregnancy could lead to your dog giving birth away from home, which could put additional stress on the puppies and mother. If you plan to travel during this period, consult a vet who practices in your destination city in advance, so you can be prepared if your pregnant or nursing dog needs medical care while you're away from home.

If you're traveling by plane with a pregnant dog, you may want to ask your veterinarian. Make sure airline staff know that your dog is pregnant. Keep in mind that international travel with a pregnant dog may be ill-advised, due to strict quarantine laws in many countries as well as your pregnant dog's fragile state of health.

Tips for Pregnant Dog Travel

Here are some things to keep in mind when traveling with your pregnant dog:

  • Your pregnant dog will be eating a lot more than normal. Take an adequate supply of food with you to last until you reach your destination.
  • If your dog is heavily pregnant, she'll need small meals fed frequently. The puppies will be exerting pressure on her stomach, and she won't be able to eat a lot at one time. You'll need to stop more often to feed your pregnant dog.
  • Your pregnant dog will also need frequent stops to relieve herself, as the puppies will be exerting pressure on her bladder, too.
  • Travel with pregnant dogs may be ill-advised if your dog suffers from travel-related anxiety.
  • While traveling, make sure your pregnant dog gets an adequate amount of exercise and doesn't experience undue amounts of stress.
  • Keep your pregnant dog away from strange dogs who may not be vaccinated, as she is particularly vulnerable to infection at this time. Even a disease that is not normally serious could prove quite dangerous to a pregnant dog.
  • If your travel occurs near the end of your dog's pregnancy, be prepared to return home with puppies.