When facing a possible dog pregnancy, some breeders or owners may be confused about what they see within the first month. Since most dog pregnancies only last around two months, it is vital to have the details of what a 1-month pregnant dog looks like and acts like.
Typically, 1-month pregnant dogs will only start showing after about three to four weeks. During this time, mother dogs will have an increased appetite, decreased physical activities, nesting behavior and may gain extra weight.
Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy in Dogs
A pregnant dog’s physical appearance and length of pregnancy will depend greatly on their breed. While some may gain weight quicker, others may need more time before the pregnancy begins to change their bodies.
However, symptoms of pregnancy in dogs are similar across the board. Here are some common signs of a pregnant dog that most owners and breeders should look for. If these symptoms show up without the possibility of pregnancy, please visit your veterinarian for more guidance.
Changes In Appetite
Mother dogs will need more food as their puppies develop. During this time, they’ll be needier for food compared to past months. If you know or speculate your dog may be pregnant, it’s best to increase food slightly or offer smaller meals throughout the day until you can obtain a vet’s confirmation.
When adding additional food for a pregnant dog, make the meals smaller and spread them throughout the day. A large meal that’s too big could upset the mom and make her stomach hurt as the pups grow.
However, around weeks three to four, the mother may slow down on eating. This reaction is normal because she may be suffering from “morning sickness,” where she’ll vomit in the morning, sleep more and eat less.
Once the hormones have run their course, she’ll eat an increased caloric intake.
Decrease In Physical Activity
If your dog begins to sit and sleep more than previously, that could be a sign your dog is pregnant. The lack of activity will most likely be a sudden change and accompanied by other pregnancy symptoms.
Decreases in physical activity range from being too tired to play to disliking high-intensity workouts. For many expecting mother dogs, this change will occur over around three to four weeks, with four weeks being when most mothers will settle down.
If you are worried your dog is too tired, such as not moving from one spot or refusing to walk more than a few steps, we would recommend you see a vet.
Affectionate And Irritable Behavior
Dogs are cuddly creatures. However, a pregnant mother dog will become more affectionate as the weeks progress. There are several reasons why it happens, but you mostly have to watch for your dog becoming cuddlier and snugglier as the pregnancy progresses.
Your dog could also become more irritated. Generally, bad moods happen later in the pregnancy when the pups grow large and make it hard for the mother to walk. It is not always true, as some mothers will become more irritable at the beginning of their pregnancy.
The vital takeaway is to check on your dog’s behavior after mating. Does she need more attention? Has she been cuddling closer to you during the day? Is she more irritable about minor annoyances
Monitor your dog’s behavior to get a gauge of if it’s pregnancy or just a bad mood.
Nesting Behavior And Practices
Dogs who are expecting will take time away from their day to begin gathering up supplies for their nest. While this isn’t like a nest for birds, it’s somewhat similar.
Nesting for dogs usually entails finding a private location for birth. Once the mother knows where she would like to give birth, she will bring more blankets and clothes around the area.
Moms will usually begin making their nest closer to the time of their birth. These spots can range from under furniture, behind furniture and in closet space.
Watch over these areas as the months pass—despite being in the early months, your mother dog may be telling you where she’ll go when it’s birthing time.
Most mother dogs’ bodies will change over the first few weeks. Owners can put the change into three major categories: breast growth, weight gain and birthing developments.
During pregnancy, a mother dog’s nipples will enlarge and may begin to develop more.
The nipple will be the first to change. Instead of maintaining a normal size, it will elongate and may droop. Such elongation is a normal part of dog pregnancy, as the mom is getting ready to feed her pups once they are born.
Also, her breast may begin to grow. Normally, growth would only happen in the later stages of pregnancy, but for some breeds that have problems with pregnancy, it can occur earlier. Always check with a veterinarian if you are worried about rapid breast growth.
Weight gain comes from both the pups growing and mom eating for multiple canines.
When the pups are growing, they will slowly extend her stomach. In these early stages of pregnancy, the additional stomach growth will be small as the puppies are only the size of grapes. Do not try to feel for puppies without help from a vet, as you could hurt the embryos.
It’s recommended that your dog doesn’t gain too much weight before birth. Instead, she should focus on staying healthy. Check with your veterinarian for the best weight for mom.
One of the major signs your dog is pregnant is if her body begins changing for birth. In the first month, changes usually show by week four. At that point, the mom may have vaginal discharge.
During the end of the first month, the discharge will be clear and often means her body is changing internally for puppies. It will be helpful to lay down towels where she is sitting or sleeping.
These birthing developments will continue as the months progress, but a sure sign is clear vaginal discharge by the end of the first month of pregnancy.
Tests For Dog Pregnancy
Currently, there are four main tests completed for mother dogs. Most of these must happen after the 30- to 55-day mark, which will be at the end of the first month or the end of the second month.
The four main tests are palpation, ultrasound, blood/hormone test and x-rays.
Palpation is the practice of feeling the puppies in the mother’s stomach. Normally, a vet does the test at the end of the 1-month mark. However, if you are unsure if your dog is pregnant, a vet may perform it earlier.
For the test, a vet will feel the mother’s stomach and see if there are any noticeable lumps. Puppies during these early stages will feel like grapes, so it can be hard to notice them, However, once you feel one, you will feel the others.
This test helps to see if your mother dog is pregnant and how far along she is. While it is not as definitive as the other tests, it is still helpful to inform the owner. This way, professionals administer pre-natal care to your mother dog sooner than later.
While this test may seem easy, a gentle touch is essential. You should not perform it without a vet.
Like human mothers, dog mothers can undergo an ultrasound to see the puppies in their mother’s womb. This test is not invasive or painful and is often a good indicator of how many pups the mom will have.
This test, for many dogs, will show up mostly in terms of heartbeats. Puppies’ heartbeats are two to three times faster than the mom’s. The number of heartbeats shows how many babies the mom is carrying.
For some dogs, too many babies could cause damage. Having an ultrasound and help you prep for all the puppies while also making sure your mother dog will be okay during the pregnancy and birth.
Vets conduct hormone tests by taking the blood from the mother dog. Once taken it will be analyzed for Relaxin.
Relaxin is a hormone that dogs will only release when they are pregnant. Thus, the test is a good indicator of what she is expecting.
This test is much more invasive than the others, requiring blood. Therefore, it’s a good indicator of pregnancy, but many only are used in certain situations.
This method is often used toward the end of the pregnancy. During this test, your vet will be able to tell how many babies are in the mother’s womb. Usually, this test is only used in specific procedures and occurs after an ultrasound.
Conclusion For What Does A 1-Month Pregnant Dog Look Like
When caring for a dog you think is pregnant, look for the signs of pregnancy, such as changes in appetite, decrease in physical activity and changes in the body. If you are still worried or would like confirmation, you can always check with a vet for tests and their professional opinion.
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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