A female dog will usually start to show signs of pregnancy after a month.

What are the signs of pregnancy in dogs? 

The most noticeable signs of pregnancy are a swollen belly and enlarged nipples.

Pregnancy for a dog physically affects them and changes your female dog’s mood. Due to the increased amount of hormones, female dogs will exhibit mood swings and nesting. 


Nesting is when a dog will pick a spot and start creating an area that is hers, usually warm, quiet and secure. It’s a safe area for her puppies! You can also help her find a quiet place and put down a comfy bed and some blankets. However, she may not choose that place, so you may need to let her decide, and if safe, you can place the bed and blankets there. 

Pregnant chihuahua dog laying down
Pregnant chihuahua dog breed

Signs of Dog Pregnancy

  • Over Affectionate
  • Enlarged Nipples
  • Hungry
  • Moody
  • Nesting
  • Swollen Belly
  • Weight Gain

How long do dogs stay pregnant? Dog stay pregnant between 58 and 68 days. Depending on the size of your dog, you will find that smaller breeds will stay pregnant the less. Also, if they have fewer puppies inside their bellies, they will more than likely go full term.

Dog gestation period: between 58 and 68 days. 

What should I do if my dog is pregnant?

The first thing to do when you find out your dog is pregnant is to take her to the vet. The vet will give them a check-up and tell you what you should do. Your vet will mention their diet and leave treatments for flea, tick or worming medicine.

Can you use flea and tick treatment on a pregnant dog? No, it’s recommended not to use this kind of treatment on a pregnant dog. If you have a pregnant dog with fleas or ticks, you should take them to a veterinarian to discuss the best course of action.

Homecare to remove fleas from a pregnant dog

Using a natural shampoo, bathe your dog and use a flea comb to remove any fleas; you may need to do this more often as long as your pregnant dog isn’t scared of bathing or isn’t in any way distress during the process—lots of treats and praise throughout bathtime. I recommend boiling chicken and giving little pieces as a reward during and after bath time.

Recommended Read: How To Boil Chicken For a Dog

How many puppies can a dog have?

The number of puppies a dog can give birth to varies from one to twelve, and four being the average-sized litter. Usually, first-time mums have a smaller litter of puppies than those on their second or third litter. 

How many litters of puppies should a dog have in her lifetime, if any?

They don’t have to have any; however, if you want to breed your dog, a dog should not give birth more than three times in her life. She needs her time to play and function as an average dog. Too many puppy litters can leave lasting physical damage and cause behaviour issues. Such as becoming stressed and depressed from constantly being pregnant, giving birth and then nursing her young.

Breeding a dog is a lot of work for you and the mother dog, be sure it’s the right direction you wish to take before breeding. Also, the emotions of you and your dog when it is time for the puppies to go to a new home is undoubtedly something to consider in great depth. 

Recommended Read: In an earlier article, I have covered labour expectations that will help you understand the process. Good Luck!

How To Make A Pregnant Dog Feel Safe

  • Provide a warm, quite comfy spot
  • Teach your child and guests to be gentle around her
  • Complete checks on her health, such as check for fleas and ticks
  • Shorter walks
  • Don’t stop play altogether; make it lighter.
  • Don’t treat her emotional any different

Is my dog fat or pregnant?

If there is a potential that your dog is pregnant, then a trip to the vets will determine if she is fat or pregnant. If your dog hasn’t been around any male dogs for a good few months, then I expect she is overweight. A bit of common sense wouldn’t go amiss here. However, if in doubt, take her to the vets. Below are some of the things a vet will complete to check if a dog is pregnant. 

  • Hormone test
  • Ultrasound
  • X-Ray


Be sure to take your dog to a vet if you suspect she is pregnant. It’s the first step to taking on the immense responsibilities of looking after the mother and her puppies.

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