How Long Is Dog Pregnancy? Dog Pregnancy Stages

How Long Is Dog Pregnancy? Dog Pregnancy Stages

Are you thinking of breeding your dog, or has your dog recently become pregnant? It is important to consider all factors of dog breeding before making this major decision, and one of these factors is the overall length of your dog’s pregnancy.

In this article, you’ll find information to help you better understand the stages of canine pregnancy. While this guide can help you get started, you should work closely with your vet throughout your dog’s pregnancy and the first few weeks of her puppies’ lives too. This way, you can ensure all dogs involved are getting the care they need.

Stage One

The first stage of canine pregnancy coincides with the first month that a dog is pregnant. During this stage, the puppy embryos travel through the mother dog’s reproductive system and embed themselves into the lining of her uterus within the first two weeks to 16 days. Within another week after this point, the fetuses begin to form and shape themselves into something resembling a puppy.

By the end of the first month that the dog is pregnant, fetal heartbeats should be able to be found with the help of a vet. While it may be too early to tell just how many puppies to expect, this step can help you determine whether or not the pregnancy is a successful and viable one.

During this stage, expecting mother dogs may become lethargic, hungry, and nauseated frequently. They may also become clingy, even if they aren’t typically this attached to their human family members.

Stage Two

The second stage covers the second month of canine pregnancy. During this stage, mother dogs become extremely hungry and should put on up to 50% of their overall body weight. They may urinate more frequently and have vaginal discharge during this stage, and by the end of the second month, you may be able to see the movement of puppies within the mother’s abdomen, too.

About halfway through this month, your vet might perform an ultrasound to help you determine how many puppies your mother dog is expecting. Although this ultrasound may not be entirely accurate, it can give you a very good ballpark range to help you prepare for the right number of puppies. This ultrasound can also help determine if there are any major problems going on with the puppies.

dog pregnancy in Palos Heights, IL

Stage Three

The third stage of canine pregnancy involves the last few days of the second month, and a few days into the third month. Most expecting mother dogs go into labor around day 60, although a couple of days later typically isn’t an issue, especially if you’re working closely with a trusted vet throughout the process.

Right before labor, the mother dog’s body temperature will drop significantly. This important step lets you know that she is going to go into labor within the next 24 hours, and often much sooner. She may also become less interested in food and more restless as she nears the birth of her puppies.


Mother dogs typically go into labor approximately two months after conceiving their puppies. The first 12 hours of labor may cause the mother dog to become extremely uncomfortable, nauseated, and restless, but she may not show any signs yet of being ready to give birth. When contractions begin, puppies are typically born within the following couple of hours, with each puppy arriving about a half hour after the last.

After all the puppies have been delivered, the mother dog then delivers the placenta. After the placentas are all delivered, labor is complete.


As you can see, there’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to canine pregnancy. Breeding dogs is not for everyone, and with such an issue of pet overpopulation already, it is not typically advised to breed your dog unless you are a professional breeder or know you’ll have homes for all the puppies beforehand.

If you do choose to breed your dog, or if she accidentally becomes pregnant, it’s a good idea to learn everything you can about the process of canine pregnancy and birth beforehand. This way, you’ll be ready to spring into action and help your dog give birth when the time comes.

If your dog is pregnant near Palos Heights, IL, reach out to Palos Animal Hospital at (708) 448-6600 with any questions or concerns!