How To Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant

If you have not spayed your dog and are trying to breed her and she became pregnant, what are the signs to look for that may indicate that your dog is pregnant? 

A pregnancy in dogs is somewhat similar to human pregnancy. Still, there are few differences, as the length of pregnancy indogs is approximately 63 days. In contrast, humans remain pregnant for nine months.

However, just like humans, dogs also go through three trimesters and, at some point, also suffer from morning sickness. Each trimester of the dog consists of 21 days. Although there are other signs of pregnancy that you should know and you must be educated about them so that your dog passes the pregnancy calmly and gives birth safely.

how to tell if your dog is pregnant

How to tell if your dog is pregnant?

Your dog will show some physical and behavioral signs during pregnancy. Here we will discuss these in detail.

Physical changes

Whenever a bitch becomes pregnant, her body will undergo certain physical changes such as a larger abdomen and weight gain. However, there can be no other reason why your dog gains so much weight suddenly. Other physical signs that appear when your dog is pregnant include:

Vomiting and decreased appetite

One of the first signs that appear when your dog becomes pregnant is that she lacks appetite. However, not all dogs show the symptom of morning sickness, but some may eat less during the first two weeks of pregnancy, but it will be compensated in later stages of pregnancy.

Some dogs also feel nauseous during the first weeks of pregnancy, but these symptoms will disappear as the pregnancy progresses. If you feel like your dog is losing her appetite or vomiting during the first few weeks of pregnancy, don’t force her to eat anything.

You can offer them their favorite food like rice mixed with boiled ground beef or their favorite kibble, but don’t worry about it if she refuses to eat. You must offer your dog balanced nutrition, especially during pregnancy.

Some dogs do not eat for a day or two and then return to normal. If your dog is not eating for more than three to four days, contact your veterinarian.


If your dog gets tired after a simple activity or taking too many naps, this may indicate that she is pregnant. If your dog was energetic and suddenly begins to show laziness, this symptom may seem more obvious.

However, if your pup already enjoys taking long naps and is not an energetic pet, then you may not realize. That is why it is important to pay attention to when your dog is doing an activity to see how quickly she tires.

Enlargement of nipples

In non-pregnant female dogs, the nipples are of normal size, but as soon as they become pregnant, their size increases during the first weeks of pregnancy. Similarly, your dog areolas start to get rounder; they are normally flat. 

You may also notice another change where the nipples start to darken, which is an indication of increased blood flow to that area. In the later stages of pregnancy, milk also leaks from the nipples.

The color change of the nipples

Along with breast development, another more obvious sign is the color change of the nipple. They will appear more rosy, especially those nipples that are close to your dog’s hind leg. Normally, the nipples are light pink in color, but they swell and darken due to increased blood flow. These changes occur at the same time that the breast begins to develop.

Weight gain and an enlarged abdomen

As the pregnancy progresses and the size of your doggyincreases, the abdomen expands in size. This enlargement of the abdomen is one of the most obvious signs of pregnancy. 

As pregnancy in dogs’ progresses, weight gain also increases. However, the increase in the abdomen’s size occurs in the later stages of pregnancy; if you find all these signs together, it is time to take your dog to the vet.

Nesting Behaviors

When your pooch reaches his last stage of pregnancy, she will start doing strange things like start shredding her bed or any other soft material to create a nest for her young ones. 

She will also start to get irritated by little things, which is why it is important to keep your children away from your pet in the later stages of pregnancy.

Change in behavior

When a female dog becomes pregnant, she will also show some behavior changes, such as decreased energy levels. She will not show interest in her daily activities. Suppose your dog shows other unusual behavioral changes. In that case, this is an indication that something is not right with your dog’s health.

You may also notice another change in her behavior that will often seek the attention of her owner. However, some dogs prefer to live alone and always remain in search of isolation. The later sign is seen mainly in the last days of pregnancy.

Some test for pregnancy in dogs

Certain pregnancy tests in humans can be done at home, but no such tests are available for your dog. However, the dog pregnancy test can be done using blood tests. In the blood test, they will look for a hormone called relaxin. You cannot perform this test at home due to the unavailability of equipment.

When you take your dog to the vet, they will inform you about your dog’s pregnancy in less than 10 minutes by measuring the relaxin level in her body. As the level of relaxin increases in dogs’ bodies, it is considered one of the most accurate pregnancy tests. The level of relaxin can be detected after 22 days of pregnancy. This test is inexpensive, which is why most pet owners prefer this test.

However, some vets prefer to do an ultrasound for the pregnancy test as it gives a clear picture of the uterus. In addition, the ultrasound also provides more information about the different stages of pregnancy and about the number of puppies and their state of health.


If you spot dog pregnancy in the early stages, you must take care of her. Always try to learn how to properly take care of your dog these days. You should also communicate with your vet and learn about the different aspects of pregnancy in dogs.

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