How to Tell if Your Dog Is Pregnant: Signs of a Pregnant Dog

Bella pounces up onto your lap while you are lounging on the couch and you feel as if she landed a little harder than usual, her tummy seems to be a slightly more pronounced than normal.

Did you feed her too much today?

She curls up and goes right to sleep on your lap, has she been sleeping a lot lately?

Then you start to think, could she be?

Although weight gain is usually a prominent change in an animal that can lead you to ask, “is my dog pregnant?“, it is not the only sign you can be aware of.

There are many changes that can become very apparent when a canine is pregnant.

First of all there are many red flags that can alert you of the situation such as; changes in her appetite, her activity level may decrease, the color and size of her nipples, her body will have obvious and subtle changes, she will also behave differently.


So How to Tell if a Dog Is Pregnant

Like humans, when a dog gets pregnant, her body goes through many changes. Some of them are physical change and some are changes in her behavior.

Here are some things you can look for when you think your dog may be pregnant.

Change in Appetite

Change in Appetite During Pregnancy in Dogs

When it comes to her appetite she may be eating a lot more or she may eat a lot less for a period of time.

Just like human in the early stages of pregnancy dogs may not feel well. They will experience a type of doggie morning sickness, some vomiting is normal however a lot is a bad sign.

Some dogs will not feel well so will not have an appetite for the first few weeks. Sometimes dogs will eat and eat and whine for more.

Noting any changes in appetite is a good way to monitor dogs health not just pregnancy.

Loss of Energy

Since her body is going through many changes just like any expecting female she may become tired or lethargic.

She may feel exhausted more often or have a lower stamina for play while her body is going through changes.

Just like a human she will most likely want to sleep more than usual because her hormones are adjusting.

On top of the changes going on on the inside of her there are many things physically that may be affected as well.

Weight Gain

Dog Gain Weight During Pregnancy

Your dog will gain weight as she is become less active and the little ones begin to grow.

The weight will all be in her belly not evenly distributed as if she were just gaining weight from over eating. Not only does she gain weight in her abdomen, it may feel firm to the touch.

She may not be very happy about you pushing on her abdomen since it may be very tender so be gentle.

Nipple Growth & Color

Your dog’s nipples are usually small and blend with the color of her stomach or are light in color.

When a dog becomes pregnant her nipples are the first thing to change.

Your dog’s nipples may get larger (or longer depending on breed) and will be darker. They will protrude more. Her nipples might also excrete a creamy clear liquid.

Vaginal Discharge

After about a month into the pregnancy her body will begin to prepare for labor and may excrete a mucus like vaginal discharge.

On top of all of the physical changes in your dog’s body you will also notice her acting differently as well.

Mood Swings

Mood Swings During Pregnancy in Dogs

Your dog’s mood or demeanor may seem different while she is pregnant and even after.

Your dog’s mood will change, not only by being more tired, but by being calmer. She may not want to play as rough or as long.

If you notice she does not seem as rambunctious for more than one day, your dog may be pregnant.

Moments when you question if your dog is ill because of her low energy or lack of interest in wrestling may actually be the first signs of pregnancy.

Signs of Illness

Small amount of vomiting and increased sleeping may alarm you to believe she is sick when actuality she is pregnant.

Sometimes she may seem almost depressed compared to her normal self. It is just the hormones adjusting and working her body very hard, making her feel more tired.

Your dog may also be a little more territorial, if she is beginning to nest she may not want you in that particular area.

No worries that will go away after the puppies are a few weeks old, for now she is just protecting what is to come.

Professional Diagnosis

Professional Diagnosis for Pregnancy in Dogs

Of course the best way to determine whether or not your dog is pregnant is to take her to the professional.

A veterinarian can do an ultra sound just like on a human. The vet can scan her stomach to see if she is carrying any little ones around with her.

Confirming a dog’s pregnancy without the vet is not quite as easy as in a human, the signs may not be apparent until the second half of the pregnancy.

Make sure any suspicions of being pregnant are checked out by a vet so you can be more prepared when she delivers.

Depending on how early in her pregnancy she is they may be able to tell you how many she is carrying, usually around day 30.

Check this video on how to know if your dog is pregnant.

If you notice your dog is wandering away from people or hiding often she may be trying to find a place to deliver her puppies. Helping her create a safe quiet nest, helps decrease the stress level.

Having a vet confirm or determine a pregnancy is a great tool to utilize, however the knowing the signs of pregnancy in your dog can help keep her healthy and happy.

If she is behaving differently, if her abdomen is larger and/ or firm, if her nipples are larger and discolored, if she is eating a lot more or a lot less than usual your dog may be pregnant.

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Comments →

  1. Torie

    This article was a lot of help to me. Thanks

    1. Thanks Torie for your feedback. I am glad you found it helpful.

  2. Julia Chavez

    Thanks so much! The two Saint Bernards were at it for a day and a half but no tie. The vet says it is still possible. Praying! Ultra sound soon….

  3. Alexander

    Thank you so much now I know that my dog is pregnant.This Article is so helpfull

    1. Hi Alexander, I am glad you found this article helpful. 🙂

      Let us know if you have any question regarding the pregnancy.

  4. Dr Chris

    The article is great.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Chris. 🙂

  5. Bek Walk

    Thank you for the great info.

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