How Long Does a Dog's Pregnancy Last

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How Long Does a Dog's Pregnancy Last

If this is the first time your dog is in the gestation period you're probably wondering how long it will take the puppies to develop so that you can make all the preparations for delivery and calculate the approximate date.

There is a belief that says that every female dog needs to be a mother at least once in her life, but this is not true as it depends on the dog's maternal instinct, which it may never display. If you want to know how long a dog's pregnancy lasts, read this article.

You may also be interested in: How to Know if Your Dog had a Miscarriage
Steps to follow:

As indicated by veterinarians it is advisable to wait until the dog has endured at least three periods of being in heat to allow the mating to take place and the subsequent pregnancy to occur. Doing it in the first period of the dog being in heat is exposing the dog, who has just reached adulthood and therefore, maturity, to a process that can cause anxiety or depression. Read our article how to know if my dog is in heat to find out more.


The gestation period of a bitch usually lasts approximately between 58 and 68 days. Of course, this is not an exact science and it may even reach 70 days of pregnancy. However, you should be prepared on day 58 as the puppies can arrive at any time from then onward.

How Long Does a Dog's Pregnancy Last - Step 2

If you take note of the exact date of mating you can accurately calculate, as the approximate time is two months. So, based on this and stages of gestation you can reach the due date. Bitches go through each and every one of the stages of pregnancy but more rapidly than in humans. In general, pregnancy is divided into two halves.


The first half of a dog's pregnancy constitutes of the fertilization, the implantation of the embryos to the uterine wall and the formation of the puppies' organs, muscles and bones; this lasts about six weeks. The number of dogs shall depend on the race of the parents, from the eight or nine and a half that a Golden Retriever usually has to the one or two of a Chihuahua.

It is best practice to carry out veterinary monitoring of the pregnancy. The first visit should occur from day 22 of conception. . During this half the pregnancy is barely visible.

How Long Does a Dog's Pregnancy Last - Step 4

During second half of pregnancy, from the sixth to the ninth week, the puppies develop very quickly. It is during this time that you will notice that your dog is pregnant, so if you had not noticed before, you should know that you are about a month from delivery.


You'll know that labour has arrived when your bitch take days preparing the "nest" which can be her bed or favourite place at home, do not move her from there as you could make her nervous, restless.

In particular small and toy breeds can suffer complicated deliveries, it is advisable that the veterinarian delivers the puppies.


Then, it is essential that when your dog has given birth, you help her in any way possible to care for the puppies. Thus, you get closer ties with your pet and make her new life as a mum full and satisfying.

You can help your dog if you see that it is not coping with the pups, by providing nutrients from day 12 after birth. You also need to know that your dog should eat better than ever during the lactation period because it spends a lot of its calories feeding its young. Another way to help your dog with their young pups is by cleaning them with the help of a cotton ball when you see that the mother is no longer able to.

How Long Does a Dog's Pregnancy Last - Step 7

The moment you can separate the mother from her pups depends on several factors and you must be careful not to cause any member of the family distress. You should never separate the offspring from its mother during the first 7 weeks; the ideal time for this is from 7 weeks to 8 weeks, when the puppy already knows how to eat by itself.

If you want to read similar articles to How Long Does a Dog's Pregnancy Last, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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