Pregnancies in dogs typically last about nine weeks. If you suspect your dog is pregnant, you should take her to the vet for an exam to confirm the pregnancy and to make sure all is progressing normally. Pregnancy and birth usually progress uneventfully in dogs and your dog will probably need little to no assistance from you when she gives birth, but occasionally complications do occur so it’s a good idea to see the vet for a checkup just to make sure all is well.
The amount of weight your dog will gain during her pregnancy depends on how many puppies she carries. Usually you can notice some weight gain after about the fourth week of pregnancy but it may seem like only a slight gain at first.
Your dog’s belly will also begin to bulge as her pregnancy progresses. The more puppies she is carrying, the more her belly will bulge, of course. Near the end of her pregnancy, you may actually be able to feel the puppies by palpating her abdomen gently.
Enlargement of Mammary Glands
Dogs nurse their puppies, of course, so near the end of their pregnancies their mammary glands become enlarged and swollen with milk. You may notice some milk leaking from your dog’s nipples as her due date approaches.
You dog may begin carrying around an object like a toy, stuffed animal or shoe and acting as if it’s a puppy. For instance, she may cuddle up to it, lick it and sleep with it. It’s as if she’s practicing her mothering skills.
As your dog’s due date approaches, she may begin trying to prepare a nesting place to give birth to her puppies. She may begin tearing up paper or blankets or other materials from which to make her nest. You can make a nesting box for your dog so that she has a suitable place to give birth by lining a box with plastic, then covering the plastic with flannel or some other soft material. Staple the plastic and cloth in place because you dog may try to dig in the box as she prepares to give birth.
Changes in Sleeping Habits
Pregnant dogs may sleep more than usual, especially toward the end of the pregnancy. However, if your dog seems extremely tired or lethargic, she should see a veterinarian to make sure all is progressing normally.
Changes in Appetite
You might expect your dog to eat more than usual while pregnant, but in fact she may begin eating less than usual as the end of her pregnancy approaches. The puppies in her belly take up so much room, her stomach gets full after she eats just a little food.
Pet Place. http://www.petplace.com/dogs/pregnancy-in-dogs/page1.aspx . Pregnancy in Dogs.