Detect your dog's pregnancy signs


Bitches that are not sterilized can wear anti-stain panties and must always wear a leash to avoid the males who follow them

  • Last updated: August 17, 2015

Behavior changes, blood loss spots, dog chasing in the street or risk of unwanted pregnancy. These are some of the problems derived from the dog's zeal. To avoid them, veterinarians recommend sterilize the dog that will have no offspring, use panties during heat, elude males in the park, always use the strap during the heat period and consider other methods to avoid it.

1. Sterilize the dog that will have no offspring

In the last five years, the number of sterilizations has increased considerably, says Verónica Jiménez, an animal doctor at the Vetersalud Amigos veterinary hospital in Murcia. In this clinic, 45% of the females who come to the clinic are sterilized, "especially if they live in urban settings," explains Jiménez. This does not happen, he adds, with the bitches that live in the field.

With sterilization, the owners avoid a lot of discomfort and problems to the dog -bleeding, unwanted pregnancies-, prevent diseases such as ovarian and breast tumors, in addition to psychological pregnancies, a hormonal mismatch that causes character changes in the dog.

This may be more nervous, mimosa, unappetizing or decayed during heat. Each one records different changes and they may have physical discomfort, similar to those suffered by women during menstruation, "but they do not externalize it," says María Victoria Acha, veterinarian at the Lardy clinic in San Sebastian.

2. Panties during the dog's heat

The The dog's zeal takes place twice a year and lasts about 15 days. Although there are variations in the menstrual cycle of each dog and, in some, it may be shorter. The greatest blood losses occur during the first week.

To avoid stains at home during the dog's heat, nylon panties can be worn

The stained It is one of the inconveniences that most concerns the owners of non-sterilized female dogs. To avoid blood loss at home, you can use panties - often nylon and black - with two openings: one to insert a dog pack and another to remove the tail (so that the dog feels comfortable).

A panties for bitches in heat costs about ten euros And it can be washed. This accessory is sold in several sizes, is adjustable and is used only when the dog is at home. Keep in mind that the panties for female dogs in heat does not prevent a male from riding them.

Canine Gestation

Female dogs can get pregnant every time they are in heat, which happens once every eight months. This fertility period lasts up to three weeks. In addition to becoming pregnant during this period, you may have altercations with the males if you do not feel prepared enough to mate. Taking her for a walk with the leash during the heat will help her avoid fights and, if you don't want a male to mate with her, she will stop her love breakthroughs.

Since pregnancy can be expensive, and sentimental for both you and your pet, it is usually better to leave the reproduction to the experts. If you want to prevent your dog from getting pregnant, you should consider sterilizing her. We offer you more information in our frequently asked questions about dog sterilization

Canine gestation usually lasts between 61 and 65 days, although you may not notice any obvious physical changes in your dog until the final stretch of pregnancy. There is no such thing as a canine pregnancy test that you can do at home, so you will wonder how to answer the question "Is my dog ​​pregnant?"

There are several signs to watch for puppies on the way.

3. Elude males in the park

The pheromones emitted by the dog during the heat are so strong that the male perceives them a few meters away

The olfactory pheromones The dog that gives off during the heat is a powerful odor aphrodisiac for males. "That smell cannot be masked even with the most powerful colony," says Acha. The male will perceive them meters away.

Avoid males in the park It is the best way for both owner and dog to enjoy a quiet walk, without experiencing dog chase. Even during this period, you can change the dog's walk schedule to avoid, as far as possible, the presence of other dogs. You can delay the departure of the afternoon at dusk and advance the walk in the morning.

4. Always use the leash during the dog's heat

The dog should always be attached with the leash during the heat The female will be more nervous and restless during those days and will be more likely to escape if she feels harassed by a male. During the first week of heat, the dog will not be receptive to being ridden by the male. But during the last week, when she loses less blood, she will be willing to mate and, even, it may be she who escapes in search of the male.

5. Other methods to avoid heat

Unlike sterilization, others methods to avoid heat They are not definitive. Among them, some are valid injections and pills, although veterinarians warn of its side effects.

There's also abortive methods. With them, once the dog has become pregnant, the continuation of pregnancy is avoided and, therefore, to bring an unwanted litter to the world.

The female reproductive cycle

The bitches start their sexual maturity at 6-8 months, before the races of small size and later the largest. From that moment they will go into heat a couple of times a year almost until the end of their life. This period is divided into several phases and it is in one of them, the oestrus, in which the bitch is going to be receptive to the male and therefore you can get pregnant. We will notice it because the vulva softens, will lift and remove the tail, raise the pelvis, etc.

If the coupling occurs, the female will be pregnant for approximately two months, after which 4 to 8 pups will be born, depending on the breed, which should be breastfed and remain with their mother for a minimum of 8 weeks. With an average of 6 puppies twice a year, a female dog could have about 120 puppies throughout her reproductive life, which, in turn, could also breed. This gives an idea of ​​the dimensions of the problem and it is understood why a caregiver does not want his dog to get pregnant. We will see how to avoid it below.

How to prevent a dog from getting pregnant?

If we do not want our dog to get pregnant we have basically the following options:

  • Keep it under control during its fertile period. In this way we must be very aware of the appearance of his estrus to prevent it from escaping or that any male accesses it. This is practically keeping it locked, walking at odd hours, since in the street he could meet males. If, in addition, a whole male coexists with her, that is, without castrating, the situation may become unsustainable. Keep in mind that if we operate on the male the effect is not immediate and can continue to fertilize even up to 5 months after surgery. With precautions it is possible that our dog does not get pregnant but we have to know that the effect of hormones throughout his life can cause health problems such as canine pyrethrum or breast tumors. In this sense, it should also be noted that the sterilization of an adult female dog that has already gone through several periods of heat does not always guarantee that a breast tumor does not develop, but it does prevent the development of uterine or matrix infections.
  • Drugs. Our veterinarian can prescribe medicines that inhibit heat, so that our dog will not be able to get pregnant but she will still be at risk of pyrethrum, tumors and diseases related to the uterus and ovaries. In addition, these serious health problems constitute the side effects of these drugs with which, although they could be used promptly, are not a good long term solution.
  • Sterilization. The most common operation is the ovariohysterectomy which, as its name implies, consists of the removal of the uterus and ovaries. If this intervention is performed before the first heat or just after, the risk of our dog suffering from breast tumors is practically eliminated. Nor would he suffer pyrometers or any other disease associated with these organs. It's about a definitive method.

To know how to keep male dogs away or prevent your dog from riding your dog, we recommend consulting our article "How to drive dogs away from a dog in heat".

The ovariohysterectomy to prevent your dog from having pups

This is the most common and effective surgery if you don't want a dog to have puppies. We have already seen what it is and what its benefits are, now we will see what the myths that continue to surround this intervention:

  • Change the character of the dog. It is not true and has no scientific basis. The only thing that changes is that the dog will not be nervous during the heat or try to escape.
  • Fattening. If the operation is performed when the dog is a puppy, it is normal that we notice that it is fattening, but it would also do so without operating simply because it has not completed its development. In addition, some owners continue to feed their dog with feed for puppies or in large cant>

If you want to read more articles similar to I don't want my dog ​​to have puppies - How to avoid it, we recommend that you enter our Celo section.

Unwanted pregnancy in female dogs: the importance of prevention

The unwanted pregnancy In our dog it represents a very delicate situation in which we must assess the pros and cons of both continuing with the pregnancy and interrupting it. Therefore, to avoid getting to how to interrupt the pregnancy of our dog, we must take preventive measures So that this does not happen. And the star measure, definitive and safe, is the ovariohysterectomy, surgical intervention in which the uterus and ovaries are removed. In addition, performing this operation early, before the first heat or just after, almost completely prevents our dog from suffering from breast cancer. Canine pyrethrum (uterine infection that can be fatal) and other diseases derived from the organs removed are also avoided.

If you choose not to sterilize we must keep the dog fully controlled during the oestrusor receptive period of heat, which is when the female wishes to mate. If at that time a male escapes or gets access to it, pregnancy will be very likely. In the market there are hormones for veterinary use that inhibit heat but also have contraindications, considerable side effects, such as pyrethrum or breast cancer, so its use is not recommended for prolonged periods. For more information on preventing an unwanted pregnancy in female dogs, we recommend consulting the following article: "I don't want my dog ​​to have puppies - How to avoid it".

Can I interrupt my bitch's pregnancy?

If our dog gets pregnant the first thing we have to assess is if continue or not with pregnancy. If we decide to continue it we must consider aspects such as the following:

  • The age of the dog, if she is too young or older, the risks increase.
  • If you suffer from any disease.
  • Possible complications if the size of the male is much larger than that of the female or if they are races that are usually born by caesarean section.
  • The expenses involved in veterinary care, feed, possible complications in childbirth, caesarean section or breastfeeding, in addition to the deworming of puppies, their vaccines, etc.
  • The search for a home for the little ones, considering that we can find houses for them but we do not know what will happen if each one, in turn, reproduces.

If we choose not to continue gestation, in the next section we will see how to interrupt a dog's pregnancy, that is, a dog can be aborted but it must always be the veterinarian who assesses whether or not it is due.

Ways to interrupt a bitch's pregnancy

The drugs, specifically hormones that must always be prescribed by the veterinarian, can be used to terminate the pregnancy until approximately 45 days of gestation. Sometimes they have side effects. If the pregnancy is early, the fetuses are absorbed but if the dog is already advanced, she will have to expel them, which will amount to a delivery with all the risks that can occur in this process such as obstructions and even caesarean section.

How to terminate a dog's pregnancy also goes through her sterilization. Theoretically it could be done at any time but it usually depends on the veterinarian, since moral aspects also come into play. What is certain is that the more advanced the pregnancy is, the more risky it is to intervene due to the accumulation of blood in the area, the growth of the uterus, etc. And it would be necessary to assess if there is a factor in the dog that discourages the intervention.

How long can a bitch's pregnancy be interrupted?

As we have seen in the previous section, determine how long you can terminate the pregnancy of a dog depend on multiple factors, the main ones being the type of treatment and the general condition of the dog. In this way, you always have to go to the vet to expose the situation, assess it and decide what is best for the animal. The specialist can guide us and indicate the ideal time to have the dog aborted or, otherwise, help us continue with the pregnancy.

However, to interrupt the pregnancy of the dog, better do it before 45 days after riding to minimize collateral damage as much as possible, being the most advisable to do so during the first days once the estrus is finished.

Can you abort a female dog at home?

Never. We do not advise under any circumstances have a dog aborted at home without the supervision of a veterinarian. The consequences can be fatal for the animal if we opt for inappropriate methods or if we use them incorrectly. For this reason, if we are faced with the situation of wanting to interrupt the pregnancy of a dog, it will be essential to visit a specialist so that it is he who tells us how to do it and when to evaluate the animal. Administering drugs or remedies on our own to abort a female dog without the prescription of a professional can even end her life by intoxications, hemorrhages or complications in childbirth since, let's not forget, if the pregnancy is very advanced, the dog will have to give birth to her dead puppies. In addition, milk production must be managed if its secretion has already begun.

Ethics and psychological aspects of interrupting a bitch's pregnancy

Wondering how to terminate a dog's pregnancy is not just a veterinary issue, as there are moral implications. The current canine overpopulation requires birth control. Each puppy that is born can take home a dog that expects family in the kennel, often at risk of sacrifice. But, once the dog is pregnant, causing an abortion can be a moral dilemma and you also have to take into account the emotional part that the bitch will live. As a mammal, his body turns to gestate, prepares for childbirth, to give milk, etc. Bitches have the instinct to care for their young and, if they lose them, they will live a duel and it is normal for them to show themselves down, sad and look for their puppies. In very advanced pregnancies there may be milk secretion that must be monitored so that a mastitis. Check the article on "Mastitis in bitches" to learn to identify the symptoms.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to terminate a dog's pregnancy?We recommend that you enter our section on Pregnancy Problems.