If you are expecting your first litter, the wait can sometimes feel eternal. Feeling the puppies move in your bitch’s pregnant belly lets you know that you will be receiving the litter soon. The puppies’ movement also lets you know that both the expecting dog mama and the puppies are safe.
If you are here, you must be wondering when you should feel the movement and probably why you are not feeling the movement already if your dog is already pregnant. You might, however, have to wait a little longer till you can see the pups moving in their mom’s belly. Vets can see and feel the puppies’ movement way before most untrained people can, so do not worry if the vet feels them and you can’t.
When can you feel puppies move
Ideally, the most possible time for you to feel puppies’ movements is when they are six weeks and above. In the seventh week, you can even see them move under their mother’s skin. Resist the urge to poke or feel around the dog’s belly with your fingers.
The poking could be uncomfortable for the mother and pose a potential danger to the puppies. And if your dog does not want its abdomen touched, let them be.
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What are a dog’s pregnancy stages?
A dog’s gestation period lasts about 63 days from conception to day of birth. Other than feeling the puppies in a pregnant dog, when your dog gets pregnant, you might also want to know the different dog pregnancy stages to better understand their needs.
Understanding the different pregnancy stages helps you prepare and stay on top of everything.
Here are the different stages.
0 to 1 month of pregnancy.
The fetuses travel to the dog’s uterus horns to implant along the walls. The implantation should happen by the end of the first week, or by the beginning of the second week.
When the embryos have implanted and started growing, you will notice a change in your dog’s level of activity. You will realize that they become a little lazy and spend more time napping.
You will also notice an increase in your dog’s appetite. You, however, don’t want to change your dog’s diet dramatically within the first 20 days. Doing so may make the expectant dog obese, which might impact the litter negatively.
20 days after conception, you can slowly begin to adjust your dog’s diet to better cater to their needs and the growing pups. You will need to add needed supplements to their diet, such as calcium, crucial for the development of the puppies’ bones. Consult your vet so you know exactly what your dog needs and adjustments you need to make to their diet.
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1 to 2 months
The fetuses’ growth accelerates in the second month. Your dog’s belly will get visibly large as the fetuses grow. As a result, the expectant dog might become visibly uncomfortable when lying down. You will need to get them a comfortable dog bed.
Due to the growing fetuses, the expecting dog is going to have trouble eating large meals. You might need to serve her smaller more frequent meals. The food should be easy to digest as well.
Around the third week of this month, you can also expect to see the breasts enlarge in preparation for breastfeeding. You might also notice a crowded liquid coming off the breasts. They will also shed hair around the belly.
By the end of the second month, the fetuses are fully developed and ready for delivery.
Delivery happens at the beginning of the 3rd month. Vets advise that you constantly monitor your dog at this stage. If you notice a slight decline in their temperature, they will go into labor within a day. Make sure she has a safe place to deliver.
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Watching puppies move in their mother’s belly before they are born can be the most heartwarming moment for a dog owner—that and feeling them move. As from 6 weeks of pregnancy, you can feel the puppies move. Never poke the dog’s belly for the puppies to move, and if your dog resists being touched on the belly, do not force them.