Pit bull breeds, like the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, and Staffordshire bull terrier, are dedicated family dogs. If your pit bull has recently mated and is not spayed, she may be expecting a family of her own. To ensure that your beloved pup gives birth to a litter of healthy babies, watch your dog for signs of pregnancy and get her proper veterinary care right away because in just over two months, her babies will be born.
Signs of pregnancy in pit bull dogs
Once your pit bull reaches sexual maturity at around 1 to 2 years old, she will be able to become pregnant if she's not spayed. At this point, she'll begin to go into heat and search for a mate. After mating, she may become pregnant.
Signs of pregnancy in pit bull dogs include:
- Swollen belly
- Clear vaginal discharge
- Noticeable increase in appetite
- Weight gain
- Enlarged nipples
- Nausea ("morning sickness")
- Affectionate behavior
- Attempting to nest in your home
If you see any of these signs, get your pit bull to a veterinarian right away for a checkup to see if she is pregnant. Your vet can perform an ultrasound, blood test, or physical exam to see if your pup is expecting at around four weeks into her pregnancy or an X-ray at around six weeks.
Average pit bull litter size
The average pit bull will give birth to a litter of between five and eight puppies. You'll even begin to see the puppies moving around between four and five weeks into the pregnancy. Because pregnancies can be unpredictable, you might find that your pit bull is expecting fewer or more puppies. One pit bull dog even gave birth to 12 healthy puppies.
Pit bull pregnancy gestation period
Pit bull dogs are generally pregnant for around 59 to 63 days from the date of conception. During this time, you'll want to feed your dog normally until the last few weeks of pregnancy, when you can increase her portions and feed her a special diet for pregnant and nursing dogs. You'll also want to keep her exercise from being too strenuous. A few short walks a day should suffice.
Visit the vet regularly during her pregnancy so that your expectant mom can be given some deworming medicine to protect the puppies from these parasites. This way, you'll have an idea of how many puppies your pit bull is expecting.
Preparing for pit bull birth
To prepare for your pit bull dog to give birth, you'll need to set up a whelping box. You can purchase these in pet supply stores or use a children's plastic pool. Line it with newspapers and soft mats. Have several towels on hand to rub the puppies when they come out.
Prior to going into labor, your dog's appetite will decrease. She may vomit, and her temperature will drop several degrees within 12 to 24 hours of giving birth. She'll also begin the process of nesting in the whelping box. Labor usually lasts anywhere from one to 24 hours in total for all of the puppies.
Pit bull labor complications
Ideally, your pit bull will give birth to a healthy litter of puppies, but you may need to help remove the placenta from each pup if the mom isn't licking it off. You might also need to help clip and tie off the umbilical cords if mom isn't able to do so. In general, expect the birthing process to last around one hour for each puppy expected.
If you notice that more than two hours have gone by and all of the puppies haven't come out, it's time to contact the vet. You'll also want to look for any green discharge or signs that the mother dog is in distress, like shaking, trembling, or extreme weakness. Keep track of the placentas as well because if they haven't all come out, it could indicate a problem that requires veterinary attention. Finally, ensure that all of the puppies are nursing properly.
- American Kennel Club: Dog Pregnancy: Signs, Care, and Preparing for Puppies
- Gestation Calculator: American Pit Bull Pregnancy Calendar Calculator
- Dogell: American Pit Bull Terrier Information & Dog Breed Facts
- Sun Gazing: Pitbull Was Pregnant But Refused To Birth Her Litter! The Vet Was Stunned When He Saw THIS On Her Ultrasound!
- PitBulls.org: A Guide to the Stages of Pit Bull Puppy Development
- American Kennel Club: How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?