Pregnancy Stages in Dogs

A dog's pregnancy lasts only nine weeks but can be divided into three stages based on what the dog is experiencing, much like human pregnancy. If you have a pregnant dog, communicate with your veterinarian as soon as you expect that she may be pregnant to avoid health complications for either her or her puppies.

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Dog pregnancy can be divided into stages.
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Stage One: Weeks 1-3

During the first three weeks, it may be difficult to tell your dog is pregnant. It is important to visit your veterinarian during this stage.

Stage Two: Weeks 4-6

At this time, you will notice your dog putting on weight, and her mammary glands will grow. Her interest in food will increase. Keep exercising her and increase her food as much as she needs. She needs to maintain her health and strength during this stage.

Stage Three: Weeks 7-9

During this time, your dog will start to produce milk, and she will have obvious abdominal growth. Make sure to visit your veterinarian during this time in case there are problems with the pregnancy.


There are also three stages of delivery. During the first, your dog will become restless and will hunt for a place to deliver. Her contractions begin during the second. You will see a green sac of fluid and then the puppies will begin to appear. They can be born either head or rear first. The mother usually will break the sac and clean the puppies herself, but you may need to intervene if it takes too long. During the final stage, she will rest as her contractions end. During this time, she will expel the placenta.