Ways to Stop Pregnancy in Dogs

By Lee Morgan

Canine pregnancy often leads to unwanted litters of puppies that contribute to an already overwhelming overpopulation of dogs. Animal shelters stay packed to capacity because of the reproduction habits of dogs and their owners' inability to keep it in check. With some preparation and knowledge on the subject, dog owners should be able to keep their dogs from becoming pregnant or know the options for stopping the pregnancy if it happens accidentally.

Spay Surgery

Spaying female dogs is the most efficient way of stopping the potential for pregnancy. This surgery involves a veterinarian removing the ovaries and uterus of the dog. This procedure makes it impossible for the dog to become pregnant and is recommended, along with neutering, to all pet owners who are not planning to breed their animals.

In the event that the female is already pregnant, spaying terminates the pregnancy by default. When the uterus is removed, the developing embryos are also removed and die, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center website.


For dogs that owners wish to breed in the future, but have become pregnant accidentally, abortion is an option. This method of stopping pregnancy in dogs usually involves an injection of medications during the second trimester that will disrupt the hormones necessary to sustain pregnancy. The procedure is likely to hospitalize the animal for five to seven days, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center website.

The use of dexamethasone, a steroid hormone, can successfully be used to stop pregnancy, as well, but does not require a hospital stay for the animal. Side effects of this type of abortion include excessive thirst, panting, excessive urination and incontinence.


If the cost of medical care to prevent pregnancy in a dog is problem, there is a near foolproof way to prevent it that is absolutely free. Isolate the female animal from the male entirely. This can be accomplished by placing them in a kennel while they are in heat, keeping them indoors or enclosed in a fenced-in yard. If the male is unable to reach the female (and he will try) then there is obviously no fear of pregnancy.

Doggie Panties

Doggie panties are a commercial product sold in pet stores that may be the answer to your problems, although it is not as trustworthy as other methods. These garments are designed to fit like a diaper on female dogs. Their primary function is to prevent mess from menstrual bleeding in house dogs, but it also blocks access for the male. However, these cloth garments are far from foolproof and may be torn away by a particularly determined stud.