When a dog goes into estrus, the period of time when she ovulates, she can become pregnant after mating only once with another dog. A pooch in estrus who mates with another dog won't always get pregnant, but the possibility does exist.
Estrus and Pregnancy
Your pup experiences estrus once she reaches sexual maturity, which can be as young as 5 months of age, according to the VCA Animal Hospitals website. A dog then goes into estrus around every six months or so. During the period of estrus, which lasts two to three weeks, your pup becomes receptive to sexually mature male dogs and can become pregnant if she mates with one. Because a male dog's sperm can survive for up to one week in your dog's reproductive tract, even if she doesn't become immediately pregnant, she could become pregnant within a few days after mating occurs. A dog will show signs of pregnancy within three to four weeks of mating.
While you can keep your pup away from male dogs to prevent her from becoming pregnant, accidents can happen and your pup may even try to escape to mate. The only full-proof way to prevent your pup from going into estrus and becoming pregnant is to have her spayed. The spaying procedure involves the removal of her reproductive organs. You can have your pooch spayed as young as 2 months old, as long as she's at least 2 pounds in size, recommends the SpayFIRST website.
By Susan Paretts
VCA Animal Hospitals: Estrus Cycles in Dogs
SpayFIRST: How Early can My Cat or Dog Get Pregnant?
WebMD: Pregnancy Symptoms in Dogs
2ndchance.info: Breeding and Caring For Your Pregnant Dog
petMD: Breeding Timing in Dogs
About the Author
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.