Just like human beings, female dogs can also get pregnant and they can get pregnant only if they have mated while they were in heat. The estrous period that is the heat period is when dogs mate and the first estrous cycle that female dogs get for the first time is when they are between 6 to 12 months of age. The estrous cycle consists of 4 stages, the first one known as the proestrus cycle where you will see vaginal bleeding and even the vulva swell up. In this phase, the dogs are attracted to the female dogs but the female dog does not mate yet.
The next phase that is the estrus cycle lasts anything between 4 to 13 days and during this period the male dog mates with the female dog. There is no blood test or urine test that can confirm your dog is pregnant and your doctor can diagnose the same by feeling the abdomen and this is possible only in between the 26th and 35th day after breeding. Dog gestation period lasts anything between 60 to 64 days or about 9 weeks. You will know that your dog is pregnant as the initial signs show a considerable loss in appetite, lack of energy most of the times and lowered activity, growing nipples and a lot of changes in behavior where your dog might become extremely affectionate or want to be left alone.
Eventually these signs change during the later stages of dog pregnancy period an show an increase in appetite and weight gain by around the first month of pregnancy. Pregnant dog care is very important to ensure that your dog as well as her baby is in the best of health. The food consumption of your dog increases to a great extent towards the end of pregnancy and thus, you need to make sure that all her nutritional needs are met. The amount of food intake by your dog is highest while she has given birth. During the first 4 weeks of gestation, you can give your dog normal quantities of food that she generally eats along with tons of water that is accessible by her at all times. There are a number of dog pregnancy problems that can occur if proper care is not taken and thus, dogs need that extra attention during this period and for this purpose it is essential that you also visit a veterinarian on a regular basis.