Pregnancy Related Dog Questions

Litter of sleeping pups

Questions about dog pregnancy are fairly common. Is my dog pregnant or having a false pregnancy? What can I do about an unplanned breeding or an unwanted litter? See the Dog Expert's advice for several visitors.

My Dog Might Be Pregnant


I have a Jack Russell bitch who is currently in season. She started to bleed around the May 28, and has now stopped bleeding, but she is still swollen. On June 12, 14 days into her cycle, I let her out in to the local fields on her own. She was gone for a while, and now I'm scared that she may have mated, and I don't want pups this time.

She has mated before but the breeding didn't take. The last time she would not accept a male after ten days into her season. Could you give me some advice please?

~~ Llinos

Expert Reply

Hi Llinos,

Turning your dog loose in a field on her own during the fertile portion of her season could very likely result in an unplanned pregnancy if there were any males around. Females should be watched closely during the entire heat cycle to ensure an unwanted breeding does not take place.

As for her previous mating, a bitch will seldom be ready to accept a breeding before ten days, so you may not have been able to tell the exact date she came into season. Some bitches keep themselves extremely clean, and it's hard to tell when they come in.

First, I recommend you take her to your vet for an examination, and explain the circumstances. Second, heed this experience, and keep her confined during her next season unless you decide to carry out a planned breeding.

Could Chihuahua Be Pregnant?


I have a question. I think my Chihuahua might be pregnant, but I'm not sure. Her stomach has gotten kind of big, and I'm fairly sure she doesn't eat that much. She's been really lazy lately, and her nipples have grown little lumps beneath. Her stomach is really hard, and she cried when I squeezed it today.

Can you help me on this one?

~~Joshua Geese

Expert Reply

Hi Joshua,

First of all, please don't squeeze your bitch's stomach anymore because you may injure her and/or any potential pups.

The changes you're describing do sound like classic pregnancy changes, but I'd like you to confirm this with your vet. Do you keep a male dog on the premises and do you have an approximate date the breeding might have possibly taken place?

Sometimes a bitch will go through a false pregnancy even if she was never bred, and the changes will appear quite like the real thing until the due date comes and goes. If your bitch did get bred, your vet will be able to help you figure out a ballpark due date, and provide prenatal vitamins to help mom and pups get the nutritional support they need.

Late Cycle Breeding

Hi There!

I have a 18-month-old Alaskan Malamute that recently got mounted by my neighbor's Border Collie. This obviously shouldn't have happened, and I am really upset about not being able to stop it in time. It only took two seconds of my not paying attention.

My dog was at the very end of her heat cycle; she had already been bleeding exactly 26 days. I made my neighbor forcibly remove her dog from mine, so I'm wondering whether she might be pregnant.

I did not have her spayed when she was younger in the hopes of letting her have a litter of Malamutes. I am not interested in bring more mixed breeds into the world that won't be able to find homes.

So, if she does end up pregnant, and I'm just assuming she is, is it safe to spay her? If so, how long could I wait to do so? I am hoping that I could at least wait until they can do a pregnancy test at about twenty days. Is that safe?

Thank you so much~~ Leah

Expert Reply

Hi Leah,

Actually, 26 days is rather late in the cycle, so there's a chance she may not have been sending eggs down anymore. She also wasn't receptive to the male, so she might well have been past the point of getting pregnant. I hope neither of the dogs sustained any damage when they were pulled apart. That was a risky move, especially if they were already tied.

That said, you have a couple of options. As you said, you can have your vet check her for pregnancy. If she is pregnant, you can have her spayed, but you should discuss the risks with your vet. The procedure is more complicated when dogs are in season or pregnant.

Your vet may also recommend giving her a hormone shot to help her abort any embryos.

Is Garlic Okay for Pregnant Bitches?


I was told garlic powder would repel fleas, so I have given it to my dogs for a while and they haven't had any fleas. My bitch may be pregnant, so I'd like to know if the garlic could have any adverse effect on her. I'm giving all my dogs the garlic powder made for human consumption, not the horse garlic powder.

~~ Gary

Expert Reply

Hi Gary,

The powdered garlic shouldn't cause any problems as long as you use it in moderation. There is some debate about whether garlic is safe for dogs, but it seems to be raw garlic that can cause problems for some pets. Powdered garlic is a part of many dog food formulas and supplements, yet there have been no mass problems reported as there were during the recent dog food recall. Many Brewer's yeast canine supplements contain garlic powder and don't seem to produce any ill effects in dogs.

If you still have any concerns over using powdered garlic, don't hesitate to run it by your vet.

Thanks for your question, and best wishes for a healthy mom and litter.

~~ Kelly

Is This Pregnancy Normal?

Hi, I believe that my bitch is pregnant. All the signs are there, but I do have one question. My bitch seems to have a lot of discharge. Is this normal for a pregnant dog?

~~ Billy

Expert Reply

Hi Billy,

A slight amount of clear discharge would be considered normal during a pregnancy, especially as whelping time draws near. If your bitch isn't close to delivering, the discharge could be a sign of a urinary tract or brucellosis infection. In this case, it would be a good idea to take her to your vet and allow him/her to culture the discharge for diagnostic purposes.

A urinary tract infection is common after breeding and is fairly easy to treat with an antibiotic. A brucellosis infection is much more serious, and can cause a spontaneous abortion. Either way, it's worth having your bitch checked out unless she is just a few days away from delivering.

Thanks for your question, and I hope that all goes well.

~~ Kelly

Is It a Real or False Pregnancy?

I think my dog might be pregnant. She and my male were together, but I didn't think she was in heat. Her appetite has dropped, and she sleeps a lot. It has been eight weeks since she may have been bred. Her nipples are crusty like they may be leaking, but she doesn't seem much fatter. Could she be pregnant?

~~ Susan

Expert Reply

Hi Susan,

Although I can't confirm if your dog is pregnant, there could be a couple of things going on.

First, if your bitch was bred then she would be due anytime. I'd prepare a place for her to have the pups just in case and keep a very close eye on her. If she just has one or two pups tucked up under the ribs, then she might not look significantly bigger, but this would depend a lot on her size and breed.

Second, there's a possibility that she's going through a false pregnancy. She would display the symptoms that you're seeing, but if this is the case she'll get over it naturally and there's nothing you need to do.

Watch her carefully and check back with me if you need more help.

Thanks for your question~~ Kelly

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