How long is a dog pregnant?

Our question this week was:

How long is a dog pregnant? And how can you tell?

Answer

The average canine pregnancy lasts approximately 64 to 66 days. Pregnancy diagnosis is usually first reliable around 18 to 19 days of gestation, depending on the method employed. Abdominal ultrasound can detect fetuses within 16 to 20 days of gestation; fetal heartbeat can be detected around 23 to 25 days. After day 28, the uterus will become too large to allow accurate identification of individual fetuses by hand. The hormone relaxin can be measured in your dog's blood to determine if she's pregnant, but this measurement is only accurate after 30 to 35 days of gestation.

The fetuses will grow most rapidly during the third trimester; and when you are more likely to see weight gain and the abdomen starting to expand.

Our question this week came from Tiffany, in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

Dr. Debra

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