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False Pregnancy in Dogs (Phantom Pregnancy): How To Identify, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention
Here's a situation : you have a female dog that isn't spayed.
She hasn't had any unsupervised contact with uncastrated male dogs.
She hasn't left your sight in the last months and is certainly not pregnant.
Yet, she acts like she's pregnant.
It's a normal condition called false pregnancy in dogs, and you should know what to do about the symptoms you're seeing.
Typically, female dogs display all the key signs of maternal (mothering) behavior, lethargy, and nausea.
They will also display some physical signs of pregnancy.
And all this happens following their heat cycle (estrus).
Do not worry – what your dog is experiencing is Pseudocyesis , commonly known as a phantom pregnancy, false pregnancy, or just pseudo-pregnancy in dogs.
As unusual as it may seem, it often happens in unsprayed and intact (virgin) female dogs.
If your female dog starts experiencing Pseudocyesis, keep calm and take her to your veterinarian.
A proper understanding of pseudo-pregnancy and a timely visit to the vet are the best things you can do for an ideal, clean resolution to the whole situation.
RELATED: How to Tell If Your Dog Is Pregnant
How to Identify False Pregnancy in Dogs (Pseudocyesis or phantom pregnancy)
Symptoms of False Pregnancy in Dogs
What should you expect when your dog is experiencing Pseudocyesis?
As the name suggests, phantom pregnancy symptoms in unspayed female dogs are almost identical to those of a true pregnancy.
Depression – your dog has suddenly become much more lethargic and withdrawn. It has much less enthusiasm for play and walks and displays general apathy.
Anxiety – she is more easily startled and feels much more uneasy.
Restlessness – your dog can't seem to find a place to sit, she constantly changes positions and even whines quite a lot.
Nesting behavior – if your dog just destroyed a blanket or a roll of paper and formed a nest in some corner of the house, then she is nesting for the puppies she feels are coming.
Digging – a more specific side-effect of her nesting behavior, your dog might start digging, or at least try to, in order to prepare a nest for her non-existing puppies.
Mothering – as in actually pregnant dogs, dogs with phantom pregnancy can sometimes display maternal behavior towards a stuffed toy, a pillow or a shoe. They would take such an object to the prepared “nest”, and try to cuddle and nurture it. This happens sometimes even to pregnant dogs when the mothering instincts kick in before the actual birth.
Excessive grooming – a part of the mothering instincts of dogs can sometimes be the overly active self-nursing. Your dog may start taking some extra care of her coat and her belly.
Aggression – not uncommon sign of pregnancy and phantom pregnancy in dogs, can be aggression towards other dogs and people, and even towards you.
Mammary glands enlargement – as in an actual pregnancy, the mammary glands of a dog with a false pregnancy can often fill with milk in preparation for puppies.
Mammary glands secretion – sometimes, the mammary glands of your dog can even start secreting milk.
Abdominal distention – an enlargement of a swelling in the abdomen is not uncommon in either an actual pregnancy, or a false one.
Weight loss – usually out of depression and anxiety , your dog may start eating less and as a result – lose weight.
Weight gain – other times, in preparation for the birth (and in absence of a depression or anxiety) your dog may start to eat more and gain weight.
Nausea and vomiting – typical pregnancy signs in not even just dogs.
Lethargy and an overall lack of energy.
A vaginal discharge of mucoid fluids is often sometimes seen.
Going into labor – yes, a false pregnancy in dogs can even trigger contractions, even though there are no puppies to be given birth to.
A dog's pseudo-pregnancy can be virtually identical to an actual pregnancy. The best way to be sure is to pay close attention to your dog while they're in heat .
Be observant of her contact with other dogs during this period (or prevent them altogether if you don't want her to get pregnant right now).
If you're certain that she hasn't had contact with male dogs during her heat, then her pregnancy signs are actually symptoms of a false pregnancy .
Regardless, when you notice pregnancy signs in unspayed dogs, a vet visit is always strongly advised.
Either she is pregnant and your vet will conclusively determine that and give you tips for how to deal with the dog's pregnancy and upcoming birth, or the dog is experiencing a false pregnancy.
In the case of the latter, your vet will also be the best equipped person to deal with the situation.
Primary Causes of False Pregnancy in Dogs
A hormonal imbalance or hormonal fluctuations usually cause a dogs' false pregnancy.
It is far from uncommon in unspayed female dogs, especially in intact ones.
What happens is that during their heat cycle their progesterone levels increase drastically.
This continues while heat lasts, but the progesterone levels drop once it's over.
Once this is over, however, another hormone – prolactin – jumps up due to the progesterone fluctuation and rapidly produces in the dog's body.
This rapid production of prolactin triggers most of the physical changes in the animal's body.
And once these changes start occurring, your dog decides she is pregnant and exhibits many behavioral symptoms.
You can hardly blame her, as the symptoms mentioned above are often convincing enough to fool even expert dog breeders , let alone the dog herself.
False pregnancies typically occur between 4 and 6 weeks after heat, which is required for the hormonal imbalance to kick in.
Most of the time, this condition is harmless, and the symptoms disappear, never to happen again.
This is especially true if you are certain your pup hasn't had any contact with males, and you can simply wait it out.
Sometimes the symptoms can be more intense and persistent, even to contractions. If this happens – or even before that – pay a visit to your veterinarian, and they will sort things out.
Health Related Causes of Phantom Pregnancy in Dogs
False pregnancies are usually harmless and rarely are due to a more concerning, underlying cause.
However, this can be the case too.
Hypothyroidism is a dysfunction in the animal's thyroid gland that can cause false pregnancy in dogs.
As in humans, this gland is responsible for the production of the hormone thyroxin – the hormone that controls the body's metabolism and the rate at which the body burns calories.
Hypothyroidism is a nasty condition in both dogs and humans. One of its rarer yet possible side effects is an increased production of the hormone prolactin , the same hormone that causes phantom pregnancy in dogs.
Certain dog breeds are more predisposed to hypothyroidism than others:
- Siberian Huskies
- Chinese Shar-Peis
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Border Collies
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
Next potential cause is mastitis which is an infection of the mammary glands , particularly the milk ducts, leading to swelling.
Typically, this condition occurs in dogs that are actually pregnant while they are going through the physical changes of pregnancy.
In rare cases, mastitis can happen without a pregnancy, and it can lead to a swelling of the mammary glands.
This swelling can fool your pup that she's pregnant, triggering many other symptoms of a phantom pregnancy.
Mastitis is an annoying condition which can have problematic results if left untreated. This is why you should always pay close attention to your dog's general health, with or without signs of a pregnancy.
As with the mastitis, cancer of the mammary glands can lead to a swelling and cause false pregnancy in dogs.
Of course, dog breast cancer is a much more worrisome condition than mastitis or a simple false pregnancy in dogs, which is all the more reason to take your pooch to a veterinarian immediately if you notice any inflammation or lumps near the mammary glands.
A uterus infection , organ swelling , or fluid accumulation can all lead to abdominal enlargement.
This is one of the main physical symptoms of a pregnancy or of a false pregnancy in dogs.
As above, this can trick your female dog into thinking that she is pregnant and lead to other symptoms if you don't seek veterinary help immediately.
RELATED: How Long Are Dogs Pregnant?
How Vets Diagnose False Pregnancy in Dogs
How do vets diagnose phantom pregnancies if the symptoms are so convincing?
At first, they will likely ask for a detailed report of all the behavioral symptoms your dog has been displaying and what has happened during her heat.
To help your vet, be prepared to answer these questions.
Once this is done your vet will also likely perform a series of physical tests, including:
- a physical exam
- a biochemistry profile
- a urinalysis
- an abdominal x-ray
- an ultrasound
After all necessary tests are conducted, the vet will either diagnose your dog with one of the more unfortunate and rare causes of false pregnancy and start a treatment for those, or diagnose your dog with a standard false pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations and start a treatment for that.
Treatments for Dog's False Pregnancy
When discussing a standard pseudo-pregnancy in dogs due to hormonal fluctuations, the treatment vets will often suggest is “do nothing.”
If the symptoms are mild and there are no dangerous underlying causes, dog phantom pregnancy will pass by itself and likely never happen again.
In the meantime, do not make the situation worse.
Many dog owners try to help their pets somehow (and some websites falsely advise such attempts).
They will do warm compresses to mitigate milk production; they will try and wrap their dog tightly to minimize the messy effects of lactation, and so on.
Measures such as these are very ill-advised , not only due to the discomfort they can bring to your female dog but also because they can further accelerate pregnancy symptoms.
Such methods may stimulate the mammary glands to produce more milk, which in turn can lead to an inflammation or mastitis .
When the symptoms are more severe, some things can be done.
For example, an Elizabethan collar is a good option if your dog licks its teats intensely.
It isn't very enjoyable to the dog, but it will stop the licking without touching, pressing or warming the mammary glands and thus won't stimulate further production.
For anxious dogs, vets may prescribe diuretics and/or mild sedatives . These can calm your dog down and speed up her recovery process.
If the lactation is too severe, a diet change can also be an option, such as not feeding her for 6-10 hours a night for several nights, which may quickly stop the milk production.
Giving your dog a little less water can also help with that.
It's nothing drastic since you don't want to harm, malnourish, or dehydrate your pet.
If you are unsure of your ability to manage such a diet properly, it's always a good idea to consult a veterinarian.
When your dog is nesting and mothering, it's a good idea to limit her access to toys, pillows, shoes, and other items to which she displays her mothering instincts.
This will irritate your dog, but it won't cause her any physical discomfort and hasten her psychological and physiological recovery.
Your vet may also suggest drug therapy . Prescription medications can be used to decrease milk production.
Other drugs may also be prescribed but do not start shopping for them yourself.
Simple natural supplements can also sometimes be used to ease your dog's recovery process, but even with them, it's advised to consult a vet first.
Lastly, your vet will likely advise you to spay your dog about a month after her phantom pregnancy (not during).
Suppose you have no plans for an actual pregnancy.
In that case, this is usually the best course of action, as it eliminates the possibilities of false pregnancy and other more dangerous conditions down the line.
How to Prevent Dog Phantom Pregnancy
Since phantom pregnancies are typical because of simple hormonal fluctuations, you can't ever guarantee that it will never happen.
Since it can happen to any unspayed female dog, you can spay your dog (if you have no plans for an actual pregnancy) to prevent future episodes.
Fortunately, it is usually a mild and inconsequential problem, but an unspayed adult dog that isn't getting pregnant regularly can develop dangerous conditions.
Other than that, pay close attention to your dog's overall health and behavior.
Do not subject her to unhealthy diets. Ensure that she isn't malnourished and that her living conditions are good.
Unacceptable living conditions can easily lead to an infection of the uterus or the mammary glands.
READ NEXT: The Best Puppy Milk Replacers for Puppies or Pregnant Dogs
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- No AI Clause
Signs of Phantom Pregnancy in Dogs and How to Address It
by AmeriVet | Nov 23, 2022 | Blog
By: Brian C. Hurley, DVM, at AmeriVet Veterinary Partners
Dog Parents may be unaware that their beloved female pet may experience what is called a “phantom pregnancy.” Phantom pregnancy is also known as a false pregnancy, pseudo-pregnancy, or pseudocyesis.
This condition occurs when intact (not spayed) females start to mimic the physical and behavioral signs of pregnancy and can follow a normal heat cycle.
The exact reason these hormonal changes occur in a non-pregnant dog is unknown. When a healthy, intact female experiences her heat cycle, her ovaries will produce hormones whether the female is pregnant or not. These hormones prepare the uterus to receive the fetuses and maintain the pregnancy. The increase in circulating hormones causes changes that mimic pregnancy. If the female is not pregnant, the hormone concentration drops around four to six weeks later. This decline in hormone levels sends a signal to the body that can sometimes stimulate mammary gland development and could cause possible milk production.
How to tell if your dog is experiencing a phantom pregnancy
Your dog’s behavior is one of the biggest telltale signs that your pup might be experiencing a phantom pregnancy. Your dog may start acting in a nurturing, motherly way. This is showcased when dogs begin moving bedding around to create a safe den for puppies, known as ‘nesting’. Additionally, dogs tend to become more affectionate to their toys and may even act aggressive or protective around them. Remember that if you have a household with small children, it is important to keep contact with your dog limited during this time to minimize the possible risk of an accident occurring.
Also, some dogs will exhibit physical signs such as a swollen belly, weight gain, and enlarged mammary glands that may or may not produce milk. Other signs of phantom pregnancy can include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, and restlessness – all of which could also be indicative of other medical issues.
How can you help your pet recover?
In general, if you are certain your female dog has not been with an intact male, there is nothing you need to do except let the phantom pregnancy run its course. This can cause anxiety in some dogs, so be sure to give them extra attention and a little TLC (tender-loving care). Things like taking them for extra walks can help to ease their anxiety, and understanding that the behaviors exhibited are natural versus becoming upset with your pet is also helpful.
It is important to not massage or stimulate the release of milk during this time because that will result in further milk production.
Phantom pregnancy symptoms begin to show two months following the heat cycle. Usually, the symptoms will last a few weeks and can range between four to nine weeks before they dissipate; however, symptoms typically tend to resolve naturally within a 2-3 weeks.
When to consult your veterinarian
Pet parents often will visit their vet for reassurance that their intact female dog is not pregnant. Of course, visiting the vet is unnecessary if your pet has not been around intact males and is healthy otherwise. It is important to let your veterinarian know that your dog is exhibiting phantom pregnancy, even if they do not feel you need to bring them in for a visit.
If they feel a visit is warranted, they may recommend additional testing to ensure there are no underlying medical conditions that could result in these kinds of symptoms. If your dog will not be used for breeding, spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is recommended as this will prevent future episodes from occurring. Your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate timing for surgery.
If your pet is lethargic, not eating, restless, inflamed, has painful mammary glands, or is experiencing anxiety, please get in touch with your veterinarian. While not common, your veterinarian may prescribe medications for anxiety, for the reduction of milk production, or for infections.
Read This Next
Is My Dog Having a Phantom Pregnancy?
If you’re asking yourself ‘Is my dog having a phantom pregnancy?’ then we have all the information that you need to know to work out what might be going on.
Phantom pregnancy, also known as pseudopregnancy or false pregnancy, is a relatively common condition in un-spayed female dogs. It’s thought that about half of all dogs experiencing it during their lifetime.
This can be an upsetting time for the dog and the owner. However, understanding what is happening, the symptoms of false pregnancy in dogs, and why it’s happening, can help you to remain calm if this happens to one of your female dogs.
Our guide provides you with everything that you need to know about phantom pregnancies in dogs. If you need some quick answers you can click on the links below to take you straight to the section that you need information on:
Causes of Phantom Pregnancies in Dogs
Physical Symptoms of a Phantom Pregnancy in Dogs
Behavior changes associated with phantom pregnancies in dogs.
- Can I help my Dog Through a Phantom Pregnancy?
How to Treat a Phantom Pregnancy in Dogs
Preventing phantom pregnancies in dogs, causes of a phantom pregnancy in dogs.
Your female dog has several stages in her reproductive cycle. Then each stage has its own set of accompanying hormones.
During anoestrus your dog is reproductively inactive. The reproductive cycle is effectively resting.
This is the period of time preceding oestrus which lasts for around 9 days. You may notice swelling of the vulva and a bloody discharge. As a result of this, your dog may frequently lick her back end.
Oestrus is when your dog is more commonly known as being ‘in heat’. As with proestrus this phase of the cycle also lasts around 9 days. The vulva discharge normally becomes clear during this period of time but you will see continuation of vulval swelling. Your bitch may also appear to be more restless. It is during oestrus that your dog may become pregnant if she comes into contact with an uncastrated male and is mated. During oestrus your bitch will be highly attractive to male dogs!
A pregnant dog will experience an increase in the hormone Prolactin at this time, whilst production of Progesterone decreases. Prolactin is the hormone largely responsible for the clinical signs of pregnancy. However, even in an un-mated dog, there will be an increase in Prolactin levels (although less than in a pregnant dog). This hormone will prepare the uterus to receive the fetuses and maintain the pregnancy. They continue to be produced until just before the pups are born. This in turn can cause the symptoms associated with phantom pregnancies in dogs.
Changes in Your Dog’s Body
All these changes in a female dog’s body often cause some enlargement of the mammary glands. However, for some, the signs can be more pronounced and lead to a phantom pregnancy (pseudocyesis). As the hormone levels decline in the non-pregnant dog, they send signals to the body. These can then stimulate false labor, mammary gland development, and milk production.
The reason that these hormonal changes occur in the non-pregnant dog is still a mystery. However, it is thought that false pregnancies may be influenced by three different factors:
- the environment in which they live
- the nutrition they receive
- the breed of dog
Dachshunds for example have a higher likelihood of a false pregnancy than many other breeds. Other considerations include the age of the dog and also the number of times she has given birth.
Symptoms of false pregnancies usually begin four to nine weeks following the previous heat period. They also mimic the symptoms of true pregnancy. These symptoms can occur at any age and do not necessarily follow every season that female dogs have.
The severity of the symptoms does vary from dog to dog. They can also vary from one cycle to the next, even in the same dog.
Swelling of the Mammary Glands
The first physical symptom of a phantom pregnancy that you might notice is usually the swelling of the dog’s mammary glands. This might also be accompanied by some secretions.
This is a common symptom displayed by many bitches following their season and, on its own, is not indicative of a phantom pregnancy. Usually, the secretions are watery or milky, but they may also be brownish in color. Any other color could be an indication that your dog has an infection and requires veterinary treatment.
You may also see some milk production which is quite a common symptom of a false pregnancy in dogs. However, it is important not to try and ‘milk out’ the glands as this will stimulate the production of more secretions.
Loss of Appetite
Another of the signs of a phantom pregnancy in dogs is that they may have a loss of appetite although her belly can swell due to fluid retention. Very occasionally you might see some contractions of the stomach as if she were about to go into labor.
You may also see some milk production. This is quite a common symptom of a false pregnancy in dogs.
The onset of the symptoms of a phantom pregnancy coincides with the time a truly pregnant dog would be showing the same signs. With these all being about preparation for the arrival of her litter.
This means that it is not possible to determine if a pregnancy is real or phantom, just from the clinical signs. Unless you are 100% certain that your dog has not been near any uncastrated male dogs, you should get a vet to check. They will be able to give you a definite answer through a blood test or by a scan.
Do be aware that not all dogs experiencing a false pregnancy will show the same symptoms. So if you have your suspicions and even if they are only showing a few of the symptoms then it’s recommended to get them checked out by the vet.
Behavioral changes of pseudo-pregnancy include:
- mothering activity
- decreased interest in physical activity
- occasionally some aggression.
Some affected dogs will show signs of a false labor and then protectively guard toys or other small objects.
Behavioral changes are often seen in phantom pregnancies and may be evident before the physical signs. Hormones affect behavior just as much as they impact on physical attributes.
Your dog may try to nest. They will do this by building a little den in a quiet place. They’re also likely to shred potential bedding material like newspapers. She may exhibit some digging behaviour as she tries to make a suitable place to give birth. She may also get very attached to her toys or to other inanimate objects. You could also see some uncharacteristic nervousness or even aggression towards other dogs.
Other behavioral symptoms of false pregnancies may include your dog seeming rather lethargic. This might be down to the loss of appetite and they may also seem rather depressed. Some dogs become more restless or more clingy. So they will want to follow you around the house at every opportunity. Being aware of your dog’s normal behavior means that you will be able to identify any behavioral changes more easily.
How Can I Help My Dog Through a False Pregnancy?
It can be helpful to make sure your dog can’t lick her own mammary glands if they are secreting. When she does this it will stimulate even more milk production. Using an Elizabethan collar or just having her wear a T-shirt can prevent this. You should also be careful not to rub that area yourself when petting or grooming your dog.
Sometimes treatment with diuretics is recommended in order to reduce milk production or relieve fluid retention. These can be especially useful if the symptoms are starting to cause the female dog distress.
Be sympathetic and gentle with your dog. She will be feeling confused and out of sorts. So, make sure you give her space or affection – whichever she prefers. Sometimes extra walks can help to settle restless dogs and give her something else to think about.
Be Understanding about Nursing Needs
Try to be sympathetic about her need to nest and nurse inanimate objects. You may end up losing your newspaper before you had chance to read it, or find your socks have become surrogate puppies, but be gentle and understanding with your dog. Keep things that you don’t want to lose out of her reach. Treat her kindly as she makes her way through this puzzling time.
Some people advocate removing the surrogate ‘puppies’. However, you may find that this causes your dog more distress. So unless she has decided to nurse something inconvenient like the TV remote or your new shoes you should probably let her keep them.
She will lose interest once the false pregnancy is over. If you do remove them whilst she still thinks they are her babies then you run the risk of provoking an aggressive response. After all, it’s only normal for a Mom to want to look after her offspring and protect them. At times vets will recommend the use of a medication to help a dog who is becoming very distressed, to be calmer.
Most dogs will not need any treatment. The symptoms will disappear as the hormone levels return to normal. This happens naturally as part of the bitch’s reproductive cycle. This should take around 1-3 weeks.
However, in some cases, the symptoms can be severe and your dog may appear visibly distressed or even depressed. In this case your vet can offer medication that may help to alleviate the false pregnancy. This is done by inhibiting the action of the Prolactin hormone.
The most common medication used is Cabergoline. This resolves the symptoms of a phantom pregnancy within 5-7 days after starting treatment however your vet will be able to provide more details on its use. The drug can cause some side effects including nausea and some dogs can also begin vomiting. However, it is advisable to continue the course for up to 6 days if possible.
There is always the possibility that your dog is unwell with different conditions. So a vet visit is recommended so that they can check your dog over for other conditions which have similar symptoms. These can include:
- problems with the thyroid gland
- a benign tumor of the pituitary gland.
A serious illness which could be mistaken for a phantom pregnancy is pyometra. This is a life-threatening infection in the womb. Emergency treatment is needed for this condition, so if you are in any doubt, do not hesitate to take your dog to the vet. From the start of the season through to the end of phantom pregnancy can be a period of up to 12 weeks.
Raspberry Leaf Tablets
Many people recommend the use of raspberry leaf to prevent phantom pregnancies. Raspberry Leaf Tablets are a licensed veterinary herbal medicine that is authorized to prevent a phantom pregnancy in dogs. These are usually given at a rate of 1 tablet per 10kg body weight twice a day from when you see the very first symptoms of the false pregnancy.
If your dog is already going through a phantom pregnancy then is too late for Raspberry Leaf Tablets. Then a different homeopathic remedy, Pulsatilla 15C, can often be helpful. This is given every 2 hours for the first 12 hours and then four times a day until the symptoms start to reduce.
The only permanent treatment to prevent phantom pregnancy is spaying your female dog. This involves the complete removal of the ovaries and womb. In turn, this prevents the production of troublesome hormones. It also protects your dog against other conditions such as pyometra, tumors, and infections of the womb. It will also reduce the chances of some other illnesses like cancer of the mammary glands.
You will typically have to wait until the mid-point of the reproductive cycle to have your dog spayed. This is to give her hormones a chance to level out. Having her spayed when her hormone levels are still elevated can cause the symptoms to carry on for a while. Do chat with your vet for more advice.
However, if you want to breed your dog, there is really nothing that can be done to prevent a phantom pregnancy. There is no suggestion that female dogs who have phantom pregnancies will be less likely to have real pregnancies. That said, it is thought that once a dog has had one phantom pregnancy she is likely to have more. What is important is that you keep a close on your dog and at the first signs of a false pregnancy that you get them to the vet.
Pregnancy in dogs can come with lots of risks and huge responsibilities for the well-being of the female dog. Then there can be the stress from the rehoming of the pups to suitable homes. If you don’t intend to breed from your dog then spaying her will remove any possibility of phantom pregnancy. It will also reduce the risk for a number of other serious conditions, giving both you and her a less stressful life.
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What is phantom pregnancy in dogs?
9 signs of phantom pregnancy in dogs, when does phantom pregnancy in dogs happen, how long does a phantom pregnancy last in dogs, what causes phantom pregnancy in dogs, what to do when the phantom pregnancy symptoms appear, how is false pregnancy in dogs diagnosed, how can i find out if my dog is actually pregnant or not, is there a treatment for phantom pregnancy in dogs, distract them , gently remove toys she’s mothering, help avoid overstimulation of the mammary glands, treatment from the vet, is spaying a good solution for phantom pregnancies in dogs.
Phantom Pregnancy in Dogs: Symptoms and Causes
Phantom pregnancies in dogs are very common, with symptoms from mothering behaviour and lactation, to lethargy and vomiting. Find out more about signs, causes and possible treatment.
Has your dog started acting like they are pregnant, mothering their toys and creating a nesting space? Have you noticed mammary development and even milk from their nipples? Some female dogs may display signs equivalent to morning sickness; with lethargy and dog vomiting . If your dog has not been mated, this may leave you scratching your head as to why they appear pregnant. If they have been mated, before you get too excited about visions of cute puppies, you need to make sure it’s not a false or phantom pregnancy.
Read on to discover what the signs of phantom dog pregnancy are, how a false pregnancy gets diagnosed and when medical treatment is necessary.
Phantom pregnancy in dogs refers to a condition where a female dog exhibits symptoms of pregnancy (like mothering behaviour after heat) but is not actually pregnant. This is also known as false pregnancy in dogs or pseudo-pregnancy and can affect any type of female dog, regardless of age or breed.
You can expect to see many of the same symptoms of an actual pregnancy to manifest in the case of a false pregnancy. Although the signs vary between individuals, these are the main physiological and behavioural changes to look out for:
- Mammary development
- Enlarged belly
- Loss of appetite
- Being protective of small inanimate objects
- Restlessness or aggression
Phantom pregnancies in dogs can happen after heat (i.e., the period where they’re most fertile.) However, it does not necessarily happen after every heat and can differ for each dog and their cycle.
The symptoms of a phantom pregnancy most commonly occur 6-8 weeks after your dog finishes her season, and should resolve within 2-3 weeks. Once your dog has had a false pregnancy after a season, it is very likely to recur at each subsequent season.
After a female dog has a season, she experiences a prolonged peak of the ‘pregnancy hormone’ progesterone lasting 8-9 weeks, whether she is pregnant or not. As levels of progesterone decline, levels of a second hormone, prolactin, increase, triggering the physical and psychological symptoms of pregnancy.
In some dogs this may be mild – not enough to notice – but in others the symptoms can be very convincing to both the dog and her owner.
The origins of phantom pregnancy in dogs are thought to be due to the pack behaviour of our domestic dog’s ancestors. All the females in the pack help to rear the family pups and feel motherly towards them, even when they are not their own offspring. This cooperative behaviour is driven by hormones.
Phantom pregnancy in dogs is very common and, if symptoms are behavioural and mild, you can try distracting your dog with increased play and walks. While they’re distracted you can remove any toys they have adopted as surrogate babies, being careful not to cause distress. You should make an appointment with your vet if the symptoms persist or are severe. Remember that non-specific signs such as vomiting and lethargy may also be due to other diseases and illnesses. It’s also important to rule out a true pregnancy as your dog may have had an illicit mating!
To diagnose false pregnancy your vet will take a history about your dog’s recent seasons and any matings. They will examine your dog for abdominal swelling, mammary growth and lactation.
If you don’t think your dog is having a phantom pregnancy and suspect they might be pregnant, take them to the vet. They’ll be able to carry out a blood or urine test and possibly an x-ray or ultrasound to confirm whether it’s a false pregnancy or not.
There is treatment for phantom pregnancy in dogs, depending on the severity of the case. We’ve listed some treatments below:
If your dog is showing mild symptoms of phantom pregnancy, you can provide them with lots of dog exercise to distract them from mothering.
Mild symptoms of mothering can usually be managed by removing toys she is protecting. You’ll need to do this in a non-distressing way by distracting her with a game or a Kong toy and getting someone else to quietly remove the toys she is mothering. It’s important to not punish your dog for mothering.
Your dog may be licking her nipples to increase milk production. This can cause some irritation, and even dog mastitis , so a protective vest may be needed.
In more persistent or severe cases, the vet might recommend a treatment to help restore the hormonal balance.
You should also consider discussing with the vet about spaying your female dog after the false pregnancy has subsided, to prevent recurrence. We have more on this below:
Spaying (ovariectomy or ovariohysterectomy) is a long-term solution that will prevent future episodes of phantom pregnancy. However, a dog should not be spayed during a phantom pregnancy as this can cause the symptoms to persist. The changes that occur to the womb during phantom pregnancies increase the risk of uterine infection (pyometra), which can be life-threatening. If your dog has phantom pregnancies and you are not planning to mate from her, it is advisable to have her spayed to reduce this risk. Other benefits of spaying include reduced risk of developing mastitis, mammary, uterine or ovarian cancer, and removing the possibility of unplanned pregnancies.
Discover more about puppy neutering and spaying from our in-depth article, such as what does the process involve, recovery tips as well as what changes to expect.
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Phantom Pregnancy in Dogs
What is a phantom pregnancy, preventing phantom pregnancies in dogs, when to contact your vet.
- A phantom pregnancy is a condition that can develop after a season, which causes a dog to act and feel pregnant when she isn’t.
- During a phantom pregnancy, most dogs start nesting, behaving differently, and lactating (producing milk).
- Most phantom pregnancies are mild and resolve within a few weeks, but some are more extreme and require treatment from a vet.
- Most dogs that have experienced a phantom pregnancy will continue to have them throughout life unless they are spayed .
A phantom pregnancy (also called false pregnancy/pseudopregnancy) is a condition that can develop after a season , that causes a dog to act and feel pregnant when she isn’t. It’s a very common problem female dogs because after each season, they produce ‘pregnancy hormones’ (regardless of whether they are pregnant or not!), which make some dogs feel pregnant when they aren’t.
Fortunately, in most cases, the symptoms of a pseudopregnancy are mild and resolve in a few weeks, but for some, the symptoms are more extreme and require medical treatment from a vet. It’s important to keep a close eye on your dog if she is having a phantom pregnancy, because in some circumstances, it can cause more serious problems such as mastitis (mammary gland infection) and mammary cancers.
Phantom pregnancies usually develop 6-8 weeks after a season , and last for a few weeks. Symptoms tend to include:
- Swollen mammary glands and milk production (or clear-brown liquid)
- Collecting toys/blankets/clothes
- Mothering a soft toy or another item
- Nervousness and/or aggression
- Reduced appetite
- Mastitis/mammary gland infection (in severe cases)
- Swollen tummy (in more extreme cases)
Before treating a phantom pregnancy, it’s important to consider whether there is any chance your dog could actually be pregnant – if you have any doubt, your vet will be able to run some tests to confirm. Once pregnancy has been ruled out your vet will help you decide on the best treatment plan.
If your dog is only experiencing mild symptoms, treatment may not be necessary, but if she has developed behavioural or mammary problems your vet may advise the following:
Cabergoline is a hormone that stops pregnancy hormones being produced and reduces the symptoms of pseudopregnancy – especially milk production. It’s usually given as a liquid by mouth for 1-2 weeks.
Lots of exercise and play will help distract your dog and reduce the symptoms of her phantom pregnancy.
Prevent overstimulation of the mammary glands
It’s important to prevent your dog licking around her nipples because this is likely to increase her milk production, and could even cause mastitis (infection of the mammary glands). The best way to stop your dog from licking herself, is by using a protective body suit or buster collar .
Remove any toys she is ‘mothering’
If your dog ‘mothering’ her toys or other items, you may need to remove them. It’s likely that your dog will be thinking of these toys as her puppies so you will need to take them away in a non-stressful way so she doesn’t become upset or aggressive. A good way to go about it is to take her out for a walk while someone else removes the toys. If she starts nesting or mothering again, distract her with games, and toys that she is less likely to ‘mother’ such as a filled ‘ Kong ’. Never punish your dog for mothering her toys, she won’t understand because her behaviour is perfectly natural.
The best way to prevent a phantom pregnancy is to spay your dog (most dogs can be spayed at 6 months old).
Contact your vet for advice if you think your dog might be having a phantom pregnancy. Contact them urgently if she appears to be in pain or developing a more serious problem such as mastitis (mammary gland infection).
You know your dog best – always contact your vet if you’re concerned.
Treating the symptoms of a false pregnancy can be expensive so it’s important to speak openly to your vet about your finances, the cost of treatment, as well as what you think is right for your dog. It’s often cheaper to spay your dog than it is to keep treating false pregnancies.
Securing dog insurance when bringing your new furry friend home is crucial. This proactive measure guarantees that you will have the essential financial support to provide the necessary care for your dog.
Published: September 2021
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Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only. Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst.
Phantom Pregnancy in Dogs
This article was written for the United Kingdom market and the advice provided may not be accurate for those in the United States.
What’s a Phantom Pregnancy, and What are the Signs?
How can i tell if my dog is pregnant or having a phantom pregnancy, what should i do if my dog has a phantom pregnancy, what is a persistent phantom pregnancy, can cats have phantom pregnancies.
You’ve probably heard the term phantom pregnancy before. But do you know what it is and how it happens?
Vet Sophie Bell explains more about this condition in dogs, including some telltale signs to watch out for.
Discover how to help support your dog during a phantom pregnancy, and why it’s important to avoid spaying her during this time.
“A phantom pregnancy occurs when hormone levels in an unspayed female dog trick her body into thinking she’s pregnant when she’s really not,” says Sophie.
This can cause physical and behavioral changes that owners may notice in their dogs.
Phantom pregnancies are also sometimes called false pregnancies or pseudopregnancies.
Sophie explains the three different stages of a dog’s season and how these can affect the development of a phantom pregnancy:
Pro-oestrus The hormone estrogen rises, causing a swollen vulva and a bloody discharge. This stage usually lasts nine days on average, but can range from three to 21 days.
Oestrus Ovulation occurs within this stage, when a female dog is considered ‘in season’. She’ll be attractive to male dogs and may actively be looking for a mate when you’re out and about. At this stage, the vulva is still swollen, but any bloody discharge will have stopped. After ovulation, estrogen declines and progesterone starts to rise. Again, this stage usually lasts nine days but can have a range of three to 21 days.
Metoestrus or dioestrus This is the most important stage when it comes to a phantom pregnancy developing. Here, progesterone levels fall and prolactin levels increase, with a peak at 40 to 60 days after ovulation. Prolactin will decline if there’s no viable pregnancy, but this is also the hormone responsible for the development of a phantom pregnancy.
“It’s important to note that all female un-spayed dogs will suffer from a degree of phantom pregnancy as their prolactin levels rise,” says Sophie.
When and how long a phantom pregnancy lasts depends on each dog’s cycle length and how long the prolactin remains in her system, but around three to four weeks is normal. Phantom pregnancies tend to develop within three to 14 weeks after oestrus.
“If a female dog shows no outward clinical signs, we classify it as a covert phantom pregnancy. Females who show obvious clinical signs are classified as having an overt phantom pregnancy,” says Sophie.
Common signs of phantom pregnancy include:
Enlarged mammary glands
Less common signs include:
Vomiting or diarrhoea
An enlarged abdomen can make owners think their dog may be pregnant, but if you know she hasn’t been in contact with any male dogs, a phantom pregnancy is more likely.
You might even notice her nipples starting to leak milk. “This is most likely from the furthest back nipples, nearest the tail,” says Sophie. “If you squeeze the nipples firmly and there’s any sign of either milk or a discharge that doesn’t look like milk, this is indicative of a phantom pregnancy,” says Sophie.
Behavioral signs to watch out for can include:
‘Mothering’ of soft toys or bedding
Female dogs may also carry out destructive behaviors like digging. While some dogs may become more lethargic, others will become more active.
Your dog may also display anxiety, reactivity, and even aggression. Be aware that the strong instinct to mother items, or guard her bed, can make some dogs reactive and more prone to growl or bite.
Some breeds including Pointers, Basset Hounds, Afghan Hounds, Boxers, Dalmatians, and Dachshunds are more likely to suffer from phantom pregnancies.
During the early stages of pregnancy, it can be hard to tell if your dog is actually pregnant or not, especially if she’s been in contact with male dogs. The symptoms of a phantom pregnancy tend to last around three to four weeks.
Your vet will probably confirm a pregnancy using ultrasound or palpation, but these aren’t accurate until after the 25th day of term. By this stage, the symptoms of a phantom pregnancy have usually disappeared.
If you’d like your vet to confirm a pregnancy before the 25th day of term, ask them to do a blood test.
Your first step should be to book your dog in for an examination with your vet. Their diagnosis will be based on the clinical signs, combined with details about when your dog was last in season.
“Depending on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, your vet will likely recommend either a conservative approach or medical treatment,” says Sophie.
A conservative approach involves waiting for your dog’s symptoms to subside, which usually takes around three to four weeks. During this time, there are things you can do to help speed this up, including:
Removing toys she‘s mothering
Using a buster collar to prevent her licking her mammary glands
Temporarily cutting down her meals to help dry up the milk supply
You should always discuss these treatment options with your vet first.
Medical treatment involves using the drug cabergoline, which inhibits the production of prolactin.
The cost of treatment will depend on the size of your dog, how many treatments they need, plus any consultation fees. For a large dog, this could be up to £400, although this may be covered by your dog insurance.
In 2021, we saw 321 claims for phantom pregnancies in dogs, with an average claim cost of £170.34. If it’s a repeated problem for your dog and causes other health problems like pyometra , the cost will be much higher, so you might want to consider spaying.
“While medical treatment may lead to some side effects like anorexia and vomiting, these usually settle down within a couple of days,” says Sophie.
“Don’t risk leaving your dog without any treatment,” says Sophie. “This can cause mastitis if she’s producing a lot of milk with no puppies to feed. Mastitis is painful but also causes inflammation, which can lead to infections.
“Your dog may also lose condition as she burns calories to produce milk. She could also become aggressive and bite through no fault of her own. In some cases, this may lead to the dog being euthanized,” says Sophie.
Spaying and Phantom Pregnancy
During a phantom pregnancy, it’s very important that you don’t spay your dog. That’s because her body will then remain in this state of phantom pregnancy, accompanied by the physical and behavioral signs outlined above. This is known as persistent phantom pregnancy.
If your dog is spayed while she’s suffering from a phantom pregnancy, her symptoms will often continue even after she’s been spayed. This can be a problem for dogs suffering from covert phantom pregnancies, as they won’t have been showing any signs.
After spaying, they may start to show obvious signs of a phantom pregnancy. Sophie says that “these symptoms won’t go away on their own, and it’s important to seek treatment for your dog.”
“These signs can include anxiety and aggressive tendencies, which can even lead to otherwise healthy dogs being euthanized as their behavior doesn’t improve over time,” says Sophie.
The good news is that treatment with cabergoline should resolve this behavior.
To avoid spaying your dog during a covert phantom pregnancy, Sophie advises “making sure you note the date of your dog’s cycle when she first starts bleeding, and when she stops. Make a note of when her vulva has shrunk back to its normal size, plus any behavioral changes.”
Your vet will check for obvious signs like mammary enlargement, but the more information you can provide, the better. If your vet suspects your dog is suffering from a covert phantom pregnancy, they may delay the spay date.
If you suspect your dog was spayed during a phantom pregnancy, you should focus on preparing to support her if she shows signs of aggression. Speak to your vet about the possibility of medical treatment, which could resolve the issue. An animal behaviorist may also be able to help.
Cats can have phantom pregnancies, but they’re a lot less common than in dogs. In fact, if your female cat is unspayed and spends time outdoors, it’s far more likely that she really is pregnant!
During a phantom pregnancy, cats can show the same signs as we’ve covered above for dogs.
If you do suspect your unspayed female cat is suffering from a phantom pregnancy, it’s always best to speak to your vet for advice.
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Emma has written extensively about the environment and health but she has a real passion for pets. She has written articles for The Happy Cat Site, Pet Life Today and Dogsnet, as well as ManyPets.
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Understanding phantom pregnancy in dogs
Philippa Short 20 March 2023 | 4 minutes read
Philippa is a certified dog trainer and behaviourist. Having set up her business Animal Friend in 1997, she believes in taking a kind and holistic approach to dog training. Her passion is helping owners to understand their dogs and increasing the bond between canines and humans.
If you have an unspayed female dog in the family, there’s a chance she could have a phantom pregnancy one day.
Expert dog behaviourist Philippa Short shares what you need to know about recognising, treating, and preventing this common condition.
- An overview of female dog hormones
What is phantom pregnancy in dogs?
- What are the physical symptoms of dog phantom pregnancy? > What are the behavioural signs of dog phantom pregnancy?
How is dog phantom pregnancy diagnosed?
How is dog phantom pregnancy treated, how do you stop your dog having a phantom pregnancy, an overview female dog hormones.
Before we delve into the details of phantom pregnancy, let’s have a quick rundown of your dog’s hormones and how they work.
- Oestrogen – seasonal hormone
- Progesterone – pregnancy hormone
- Prolactin – breastfeeding hormone
When your female pup comes into season:
- They start with high levels of oestrogen
- After ovulation has happened (between days 10 and 18 of the season), progesterone kicks in
- Progesterone peaks 20 days after ovulation
- When progesterone levels fall, prolactin increases
- Prolactin peaks 40-60 days after ovulation and then rapidly drops if there’s no pregnancy
Phantom pregnancy is a condition where your dog feels and acts pregnant without actually being pregnant. It’s also known as a phantom or pseudo pregnancy.
In the wild, phantom pregnancies help female dogs to share the load of child rearing and allows them to wet nurse each other’s young. So if a mother was killed, the rest of the family unit can care for her litter.
Phantom pregnancies often happen six to 12 weeks after a dog’s heat season. This can range from three to 14 weeks depending on the individual pup.
Breeds that are more prone to phantom pregnancies include:
- Afghan Hounds
- Basset Hounds
What are the physical symptoms of dog phantom pregnancy?
Your girl absolutely believes she is pregnant, so the physical symptoms of phantom pregnancy are very similar to those of a normal dog pregnancy :
- Large mammary glands
- Weight gain (thickening through the abdomen)
- Going off her food and/or feeling queasy
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Bad morning sickness (or just a little bit at the beginning)
- Increased hunger
- Drinking and weeing more
- She can even have full lactation
> What are the behavioural signs of dog phantom pregnancy?
Once again, phantom pregnancy behaviour is very similar to that of a real dog pregnancy:
- Nesting – under stairs, under tables, behind sofas, in the bed
- Digging outside or in blankets
- Carrying and hoarding/mothering inanimate objects
- Feeling anxious or worried, sometimes escalating to aggression
- Feeling lethargic or generally unsure within themselves
- Licking, similar to how a mother would clean her litter – her feet, nesting place, the inanimate object “baby”
A phantom pregnancy diagnosis comes from a vet. Blood tests which check your dog’s prolactin levels are unreliable, so your vet will try an ultrasound instead.
They also use the ultrasound to scan her uterus for pyometra, as this can be mistaken for phantom pregnancy.
Signs of pyometra include:
- A swollen abdomen
- Eating more
- Drinking more
- Raised temperature
Your vet will ask about your girl’s seasonal history to know if she’s been mated.
There’s two ways you can treat your dog’s phantom pregnancy – either letting her work through it naturally or using medication.
If you choose the conservative option of letting her work through it naturally, you’ll still need to give a bit of a helping hand.
- Stop her from licking. This stimulates milk production and can lead to mastitis. Using a blow up collar, doughnut collar, or vest can prevent her from licking her mammary glands/teats.
- Take her out of emotional nursing mode (which can keep her hormone levels high). But don’t take her “baby” away in front of your dog, as this may trigger protective behaviour. Instead, use treats to encourage her out for a garden wee or a walk. Then you can go in and remove all of her fake puppies.
You’ll need to take your pup to the vet if you’d like to try medication. They’ll check her over and give her something to help get her through her phantom pregnancy. Your vet may also recommend some diet restrictions to help with stopping milk production.
Not using medication puts your pup at a higher risk of getting mastitis, which can be very painful.
Dogs who have one phantom pregnancy are likely to get them frequently.
The ultimate way to prevent phantom pregnancy is via full spaying (known as an ovariohysterectomy).
But if for any reason you don’t want to spay your girl, there’s natural ways to help prevent phantom pregnancy or ease symptoms. These include:
- Homeopathic or herbal remedies such as raspberry leaf tea or Pulsatilla
- Essential oils like rose otto, rose damascena, and clary sage
Always go to a qualified expert (such as a holistic vet or animal herbalist) before trying any natural remedies.
It’s also important to remember that this approach doesn’t work for every dog. It may prevent phantom pregnancy for some and only ease symptoms for others.
Protect your top girl with flexible dog insurance from Petsure.
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How do i know if my bernese mountain dog is pregnant, quick answer.
Signs of pregnancy in Bernese Mountain Dogs include changes in appetite, behavior, and physical appearance, such as an enlarged abdomen and nipples.
Recognizing pregnancy in bernese mountain dogs.
- Update: 16/01/2023
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Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week by Week Calendar
Want to find out when your pregnant Bernese Mountain Dog will give birth or want to view the Bernese Mountain Dog pregnancy week by week images? Use this Bernese Mountain Dog pregnancy calendar also referred to as Bernese Mountain Dog gestation duration to find out more.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Calendar Week by Week
Let’s have a better look at your expecting Bernese Mountain Dog on a weekly basis with a comparison guide including some of the most essential milestones during your pet gestation duration as well as any physical changes going on throughout your Bernese Mountain Dog’s pregnancy.
From this page, you can in addition learn more about exactly how to take care of your pregnant Bernese Mountain Dog with suggestions to have them as healthy as well as comfortable as possible.
Bernese Mountain Dog Dog Pregnancy Calendar (Week 1 – Week 9)
Bernese mountain dog pregnancy week 1, mating & fertilisation.
After mating with a male canine, several eggs become fertilized high up within the uterus. The eggs slowly migrate to the uterine horns.
In this phase, your bernese mountain dog will certainly experience a series of hormonal changes, however since this is the earliest stage of your bernese mountain dog’s pregnancy, you won’t see any type of physical changes.
During this phase, you need to engage, play and feed your dog as you generally do.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week 2
In this phase of your pet’s gestation, grooming can take place as usual. Her embryos need to be well safeguarded in the uterus and tender grooming should not activate any kind of issues.
This week’s objective need to be to maintain your pet’s weight. Weight increase in early stages of dog pregnancy is not advised for good health. Your pet dog ought to not gain greater than 10% of their typical body weight till week 6. Your dog’s energy levels need to be the same as the embryos don’t grow substantially yet.
Generally, changes in their diet as well as supplements are not needed yet, unless specified by your vet.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week 3
During this stage, the puppies are protected in membrane that offers them with nutrients. There still won’t be much recognizable transformations in physical look as well as you won’t need to transform your Bernese Mountain Dog dog’s daily activity. Although, your Bernese Mountain Dog may begin to create a bigger hunger so you might want to feed her a little a lot more.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week 4
At this phase, week 4 or day 25, it is recommended that you need to see your local vet.
Get an ultrasound for your Bernese Mountain Dog at your local vet clinic to see the size of the litter, their health status and also for a reliable birth date.
You can likewise see if there are any abnormalities or complications that require to be attended to.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week 5
In this phase, the pups have actually ended embryogenesis phase of your Bernese Mountain Dog’s pregnancy as well as the body organs are beginning to develop. The embryo is now referred to as the foetus.
Throughout this foetal stage, your Bernese Mountain Dog canine will begin to put on a lot of weight.
To deal with the weight gain, its advised you feed your Bernese Mountain Dog more, as well as speak with your vet on the specific amount to offer.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week 6
Throughout this stage, the puppies will certainly develop much more distinct organs and tissues, even claws.
To ensure there suffices nutrients in your pet and her pups, you’ll have to alter their diet regimen with higher power, healthy protein and also minerals. Nonetheless, you might see a decrease in appetite but this is due to discomfort from the gestation.
Getting your dog to eat the correct foods is essential throughout the gestation period and offering her numerous smaller meals throughout the day, over 2 bigger meals, will help a great deal.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week 7
Throughout this phase, the pups will certainly develop more distinct body organs and also tissues, even claws.
To make sure there suffices nutrients in your pet dog and also her young puppies, you’ll have to alter their diet with greater power, protein as well as minerals. Nonetheless, you might see a drop in appetite however this is because of discomfort from the gestation.
Getting your dog to eat the right foods is very important during the pregnancy period and also providing her multiple smaller meals throughout the day, over 2 larger dishes, will aid a great deal.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week 8
Throughout this stage, the young puppies will develop more distinct organs as well as tissues, even claws.
To make certain there is enough nutrients in your dog and also her puppies, you’ll have to change their diet with higher power, healthy protein and minerals. Nonetheless, you may see a decrease in appetite yet this is due to discomfort from the pregnancy.
Getting your dog to eat the right foods is essential during the gestation period and also offering her multiple smaller sized meals during the day, over 2 bigger dishes, will certainly help a great deal.
Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy Week 9
To make certain there is enough nutrients in your pet dog as well as her puppies, you’ll have to modify their diet plan with higher power, protein as well as minerals. Nevertheless, you might see a decrease in appetite but this is due to discomfort from the gestation.
Getting your canine to eat the correct foods is important throughout the gestation duration as well as offering her multiple smaller sized meals during the day, over 2 larger dishes, will certainly assist a great deal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bernese Mountain Dog Pregnancy
How long is a pregnancy for a bernese mountain dog.
The usual length of pregnancy for Bernese Mountain Dog is approximately 9 weeks from conception, however this can vary by several days.
With a planned Bernese Mountain Dog breeding, you should record the exact date of mating. If there are two matings, record the dates and expect birth to occur between 63 and 65 days later.}
How do I know if my Bernese Mountain Dog is pregnant?
Like all dog breeds, Bernese Mountain Dog dogs exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms throughout pregnancy, like changes in appetite, decreased activity, enlarged abdomen and weigh gain, enlarged nipples, behaviour changes, and nesting behaviours.
How do you know when your Bernese Mountain Dog dog is going to give birth?
A good sign that your pregnant Bernese Mountain Dog will go into labor within about 24 hours is when the rectal temperature drops below 38°C or 100°F. During the first stage of labor, your Bernese Mountain Dog dog will begin to experience uterine contractions and she may also start pacing or digging. In most cases, your Bernese Mountain Dog will pant or shake.
What can I do when my Bernese Mountain Dog dog gives birth for the first time?
When your Bernese Mountain Dog dog first goes into labor, the best thing you can do is quietly observe her whilst keeping your distance. Bernese Mountain Dog dogs don’t generally need much assistance giving birth.
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