Are you trying to get into breeding your Pitbull or just want to extend your four-legged family?
Dealing with a pregnant dog can be confusing and you might feel intimidated because it can be a dangerous experience. Dog miscarriages happen often, with 6.8% of dog pregnancies ending in no puppies, which means puppies are spontaneously aborted during pregnancy and 7.4% could end in stillbirths.
This could then be a threat to the mother’s life as well. In this blog post, we’ll look at how long Pitbulls are pregnant, and other questions that you may have to deal with your Pitbull’s pregnancy, from the signs, pregnancy timeline, and what you should prepare after birth.
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How Long is a Pitbull Pregnancy?
According to the American Kennel Club, a normal gestation period for dogs is approximately around 63 days, though the actual number of days will depend on the breed and the individual dog itself. This is around a quarter of human pregnancy, as dogs develop faster than human babies.
The period of a Pitbull pregnancy itself is around 62 to 65 days or 9 weeks. The gestation period of the Pitbull depends on the conception date and also how many puppies the Pitbull is going to have. The more litter or puppies the mother has, the longer the pregnancy period, and also it could be more dangerous for the mother.
You’ll have to take this into account as you prepare for your Pitbull’s pregnancy, by giving her the right nutrition and care. You can find out by going to the veterinarian and having an ultrasound at the beginning of her pregnancy or an x-ray at the end of her gestation period. This could help you organize better to look after your Pitbull pregnancy.
Signs of a Pregnant Pitbull
If you’re wondering whether your Pitbull is currently pregnant or is just putting on weight, there are several things that you could look out for that can be a sign or indication of pregnancy.
But for an actual diagnosis, you should visit your vet. Some signs that your Pitbull is pregnant include:
1. Increase in appetite
If your dog suddenly eats more than it usually does, this could be an indication that she has started her gestation period and needs more nutrients for her babies.
2. Weight gain and swollen belly
As she eats more and the puppies she carries grow, you will notice that your dog is gaining weight. Pay particular attention to their stomach.
3. An increase in nipple size
This indicates that your dog is preparing to nurse for the puppies inside her.
4. Gets tired more easily
If she is usually very playful and you notice that she doesn’t move around or bark as much anymore, this could indicate that she is pregnant. This is normal, as she is now dividing her energy consumption with the puppies she’s having.
5. Displaying nesting behavior
This behavior shows up naturally in pregnant dogs. They would prepare for their puppies by looking for a safe place to have their babies. This could be in the form of gathering clothing to create a comfortable place, dragging your blankets, or even rearranging the pillows in a certain area.
6. More affectionate
As her motherly instinct starts to kick in, you will find your dog will become more affectionate with everybody around her.
7. Becoming more irritable
The changes in hormones will make your dog more irritable as she comes to terms with her pregnancy.
If you have any hint that your dog might be pregnant, then you should also confirm that by visiting your vet to get an accurate diagnosis. This can be done by abdominal palpation, x-ray, ultrasound, and also a hormone test where they check for relaxin – which is a pregnancy hormone that will show up only during pregnancy.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to get your Pitbull pregnant then you need to be aware of its ovulation cycle. Understanding it is key to getting your Pitbull pregnant as the eggs are only viable for two to three days.
You can get your dog pregnant when they are in heat, the indications are pinkish discharge, swollen nipples or vulva, increased urination, and lastly a slight change in mood. As for the right timing for them to get pregnant, Pitbulls can get pregnant as early as 4 months old, but wait until they are at least 1 year old to try for a litter.
What Happens Week-to-Week – Pitbull Pregnancy Timeline?
Humans generally separate their pregnancy into trimesters, but in Pitbulls, we can do that week-by-week since its timing is very short.
Week one and two will be the conception and the stage where the embryos will start to attach to the uterus. It’s when the pregnancy will start to take its roots, but in terms of physical changes in the dog, it’s almost barely noticeable. This is the stage where you should be extra patient.
Week three is when the embryos are already attached to the uterus and will then start to get their nutrients from their mother. This is why in week four, the development of the puppies will start. They will be approximately around 1.5 cm and can be felt as lumps inside the belly of the mother.
Week five is when they will get their amniotic fluid as protection around them and develop their teeth, claws, and whiskers. Week five is the right time to get an ultrasound to check with your vet.
Aside from getting confirmation, you can also check if the pregnancy is normal or if there are any complications that you should be aware of. This way you can assist your dog better during their pregnancy.
As week six comes along, the mother will start showing her pregnancy trademarks with lower energy levels, burgeoning stomach, and darkening nipples. The puppies inside her belly, on the other hand, are starting to get the marks and pigments that will differentiate them from others.
In week seven, this is when you should start providing a whelping area for your pregnant Pitbull. She will start to move around the blankets and pillows to best suit her taste, and you should let her do what is most comfortable for her. Her puppies would have been fully developed at this time.
By week eight her babies will start to move around inside her belly, and it’s completely acceptable for the babies to arrive at this point. But normally, the healthiest period would be around week nine. Your dog will be shy and resistant during this time, and she will have low energy levels.
Start preparing and pay much closer attention to your dog when you come to weeks eight and nine of the pregnancy timeline. Your dog will become very aggressive at first, go to her nesting area, and then her temperature will drop when she is ready to deliver the babies.
What You Should Do to Prepare Before and After Birth?
There are several important factors for you to prepare for when your dog is pregnant. We’ve separated them into before and after the delivery so that you know what to do in each stage.
Before the birth or delivery, which is during the pregnancy, you should provide the right nutrients for your dogs. Give them healthier food in bigger portions as she is now eating for her and her puppies.
Also, consider giving your pregnant Pitbull dietary prenatal supplements which you can ask your vet for. You should also keep her active and take her to the vet regularly.
Right at the end of her pregnancy period, which is during week seven or eight, start to have a whelping area or the area where she can deliver her puppies peacefully. Keep it separate from access to other pets you might have, guests, or children so that she feels safe to go into the whelping area. Keep a few blankets and pillows handy for her to lay her babies on in the room as well.
After she gives birth, you should clean up the mother using a warm wet washcloth, do this as gently as possible so you don’t upset her. Let her rest with her puppies and remove any visible dirt. You should also monitor her food and drink intake as well as her urination and defecation.
She should still have a regular schedule, so encourage her to get out of the whelping area when needed.
Then you should also check on the puppies. See if they’re breathing normally and have a warm body temperature. Also, make sure they have an adequate amount of milk from their mother.
If you notice anything abnormal, contact your vet right away for a check-up.
Preparing for your Pitbull’s pregnancy can be intimidating, especially since their due date is extremely short at 62 to 65 days. You’ll need to make sure your dog has proper nutrition, an active daily activity, a good whelping area, and a regular check-up with your vet!