The pregnancy of a German Shepherd is usually a planned and expected event. To wait for the puppies and keep the dog he althy, the breeder takes care of it carefully, showing maximum attention. About all the subtleties of this interesting period and how to behave as the owner of the animal - further.
How long does a German Shepherd get pregnant?
Dogs don't have an exact gestation period for puppies. The duration of these periods may vary depending on the individual and the number of fruits. The average gestation period for a German Shepherd is 60-65 days. At the same time, there are some patterns:
- first pregnancy is usually longer than subsequent ones;
- the more fetuses, the faster the delivery.
The last week of a German Shepherd's pregnancy is considered important for puppies' vitality. Babies born before day 53 do not survive. However, prolonged pregnancy is also not the norm. If it lasts longer than 70 days, a caesarean section may be necessary.
The owner should write down how many days after mating the dog gives birth. This will help you understand how long the pregnancy of a German Shepherd lasts and avoid unnecessary veterinary intervention. If a pet always whelps after 70 days without compromising the he alth of the babies, it makes no sense to have a cesarean on the 65th day.
The duration of pregnancy in a German Shepherd is sometimes counted from the day of mating, but this is not always true. Fertilization occurs 1-6 days after the contact of the female with the "groom". Experienced breeders try to breed a dog during ovulation.
At what age is it?
Pregnancy in German Shepherds is possible during puberty. This age in representatives of large breeds comes quite late. Before 15 months, the female develops, early pregnancy will harm both mother and puppies.
Cynologists recommend the first mating in the third estrus at the age of 1.5-2 years. The reproductive period lasts up to 4-6 years of the German Shepherd. No matter how many pregnancies a female would endure, this is a strong burden on her body, so breeders try not to knit a pet more than once a year so that her he alth can recover. But even with such a frequency, internal reserves are depleted, so it is not recommended to knit females over the age of 8.
How many German Shepherd dogs can have puppies during pregnancy? In each litter, 6-7 babies are born, some females have 10-12 and even 15. Primiparous litters usually do notnumerous.
German Shepherd pregnancy by day
Until the fifth week, it is impossible to notice that the dog is expecting puppies. In the early days of pregnancy, sperm cells move to the gamete for fertilization. Around the fourth day, they meet. At the end of the first week, the zygote moves into the uterus.
Embryos are attached to the walls of the uterus by the end of the second week, but their size is still very small. From the 15th day, the organs of future puppies are formed. On the 16-17th day, their size is one millimeter. The trunk, spine, head, central nervous system are developing.
In the third week, the placenta is formed, but the embryo at this time is no more than 0.5 cm, it has a heart. By the end of the first month, the embryo grows to 2 cm.
Starting from the 22nd day, you should change the dog's diet. During this time, she may have morning vomiting. Until the 32nd day, the fetus grows to the size of a nut, teeth are formed in it, and calcium is supplied to all parts of the body.
From the 32nd day, the second half of pregnancy begins. Embryos at this time reach a length of 3 cm, their weight is 20% of the weight of the newborn puppy. From the 5th week, the dog's belly is noticeable, the appetite is increased.
At the sixth week, all organs and bones are formed in puppies. By the 40th day, their size is about 6.5 cm. The uterus occupies almost the entire abdominal cavity. On the 41st-44th day, puppies can be felt.
From the seventh week, the female prepares a "den" for babies. On the 45-49th day, the fruits reached a length of 9 cm.
From the 51st day, milk can be excreted. On the eighthweek, the female's stomach has increased significantly, and the dog moves with difficulty, trying to rest more.
Starting from the 58th day, the owner needs to be ready to take delivery at any time. By day 60, babies are fully furred and ready to be born.
A day and a half before giving birth, the behavior of the female changes. She hides in a secluded corner, equips a nest, seeks the attention of the owner. Folds disappear on the genital loop, mucous secretions are observed.
Immediately before giving birth, the temperature drops in females. If the owner measured it daily, then its decrease to 36, 6-37, 1 ° C will tell you that in 18-24 hours the cherished moment of the appearance of babies will come.
The mass of newborn puppies is 300-500 grams, length - 18-22 cm.
What changes in the appearance of a pregnant shepherd?
As mentioned earlier, from the fifth week, signs of pregnancy in a German Shepherd are visible even to an inexperienced breeder. Among them:
- Round belly. The female may look like a fat dog. But if the pregnancy is multiple, the belly becomes pear-shaped and droops.
- Mammary glands change color and increase. Their skin darkens, by the fifth week they swell, by the seventh - the hair around them falls out. The dog can lick its belly on its own. A few days before childbirth, milk is formed in the glands, sometimes dripping.
It happens that in the fifth week after estrus, the dog's behavior changes. This may happen in two months. If there was no mating, then this is a hormonal failure.
Ifthe mating was carried out, then the cause of such behavior may be the death of the fetus for up to 4 weeks.
Some females have a predisposition to this condition and are able to feed other babies.
Signs of a false pregnancy
- The dog builds a nest and nurses soft toys (or other objects) like puppies, protecting them.
- Expresses anxiety, refuses to walk, hides, whines.
- Her mammary glands increase, milk can be secreted from them.
- To help the dog, you should hide all the "puppies" when the dog is out for a walk, and show the pet to the veterinarian.
The condition itself is not dangerous, but it can cause mastitis.
If the dog is truly pregnant, the breeder should contact the veterinary clinic as soon as possible. Usually pregnancy is determined by ultrasound from the 4th week, but some veterinarians can do it on the 21st day.
The number of puppies can be found on the 48th-50th day.
Ultrasound should be performed if the dog's condition worsened, vomiting appeared, the female refuses to eat, is in a depressed state. The examination will help to understand if the puppies are alive. If the pregnancy froze or the fetuses died from hypoxia, urgent medical intervention will be needed.
How to care for a dog?
A pregnant shepherd needs proper care. Usually like thisthe state is planned long before its onset. If the female is carrying babies, the use of any medication is undesirable. All chronic diseases must be treated in advance. In addition, you must:
- do all vaccinations at least a month in advance;
- deworm a week before mating;
- in the warm season, pick up antiparasitic agents approved for pregnant females.
After mating, the dog is considered pregnant, and although in the first month the food and loads do not change, nevertheless, it must be handled with care, giving plenty of rest.
What to feed?
The weight of a pregnant dog increases by 10-25%. At the same time, in addition to the fruits, nutrients are deposited for the mother herself for the lactation period. Therefore, her diet, starting from the second half of pregnancy, should be 1.5-2 times more caloric than usual.
It is also important to follow a number of recommendations:
- Don't feed your dog expired or poor quality food.
- Make the meat thoroughly boiled.
- Do not give foods that provoke bloating - black bread, legumes, potatoes.
The diet of a pregnant dog includes foods high in protein - lean meat, cottage cheese, as well as cereals (buckwheat, rice), boiled vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, zucchini). Be sure to add vitamin and mineral supplements.
If the pet is kept on ready-made industrial feed, then from the second half of pregnancy and throughout lactation, feed is used forpuppies up to two months.
From the fourth week of pregnancy, the female is transferred to 3 meals a day, from the seventh - to 4 meals a day, in small portions. A week before the birth, the dog is not given meat, replacing it with fish and cottage cheese. This is necessary for the prevention of eclampsia - a special form of toxicosis in the form of seizures.
Caring for a pregnant female
Pregnancy of a German Shepherd, an active and mobile dog, is not a reason to refuse walks. The first month may well pass as usual. Then walks should be carried out long, but calm. The pet is not allowed to jump, play with other four-legged animals. Dangerous encounters with sick animals. It is dangerous to overheat in summer, so walks are made early in the morning or in the evening.
Activity during pregnancy is essential to maintain muscle mass and avoid gaining excess weight. Obesity can significantly complicate the process of childbirth: the contractions will be weak, you will need the introduction of oxytocin.
A pregnant female may produce mucus from the birth canal. If the dog does not lick it on its own, the owner should help it with a napkin.
It may happen that the female will relieve herself in the apartment, this often happens during pregnancy, do not scold her, because the dog at this time is difficult to control this process.
Closer to the birth, the owner needs to organize a place for the puppies and their mother. It should be a comfortable corner without drafts and excess noise. Don't let your pet change this place.
Also everything you need for the processchildbirth should be purchased in advance. What drugs to buy, the veterinarian will tell you.
What else to look out for?
In addition to food and walks, the owner should be attentive to any little things:
- If the dog is hurt, the injury site should be washed with an antiseptic solution and the procedure repeated until it heals completely. The use of antibiotics is highly undesirable during pregnancy, so do not bring to purulent complications.
- If there are signs of any ailment (diarrhea, vomiting), you should consult a veterinarian to stop the disease in the early stages.
Young he althy dogs usually go through pregnancy without any problems and give birth without complications.
He althy young shepherds with good care tolerate pregnancy well and give birth easily. The breeder decides in advance whether he will breed a female. If you decide to get puppies, you should show maximum attention to the pet. Good nutrition and quality care for the dog during this period will allow you to get excellent offspring from it.