when can a dog get pregnant after bleeding?
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How to Tell When Your Dog Can Get Pregnant
A dog’s reproductive cycle is complex, and so every female dog will have slightly different experiences and reactions, even within the same breed. However, some indications will let you know when your dog is most fertile. Whether you’re actively trying to breed your dog or actively trying not to, this information will be useful.
The Reproductive Cycle of a Dog
The period of time during which female dogs are receptive to mating is called “heat” or estrus. It’s a relatively short window of time, usually lasting about two to three weeks, and for most dogs, will only occur once every six months or so.
The frequency of the estrus cycle will change depending on the dog and the breed. Smaller breeds tend to be a little more regular and have shorter cycles than larger dogs do, but there can be anywhere from four months to a year between heat cycles. Basenji and sled dogs, for example, average about twelve months between each estrus cycle.
The time when a dog reaches sexual maturity will vary depending on the breed and the dog, as well, but the general rule is that large breeds tend to take longer to experience their first heat than smaller breeds do.
Some small breeds can even go into heat for the first time at as young as four months old, while bigger dogs may not be fully mature until they’re a year or two old.
When Can a Dog Get Pregnant?
The most obvious indication that a dog has gone into heat is vaginal bleeding and swelling in the dog’s vulva. Keep in mind, though, that every dog is different. Some dogs will bleed very heavily, others will bleed hardly at all.
This bleeding stage is the first stage of the heat cycle, known as proestrus, and it means that the dog is nearly ready to mate. It usually lasts about nine days, and most female dogs will not be receptive to male advances during this stage. When can a dog get pregnant after bleeding, though?
The next stage is the estrus stage, which is when female dogs are at their most fertile. It lasts anywhere from four to eleven days. During this stage, the female dog will still be experiencing swelling in the vulva and vaginal discharge, but it will be less bloody and more watery, becoming a pinkish color.
This is also when female dogs will start being receptive to mating and may present their rear ends to male dogs and tuck their tales to the side.
When all discharge stops and the dog’s vulva returns to normal, the heat cycle has finished, and the female dog can no longer become pregnant until the next estrus cycle in six months or so.
Knowing If Your Dog Is Pregnant
Whether you’re trying to breed your dog or just suspect she may have accidentally gotten pregnant, it can be hard to tell at first. A dog’s gestational period is just above two months, but for the first few weeks of that, the dog may not act or look any different from normal.
However, some of the common symptoms of pregnancy that you may notice after a few weeks are lower energy, weight gain or belly swelling, increased appetite, and irritability.
If you think your dog might be pregnant, you can take her to the vet at around the 25-30 day mark after the day you suspect conception occurred, and they can palpate her belly to see if they can feel the puppies. At around 40 days, they’ll be able to tell with an ultrasound.
If your dog does turn out to be pregnant, start preparing for the new pups as soon as you can and take good care of the mom throughout her pregnancy by giving her proper nutrition and taking her on regular trips to the vet.