In our last article, we took a look at what happens during week 3 of your dog’s pregnancy. In this series of posts, we’ve discussed the different trimesters, as well as some of the potential signs of early pregnancy.
Well, now we’re moving on to the later part of a dog’s pregnancy! So, what happens in week 4 of a dog’s pregnancy?
During this more exhausting and obvious stage of your dog’s pregnancy, what symptoms and behavior are normal for your pregnant pooch? How will your pregnant dog’s body change during the fourth week?
How can you best take care of them? And, what sort of things should you keep an eye out for? In this series of articles, we’re taking a look at what will happen during your dog’s entire pregnancy, from week 1 right up to week 9.
Can you tell if a dog is pregnant at 4 weeks?
If your dog is 4 whole weeks pregnant, it is usually pretty obvious. Your dog is probably noticeably larger by now, and their pregnancy is starting to affect their life or behavior at this stage.
At 4 weeks, it’s a good idea to take your pooch for a check-up at the vet’s, especially if you haven’t already. At this stage, your vet can confirm your dog’s pregnancy not only by palpating their belly but also by giving your dog an ultrasound. You and your dog will get to see how many puppies there are in your dog’s belly, and can even see them moving around and listen to their heartbeats!
During the ultrasound, your vet can give you advice on what to feed your dog during their pregnancy, as well as how best you should prepare for the puppies’ arrival. Your vet can treat and identify minor health concerns too.
A dog who is 4 weeks pregnant has probably been eating less food than usual for a while. They are probably pretty tired by now too and may have had symptoms of morning sickness for quite some time. If your dog throws up at this time, it’s a good idea to start giving them smaller meals more frequently over the course of the day.
Can you feel puppies at 4 weeks?
Yes, it’s possible for both you and your vet to feel obvious movement from your dog’s puppy fetuses at 4 weeks. Your dog will also start to feel the pups moving around inside them at this stage.
However, an untrained person should not touch a dog’s belly when they are pregnant, whether to confirm pregnancy or to count the puppies. Not only will your hormonal dog not appreciate it, but touching your dog’s puppies without knowing what you are doing could also cause irreparable harm to the developing fetuses, even at 4 weeks.
Instead, as we mentioned above, take your dog to the vet to confirm pregnancy. Your vet can show you every last one of the puppies using ultrasound or can count them by trained palpation if an ultrasound is not yet feasible.
What should my dog’s nipples look like at 4 weeks pregnant?
There are very few changes to your dog’s body and behavior during early pregnancy. It’s no surprise, then, that many owners don’t discover that their dog is pregnant until they are 4 weeks! But thankfully, by this later stage, there are a few clues that your pooch is carrying puppies.
One such hint is changes to your dog’s nipples. By week 3 to 4, you can expect your dog’s nipples to look slightly more swollen and pinker than they normally are.
Watch out for things like discharge. Milk may leak from your dog’s nipples during very late pregnancy, and this is perfectly normal. But any foul-smelling or unusual colored discharge from your dog’s nipples is dubious and is something to tell your vet about right away.
At what week can you feel puppies move?
If you or your vet gently feel your dog’s belly at just 4 or 5 weeks, you can expect to notice some movement. However, the puppies generally begin to move in earnest at more like 6 weeks, while you may even visually observe the pups moving under your pooch’s skin by 7 weeks!
What are the stages of dog pregnancy?
As we touched upon in our previous article, your dog will be pregnant for around 63 days. They will go through 4 very different distinct stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.
For the first two weeks of your dog’s pregnancy, the puppy embryos spend time travelling to the uterine horns, where they will implant into the womb’s uterine lining.
Later on, by the 22nd day, the puppy fetuses begin to take shape. After this, if you visit your vet at around day 30, your dog and you will be able to hear the puppies’ newly-formed hearts beating.
By the second month, the puppies begin to develop more quickly – the puppies will have developed their eyelids by 32 days, followed by toes at day 35. Then, from the 40th to 45th day, the puppies’ coat, claws, and skeleton will have formed!
Finally, on day 50, you’ll know for sure how many puppies are in the litter if you take your dog for another x-ray. Your dog will then instinctively begin to look for a place to give birth at 58 days. Then, at 61 days, look out for those characteristic signs, like a drop in your pooch’s body temperature and restless behavior like digging, panting or pacing!
Can dogs absorb puppies at 4 weeks?
Canine fetal resorption is a somewhat rare phenomenon where your dog absorbs one or more of their puppies. Puppy absorption generally only occurs during the early weeks of dog’s pregnancy, since this is when the puppy’s bones and tissues are soft and not yet properly formed.
In fact, most owners have no idea that puppy absorption has occurred. The absorbed puppies usually pose zero risk to your dog, either.
But what about at 4 weeks? Is it even possible for a puppy to be absorbed during this late stage in the pregnancy? Well, the litter’s skeletal bones develop at around 44 days.
After this point, canine fetal resorption is impossible. So, since your dog’s puppies have not formed their skeletons at 4 weeks, it is still possible for your dog to absorb a puppy at 4 weeks. This means your dog may end up with one or two less pups than expected.
Check out every week of a dogs pregnancy below
- What happens in week 1 of a dog’s pregnancy
- What happens in week 2 of a dog’s pregnancy
- What happens in week 3 of a dog’s pregnancy
- What happens in week 4 of a dog’s pregnancy
- What happens in week 5 of a dog’s pregnancy
- What happens in week 6 of a dog’s pregnancy
- What happens in week 7 of a dog’s pregnancy
- What happens in week 8 of a dog’s pregnancy
- What happens in week 9 of a dog’s pregnancy