It’s now the last stage of the puppies’ development. In this series of articles, we’re taking a look at the different stages of your dog’s pregnancy and the puppies’ growth.
We’ve discussed the different stages of your dog’s pregnancy, as well as some of the potential signs of early pregnancy and what happens in these later stages, too. But, what happens in week 7 of a dog’s pregnancy? Now that it’s nearing the end of your dog’s pregnancy, how will your pooch’s behavior change? How do the puppies develop at this late stage?
How will your dog’s body change during this 7th week? And, what sort of symptoms should you look out for? In this article series, we’re taking a look at what will happen during your dog’s entire pregnancy, from week 1 right up to the 9th week.
Can you tell a dog is pregnant at 7 weeks?
Yes, it is usually pretty obvious that a dog is pregnant by 7 weeks. Ordinarily, you would take your pooch to the vet’s much earlier in their pregnancy, and your vet would confirm your dog’s pregnancy through ultrasound, or just palpation. There are very few obvious signs this early in a dog’s pregnancy.
However, by the time your dog is 7 weeks pregnant, their pregnancy is obvious. Your dog’s belly and nipples will be noticeably swollen and enlarged, with increased shedding of their belly fur. This will allow the puppies to more easily find where to feed when they are born.
You may even see your dog’s “first milk” leaking from their nipples. Also known as colostrum, this is a cloudy white fluid. By 7 weeks, you may even see the puppies moving around inside your dog’s belly!
Can you feel puppies move at 7 weeks?
Yes. It’s actually possible for both you and your vet to feel obvious movement from your dog’s puppy fetuses starting at just 4 weeks? Your dog will also have been feeling the pups moving around inside them since this early stage.
However, an untrained person should not touch a dog’s belly during pregnancy, whether to confirm pregnancy or to count the puppies. Not only will your very hormonal pregnant dog not appreciate this, but touching your dog’s puppies without knowing what you are doing could also cause irreparable harm to the developing fetuses.
Instead if you want to confirm pregnancy, take your dog to the vet. As we touched upon above, your vet can show you every last one of the puppies using an ultrasound, or can count them by trained palpation if an ultrasound is not yet feasible. And besides, you can often notice the puppies moving around without touching your dog’s belly, anyway.
Where do dogs carry their puppies during pregnancy?
Though there are hardly any outward signs for most of your dog’s pregnancy, it does start to become obvious that your dog is pregnant later on. By the end of the 6th week, your dog will have gained at least a little weight in the area near their uterus.
And, by the end of the 7th week of your dog’s pregnancy, the puppies will usually have created a noticeable bump on your dog’s body. This bump may even touch the ground by the end of the week.
What size are puppies in the womb at 7 weeks?
Speaking of an increase in size, how big are the puppies when they’re 7 weeks old? The puppies now have their toes, nails, and even whiskers, as well as their sex organs and fur and skin markings! Though they are still not quite ready to be born, the pups have their complete skeletons, too.
Depending on their breed, the puppies will be about as big as a fist by now, with ears, eyes, and a tail. If your dog has an ultrasound at this point, you’ll see that the puppies look a lot like a proper dog. But, they’ve got another couple of weeks to go before birth.
What are the signs your dog is about to give birth?
There are many signs that your dog is about to give birth. One of the surest, earliest signs that birth is imminent is a drop in your dog’s body temperature.
Your dog’s normal body temperature is something like 38.5°C, or 101.3°F. But when your dog is about to give birth, their temperature will drop to 98.6°F or 37°C. Your dog will give birth anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after their temperature drops.
You can keep an eye on your dog’s body temperature late in their pregnancy using a rectal thermometer. Take your dog’s temperature twice a day, as long as they don’t mind. Ask your vet how to do this. If your dog seems uncomfortable with having their temperature taken at any time, stop doing this – it’s important for your dog to be calm and happy.
Another big sign that your dog may be about to give birth is restless behavior. A dog who is about to give birth may seclude themselves in the nest they have created, or dig around more in their bedding. Some dogs even move their entire bed across the house just before they give birth! If your dog does this, allow them to give birth in the new location if it is sufficiently safe.
When birth is very near, your dog’s cervix and uterus will begin to contract as they prepare for delivery. These contractions will probably not be very obvious to you, at least as first. But they may cause your dog some discomfort and pain.
Your dog’s vulva may also increase in size ahead of their delivery. On top of this, your dog will be more restless than before and will pant or shiver while pacing around the room.
When your dog is just about to give birth, their rectal temperature will go back to normal. You should then soon start to notice obvious contractions, along with clear fluid coming from your dog’s vulva.
Your dog may go into labor any time after the 7th week, so it’s important you’re ready ahead of time.
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