It’s now the final stage of the puppies’ development. The pups are just about to be born! In this series of posts, we’re taking a look at the different parts 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 your pooch is pretty much about to give birth, how will your dog’s behavior change?
What development or growth happens at this late stage? How will your dog’s body change during this 8th week? And, what sort of symptoms should you look out for? In this article series, we’re checking out what will happen during your dog’s entire pregnancy, from the 1st week right up to the 9th week!
Can a dog have pups at 8 weeks?
Yes, it’s possible for your dog to have a healthy enough birth at 8 weeks, though this is a bit early. By 8 weeks, your dog’s puppies’ skeletons have hardened, and are fully developed, as are most of the fetuses’ other organs. However, dogs usually give birth a little later on, at around day 63, or even later.
When does a pregnant dog start showing?
As we’ve touched upon numerous times throughout this series of articles, there are very few early signs of a dog’s pregnancy. In fact, many owners only find out that their dog was pregnant when they finally give birth! So, when does it start to become obvious that a dog is pregnant?
Well, a pregnant dog will likely start showing later on in their pregnancy. The puppies will usually have created a noticeable bump on your dog’s body by the end of the 7th week of your dog’s pregnancy. This bump may even touch the ground by the end of the week. By 8 weeks, your dog will have started showing for sure.
However, you may spot a few signs earlier on in your dog’s pregnancy. Your dog may have some morning sickness, for example, or swelling of their vulva, nipples, or abdomen. They may have decreased energy too and might refuse food.
Can you feel puppies move at 8 weeks?
Yes. Now that the puppies are fully developed and are going to be born at any minute, they’re moving around constantly. In fact, at 8 weeks, you don’t even need to feel the puppies moving around – they’re so big that you will be able to see them moving around inside your dog’s belly!
At 8 weeks, if you want to know how many puppies there are or to get a picture of their overall health, take your dog for an ultrasound. You’ll see all sorts of detail at 8 weeks.
How much do puppies grow in the last week of pregnancy?
The puppies will do a lot of growing and developing in the last weeks of your dog’s pregnancy. In this 8th week, the puppies have already more than tripled in size since they grew their first vertebrae and facial features while the size of a hazelnut during week 4.
Then, during the 5th and 6th weeks of pregnancy, after developing most of their organs, the puppies grew their whiskers, toes, and even claws! So, now, during the 7th and 8th weeks, all that’s left to do is finish off the development of the puppies’ bones. If you go for an ultrasound during the 8th week, you’ll see fetuses that look almost like newborn puppies!
How can I prepare for my dog to give birth?
If you or your dog hasn’t already prepared this, your dog will probably start looking for a “nest” to give birth in during their 8th week. You’ll need to track down as many comfortable blankets as possible, as well as a large whelping box.
If you will be delivering your dog’s puppies, you will need a few surgical tools. Rubber gloves will keep you mess-free as you pull out puppy after puppy, while some blunt scissors and something to tie the umbilical cord off with will also come in handy.
When all the puppies are born, a feeding bottle will help you nourish them, while a rectal thermometer will help you keep track of your dog’s temperature and get a sense of when labor is ending.
Items like antiseptic wipes, and Iodine may also be useful. Once you’ve acquired it all, it’s a good idea to layout your birthing kit near your dog’s whelping box. This will help you keep track of it, and should provide convenient access during the birth. Have equipment like the scissors sterilized ahead of time.
How will I know birth has started?
A while before your dog shows any other signs of birth, your dog’s temperature will decrease from around 101°F or 38.3°C to something nearer 97°F or 36.1°C. This is where regular measuring of your dog’s rectal temperature comes in handy. Your dog’s temperature could drop anywhere from 12 or 24 hours before labor actually starts. So, taking their temperature regularly may give you plenty of time to prepare!
Later on, your dog may become anxious or restless just ahead of giving birth. They may pace back and forth, panting. They may also seem uncomfortable, lying down then getting up again. Your dog will also probably refuse water and food.
When labor begins, you may notice a green plug that comes out of your dog’s vulva. This plug will either fall on the floor or get stuck in your dog’s fur. Your dog’s waters will also break just before birth begins. Your dog may want to drink this liquid, and this is okay.
Can a dog have some puppies early?
Dogs are a polytocous animal. This means dogs always have more than one puppy. Even the smallest dog breeds usually whelp at least two puppies. Dogs do occasionally deliver some pups prematurely, too. A truly premature puppy will be noticeably small and will need prompt treatment intensive care.
However, some dogs also give birth at full term, but only manage to deliver one or two puppies before they appear to stop. Or, they may deliver what seems like a full litter and lie down with their litter again, only for another puppy or two to appear unexpectedly later on.
Though this is common, this is not normal. If your dog has a long gap between births, there’s a chance that a puppy is stuck. So, if your dog only gives birth to one or two pups with a long gap, you may need to take them to the vets for an emergency C-section. This is why it’s so important to know how many puppies to expect.
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