Puppies: From Conception to birth

 

After one of my girls have been bred, I impatiently wait for

the arrival of new puppies!  I count down each day and

wonder...what do they look like now?!  Just what is going on

inside there?!  So I have searched the Internet and have

found some fascinating articles and pictures that I thought

other might enjoy as well!  On this page I am going to try to

give you a rough idea of what our little mommies are going

through and just what happens to take them from this...

to THIS...

***All the following pictures of the puppies in the womb were taken from National

Geographic's web page.  They have produced a couple of video's that explain in detail

what goes on inside the womb of a pregnant dog (as well as an elephant, and a dolphin!)

and these are FANTASTIC! I don't agree with all the references to evolution that are in them

(it's hard for me to imagine that anyone can see this miracle and hand it over to

chance)...BUT I highly recommend them...the knowledge they convey is very worthwhile!

The average time the a dog carries her puppies is 57 to 63 days.  This can vary between breeds and even the same dog can be a little different from one time to the next! We start counting day one as the day that the male and female mate for the first time.  I have decided to keep this page as "kid friendly" as possible so I will skip many details on this process and just go right to the part were the puppies start forming! (I leave all the rest of that to all you mommies and daddies out there!) For the first few weeks, we don't see much change to the mommy and we spend a lot of time wondering...is she pregnant or isn't she? But INSIDE the mommy, this is what is happening:

                                           WEEK ONE


DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

Fertilization occurs and a two celled embryo begins its life!

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

Possible morning sickness

Possible personality changes (She may become very affectionate and clingy)

                                        WEEK TWO (Days 8-14) 


DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

Embryo will be 4 cell at the start of the week and 64 cell by the end of the week

Embryo enters the uterus

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

Possible morning sickness

                 WEEK THREE (Days 15-21)


DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

*Day 19---The embryo is implanted in the uterus

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

Possible morning sickness

This picture shows an early embryo attached to the uterus

                                               WEEK FOUR (Days 22-28)


This is when we can start to see positive

sign of pregnancy in our mommy!

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

The eyes and spinal cords start to develop

Faces take shape

Fetuses grow from approximately 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 an inch

Vet may be able to palpitate (feel) for puppies

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

We may see clear discharge

The mammary glads begin to develop

CARE OF THE MOMMY:

We start limiting her exercise and increasing her feed.  An egg or 1/4 cup cottage cheese can be

added to food on alternating days

This picture shows an embryo at 25 days

                                                    WEEK FIVE (Days 29-35)


DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

The toes, whisker buds, and claws start to develop

Fetuses look like dogs and gender can be determined!

Eyes that were previously open now close (When eyes are developing in the uterus, the eyes are

developed in an open position and then they close and remain closed until about 10 days old or so.)

Fetuses grow from 1/2 inch to over an inch

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

Swelling in the belly is noticeable now

Weight starts to increase

CARE OF THE MOMMY:

We switch her over to a puppy food and feed her twice a day now

                                                     WEEK SIX (Days 36-42)


DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

Development of skin pigment

Fetuses should be almost 2 inches!

Fetal heartbeats can be heard with a stethoscope

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

Nipples darken and enlarge

Abdomen continues to enlarge

CARE OF THE MOMMY:

We switch her over to a puppy food and feed her twice a day now

We increase the amount we are feeding her again

An egg or cottage cheese can be given daily

We introduce her to her whelping box

This picture shows an embryo at 39 days

                                                     WEEK SEVEN (Days 43-49)


DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

Growth and development continues

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

Abdomen hair will start shedding

The mommy starts looking VERY pregnant

CARE OF THE MOMMY:

We slightly increase both meals

                                                    WEEK EIGHT (Days 50-57)


DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

We can start to see and feel the babies move!!

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

Milk may be squeezed from the nipples

Mommy's belly is very large now

CARE OF THE MOMMY:

We are very careful that the mommy doesn't do any rough housing

We add a moderate lunch to her feeding schedule



THE PUPPIES COULD COME ANYTIME NOW!!!

Chihuahua fetus...55 days

                                                    WEEK NINE (Days 58-63)


DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES:

The puppies are fully developed and spend the rest of this week growing!

CHANGES TO THE MOMMY:

Nesting behavior may be seen

When getting close to delivery she will become restless, panting, pacing, acting uncomfortable

When temperature drops from 100.2-100.8 degrees Fahrenheit to 98-99.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the

puppies should be born within 24 hours

Mommy's appetite may disappear as whelping approaches

CARE OF THE MOMMY:

We keep track of her temperature

Someone is always with her, watching, waiting, and comforting!

Fetus at 60 days

                                    WHELPING DAY (or quite possibly NIGHT!)


After nine LONG weeks of waiting the big event has finally arrived.  We will spend hours

with our mommy as she goes through her labor.  We want to be there to assist if needed!  

After the delivery we all breath a huge sigh of relief and try to get some much needed rest!