Golden Retriever Pregnancy Signs and Care

Roberto Manzotti

The Golden Retriever is a powerful and well-aligned dog. Its coat varies from creamy white to dark walleye and has long thick hair, and can be wavy or flat. His head, with a very marked stop, is wide and well chiseled. With dark brown eyes that are well apart. Medium and pendulous, her ears are at eye level. Its tail is attached to the height of the back and is curved without ever curving at the end. Finally, it's got round and strong feet with jaws that are strong enough to chew on bones.

The pregnancy period of your golden retriever is a special period in your dog's life, so you need to have the essential knowledge of this condition – you need to know what to expect from your dog and the changes that would occur with it.

Usually, at this stage, your golden retriever may become more affectionate, it may start getting closer to you, wanting to be fondled and cuddled. Though, some others may at this stage want to be left alone.

The golden retriever's life expectancy is between 10 and 14 years.

It is not easy to have birth plans when it comes to dogs as they can be unpredictable.

Though there are signs that you should notice and would be convinced that your golden retriever is pregnant. These signs do not deceive. However, they are not obvious at a well-advanced stage of the gestation of the dog, which could last between 61 and 65 days.

 

The signs of pregnancy in the Dog

  • Vaginal discharge occurs approximately 1 month after mating.
  • Your dog's nipples begin to swell by the increase in blood supply to the base of the udders. This phenomenon appears in principle 25 to 30 days after mating.
  • The dog's appetite usually decreases and she may lose interest in her meal, in the middle of the pregnancy, but not systematically.
  • Your dog's abdomen gets bigger and her total body weight can increase by 20 to 55%. However, it is possible that this phenomenon may not be visible before 45 to 50 days of gestation.
  • Her behavior may also change. For example, she may be a little depressed.
  • Shortly before the birth, your dog will probably begin to express her nesting instincts by scraping the ground or her basket. She will also show signs of agitation.

golden retriever litter

For the golden retriever, maturity begins at 6 months in both males and females, but it recommended to wait till they are up to one year before breeding, so as to allow better, healthy living. Males, unlike females who have to wait for the estrus stage, can breed all year round. The pregnancy in the golden retriever female lasts 63 days.

If you think your dog is pregnant, consult your veterinarian for confirmation. He may, if necessary, give your dog more in-depth exams.

  • The most commonly used method to find out if your dog is expecting little ones is ultrasound. It can be used from 28 days of gestation but it does not necessarily determine the exact number of puppies. The ultrasound examination of the dog is comfortable in that it is non-invasive and very reliable.
  • From about 21 days, the vet can feel a thickening of the uterus and "small strokes" inside if the female is pregnant by the palpation of the abdomen. Though this is quite difficult to notice if the bitch is nervous or slightly overweight.
  • Between 21 and 25 days, tests can detect relaxin, a hormone produced by pregnant females.
  • From the 25th day, it is possible to spot the heart beats of puppies with a stethoscope. However, it is very difficult to determine the exact number of babies. 
  • From about 49 days, an X-ray examination can capture puppet skeletons and their numbers. Most veterinarians avoid using this method because of radiation hazards.

Your veterinarian will direct you to the test that is best for your pet, as some of these procedures are not appropriate for all stages of gestation.

During gestation, the female must be fed a rich and balanced food to transmit to her young all the nutrients necessary for their good growth. It is possible to change the feeding of the female from the 5th week by switching to food for young dogs which is very energetic, and which will thus be favorable to the good development of the young.

The mid-gestation period is ideal for making vaccination reminders if they have not been done recently. Indeed, the mother will be able to transmit to her puppies, through the first milk, a large number of antibodies that will allow the puppy to defend against diseases.

A golden retriever female can give birth to a litter of 2 to 12 puppies. They should not be separated from their mothers until 8 weeks later. In order not to affect their development and learning, it is advisable to wait 10 weeks.

In any case, ask your veterinarian for advice and a permanent follow-up for your dog during pregnancy.

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