When a female dog is on heat or when she is on her estrus stage, then she can get pregnant when mated with other dog. The female dog can get pregnant on her first estrus stage; there are breeds of dogs that are already sexually mature as early as six months of age. It is not advisable that a female dog gets impregnated on her first estrus stage because there is a big chance of miscarriage. Young female dogs on their first estrus cycle are not yet fully developed and their bodies are not yet ready to carry and nurse puppies.
When a female dog is on heat, she releases a chemical called pheromone. This chemical can be smelled by male dogs in the neighborhood and they would try to mate with the female dog. When a male dog has successfully ejaculated sperm on the female dog, then the female dog can be pregnant. A female dog not on heat, on the other hand, would not allow male dogs to mate her.
A female dog can be pregnant on her first estrus stage and she can continue to get pregnant even after several years or during her senior years. Dogs do not undergo a menopausal stage unlike human females, but their fertility is affected as they grow older. So the best solution to prevent her from getting pregnant is to spay her.
How to Take Care of Pregnant Dogs
A pregnant bitch needs extra care and attention all throughout her pregnancy and even after giving birth. It is important to bring her to her veterinarian regularly. Here are some tips on how to care of pregnant dogs:
- Exercise. Pregnant dogs need exercise, such as a stroll around the neighborhood. Exercising can strengthen her uterine muscles. Exercising is also a good way to control her weight. Avoid stressful exercise as this may cause a miscarriage.
- Diet. There is a need to change the dog’s diet while she is pregnant. More nutritious foods should be given for her and her puppies. Increase her diet by 40% a month before she is due to give birth. This is the stage when she needs most nutrients.
- Avoid giving calcium. Calcium can cause milk fever or Eclampsia. Too much calcium can cause imbalance nutrient absorption and may result to birth defects and even deaths.
- Stress-free environment. Avoid getting a pregnant dog stressed out. Provide her a space where she can be left alone and do not disturb her. Avoid changes in the environment too, such as transferring to a new home because this can cause stress and depression to a pregnant dog.