Giving Your German Shepherd Space During The Birth
Oddly enough, one of the best ways to care for your German Shepherd during her birth journey will be to leave her alone. All dogs are instinctual in ways that amaze us mere humans. German Shepherds are animals that are especially gifted in the instinct department.
GSDs are also incredibly smart. So, between their instincts and intelligence, they have a knack for understanding what to do during and after giving birth. They will know what is best for their health, as well as the health of their newborns.
Interfering too much during birth can cause frustration and even anger from your German Shepherd.
While she will most likely understand you are trying to help she knows best, and she will need her space. Once you have completed all preparations and have done all that you can from your end, the best thing you can do is sit back and enjoy the incredible experience of watching your German Shepherd Dog give birth.
Its amazing to see their instincts take over and to watch them handle the birth and care for their pups afterward, even if this is their first litter.
How Long Is A German Shepherd Pregnant
The standard length of a German Shepherds pregnancy is approximately 63 days. German Shepherds tend to be a larger breed because of which their pregnancy can be slightly longer than smaller breeds.
To accurately estimate your German Shepherds pregnancy, you will need to monitor your pets pregnancy very closely, ideally from the time of her first heat cycle to how many times she experiences the heat period. Make sure to record the time and date so that you can track the time your pet conceived a pup. You will note that your German Shepherds due date numbers up to around 63 days from their gestation period.
German Shepherd Signs Of Labor
A dog in labor will generally appear agitated and will pace back and forth as it moves through the first and second stages of labor.
Provide your dog with a private space, either a kennel, box or small room, and lay down blankets or newspapers as your dog will want to nest.
When the dogs temperature drops to below 99 degrees, he will birth pups within 24 hours of this temperature drop.
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Think Your Dog Is Pregnant Here Is How To Find Out
Just like human pregnancies, dog pregnancies are complicated and sometimes confusing. Understanding dog pregnancy is crucial especially if your dog is pregnant or you are planning to breed your dogs. There are many things you need to know about dog pregnancy, from the signs of pregnancy to caring after your little puppies is born. Here is some information about dog pregnancy that should help you out.
Neonatal Period: Birth 3 Weeks
Right after birth is when a German Shepherd puppy is going to be most vulnerable. In the first three weeks of life, puppies will open their eyes, develop their hearing abilities, learn to crawl and to walk, and learn to go to the bathroom away from the rest of the litter.
They are small and delicate at this point. Their mother is completely responsible for feeding them, helping them urinate and cleanup, as well as keeping them warm. It is best at this stage to let the mother do her part and allow her the space to mother without humans interfering with her.
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How Will I Know If My Dog Is Pregnant
There are several ways a vet can check whether your dog is pregnant. One way is to gently feel your dogs tummy. Your dog can also have a blood sample taken for a pregnancy test if she is early on in her gestation, or she might have an ultrasound very much like a human pregnancy.
How Much Does A German Shepherd Puppy Cost
If you are buying a puppy from a breeder you can expect to pay anywhere from $600-$1500. The average price of a German Shepherd puppy is $1000. As a general rule reputable breeders tend to charge higher prices because they put more time, effort, and money into caring for their breeding dogs and puppies.
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How To Prepare For A German Shepherd Pregnancy
As a breeder or owner, there are things you can also do to make sure your German Shepherd is ready to have a comfortable pregnancy and then give birth safely. These preparation tips include:
- Change her diet after month 1 by adding puppy kibble. This is smaller and more nutritious for growing puppies.
- Dont over-exert her and she will be more tired and have a lot less energy. Her breathing might also become strained.
- Help her with the nesting process, making up her crate as comfortable as possible and not at the last minute. She needs to feel safe and secure, and know that she has a place to give birth safely and securely.
Testing For Pregnancy At The Veterinarian’s
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Canine Gestation Calendar And Timeline
The approximate expected time of a dog’s pregnancy is 63 days, although puppy gestation can vary by several days. Dog pregnancy can generally be expected to last between eight and nine weeks. However, just as with human pregnancies, the exact length of puppy gestation can vary slightly by several days. If you know when your dog was bred, a dog gestation calculator can help you estimate when your pet is due.
The following week-by-week canine gestation guide will aid in your understanding of the puppy’s development, and help recognize the outward changes your dog will experience as she advances through the stages of pregnancy until she delivers puppies.
Taking Care Of A Pregnant Dog
Your German Shepherd needs a lot of care and attention during its pregnancy. You can do several things to make the pregnancy comfortable and less painful.
- Quality dog food is essential for the good health of a pregnant dog.
- As the appetite of the dog increases, the quantity of dog food should also be increased but gradually.
- Give it more food at different times of the day and in small portions. Feeding a female dog with a big quantity can be dangerous for the dog and the puppies.
- Take your dog to a vet for regular checkups. You must take it to the vet at least 3 to 4 times during the 60 to 65 days of pregnancy.
Taking care of a pregnant dog is a great responsibility and you have to be very alert and conscious about every movement of the dog. You have to take care of the dog more than a human being during pregnancy. If you love little puppies and want to play with them, then these efforts will be worth it.
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German Shepherd Stages Of Labor
The labor of a German Shepherd is divided into 3 stages.
The first stage of labor starts around 24 hours before delivery. During this stage, the dog refuses to eat or drink, starts vomiting or panting, and becomes extremely restless as the contractions begin at this stage.
Stage 2 starts when the dog starts giving birth to the puppies. This stage can last up to 24 hours. A dog delivers puppies with a gap of 1 and a half hours. This gap must not exceed 2 hours as it can indicate some complications.
It is better to know with the help of an x-ray or ultrasound that how many puppies are there inside the dog. So that you may know when stage 2 completes.
Stage 3 starts almost at the same time as stage 2. This stage starts when the placenta, the newborn puppy, appears and completes when the last placenta is delivered.
Stage 3 ends as soon as the stage 2 completes.
When Can German Shepherds Get Pregnant
There are four stages to a dogs heat cycle. The first stage is known as the Proestrus stage, which will last about 9 days. This is the beginning of the heat and your dog will not willingly mate with a male.
During the Estrus stage, your dog will be receptive to males and there is a higher chance of conception. This can last anywhere from 3 days to 11 days.
Diestrus is the next stage, which starts on the 14th day of your dogs heat cycle. This completes the heat cycle. Anestrus is the stage in between heat cycles.
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Treatment Of Miscarriage In Dogs
Treatment for bitches who have miscarried is supportive and varies depending on circumstance. Restrict your dogs activity, and make sure that she remains hydrated while she recovers. If any of the fetuses are still viable, the veterinarian will find a way to help your dog carry them to term. Otherwise, you will need to ensure that your dog has expelled all pregnancy-related tissues, which can be verified with an ultrasound.
If the pregnancy was aborted due to an infection, your dog will require antibiotics. Any other underlying conditions will likewise need to be treated, and IV fluid therapy may be recommended if your dog is severely dehydrated. The prognosis varies according to the cause of the miscarriage, though most bitches will recover and be able to conceive again in the future, with the exception being for dogs that have developed brucellosis or a uterine infection.
How Many Babies Do German Shepherds Produce
Generally, German Shepherds can have up to 8 puppies. However, some larger females can produce about 15 litter. All in all, the number of GSD litter depends on the pets breed and health. A less healthy and small breed tends to have fewer than 8 babies.
Note that the overall health of the pregnant German Shepherd can have an impact on her puppies. For instance, a female German Shepherd tends to have a moderate or large litter if she is given a rich and nutritious diet combined with daily exercises and regular vet checkups. Other than that, the father of the litter also plays a key role in the overall health of his pups. For example, a male German Shepherd with a lower sperm count is less likely to produce more puppies.
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How Is Miscarriage Diagnosed
If miscarriage is suspected, ultrasound is used to assess the pregnancy and determine whether the fetuses are viable. Progesterone level monitoring can also be beneficial in pregnancy monitoring abnormal progesterone levels may indicate a failing pregnancy.
After a miscarriage has occurred, testing of both the mother and the fetus may be recommended to look for infectious causes of miscarriage. Blood tests performed on the mother, cultures of vaginal fluids, and histopathology of the fetus may determine a cause for the miscarriage.
Finding a cause for the miscarriage, especially if that cause is a treatable condition, may improve outcomes in future pregnancies.
Taking Your Pregnant Dog To The Vet
Regular visits to the vet can ensure your dog stays healthy during her pregnancy. When you take your dog to the vet for the initial confirmation of her pregnancy, your vet will also examine her for any signs of illness and/or discomfort. Make sure to ask your vet how often you should bring in your pregnant dog for check-ups, as well as what they recommend as far as vaccinations and flea/worming treatments. If your dog is already pregnant and her vaccinations are overdue, discuss options with your vet. Dogs pass on immunity to their puppies through their milk, so your dog should ideally be up to date on her vaccines, but you will need to check which are safe for both pregnant dogs and their unborn puppies. Additionally, roundworms and hookworms can be passed unborn puppies, so confirm with your vet which flea/worming treatments are safe to use during your dogs pregnancy.
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She’s Starting To Show
Your vet can confirm whether your dog is pregnant when she’s about 3 weeks through the gestation period. At that point, an ultrasound should be reliable. Your vet can palpate the dog to feel for puppies a month after the last breeding took place. From the sixth week on, your dog’s abdomen starts to enlarge. Along with a swelling stomach, her teats also get bigger. This time period coincides with an X-ray’s ability to detect the fetuses’ bone structure. In the final two weeks of pregnancy, your dog’s abdomen appears pendulous, with fetal movements apparent.
How To Manage The Fear Period For A Six Week Old German Shepherd Puppy
If you are preparing to welcome your new German Shepherd puppy into your family, you may be feeling justifiably worried about managing the fear period effectively.
After all, you wont have any control over experiences your young German Shepherd puppy may have had before they came to you.
But you certainly dont want to accidentally traumatize or stress out your puppy to the point where behavior problems develop later on in life.
So is there anything you need to know or do to make sure your young puppy feels safe, secure, and loved right from day one of their new life with you?
As a matter of fact, there are some things you can do to set your puppy up for success right away.
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The German Shepherd Puppy Fear Factor Period
You may be reading through this guide and wondering why you cant just take your new German Shepherd puppy home with you at six weeks old.
After all, your puppy is eating solid food, has all their puppy teeth and claws, is able to hear and see clearly, is playful and curious, and has been exposed to different people and socialized by their mom and littermates.
What could possibly go wrong?
The answer is simple: the fear period is yet to come.
All domestic dog puppies go through a period of time between the ages of eight to ten weeks that breeders and veterinarians call the fear period.
VCA Animal Hospitals explains that the fear period is actually extended from three weeks all the way to 12 weeks.
But for general purposes, canine researchers believe the most critical period happens between the age of six weeks and the age of 10 weeks, with specific fears taking shape around weeks eight through 10.
This is the time period when puppies begin to intensively socialize and interact with their littermates, human carers, and others, forming bonds or aversions as each situation or interaction may warrant.
As Dr. Jens Dog Blog points out, this period of time is incredibly important in a German Shepherd puppys development so much so that fearful experiences during these two weeks can cause lifelong challenges.
This is one key reason why it is smart to work only with a GSD breeder that will not release puppies until after the tenth week.
Tips To Prepare Your Dog For Babys Arrival
Even if your dog senses a pregnancy, they dont really know what that means. They have no idea whats about to rock their world.
Theres no way to know how your dog will react to the newest family member, and it can take time for it to adjust. Here are a few tips to make the adjustment a bit easier:
- Gradually especially if this is your first baby. The new baby will take much of your time and energy, and youll have less time for your dog, at least initially. And unfortunately, some dogs react negatively to this change. So if you normally give your dog a lot of attention, start decreasing this amount in preparation for the baby.
- Get your dog accustomed to hearing baby sounds. Babies cry sometimes even a lot and make other noises, which can be sensory overload for some dogs. To help your dog get used to the extra noise in the house, occasionally play a recording of a baby crying and making other sounds in the background.
- Apply the baby lotion you plan to use to a blanket. Allow your dog to sniff the blanket before the baby arrives to get it used to the babys scent.
- Train your dog not to jump on visitors, and assign a go to or calm down spot . This can prevent your dog from becoming overly excited when meeting baby for the first time.
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