Dog Pregnancy Symptoms Week 8 And 9
Once your pup reaches week 8 and 9 of their pregnancy, you should be expecting puppies at any moment.
The standard canine pregnancy is anywhere from 58 to 68 days long, with many pups giving birth somewhere throughout this time frame.
Because of this, it’s important to not only be prepared for your dog’s birth at this time, but to be well educated on the symptoms you can expect.
In this article we will discuss the common pregnancy symptoms at week 8 and 9, the potential signs of labor, as well as what to expect once your pup begins the whelping process.
Reaching The End Of Your Dog’s Pregnancy At Weeks 8 & 9
As we mentioned above, once your pup reaches 8 weeks of gestation, you should be prepared for puppies at any moment.
While your dog will do most of the work when it comes time to birth their puppies, there are ways that we can help them as their birth date approaches.
At this point in their pregnancy you should have an x-ray performed to get an accurate puppy count, you should have a whelping space set up in your home, and you should be aware of the signs of canine labor.
Once you do this, you will be prepared for anything that comes your dog’s way over the next 2 weeks.
To help you better prepare for what to expect during week 8 and 9, let’s discuss the details below.
Dog Pregnancy Symptoms At Week 8
Once your dog reaches week 8 of their pregnancy, their puppies are fully grown within their uterus.
This means that your pup’s stomach will be noticeably distended, and you will likely see the puppies moving around in their belly.
Their mammary glands and nipples will also be enlarged, and the hair on their stomach will have likely shed completely at this point.
During this period, you may notice some significant changes in behavior as well.
First, you will likely notice how uncomfortable your pup may seem at times.
Their distended belly makes it hard for them to get cozy, so you may see them tossing and turning in search of relief.
They may also be exhausted as a result of carrying their full-grown puppies around.
Many dogs will also begin to display nesting behaviors at this point.
You may see your dog searching for a cozy space to give birth, which is why we suggest setting up a whelping space around week 7 or 8.
If your dog approves of this space, they will likely spend most of their time here until they give birth.
Dog Pregnancy Symptoms At Week 9
If your pregnant pup did not give birth during week 8, it will happen during week 9!
Their physical changes will be similar to week 8 when referring to the size of their belly and their enlarged mammary glands, but your pup will likely be even more uncomfortable at week 9 due to the size of their puppies at this point.
You will likely notice a milky discharge coming from their nipples as well, as their bodies are ready to feed their puppies at any moment now.
A 9 week pregnant dog is likely preparing to have their puppies at any moment, so you will notice obvious nesting behaviors.
Your dog will likely be spending quite a bit of their time in their whelping space, they may dig or scratch at the bedding in that area, and they may even gather toys or blankets in their designated space.
Once you notice this, you can typically expect the birthing process to begin within hours to a few days.
X-Rays For Pregnant Dogs At Week 8 & 9
If you have not had x-rays performed by week 8 or 9 of your dog’s pregnancy, it’s time to have them performed now.
X-rays are the best way to know just how many puppies your dog will be having, as well as knowing ahead of time if they may run into complications due to puppy size.
Knowing just how many puppies your dog will be having can alert you to any potential complications when they are giving birth.
For example, if your dog stops pushing for a couple hours after their third puppy, but you know they are having four, this could be a sign that your dog needs medical attention.
X-rays can also be useful for small dogs that have a smaller pelvic canal, as x-rays can measure the size of the puppy’s heads in comparison to the mother’s pelvis.
If it seems like your dog is having a hard time passing her puppies when you have already been warned about the pelvic canal size, this can allow you to act quickly in seeking medical attention.
This can turn into an emergency quickly.
Ultrasound For Pregnant Dogs At Week 8 & 9
Puppies can be easily viewed on ultrasound at week 8 of a canine pregnancy, as well as their heartbeats.
Ultrasound can be the perfect way to confirm heartbeats in each puppy, but it can be difficult to get an accurate puppy count with this method.
Many vets will recommend a combination of both an ultrasound and x-rays to offer you as much clarity as possible about your dog’s pregnancy.
What Should I Feed My Pregnant Dog At 8-9 Weeks?
A pregnant dog that has reached week 8 or 9 will have different nutritional requirements than a dog that is not pregnant.
Not only will it take a large amount of energy to nurture their full grown pups in utero, but it will also be taxing work to feed them once they enter the world.
Because of this, a pregnant dog should be switched to an approved puppy diet once they reach 7 weeks of pregnancy.
If you have not yet done this, it’s time to switch your pup over to their new diet to prepare them for the labors of birth and nursing.
Just be sure to switch them over to this new diet over the span of 5-7 days to prevent any GI upset.
Due to how full your dog’s stomach will be at this point, it’s best to break their daily feeding amount into multiple small meals throughout the day.
This will allow your dog to graze as needed, as well as prevent any discomfort that can come along with having a full stomach during this period.
Also view: Milk Fever In Dogs for nursing mothers.
Setting Up A Whelping Space For Your Pregnant Dog
Because their puppies are due at any moment, you will want to have a safe whelping space set up for your furry friend.
This is a space that they will not only give birth to their puppies in, but where they will care for the puppies during the first weeks of their lives.
The best area to set up a whelping space for your dog is a part of the home that is free of heavy traffic or other animals.
This area will need to be as calm and secure as possible, as any unnecessary stress can impact their delivery.
Once you find the best spot in your home for this, you can fill it with cozy blankets, potty pads to prevent damage to flooring, and even a short blockage that prevents the puppies from crawling away.
If you do not want to build your own whelping space, you can always purchase a whelping box online.
There are an array of brands and sizes to choose from if this is the route you take.
Signs Of Labor In Dogs Who Are 9 Week Pregnant
Your pregnant pup is just around the corner from giving birth at this point, so you will want to be aware of the signs of labor to keep an eye out for.
Though many signs of nesting and labor are obvious to the dog owner when it occurs, let’s list all the possible symptoms you may see.
- Digging at the bedding in their whelping space
- Gathering blankets or toys in their whelping space
- Appearing restless or agitated
- Body trembling or shivering
- Excessive panting
- Decreased appetite
- Hardened abdomen
- Noticeable abdominal contractions
- Discharge from the vulva
If your pregnant furry friend is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it could be a sign that puppies are on the way!
Be sure to keep a close eye on them in the following hours, and make sure they have a safe space to birth their puppies.
How Long Will My Pregnant Dog Be In Labor?
Once your canine friend goes into labor, it’s helpful to have an understanding of how long the birthing process should take.
This can not only allow you to monitor your pup’s progress, but to better spot complications as they arise.
In general, the birthing process for most dogs should last anywhere from 4-6 hours.
Though dogs may display nesting behaviors for days before they go into labor, the process of labor should last no longer than 6 hours from the moment the first puppy was birthed.
Many dogs will rest for about 20 to 30 minutes in between each puppy, but they should rest no longer than an hour in between.
If you notice your pup resting for longer than an hour when you know they have more puppies to give birth to, we suggest giving your vet a call.
If there is anything that occurs during your dog’s birthing process that concerns you, we always suggest reaching out to your vet.
By explaining the current symptoms your dog is experiencing, they can determine if it is best to bring them in to be seen.
You don’t want to add any unnecessary stress to your dog’s plate, so a quick phone call is a great screening process before bringing them to your vet’s office.
Final Thoughts On Week 8 & 9 Of Your Dog’s Pregnancy
This is an exciting time in your dog’s pregnancy, as the birth of their tiny puppies can occur at any moment.
It’s time to set up their whelping space, make sure they are getting adequate nutrition, and wait for their beautiful puppies to enter the world.
Other Dog Pregnancy Symptom Weeks
- Week 1 Symptoms
- Week 2 Symptoms
- Week 3 Symptoms
- Week 4 Symptoms
- Week 5 Symptoms
- Week 6 Symptoms
- Week 7 Symptoms
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 10 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! Read more about us here.