Fri 11 Nov 2016:
- Day of first breeding.
- Sperm migrate beyond cervix.
- To increase chances of fertilization, the bitch should be bred again in approximately 48 hours after the first breeding (not performed).
- Sperm travel through oviducts. Sperm may survive for as long as 9 days.
- Sperm reach the oviducts where mature eggs are located.
- Fertilization of the egg (in the oviducts).
- Fertilized eggs migrate into the uterine horns.
2nd WEEK: Care of the bitch same as Week 1.
Tue 22 Nov 2016 through Thu 24 Nov 2016:
- Eggs develop into blastocysts.
- Embryos enter uterus.
3rd WEEK: Bitch may start to experience morning sickness due to either hormonal changes or from uterine distension. Feed smaller meals several times a day to help with morning sickness. If morning sickness persists, your vet may prescribe a drug to relax the uterus. May perform ultrasound at this time to determine pregnancy - discuss possible risks of the procedure with your vet.
Fri 25 Nov 2016 through Fri 2 Dec 2016:
- On day 19 blastocysts implant in the uterine wall, forming embryonic vesicles.
- On day 22 embryos are visible.
4th WEEK: Bitch may start to have a clear, vaginal discharge. May use palpitation to diagnose pregnancy. Limit strenuous activity.May wish to increase protein in the bitch's diet. Feeding puppy kibble is a good way to accomplish this.
Thu 1 Dec 2016 through Thu 8 Dec 2016:
- Eyes and spinal cords develop.
- Organ formation begins - at this time the embryos are at the highest susceptibility for defects.
- Mammary development begins.
- This is the best time to perform palpation to determine pregnancy.
- Embryos are approximately the size of a walnut, placed evenly in the uterine horns.
5th WEEK: Bitch begins to lose her 'tuck-up' as weight increases and puppies shift. Swelling of the vulva becomes more noticeable. Be aware of bitch's weight - do NOT overfeed. Palpitation no longer possible due to increased fluids in the uterus.
Fri 9 Dec 2016:
- Toes, whisker buds and claws begin development.
- Organ formation (organogenesis) ends.
- The fetuses now look like dogs, displaying head and trunk differentiation.
- Gender can be determined.
- Skin pigment begins to develop.
- May be able to hear fetal heartbeat with stethoscope.
- Bitch's nipples begin to darken and enlarge.
6th WEEK: Introduce bitch to whelping box/area - start having her sleep there. Increase frequency of meals, keeping an eye on her weight.
7th WEEK: Do not allow bitch to play rough with other dogs or to jump. May take radiographs to determine number and size of pups.
Sun 25 Dec 2016:
- Bones begin to mineralize.
- Puppies are easily felt through abdominal wall, although hard to count.
- Bitch will start to lose hair around the abdomen.
8th WEEK: Bitch's appetite may decrease due to abdominal crowding. May want to have bitch thoroughly checked with vet and discuss possible problems. Gather together your whelping kit and make preparations.
Wed 28 Dec 2016 through Thu 5 Jan 2017:
- Bitch begins to spend a lot more time in self-grooming.
- Breasts become even more swollen.
- Bitch may become a bit restless and search for a suitable place for whelping - make sure she is most comfortable in the area you have set up for whelping.
- Feed several smaller meals spaced throughout the day, as stomach is crowded.
- Fetal movement easily detected when bitch is at rest.
- Clean abdominal area and vulva with warm water.
- Give bitch a 'maternity clip' - trimming hair around nipples to allow pups easier access.
9th WEEK: Bitch's appetite may disappear as whelping time nears.
Mon 9 Jan 2017 through Thu 12 Jan 2017:
- Bitch may become restless and begin to display nesting behavior.
- Begin taking bitch's rectal temperature in the morning and evening.
- Normal temperature range is 100.2-100.8 degrees.
- When temperature drops below 99 degrees, puppies will likely be born within 24 hours.
- Bitch may become distressed - panting, pacing, appearing uncomfortable.
- Clear discharge from the vulva may occur.
- Expected date of whelp (based on an average). Whelping may occur anywhere from the 59th to the 66th day.