Your Golden Retriever has mated with another dog and you’re now preparing your household for Golden Retriever gestation. Congratulations! This article answers how long are Golden Retrievers pregnant, provides details regarding Golden Retriever pregnancy signs and gives a timetable with information on what you can expect from your dog during certain Golden Retriever pregnancy stages.
How do I know if my Golden Retriever is pregnant?
Take note of the following telltale Golden Retriever pregnancy signs and behaviors. Alternatively, you can discuss canine pregnancy tests with your vet if you feel comfortable with a professional opinion.
It is normal for your dog to experience a marked decrease in activity during the early stages of a Golden Retriever gestation period. If your Golden Retriever is normally not very active however, take note of how quickly it gets tired during exercise and play time. Pregnant Golden Retrievers usually get tired faster.
Change of appetite
A change in your dog’s eating habits is a sign of pregnancy. Usually, appetite changes become apparent and manifest in the early to mid-stages in Golden Retriever gestation. Your Golden Retriever may not eat as much or vomit during feeding time but may also eat more than her usual food intake, depending on her hormonal balance.
Regardless of your Golden Retriever’s eating habits during the early stages of gestation, the most obvious sign of pregnancy is weight gain, which may lead to an enlarged or bloated-looking abdomen. If you notice this happening, it is highly advised to take your Golden Retriever to the vet for further instructions.
Be mindful about the physical condition of your Golden Retriever’s nipples. During her gestation period, her nipples and the area surrounding it may swell and become rounded. This happens because of increased blood flow and is a good indicator of Golden Retriever pregnancy.
What is the timetable for my Golden Retriever’s gestation period?
Typically, the average Golden Retriever pregnancy time lasts 9 weeks. From the moment your dog becomes pregnant, you will have approximately 9 weeks to care for your Golden Retriever and get her prepared for birth. This next section will detail what to expect at each period of Golden Retriever pregnancy.
Weeks 1 – 3
This time period usually signifies the early and beginning stages of your Golden Retriever pregnancy time table. Week 1 technically starts after a successful breeding between your female Golden Retriever and her mate. The fertilized egg will travel to the uterus during week 2 and you can expect the most significant physical and psychological changes at this time. Week 3 will have your Golden Retriever developing its milk ducts, which may cause a noticeable roundness and fullness in its breasts and is the week where the embryos develop.
During weeks 2 – 3, you may expect the early signs of pregnancy to manifest, such as changes in diet and behavioral changes. Your Golden Retriever may become excitable, moody and clingy at this time.
A Golden Retriever 4 weeks pregnant will have its fetus developed enough to be felt by hand. Be gentle and careful not to hurt your dog if you want to feel the puppies. Your Golden Retriever’s appetite may increase significantly during this time, so be ready to increase her portion size.
At this point in gestation, the uterus may begin to fill the sac protecting the puppies with fluid for added protection, so you can expect your Golden Retriever’s abdomen to expand significantly by the end of week 4.
Your Golden Retriever 5 weeks pregnant will have a noticeably larger abdomen by this point and is normal. During this time period, the most significant changes happen to the fetus where their sex organs will more fully develop and appendages (paws and toes) will develop more pronounced features.
You may want to consider increasing feeding frequency while cutting down on portion size to help facilitate efficient and safe digestion for your Golden Retriever at this time.
A Golden Retriever 6 weeks pregnant will have a more developed and larger fetus at this point. The most significant physical feature that develops in the fetus at this time is the eyelids.
Your Golden Retriever may experience bouts of vomiting and may have a clear discharge coming from the vagina during this time; both of these symptoms are normal and should be expected.
Your Golden Retriever 7 weeks pregnant will have a litter that has more or less reached its peak size inside the womb. Your dog’s breasts will now be ready to give milk and may leak some of it out (also known as “colostrum”).
During this time, your Golden Retriever may appear very tired and may not engage in a lot of activities. It is best to find a suitable nesting area (or “whelping box”) that your Golden Retriever can nurse and care for its puppies during this time.
A Golden Retriever 8 weeks pregnant will have puppies that have fur and whose abdomen will look very bloated and large. In relation to the previous weeks, week 8 does not usually mark much activity or physical changes in your pregnant Golden Retriever or her puppies.
If you’ve found a nesting area for your expecting Golden Retriever, she may start digging in and around to make accommodations for her puppies.
Your Golden Retriever 9 weeks pregnant will give birth soon.
It is at this point will you want to take regular rectal temperature readings once every 12 hours. A normal temperature reading is 100° F (about 38° C), but a reading of 97° F (36° C) for two consecutive temperature readings means that your Golden Retriever will undergo labor within the next 24 hours. Behavior associated with labor includes restlessness, anxiety and generalized discomfort from your Golden Retriever.