Guest article by Richard Cussons, reprinted with permission.
Many Labrador Retriever owners purposefully breed their dogs because they are up to breed standard, or they want to improve on the breed. Other times dogs become pregnant because they have found a way to spend time with another dog unsupervised. Whether the possible pregnancy was planned or not, it is important to know what the signs of pregnancy are in Labrador Retrievers.
Breeding a female dog can only happen during a heat cycle. A female dog’s cycle has four stages. The first stage is where the female Labrador Retriever is attractive to the male, but not ready to mate with them yet. This stage may last six to eleven days. You will know this stage is complete when the female becomes receptive to the male.
The second stage where the female Labrador Retriever is receptive can last from five to nine days. You will know when this stage is over because the female will no longer to be receptive to the male.
The third stage is when the female is no longer receptive to the male at all. And, the fourth stage is when no ovarian activity took place.
Pregnancy in dogs usually lasts 60 to 65 days. You may suspect pregnancy when you find your dog has a loss of appetite, slows down in their activity level, she is having a change in her nipples or her behavior is changing. These are the early signs.
As the pregnancy progresses you will notice an increase in her appetite and she will begin to gain weight. This is approximately at the one month mark. About the 5th week of the pregnancy her nipples will begin to change dramatically and her mid-section will begin to broaden. In the last few weeks you will begin to notice the movement of the puppies and her milk will begin to come in.
If you want to visit a vet, then they will be able to confirm pregnancy through an x-ray, ultrasound or a blood test. A vet will do a blood test to confirm pregnancy 30 days after breeding. There may be false signs of pregnancy, so it is always best to check with your vet to confirm pregnancy so that you may begin proper care. Labrador Retrievers, and any other breed of dog, needs special care to ensure they are ready when the time comes to deliver.
Richard Cussons writes articles about Labrador Retrievers and other dog breeds. Discover essential Labrador training tips at http://labradorsavvy.com.