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Week Puppy Development Changes In Mom Care Of Mom Your To Do List
Week 1 * Fertilization occurs 2 cell
embryos are in the oviduct.
* Embryo is fairly resistant to
external interference in development.
* Possible morning sickness.
Give mom dog crackers to help settle
her belly.
* Possible personality changes.
* Normal feeding.
* Check any and all medications with vet
prior to administering.
* No insecticides (flea treatments)
* No live vaccines
Give mom dog a lot of love
Week 2
Days 8-14
Embryo will be 4 cells at start of week
And 64 cell's by end of week
Embryo enters the uterus
Possible morning sickness
Give mom dog crackers to help settle her belly
Normal Feeding Momma Dog gets lots of love
Week 3
Days 15-22
Day 19-Implantation of embryos in uterus Possible morning sickness Normal feeding Momma Dog gets lots of love
Week 4
Days 22-28
Development of eyes, spinal, cords, faces, take shape
Fetuses grow from 5-10 mm to 14-15 mm
Organogenesis begins-Embryos are at their most susceptible to defects
Days 26-32 are the best days to palpitate {feel for the puppies}
(This should only be done by a Vet or a breeder)
Possible clear vaginal discharge
Mammary development begins
After Day 26, palpitation may be possible to diagnose pregnancy
Limit strenuous activity
Momma Dog gets lots of love
Schedule ultrasound or palpitation with vet if desired
Week 5
Days 29-35
Development of toes, whisker, buds, and claws
Fetuses look like little dogs now. Gender can be determined
Eyes (previously open) now close
Fetuses grow from 18 mm-30 mm
Organogenesis ends-embryos are fairly resistant to interference with development
Swelling becomes noticeable
Loss of "tuck-up"
Weight will start to increase
Slightly increase amount of food and switch to puppy food
If you feed one meal a day, add an extra meal
If you feed twice a day, slightly increase one of the meals
Palpitation no longer possible due to fluids in uterus
Momma Dog gets lots of love
Week 6
Days 36-42
Development of skin pigment
Fetuses should weigh around 6 grams and be 45 mm long
Fetal heartbeats can be heard with stethoscope
Nipples darken and enlarge
Abdomen continues to enlarge

Increase the amount of food in the extra meal
Mom dog should start sleeping in whelping box
Give mom dog a lot of love
Assemble whelping box
By this time you should be fairly sure that the mom dog is pregnant
Notify the people on your puppy list
Let them know when you expect delivery
Week 7
Days 43-49
Growth and development continues Abdomen hair will start shedding
The mom dog will start to look pregnant at this point
Slightly increase both meals Give mom dog allot of love.
Stop any roughhousing or jumping
Radiographs (X-rays) possible to determine number and size of puppies, If desired
Week 8
Days 50-57
Fetal movement can be detected when the mom dog is at rest. Milk may be squeezed from nipples
The mom dog will be very large.
Add moderate lunch Give mom dog allot of love
Gather whelping kit
Prepare phone list for help/support
It should include your vet's phone number
the emergency clinic's phone number
and the number of any friends who will be offering support during Whelping
and anyone else you might need to contact before, during, or after whelping
Make sure your car is gassed up and ready for a possible
emergency trip to the vet's office.
Week 9 Growth and Development continues
It is safe for puppies to be born now
Nesting behavior may be seen
Mom dog may become distressed {panting, pacing, and acting uncomfortable}
Temperature should be around 100.2-100.8 degrees Fahrenheit When temperature drops to around 98-99.4 degrees Fahrenheit
puppies should be born within 24 hours
Appetite may disappear as whelping approaches
Start taking temperature three times a day Give mom dog allot of love
Notify vet or emergency clinic when temperature drops
so that they will be ready if you have any problems
Keep detailed records on temperature and behavior of bitch
Double check that whelping supplies are ready
POST PARTUM POST PARTUM Make sure each puppy gets some of the Mom Dogs milk
within first 24 hours
{discharge} should be reddish to reddish-brown
green is okay on first day
If you see black discharge
contact your vet immediately
Within 5-6 hours of last puppy's birth, take mom dog and pups to vet for check up
The vet will ensure that the mom dog hasn't retained any pups or placentas and that the pups are in good health.








In the 8th week you can feel and see the puppies moving around. I love this part. I have been doing this for so long I can count pups way before 8 weeks.
I use a prenatal baby heart monitor it easier to hear the pups heartbeats.







If you own a stethoscope you can hear heartbeats in the 8th week.
It sounds like short quick tic,tic,tic,tic,tic.
I have learned to tell the sex of pups this way. Males tic faster.
Like in Morse code, males are the dot, females are the dash.
If you get good at this you can count pups too.





This starts when mom dog's temperature is around 98 degrees





Progesterone causes the mom dog's temperature to drop

  • *As progesterone drops, the temperature drops
  • *Period of uterine contraction
  • *Period of cervical dilation
  • *Minimal external contractions
  • *Lasts average of 6-24 hours
  • *Temperature drops-as long as temperature is lower, nothing should be happening
  • *Nesting, shivering, anorexia, panting
  • *When temperature increases to normal, mom dog should start pushing in a few hours


Cervix fully dilated
Active labor
Alternates with Stage 3 Pushing pups out



Begins when placenta is passed.
Alternates with Stage 2
Ends when last puppy is born




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