Pet Health

A Closer Look at the Behavior of Pregnant Dogs

As living beings, the behavior of pregnant dogs or animals experiences similar changes as human beings. Pregnancy can change the way we act, it completely changes us physically, mentally, and physiologically. 

Hormonal changes are one of the significant changes that occur in the body of a living being during pregnancy, with the physical changes that are visible during the pregnancy such as protruding belly, weight gain, and change in size and color of the nipples. One can also see a visible difference in the way the pregnant one act. 

Hormones are crazy, they make you feel crazy. Often, you end up doing things when you have a hormonal surge, and you end up regretting that. The same is the case with animals, especially dogs. Unlike humans, dogs are pregnant for a period of two months. Their gestation period lasts from 55 to 66 days. Due to this shorter period, the dog owners may go unnoticed. They will not pay proper attention to the changes that are occurring in their pets, and boom their pets will surprise them with the cutest pup.

Let Us Dig Into the Details of the Behavior of Pregnant Dogs

Increased Sensitivity

Pet owners will notice with each passing day of pregnancy, that the behavior of pregnant dogs will become very sensitive to the minute details around them. They will look sad, their energy levels will decrease. Some will have increased appetite during the early days; some will have decreased diet during the early days. Alternatively, some will have an increased diet during the second month; some will have decreased diet during the last phase. It all depends upon the hormones because the brain is responsible for the secretion of these chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Up and down of hormones will decide the level of appetite as well.

Increase in Appetite

With the hormonal changes in the body, that come with being pregnant. You may notice that the behavior of pregnant dogs will change appetite patterns. Some dogs may eat less in the first month of their pregnancy, and some eat more. Similarly, some dogs eat more first month of pregnancy, and some eat less. Some may notice an increase in the weight of the dog, which may be a positive indicator of the dog’s pregnancy. Like humans, we do not have any pregnancy tests available for animals, so it is better to keep a check on the early signs of pregnancy.

Decreased Physical Activity

We are aware of the fact that when animals gain weight, they become slow in their physical activity. The same is the case here, with pregnancy comes the most important change in the bodies of dogs, which is gaining weight, and of course, that is completely normal. Hormonal changes and changes in the diet patterns of pregnant dogs contribute to the gain of weight.

When pregnant dogs gain weight, they become less active. This thing is normal because the light body is more active. In addition, they are carrying a baby dog in their womb, so becoming less active is completely normal in the behavior of pregnant dogs, but becoming vets does not advise sedatives. They always advise keeping their physical activity level to a moderate level.

Becomes Lethargic

The energy levels of dogs during pregnancy drop to a very low level, and because of hormonal changes, they become very tired. Few walking steps and your dog will be tired easily. Animals are energy balls mostly; we have always seen them playing, running, and whatnot. They have higher energy levels mostly. Therefore, as humans, their hormones also change during pregnancy.

Hormonal changes have resulted in low energy levels, mood swings, etc. It is advised to keep a check on them when they are sleepy or lethargic, or when they are not taking a part in activities they usually used to do. They will have decreased physical activity, but many vets suggested that during the pregnancy span, you should not restrict their physical activity levels completely.

Becomes More Affectionate

In pregnancy, mood swings and all the behavioral changes are visible. Pregnant dogs in pregnancy become completely dependent on their owners. They want affection and attention all the time. They demand more affection than in a normal routine. This thing is noticeable in many pregnant dogs.

On the other hand, some pregnant dogs become reserved and demand to be left alone, they feel grumpy, cranky, sad, depressed, and anxious all the time. As we have already discussed, this behavior is all the game of hormones.

Nesting Behaviour

Nesting behavior has been seen a lot in pregnant dogs and many other pregnant animals. Nesting behavior is known as the motherly drive of the dogs that are pregnant to create a location that is safe for their puppies. It is normal for dogs to prepare a nest before they go to sleep. Sometimes, during pregnancy your dog is uncomfortable and they want to rearrange themselves and their puppies to the new environment. There is nothing to worry about when your dog shows nesting behavior. It is their instinct. Sometimes, humans also show nesting behavior, but that is opposite to that of dogs or any other animal.

What a Dog Does While Showing Nesting Behavior?

A dog might show many of these things in her nesting behavior.

  • Circling repeatedly
  • Assembling blankets
  • Tearing paper
  • Toys or cushions can be rearranged.
  • Grabbing a sofa cushion or comforter
  • Hiding in a closet or other tiny area

Give it a few days if the nesting habit is new but you are not sure if you should label it as excessive. It is probably worth bringing up if the nesting is dictating your pregnant dog’s schedule and interfering with crucial activities like mealtime or playtime.

Additionally, you might want to provide your dog with some soft items that you do not mind her using as nesting materials. Put some used blankets, towels, or pillows in an accessible location and encourage her to use them in place of the couch cushions or your comforter if she begins to do so.


We are concluding the behavior of pregnant dogs by saying that if you notice any of these signs in your dog, and if she was out of your sight for a day, she might have met any male dog. Pay and schedule proper visits to a vet for better and healthy delivery and nourishment of both the dog and her pup. Kindness is everything.


How long is a dog’s gestation period?

A dog’s gestation period, or the time between conception and birth, is typically around 63 days. However, the gestation period can vary slightly depending on the breed of the dog and the size of the litter.

How can I tell if my dog is pregnant?

Signs that your dog may be pregnant include decreased activity, increased appetite, nesting behavior, and nipple enlargement. However, the only way to confirm a pregnancy is through a visit to a veterinarian for an ultrasound or X-ray.

Can a pregnant dog have vaccinations?

It is recommended that pregnant dogs avoid vaccinations, as they can be stressful on the mother and may pose a risk to the developing puppies. However, some vaccinations may be necessary depending on the dog’s lifestyle and risk factors. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action.

How long should I wait before breeding my dog again after giving birth?

It is recommended to wait at least six months before breeding a dog again after giving birth. This allows the mother time to recover and regain her strength before undergoing another pregnancy.

Can a pregnant dog still be spayed?

It is generally not recommended to spay a pregnant dog, as the procedure can be risky for both the mother and her puppies. However, in some cases, spaying may be necessary to prevent complications or health issues. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action.

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