Pregnancy in Australian Shepherd is a very important time, not only for the animal but also for their owners. During this period our beloved pets need much more attention than usual. Some people believe that the pregnancy of dogs does not require any special care from the owners. According to such people, pregnancy of an animal is an absolutely natural process and human intervention is absolutely unnecessary. However, this is not entirely true.
During pregnancy, the immune system and the entire body of the dog are in a state of stress. Fetal formation requires a lot of strength, energy and resources from the mother‘s body. Of course, every dog can behave differently, but there are some common signs that your Australian Shepherd, like any other breed is pregnant.
During the fetal development period, chronic diseases may increase and new health problems may arise. Breathing becomes frequent and deep, also there may be changes in a blood flow. Below are more information on the signs of Australian Shepherd pregnancy and how to prepare for it.
Preparation For Pregnancy
The most suitable mating age is 2-2.5 years. Preparation for pregnancy begins with a visit of veterinarian, which will check blood, urine and so on. Veterinarian need to check if dog is healthy, and do not have kidney, liver or any other internal organs inflammation. It is necessary to remove fleas, as well as all possible sources of infections, such as inflammation of the ears, gums, perianal glands. The dog must get all preventive vaccinations.
Periods, Stages And Signs Of Australian Shepherd Pregnancy
Standard pregnancy of Australian Shepherd usually lasts 60-65 days, although there could be slight deviations of 2-3 days. It is difficult to notice any changes in the dog‘s condition in early pregnancy. In some cases, apathy and drowsiness may be observed at the second – third week.
At the end of the first month, between 25-30 days, the skin near the mammary glands swells and the glands become clearly visible and usually they look very bright pink. This can be noticed as Australian Shepherds have white color belly.
To make sure that your female is pregnant with the help of ultrasound around three weeks after mating. Ultrasound machine clearly shows the amniotic bubbles with the embryos inside. To determine the viability of the fetus it is better during subsequent period. Pregnancy can be diagnosed at an early stage with the help of laboratory tests – a complex blood serum test to determine the amount of the hormone relaxin.
Feeding During Australian Shepherd Pregnancy
There are no specific dietary requirements in early pregnancy. However, food should be fully balanced with the addition of vitamin and mineral supplements. If your dog‘s diet consists of dry food, it is better to switch to food more suitable for pregnant dog. Additionally, give her appropriate amount of folic acid, and that‘s enough to provide it with all nutrients.
If your beloved Aussie feeds on natural products, then it is necessary to supplement the diet with vitamin and mineral complexes, because the need for vitamins at that time increases several times. Vitamin-mineral complexes for pregnant and lactating female Aussie are the best option.
In the second half of pregnancy, the uterus of a pregnant dog is greatly enlarged, which prevents the dog from consuming the previous amount of food in a single meal and completely filling the stomach. During this period, not only should the calorific value and usefulness of the diet be increased, but also its fragmentation should be increased. For example, it should be fed 3 times a day. And when it is getting closer to birth, 2 weeks before delivery, your female should be fed 4 times but in smaller portions.
Lifestyle Of Pregnant Australian Shepherd
Pregnancy period should be more peaceful than usually, so it is better to not bother your female Australian Shepherd without a reason. It is better to avoid long trips with a car, friends visit or other active ways of spending time. Under no circumstances allow your pet to jump from a height. Raising the „mommy“ should be done carefully and slowly, holding the body from below and pressing to yourself. However, short walks and normal hygiene should not be forgotten.
Pregnant Dog Hygiene
Hygienic dog care consists of daily supervision of the pet, cleaning of the fur, skin monitoring. In the second half of pregnancy, a pregnant female may notice mucous secretions from the oral cavity, which she usually licks herself. But is she does not do it on her own, it is recommended to rinse the secretions with clean water. Also, two weeks before birth, the dog should no longer be washed.
If your female dog has not been dewormed before mating, this process now should be postponed for two weeks after giving birth. Even during the preparation for mating, avoid the use of medications, and for a dog preparing to give birth, they should be prescribed only by a doctor in case of extreme urgency. Do now allow the dog to interact with stray animals.
For the moment when your dog will have to give birth to puppies, it is necessary to prepare in advance a comfortable, quiet and warm place which is easy to reach for you. Your pet needs to get used to it and „make a nest“ in it. The dog begins to prepare for the birth of the puppies 24 hours before she feels its coming. She usually separates itself from others, seeks a place for itself, digs it and often even refuses its favorite food.
It is desirable to have a veterinarian nearby during the birth and to be able to take immediate action if necessary.
How Often Female Australian Shepherd Can Get Pregnant?
Females can get pregnant when the estrus season comes. It happens about every 10-12 months. The fertile or estrus period lasts up to three weeks. It is better to be more careful during this period if you don‘t want an unplanned puppies. This is one of the fundamental differences between male and female Australian Shepherd.
Pregnancy can be costly and cause a lot of emotions for you and your dog, so sometimes it is better to leave breeding to experts. Also, if you don‘t want your dog to get pregnant, you might want to sterilize it.
How Many Puppies an Aussie Can Give Birth To?
An average Australian Shepherd litter size is about 5-8 puppies. In rare cases it could be up to 10 puppies. If the litter is bigger, it is important that dog have enough time to rest. Also there could be a need to feed the little ones yourself, so the puppies don‘t exhaust their mother. Such precautions are recommended not only to protect the mother, but also to strengthen the little dogs early in life, so they would be strong dogs and good parents in future.
Dog‘s gestation period is as important as human. When it comes to the health of your dog, It is very important to take appropriate action to make things run smoothly. If it is the first time when your dog has started showing pregnancy signs described above, it is better to contact the local Aussie rescue in your area for a better inspection.
How many puppies do miniature Australian Shepherds have first litter? Miniature Aussies unlike bigger and standard versions, usually give birth only 2-3 puppies at a time.