If you are an owner of a golden retriever, then it is best that you know all about pregnancy in golden retrievers, especially if you want to breed golden retrievers. Even if you’re not looking to become a breeder, the sheer happiness of knowing that you’re going to have more cute fluff balls in the house is a feeling only dog owners would know. However, it is not easy to have birth plans for your dog, owing to the fact that dogs can be unpredictable when they are going through this phase of their lives. Knowing as much as you can about your golden retriever’s pregnancy will ensure that you take the right steps to make sure that the mother and the pups are both safe and healthy.
How Long Are Golden Retrievers Pregnant for?
If the question of how long are golden retrievers pregnant for is on your mind, then the right answer is 63 days, give or take a few days. Most golden retrievers deliver after 63 days, but it’s possible to be a little early or a little late, depending on the pregnancy condition of the dog. Therefore, 61 to 65 days is a better estimate of the number of days of your golden retriever’s pregnancy period.
Although the gestation period is 63 days after conception, it can often be difficult to determine. This is because the sperm can survive for a few days inside the female. The eggs in the female can remain fertile for approximately 48 hours, which shows that mating time does not give an accurate measure of gestation. If you need more information regarding this, you should contact your veterinarian.
Because dog pregnancy is highly different from human pregnancy (it is a much shorter period of time), you need to know the exact gestation length since each day matters. This is the gestation length according to various hormone measurements.
- 56-58 days measured from the first day of diestrus
- 64-66 days measured from the initial rise in progesterone
- 58-72 days measured from the first time the female dog allowed breeding
Signs of Pregnancy in Golden Retrievers
Here are a few signs that can tell you that your golden retriever is pregnant. Different signs show up in different stages, depending on how long the golden retriever has been pregnant.
The Early Stages
Earlier in the pregnancy, you might see these signs that can tell you that your golden retriever is pregnant.
Just like humans, dogs also tend to feel sick in the morning during the early stages of their pregnancy. If you notice that your dog is whining, lethargic, unable to eat, or vomiting early in the morning, then it could be a sign that your golden retriever is pregnant. However, you must keep monitoring these signs. If they continue later on as well, then you should consult a vet.
Your dog’s nipples might be swollen more than usual, which can tell you that she might be expecting! This can usually be seen after a month of mating, as the blood supply to the base of the udders increases.
If you see any white-colored vaginal discharge from your golden retriever, then the chances of her being pregnant are very high. Usually, this happens around a month after mating.
Your dog might be more reluctant to move around and indulge in any sort of physical activity. This can very well tell you that your golden retriever is pregnant.
Excess hunger and constant demand for more food and snacks is also a sign of pregnancy. But given that golden retrievers are almost always hungry and up for more food, you might not want to rely on this sign as much.
If your dog is asking for more love from you and is clinging on to you more than usual, then this can also be a sign that your golden retriever is pregnant. However, then again, golden retrievers are very loving and clingy as it is, so this is another sign that you can’t rely on too much, but sudden changes in behavior should be noted.
As mentioned in the previous point, changes in behavior (especially sudden changes), should always raise a red flag. This also depends on how long a golden retriever is pregnant for, but any sort of behavior changes can hint to a dog’s pregnancy.
After 30 Days
These are the signs of pregnancy that your golden retriever might start to show after 30 days of being pregnant.
If you notice that your golden retriever has gained a few extra pounds, then it might be an indication that you are about to have some puppies in your house. The best way to check is to use a pet scale to weigh your dog to know exactly how much weight she has put on.
We all know how much golden retrievers love to eat – they’re always up for a snack. Therefore, if your golden retriever is losing her appetite and is not willing to eat as much as usual, then this should get your attention. It can be a very evident sign that she’s expecting.
If you see that your dog is going to pee way more often than she usually does, then it is a very evident sign that she’s pregnant.
One of the most obvious signs of doggy pregnancy is that your golden retriever’s belly will start to protrude.
A Few Days Before Giving Birth to Her Puppies
Here are a few signs that you will see a few days before your dog delivers.
Further Decrease in Appetite
In the last few days of her pregnancy, your golden retriever might not feel hungry at all, and this is a very evident sign that can tell you that she is very close to delivering her pups.
In the last few days, you will even see puppy movement inside the mother’s belly. This is around a week or two before your dog delivers.
A Drop in Body Temperature
Around 24 hours before the dog delivers, her body temperature will significantly drop.
In the last few days before the dog delivers, she will be very restless and will be panting and digging constantly. This is when you should know that she is about to deliver and that you should set aside some space for her – preferably where she can deliver her pups without being disturbed.
Methods to Determine if Your Golden Retriever is Pregnant
There are four main methods that veterinarians use to check if your golden retriever is pregnant and also to check how long golden retrievers are pregnant for. These methods are listed and explained below.
A few hormonal tests are done that can tell you that your golden retriever is pregnant. The hormone relaxin is mainly tested to give an accurate result. Only during pregnancy is relaxin released from the placental tissue, which makes this test highly accurate.
However, for this test to give a precise answer, your dog should be 30 days or more into gestation. Tests that are taken before the designated time period can give an inaccurate answer.
If you want to find out that your dog is pregnant at an early stage, then an ultrasound is the best method. Veterinarians suggest getting your dog’s ultrasound done between 25 and 35 days of gestation.
Alongside detecting the pregnancy, an ultrasound can also tell you if the fetus is alive by registering fetal heartbeats. They can also tell you the gestational age of the fetus.
This is a great way to tell you that your golden retriever is expecting. It is effective in the later stages of the pregnancy only, because the fetal skull and the fetal spine do not become visible until around 45 days.
If you get an X-ray done after 55 days, then you can even know the number of puppies that your dog will give birth to. An X-ray at the right time can also determine a suitable time for an elective cesarean.
This is a very cheap and convenient way to check whether or not your golden retriever is pregnant. As a fetus develops, the membrane present around it grows to form a sac that is filled with fluid. Between three to four weeks of gestation, these sacs can be felt, and they grow to about the size of a table tennis ball in a typical 45-pound dog. After about 30 days, the sacs lose this shape, and the uterus starts to develop a floppy that can be easily mistaken for fat or a pyometra.
Everyone loves cute golden retriever puppies, and we’re sure you can’t wait till your dog delivers her pups. If you see any of the signs that can hint to your golden retriever being pregnant, then the first thing that you should do is schedule an appointment with a veterinarian.
The veterinarian will perform various tests on your dog to tell you if she’s pregnant. The vet will also be able to tell you how long your golden retriever has been pregnant.