12 Signs Your Golden Retriever is Pregnant and What to Do

Each pet parent’s life is filled with unbridled joy when they learn that their dog is pregnant; you envision small replicas of the creature you like roaming about. But with great happiness comes tremendous responsibility. When your golden retriever becomes pregnant, it may be both joyful and stressful for both you and the expectant mother.

So What are the signs your Golden Retriever is pregnant? Signs that your Golden Retriever is pregnant include; A slowdown in activity level, Appetite Changes, Abnormal Behavior, Weight Gain And Abdominal Enlargement, Enlarged Or Discolored Nipples, Nesting behavior, drop in body temperature, mood changes, and vaginal discharge.

This article contains all the signs that will let you know your golden retriever is pregnant and how to deal with the mother to be, so keep reading

12 Signs of pregnancy in Golden Retrievers 

golden lying down to show the signs your golden retriever is pregnant

A slowdown in activity level

It’s possible that your dog is pregnant if she gets tired easily and spends more time napping. This reduction should be taken seriously by dogs that are normally active; pay greater attention to how quickly she tired during walks.

Appetite Changes

Depending on the dog and her stage of pregnancy, a pregnant dog’s appetite might change in a variety of ways. She may eat less or perhaps vomit periodically early or midway through the pregnancy.

She may, however, consume more than normal and be unhappy with her meals. These changes are caused by your dog’s shifting hormones. 

Abnormal Behavior

You may notice certain changes in your dog’s behavior if she is pregnant.

She may, for example, seek out her owner’s comfort more frequently. A pregnant dog may spend more time around you, seeking additional attention.

A pregnant dog, on the other hand, may prefer alone and not want to be disturbed; when given attention, she may appear melancholy or even angry. You can also check out the other reasons golden retrievers get angry here.

Enlarged Or Discolored Nipples

While a female dog’s nipples are typically tiny, during the early stages of pregnancy, her nipples expand in size. In comparison to their typical flatness, the areolas also grow rounder.

You may also notice that your dog’s nipples are getting a bit deeper red than usual, indicating increased blood flow. Later in the pregnancy, female nipples may also leak milk on occasion.

In theory, this condition appears 25 to 30 days after mating.

Weight Gain And Abdominal Enlargement

Your dog’s abdomen will grow in size as the pups develop. This can be one of the most obvious signs of a dog’s pregnancy, especially if your dog hasn’t gained weight for any other reason.

However, because enlargement of the abdomen happens late in your dog’s pregnancy, it’s time to take her to the doctor if you observe this indication along with others.

Behaviors Related to Nesting

You may observe your dog shredding bedding and other available items to construct a nest during the last few weeks of pregnancy. During this period, she may become angry and reclusive, so it’s better to minimize her interaction with little children.

Puppy Movement

Puppy movement was not mentioned as a possible symptom that our dog was pregnant, but it might be the first significant indicator you detect.

Do you notice any odd movement when you put your hand on your dog’s belly? This might be an indication that your dog is expecting a child.

While you may think there were some little changes during her first pregnancy, they become definite as soon as you feel and perhaps see little pups moving about in her tummy.

Flaring Fur

It might just be a Golden thing, especially because other dogs’ fur doesn’t flame.

Although it is uncommon, some dog owners have noticed that the hair along their dog’s flanks was flaring outwards. This is due to the increasing size of her stomach, which caused not only her belly but also her fur to pooch out.

Dropping in Body Temperature

This is not just a symptom of pregnancy, but it also signals your dog is on the verge of giving birth; golden retrievers’ body temperatures decrease while pregnant, and they drop dramatically about 24 hours before giving birth.

Pacing and Panting 

Pacing around while panting is a sure sign that puppy time is approaching. Pre-puppies, your golden retriever would typically get uneasy, panting and pacing around the house in the 24-48 hour period.

Abdominal Size Change

The abdomen of your dog expands, and her total body weight might rise by 20 to 55 percent. However, it’s conceivable that this phenomenon won’t show up until 45 to 50 days after conception. Experts shouldn’t have to warn you that your pregnant dog will gain weight and have a larger tummy.

Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge occurs approximately 1 month after mating, this is one of the prominent signs of pregnancy, yet I recommend you go for a check-up to make sure it is not a symptom of any other condition.

The most important indicator that can warn you that your dog is going to be pregnant, though, is if she has been mating lately. You can check everything about the mating and the heat cycle of golden retrievers here.

What to do if your golden retriever is pregnant 

Pay attention to their Nutrition

The nutrition of your dog is one of the most crucial things to keep an eye on during pregnancy. Because an incorrect diet might give your dog discomfort, there are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Make sure they’re eating a nutritious diet. 
  • As they enter their second month of pregnancy, feed them 35-50 percent more than their regular diet. 
  • Instead of huge, heavy meals, feed her tiny ones. 
  • Check to see if they’re getting enough water. 
  • Do not offer them puppy food or scraps of food or treats.

Taking Them to the Vet is a must. 

  • The vet will be able to inspect the puppies for any illnesses or diseases, as well as any physical anomalies, if necessary. 
  • Your veterinarian can use x-rays to determine how many puppies the mother is carrying 
  • If your dog’s pregnancy was unintentional, talk to your veterinarian about having her spayed after the birth. 
  • Inquire with your veterinarian about what to do in an emergency. Complications with pregnancy or birth might occur, and it’s always a good idea to be prepared in case something unexpected occurs.

Vaccinations should not be given to a pregnant Retriever.

With the exception of a few heartworm medications and Frontline Plus topical flea treatments, do not provide any treatments or immunizations to your pregnant dog without first consulting your veterinarian.

  • Before giving your pet any medication, make sure to consult with your veterinarian.
  • If your golden retriever needs vaccines while pregnant, wait until after the baby is born.
  • Vaccinating your golden retriever while they are breastfeeding is typically safe.
  • Consult your veterinarian if the mother’s heartworm and flea medications are out of date.
  • Heartworms and fleas can be passed from the mother to her unborn puppies.
  • If she needs treatment when she’s pregnant, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Ensure that they get enough exercise, but not too much.

  • It’s fine for your golden retriever to go about his business as usual. This implies they can play or run whenever they want, but there are certain things to keep in mind: 
  • Don’t take them on lengthy walks; instead, play fetch with them but don’t throw the ball too far. 
  • If you enjoy walks, take your pregnant golden retriever on three to five short walks throughout the day. 
  • Allow them to relax during the last 2-3 weeks before their due date. This is because the puppies’ health depends on the last two weeks. One of the puppies may die if the mother is bumped or struck too hard in the abdomen.

Make them feel at ease.

When your golden retriever is expecting a child, they will most likely be uncomfortable at times. This is why, as the owner, it is your responsibility to make them as comfortable as possible. 

  • During their pregnancy, they will require more attention and affection than usual. 
  • During their pregnancy, try to hug and pet them more than normal. 
  • Make sure they have a comfortable place to sleep in and that their bedding is clean. 
  • Keep additional blankets and dog pillows on hand for added comfort.

Try to stay away from circumstances that may cause them to become stressed. 

This may include taking your dog to a crowded dog park, having visitors around, or anything else that makes your dog anxious.

Don’t give your Golden Retriever any extra calcium while she’s pregnant.

Even while feeding them more vitamins during the dog’s pregnancy may seem like a good idea, it may be highly dangerous, especially if you give them calcium.

Calcium can cause eclampsia, a medical disease that affects pregnant dogs.

Eclampsia is a life-threatening disease that can strike within minutes of a person consuming too much calcium. If this occurs, you must take your golden retriever to the veterinarian immediately.

Know What to Expect During Each Week of Your Pregnancy

A 7-week old golden retriever

There will be around nine weeks of pregnancy, with various things to expect at different times. You’ll be able to assist your golden retriever to keep comfortable in a variety of ways. 

Week One: 

Morning sickness is a method to determine if your furry companion will become a mother. During the first week, you won’t have to bother about adjusting their food or exercising.

Week Two: 

Because the embryos will still be extremely tiny at this point, no changes to how you care for them are essential. The fertilized eggs descend into the uterus and adhere to the uterine wall during this stage.

Week Three:

The embryos will begin to receive all of the nutrients they require to live and thrive in week three.

You may notice a difference in your dog’s appetite at this point – she may be somewhat more hungry than usual, but her normal feeding schedule will suffice.

Week Four: 

This is when you should start reducing the quantity of activity you do each day.

Consult your veterinarian in week four to discover whether your expectant mother requires any vitamins or other nutrition. You will also be able to perform an ultrasound scan to determine the size of the litter and any potential health concerns.

Week Five: 

The puppies will be less susceptible to health problems. Your golden retriever pups will also be developing rapidly, requiring you to feed them more frequently.

Make careful to feed the mother frequently and in little quantities throughout the day.

Week Six: 

During week six, your golden retriever will grow significantly more hungry, therefore it’s crucial to keep her servings small. Her stomach will already be full, so eating more might give her a lot of pain.

It’s fine if you have to keep her feeding bowl out all day. In this manner, she may eat whenever she wants, as long as she doesn’t consume too much at once.

Week Seven: 

During this week, the mother will feel quite fatigued. The whelping box (a box with sides where your golden can give birth and the young puppies can’t get out) should be made in week seven. Encourage your dog to spend the rest of her pregnancy sleeping in the whelping box.

Week Eight: 

Your expecting mother may become unusually restless during the eighth week and begin digging in the whelping region. To avoid health problems or preterm labor, avoid engaging in any high-intensity exercise.

Week Nine: 

Your golden retriever will be restless in the last week. She’ll spend most of her time in the whelping area as well. The only thing you can do at this point is to take her temperature many times a day and wait for labor to begin.

Related Questions 

How early can a golden retriever get pregnant? 

A Golden Retriever can get pregnant during the first heat, or estrus cycle. Though most dogs go into heat around the age of six months, certain tiny breeds can go into heat as young as four months. Experts recommend that you don’t mate your dog until the second heat.

How many puppies do golden retrievers have? 

Golden Retrievers can have four to twelve puppies in a litter. The largest number of puppies in a Golden Retriever litter is seventeen and the average is eight puppies. The first litter of a female Golden Retriever is usually smaller than subsequent litters.

What should a pregnant golden retriever eat? 

A pregnant golden retriever should eat at least 29% protein, 17% fat, high quantities of soluble carbs, and minimal fiber. Calcium and phosphorus should be included for appropriate bone development in puppies, as well as enough milk for breastfeeding.

What should you not feed a pregnant dog? 

You shouldn’t feed a pregnant dog low-quality food, food that’s made for puppies, foods that are not following a lactation diet to support nursing, and large meals instead of frequent small-portion meals.

Helpful Resources 

Signs Your Dog Is Pregnant

Your Dog’s Pregnancy Week by Week

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

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