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Q & A: Do Dogs Get Morning Sickness?

Q&A: Do Dogs Get Morning Sickness?

Yes. Morning sickness affects a certain percentage of dogs, and it’s most likely to happen around the end of the first month.

Keep reading for a more complete “do dogs get morning sickness?” answer, including:

  • 2 ways to tell if your dog is pregnant.
  • What the heck is a false pregnancy?
  • Length of your dog’s pregnancy.

CC Image “Roxie supports breast cancer awareness” courtesy of Renee V/Flickr – Thx Roxie (& Renee)!

As dog owners, we love our dogs and consider them a part of the family. In fact, if something is going on with them, we tend to get very concerned.

It’s no different in cases of pregnancy, where your dog might be experiencing morning sickness.

But do dogs get morning sickness, actually?

It’s certainly a question that’s been asked more than once, and when it came across our minds, we thought we would look into the subject a little more deeply.

Of course, passing that information along to you was our second thought. 🙂

How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Pregnant?

Before you can tell whether or not your dog has morning sickness, you first have to find out that they are, in fact, pregnant.

Knowing what to look for so that you can spot even the earliest signs of pregnancy will give you a good start on providing all the care the mother dog will need.

A change in her appetite might be the first thing to clue you in that she might be pregnant.

It’s also a sign that she might be experiencing morning sickness. Unlike pregnant women, dogs with morning sickness don’t usually vomit as a result.

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Q&A: Do dogs get morning sickness? Unlike pregnant women, dogs w/morning sickness don’t usually vomit. Click To Tweet

They are more likely to eat a lot less dog food or even lose their appetite altogether.

It isn’t unusual for her to turn down even her favorite treats.

In early pregnancy, you might also notice your dog’s nipples starting to change.

They will start to get larger and become a lot darker.

The hair will also begin to thin in this area, making way for her nursing puppies to more easily find their nourishment.

do dogs get morning sickness? Nipple changes
CC Image “mummy” courtesy of Alpha Bravo Foxtrot/Flickr


Odds are, if you’re giving your dog a belly rub, you’re likely to notice these changes quite easily.

She’s also going to get a tad bit moody!

If your dog suddenly has no desire for interaction with you, and there’s nothing else that could be wrong, you can safely consider that she might be pregnant, as this is another early sign.

However, there’s also a chance that the exact opposite will happen.

Some dogs, instead of becoming aloof and standoffish, will instead want to be near you at all times.

In either case, this behavior change can definitely be a sign of early pregnancy.

Confirming Your Dog’s Pregnancy

Of course, all the above-mentioned pregnancy symptoms are things you can see or will notice on your own. There are only two true ways to know for sure that your dog is pregnant:

  1. Wait and see what happens
  2. Take her to a vet.

The best idea is to go for a checkup about two to three after she has mated, where your vet will be able to give a thorough checkup and answer all you questions.

The vet is likely to tell you that morning sickness does affect a certain percentage of dogs, but it’s most likely to happen around the end of the first month.

Your vet might also consider an ultrasound at this time, which can safely be done as early in the pregnancy as three weeks.

After the fourth week of pregnancy, he can feel the dog’s stomach to check for pregnancy. At this time, puppies are about the size of a walnut and spaced out evenly throughout the uterus.

A word of caution here:

Feeling for puppies to determine pregnancy should ONLY be attempted by a trained professional.

If you are accidentally too rough, you can cause your dog to miscarry the puppies or the growing puppies could be harmed by the rough treatment.

It’s much better to leave this procedure to someone who knows exactly what they’re doing and has done it before.


How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Having A False Pregnancy?

False pregnancy can also be known as pseudo-pregnancy, pseudocyesis and phantom pregnancy, but all these terms refer to the same thing.

It is basically a display of mothering instincts paired with actual, physical symptoms of pregnancy and occurs right after your dog goes out of heat.

It can happen even if you dog hasn’t mated at all and surprisingly, most dogs will show at least some signs of pregnancy after her cycle is over.

The reason false pregnancy occurs is that the dog’s body will begin to produce hormones, even before mating occurs, that get the uterus ready to maintain a real pregnancy.

If the dog becomes pregnant, the hormone production will continue. If not, production will start to decrease in about four to six weeks following he cycle. In a dog that has not mated or become pregnant, the early signs of this hormone production can, indeed, mimic a real live pregnancy.

In most cases, these symptoms go away when there is no actual pregnancy.

However, some of the signs, including morning sickness, can become so severe that veterinarian treatment is required.

In such cases, the dog may need to take something to get rid of excessive anxiety, there may be a need to reduce the production of milk and in some cases, however, rare, there may be a need for treatment using hormones.

The best thing to do, if there is never any intention of you dog being bred, is have an ovaiohysterectomy performed. This can alleviate the possibility of a false pregnancy occurring at all and might be best for your dog.

How Long Is A Dog’s Pregnancy?

Once you find out your dog is pregnant, the next thing you’re going to want to know is, how long will she be pregnant?

It’s much shorter than in humans, but how long is it?!

To better understand the gestation period, it’s best to understand the entire reproductive cycle.

Female dogs start their cycle by going into heat about once every six months. This can vary, by dog and breed, but it usually last about twenty days, and can be divided up into four particular stages.

Breeding Tip:  Knowing which stage a dog is in can point to the best time to breed the dog.

If your dog becomes pregnant, the gestation period will usually last about 63 days after conception.

(This period can differ by as much as several days either way.)

If your dog becomes pregnant, the gestation period will usually last about 63 days after conception. Click To Tweet

It might seem like a very simple equation, however, knowing exactly when conception occurs can be hard to know for sure. Sperm can live inside the female dog for nearly a week, and eggs are fertile for about two days.

This leaves a bit of room for mistakes in gestational time, unless a vet is consulted.

In Closing

Do you have experience with pregnant dogs?

If so, what have you noticed concerning morning sickness during pregnancy?

If you have information about this particular topic, we’d love to hear it and we’re sure our readers would as well!

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