Can I Give My Dog a Pregnancy Test?

Can I Give My Dog a Pregnancy Test?If you’re unsure if your dog is pregnant, you might also wonder if a human pregnancy test will work on them. It’s an interesting question, seeing how it deals with the sexual makeup of two different species. Since pregnancy test have a knack for not working too well for us humans, our first thought was that they probably wouldn’t work to well for dogs. But we explored this further to see what your options are.

When you think your dog is pregnant you have a limited amount of time before you won’t have to guess any more. An entire term for a dog is only 9 weeks as opposed to the 9 months we have. That means that they’ll start to show and have other signs that they’re pregnant before you’ll really need to test them out.

So really a pregnancy test isn’t really necessary, and that’s a good thing because the ones that work for us don’t work for dogs, and there isn’t a big enough market for them to make doggy versions. You’ll just have to go about it the old fashioned way, but you don’t have to be totally shocked when she starts popping out puppies, there are other ways to determine if she’s pregnant, which we go over below.

Can I Give My Dog a Pregnancy Test? Answer: No

Human pregnancy tests don’t work on dogs, but it’s not an incredibly big deal, because you’d only be buying yourself a few days advance warning.

If you’re really bent on finding out early, you can take your dog to the vet and they can run some tests to try to see, but that can be expensive, and can come back negative and you’ve wasted some time and money.

The best way is just to monitor her behavior. Also, if you’ve grown suspicious that she’s pregnant, she probably is, or why else would you be suspicious. You can go with the game plan that she is pregnant, and then be surprised when nothing happens around the 63rd day.

Behavioral Changes

The best way to tell if your dog is pregnancy without fussing with a pregnancy test is noticing a change in her usual behavior. If she shows a decreased appetite over the course of several days, you should start to get suspicious.

You can then check for other telltale signs like an increase in nipple size, and try to recollect if she hasn’t been as active as she normally is over the last few days. In most cases, there is no need for a pregnancy test.

Your Role

A lot of owners make a big deal out of their dog having puppies, and it can be a momentous occasion. Watching life unfold right before your eyes is something most owners don’t forget when seeing it for the first time. But for your dog it’s just something they’re going through, and it’s business as usual.

It’s not as if they go to a Lamaze class and have a bedroom already painted blue or pink in preparation. It’s just a natural process for them, and they take it in stride. Your role is actually pretty limited, unless there’s a complication, which rarely happens, and when it does that’s what vets are for.

Getting Ready for Puppies

If you’re trying to get the heads up on how to get ready for puppies once they arrive, you don’t really need to do too much. You should set up an area for your dog to have her puppies, including putting down a soft blanket for them. Aside from that nature takes care of the rest.

Preventing Pregnancy

If you didn’t want to your dog to get pregnant, you should think of ways to keep her from getting out. Female dogs are only in heat twice a year, so you should be extra careful during those times, and try to determine when she’s having her cycle.

During that time male dogs will be drawn to her like crazy, so you should do your best to keep her inside, or keep other dogs away from her. It doesn’t take long for two dogs to sniff each other out and get the deed done so even a casual encounter can result in puppies 9 weeks later.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonny March, 2015

I have a friend who we feel may have lied about the parentage of her daughter. The mother works in a vet office and explained why she knew she was pregnant, less than 10 days after conception. She says that for fun, her and a friend used a dog pregnancy blood test. She was shocked when her test was positive. I know that humans have very different hormones, but would a test for a dog work on her? I know it tests for Relaxin in the blood, which humans also make, but that soon?

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Lisa July, 2015

That sounds pretty fishy to me. The hormone tested for, in human pregnancies, is completely different than the hormone tested for in canines. Even if your friend really did take a canine pregnancy test and had it come back positive, absolutely zero reliance should be placed on those results.

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Karen January, 2015

I am curious to find out something. In a multiple-female environment, is it possible that one female’s heat cycle can stimulate the other females into heat? It’s like women in a close environment with menstrual cycles that sometimes correlate. It seems like our 2 younger females have each had at least 3 heats per year for the past 2 years. When we do breed, we make every effort to ensure that they are not pregnant at the same time.

But early last year we bred one, the other one was not in heat and showed none of the signs associated with being in heat. Then, a week before the first one gave birth, the second one blew up like a balloon and they both gave birth on the same day! 2 litters from 2 mothers, totaling 25 pups, and in the heart of winter so all 27 of them were here in the house. Since then, the number of cycles per year seems to have increased for both of these females.

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Carla March, 2015

Hi Karen. Yes, if a female is in heat this can bring another female in heat. Your female must of had a silent heat, which means there might not be any signs of a season.

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Helen January, 2015

The female dogs’ cycle is different. Their bodies keep working as if they’re pregnant for 2 months after the heat cycle, even though there are no puppies inside. So false pregnancies are a very real possibility and it shows up more significantly in some dogs and not others.

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Linda October, 2014

My husband found a Chihuahua and my neighbor’s Dachshund tried to breed with her; didn’t get tied but did penetrate. Now, 56 days later, her breasts are lactating and full, but she hasn’t really gained any weight. Can she be pregnant or just have a false pregnancy? I’m still looking for the owner. I will get her fixed in December if no one claims her.

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Janey P November, 2014

I’m curious to find out the answer to your question. Have you figured it out yet? I assume your 63 day wait is over? Did she ever gain weight? I left my dog, a Boston Terrier weighing 24 pounds, home unattended and my brothers girlfriend showed up with her one year old male Chihuahua weighing 5 pounds. 60 days later she has milk, but shows no signs of growing a belly. I know these could be very small pups, if she’s pregnant at all.

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Jessle November, 2014

I’m having some trouble understanding how your dog developed breasts, milk included, without gaining any weight. Milk is a massive substance and it should correlate with an increase in mass and weight.

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Janey P November, 2014

I did not say my dog had developed breasts or was engorged with milk. Dogs don’t develop breasts. My dog weights 24 pounds, and even if she were engorged, that would only amount to about 8 ounces. Milk is not a massive substance in a small dog, especially if she is not at full term. My dog was not pregnant, but if she had been, since the father was only 5 pounds, and the chance of them mating was rare, there may have been only one pup if she had been.

That would have amounted to a minimal number of ounces gained, so we are still talking about a potential for less than a pound of weight gain. This is a normal fluctuation when the weather changes. Nature is pretty amazing, animals do not produce more milk than they need for the number of pups they are carrying.

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Amber December, 2014

I’m not sure if she could be pregnant since they didn’t get stuck, but she can have a false pregnancy. I had a female that went the full term and then when it was her due date, no labor and no puppies and her body slowly went back to normal.

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Karen January, 2015

Amber, trust me on this, they can still get pregnant even if they don’t lock up. I have 7 Rottweilers, 3 of them female, and we have had a few litters where I know they never locked up with any of the males. Those are the ones that really take you by surprise, to say the least, and those litters all produced between 9-12 pups each time.

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Lisa July, 2015

Our Border Collie/Heeler mix does this every heat/gestation cycle. After signs of pregnancy and around 50 days from mid heat, she will make a “nest” and treat her toys as if they were pups. She’ll keep them in her nest, licking them and guarding them from the other dog (fixed male). We let her do this for a few days and then take the toys away and block off her nest area. It usually takes about a week for her to get back to normal.

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