Can I Give My Dog a Pregnancy Test?

Can I Give My Dog a Pregnancy Test?Can a human pregnancy test be accurate if used on a dog? It’s an interesting question since we’re talking about two different species. These tests often don’t even work very well for us humans, let alone for dogs. In any case, let’s explore this curious topic further.

If you suspect that your female dog is pregnant, you won’t need to speculate for long. A term for a puppy in the womb is only 9 weeks, not 9 months. She’ll quickly begin showing definitive signs making your human pregnancy test idea somewhat irrelevant.

So, in reality, a pregnancy test isn’t necessary but let’s answer the question. They aren’t effective for dogs and there’s no affordable equivalent version for canines. You’ll just need to have some patience as things progress, or don’t! In the meantime, learn some of the signs for determining if your little lady may be pregnant.

Can I Give My Dog a Pregnancy Test? Answer: No, they do not work

Besides, you’d only be buying yourself a few days advance warning.

If you’re really bent on finding out early, take your dog to a vet for an ultrasound or a blood test that will measure a hormone called Relaxin which is present during gestation. They can run these tests to make a determination, but that can be expensive. Even then, results can come back negative or inconclusive meaning you’d have wasted your time and money. In truth, the best way is just to monitor their behavior.

If you truly suspect that she’s pregnant, then she probably is. Why else would you have such a hunch?

Telltale Behavioral Signs

The best way to find out if your dog is pregnant, throw the pregnancy test out the window, is by observing changes in behavior. If your bitch shows a decreased appetite over the course of several days, you can start to get suspicious. Then begin checking for other signs like an increase in nipple size. Those, combined with a period of noticeably less physical activity, are good indicators that a pregnancy may be underway.

So in the vast majority of cases, there’s no need for a dog to get an ultrasound or any other test for a determination.

Make the Process Easier

A lot of owners make a big deal out of their dog having puppies. For sure, it can be a momentous occasion. Watching life unfold, right before your eyes, is something most folks don’t forget especially when seeing it for the first time. But for your dog, it’s totally normal and just something they’re going through. It’s a natural, 58 to 68 day, process for them and they take it in stride.

Your role should actually be pretty limited. Unless there’s a complication, which rarely happens, then take a hands off approach by being an loving observer.

Get Ready for Puppies

Maybe you are trying to get ready for puppies as you await their arrival. Once again you don’t really need to do too much. One thing you can do is set up a comfortable 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 Impregnation

If you didn’t want your bitch to get pregnant, simply stop them from mingling with the opposite sex. That’s the most effective form of birth control there is. Female dogs going through their estrus phase are most susceptible to breeding and this is usually 1 week to 10 days after menstruation. It doesn’t take long for two dogs to sniff each other out and get the deed done, resulting in puppies about 9 weeks later.

Conclusion on a Pregnancy Test

Human pregnancy tests will not work on your pet dog but you’ll know soon enough if your pooch is actually pregnant. The clues come fast and furious since the canine term is much quicker than 9 months. Vets can perform some tests to determine if your female dog is definitively pregnant but otherwise closely watch for the telltale signs. You’ll know for sure soon enough!

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{ 16 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 weighs 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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Judy March, 2016

A dog that has not been bred can drop milk. Her boobs can hit the floor full of milk. I once had a Pekingese drop milk to nurse a kitten. I also had a German Shepherd that, after her heat cycles, would drop milk and there was no extra weight.

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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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Geisu February, 2016

I have been trying to breed my Rottweiler with the same male for two years. Issue being he’s not swelling up, he keeps slipping out. The last time we tried, when he slipped out his penis was dripping. Does this mean there is a possibility of her getting pregnant?

I’ve never had this much trouble before. The father is a high-priced male and a tad short but I’ve never seen him actually drip before. Her vulva is still swollen 2 weeks later. I’m wondering if that is a sign?

She is snoring a lot more and extra lazy but no appetite decrease per say. Since you mentioned accidents, I just wondered what happened. If he was in there and then pulled out dripping, does that mean she might have taken? Is it like humans and pre-ejaculation with a low sperm count?

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Karen February, 2016

Geisu, I am by no means an expert on this subject but from experience I can tell you that it does happen. So, there is at least some hope that your female may have been impregnated. With my gals, we have the snoring and laziness early warning signs plus the most noxious disgusting farts ever produced by any creature as well as vomiting, etc.

However, it may also be that the swollen vulva is indicative that she may not be pregnant, but still in her heat cycle. I’m curious about the male’s erectile dysfunction issue. Has the owner had him examined to determine the cause? Either way, please respond once you know whether or not your Rottie is expecting. You have aroused my curiosity! Good Luck!

A.J. March, 2016

Karen, I am delighted to read your post about not having to tie to produce a litter. My female was in standing heat for nine days and never tied with my male once. He would penetrate and slip every time. We tried to assist them, English Mastiffs, as best we could. Neither have been bred prior and this mating has been planned for a long time.

She is quite tall and he is not that much shorter by any means, but it looked like he was having a difficult time reaching. It seemed like he would get too excited before the tie. His bulbus glandis would swell but be on the outside. We are still hoping, but not holding our breath.

In the meantime, she immediately got a vigorous appetite for a while. But then she lost it and would not eat anything we offered. Now we are back to eating great again. Against my own gut feeling, the vet talked me into a relaxin blood test that turned out to be negative but I don’t put complete faith in that method. In the past, I have waited it out and scheduled an x-ray. We should know something in about 3 weeks either way.

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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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