Is my girl in heat?
Learn how to spot dog heat symptoms. Heat begins at the first stage of the canine estrus cycle, called proestrus.
Whelping Day -75: Female Proestus Begins
When Proestus begins, bleeding discharge starts. Bleeding is bright red at this stage. During Proestrus there will be an increase in urination and the vulva is swollen and pink. The female is attracted to the male but does not mate.
Whelping Day -75 : Diapers for Heat
The proestrus stage begins. The female is in heat. Diapers help to control the initially bright red bleeding.
Whelping Day -63: Mating, First Stage Coitus
Mating occurs during estrus. The male licks the vulva, the bitch stands with tails to one side. The male mounts, dismounts and turns. He remains "tied" to the female.
Whelping Day -63: Mating, Second Stage Coitus
Ejaculation occurs. The male remains tied to the female for 5 minutes to an hour.
Whelping Day -38: Puppies Development in the Uterus
This picture shows two puppies formed inside the uterus. The view is the end of one uterine horn (see the ovary at the upper left most tip).
Whelping Day -38: Fetus Wrapped in Placenta
A fetus wrapped inside its fetal membranes with the placenta visible around the middle section. The placenta interfaces with the uterine wall to provide nourishment to the fetus.
Whelping Day -38: Fetus Exposed
The outer membrane has been removed here to reveal the fetus encased inside its amniotic sac.
Whelping Day -38: The Placenta, Source of Nourishment
This view of the fetus lying unwrapped from, and next to its placenta. This photo reveals the rich vascular structure of the placenta and the umbilical vessels.
Whelping Day -33: Confirm Pregnancy by Touch
The puppy embryos implant themselves in the two horns of the uterus. About days 26 to 35 following fertilization these "locules" can be felt on the lower belly of the bitch. Detecting the locules later is difficult due to continued enlargement.
Whelping Day -17: The Bitch Looks Pregnant
By now the bitch is looking pregnant. Her nipples are enlarged and may darken. Her abdomen continues to grow in size and she may shed abdominal hair.
Whelping Day -8: Final Development Stage of Fetus
At 55 days, body and brains of the puppy fetuses are in their final developmental stages.
Whelping Day -1: Temperature Drop
Watch video here.
Breeders will monitor, and often plot, the temperature of the bitch as whelping nears. Upon commencement of labor, her temperature drops from approximately 101 deg to 98 or lower. This is a very good indicator that whelping will begin within 24 hours.
Whelping Day 0: The First Puppy Emerges
As vaginal pressure builds, the bitch may feel an urge to eliminate (some may rush to their usual exit door). Vomiting is a possibility. The water sac will typically appear first as a bubble at the vulva.
Whelping Day 0: Muffin Delivers
Nature takes its course. Humans offer helping hands.
Whelping Day 0: Wicket Delivers
It's a long, tiring day, but Wicket delivers.
Whelping Day 1: A Rest for Mom. Dinner for her Whelps
Mom and the puppies are all cleaned up. Mom gets some well deserved rest, while the puppies nurse.