Gestation in dogs is completely different from human pregnancy. Many owners do not know how to recognize the signs of pregnancy, because they do not know how long it lasts or what are its first signs. A pregnant dog will need the support and help of its owner, so it’s a good idea to get informed when it comes to dog pregnancy.
How Much Does a Dog Pregnancy Test Cost?
The price of a dog’s pregnancy test depends mainly on the route you choose. If you choose to purchase an online over-the-counter test you will have to pay anywhere between $25 and $35 or even more. On the other hand, if you choose to check if your dog is pregnant through bloodwork, x-ray, or ultrasound at your local vet you will have to pay anywhere between $30 and $70, plus the usual office visit fees, resulting in a total cost of almost $70 to $130.
According to a member of the Fun Advice online forum, there are many dog pregnancy tests available, that you can buy over the counter at a cost of anywhere between $25 and $35. You can check if your local pet supply store has any for sale or you can ask your vet if they sell them.
Dog pregnancy test details
The veterinarian can identify a pregnancy either with a “dog pregnancy test” that measures hormone levels on days 21-25 of the cycle or by ultrasound on days 20-22. Around day 30, the veterinarian will be able to perform a physical examination to count how many puppies the female will have. This information may not be accurate every time, so beware that there may be more puppies than you think on the road!
In addition, the veterinarian also checks the blood level for the presence of Relaxin, found only in the body of pregnant dogs. This test should be done between days 21-25 after the dog becomes pregnant. Later, around day 45, the vet recommends X-rays to count the puppies before giving birth.
What are the extra costs?
Depending on the situation, your vet may recommend an ultrasound during the confirmation appointment or sometimes he will want to set up one in the future. Expect to pay anywhere between $110 and $210 for a dog ultrasound. It is best to do an ultrasound about one month after gestation. This is very reliable and is non-invasive. It would take only a few minutes and could detect the puppies’ heartbeats.
There may be a need for vitamins or medication to be prescribed for the pregnancy, depending on the breed, weight, size, and the number of puppies your dog is carrying.
Important things to consider
The usual duration of pregnancy in dogs is 2 months, more precisely between 58 and 63 days. In the first weeks, there are no visible signs. The owners will usually only notice when the female’s abdomen becomes prominent.
The first pregnancy can only occur after reaching reproductive maturity. This time varies by breed. Small and medium-sized dogs, such as Yorkshire Terriers, Dachshunds, or small and medium-sized mixed-breed dogs, reach reproductive capacity at the earliest. In their case, reproductive maturity occurs between 7 and 12 months. In the case of large dogs, this time may be around 24 months (2 years).
The pregnant dog’s appetite will increase in the second half of pregnancy, so be prepared to change her diet accordingly. It will need more nutrients, but also more energy than usual.
Is the human pregnancy test good for dogs too?
Usually, human pregnancy tests will work on dogs as well, but it is good to know that this test has no guarantee. It’s designed for humans, not animals, after all. Some breeders use this method but often get false results.
How to tell if your dog is pregnant?
About a month after mating, a slight mucus may appear.
At about 30 days, the nipples may become more prominent in size and color and produce a semi-clear liquid.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the female may vomit a little, a phenomenon similar to the “morning sickness” of pregnant women. If the problem persists or if you have any doubts, contact your veterinarian.
Around the 35th day of pregnancy, she will start to gain weight, which will gradually increase by up to 50% above normal.
You will notice her belly swollen around day 40, although females who are pregnant for the first time and those who are carrying a small number of puppies may not have such a prominent belly.
She may be a little quieter than usual or may have a low appetite. And these signs may also indicate a problem, so talk to your veterinarian if you are worried.
How can I save money?
In most situations, over-the-counter kits may be very reliable, but if you don’t want to waste your money it is better to go directly to your vet to confirm the results.
In case you don’t have a vet that you visit periodically, take into consideration calling a few vet clinics and asking about their prices.
Also, if you don’t have pet insurance yet, it is recommended to sign up for such a policy. These insurances are not that expensive and will save you a lot of money in the long term.