In all dog breeds, pregnancy lasts for 63 days (around nine weeks) on average, with variations from 56 and 70 days according to the exact time of fertilization in relation to mating.
In the beginning of pregnancy, when a spermatozoon succeeds in fertilizing an ovum, it produces an egg (a new cell), of which half carries the father’s genetic heritage and half, the mother’s. This new living being is called an embryo and finally a future puppy.
At around day 16 of gestation, the embryos become embedded in the uterus where they will develop, in a process called nidation. Each individual embryo is then progressively enveloped in its own fetal sac which will provide the pup with all the necessary nutrients until birth. During the beginning of pregnancy we have noticed our females go through a ‘morning sickness’ phase for a couple of days where they are turned off by their food…this is very normal.
By day 35, the embryos become fetuses – their eyelids have appeared, their ears have formed, the toes have separated and all their organs have begun to develop. Our Tilly has been living with her family, the Coyne’s, up until this point and on Valentine’s day, Chris and I, took the drive up to Chatham and back (which with the weather and some pitstops took us about 7 hours). Tilly is our first Nappyroots female pup to be having a litter of her own, our baby is having babies
Tilly has now entered the turning point in her gestation, the final third of gestation, which started from day 42 (week 6). The fetuses are developing fast, their skeletons, which started out as cartilage, now mineralize and solidify, and the puppies gain weight. Three quarters of growth prior to birth occurs in this final third of gestation (the puppies gain 75% of their birth weight).
The final week, Tilly is showing signs that she is close to giving birth, it looks like her milk is starting to come in and her body is starting to change in preparation for labour. We are expecting she will start nesting at any moment. We have been giving Tilly lots of belly rubs since even inside the womb the puppies are sensitive to touch, and Tilly enjoys all the special love she’s been getting!!! Tilly’s puppies are expected to arrive this Thursday or Friday so everyone is getting excited and we have set up our whelping box so everything is a go