If you have a Cocker spaniel bitch and she has been mated then you are probably wondering if she is pregnant and what to look for.
Signs of pregnancy in Cocker spaniels
If your Cocker spaniel is pregnant then there will be several signs for you to watch out for.
Some are more easily spotted than others but if you can identify these quickly then it can give you enough time to prepare for the birth of her puppies.
There are normally four signs of pregnancy in Cocker spaniels which we describe below to help you:
A change in your dog’s appetite – This can vary two ways with Cockers.
Some dogs can experience a dog form of morning sickness which puts them off their food.
There are others, however, that are the complete opposite and become very hungry almost immediately.
Any change in your Cocker spaniel‘s diet can be a good indication of pregnancy.
Reduced energy levels – Pregnancy is tiring and most dogs will sleep more and be less active than normal.
Allow your dog to rest as much as she needs.
Behaviour – Your spaniel’s behaviour will change and you should expect this to happen.
Some spaniels can become very clingy and more attached to a member of the family than normal, whereas others can behave in a complete opposite manner, hiding away and wanting privacy.
These can be signs of early pregnancy in Cocker spaniels.
Physical changes – Your dog’s nipples will change and will become more swollen and darker in colour, they will begin to hang lower than normal too.
Pregnant Cocker spaniel supplies
Can you tell if a Cocker spaniel is pregnant at 2 weeks?
Other than the signs mentioned above it can be difficult, without a vet making a scan, to determine if your Cocker spaniel is pregnant within the first two weeks.
Even at this early stage a scan may not be able to fully determine if a spaniel is pregnant in the first two weeks.
How early can an ultrasound detect pregnancy in a spaniel?
The best time to have your spaniel scanned is at day 30 after mating and this is normally when your vet will wish to undertake the scan.
The ultrasound scan will be able to detect the heartbeat of the puppies but may not provide an accurate count of the number of pups that your dog can expect to produce.
Can a dog get pregnant the first time she mates?
Yes, dogs can become pregnant at the first mating and even on their first ‘season’.
It is not a good idea to mate a dog on her first season as she will still be young and developing, and it is better to wait until she is older to minimise the risk of problems.
You should take care to keep her away from the attentions of male dogs, including any brothers or other male dogs that live with her.
Dogs are not discriminate in their mating habits.
Puppy birthing supplies
Can you feel if a spaniel is pregnant?
In the early stages no, but as your spaniel’s puppies grow then it may be possible for you to feel them inside her.
Generally it is not a good idea to try and do this if you don’t know the correct way and it is a job best left to your vet.
Your vet might be able to show you how to do this.
Do Cocker spaniels have false pregnancies?
Spaniels can have false pregnancies and the signs of these normally occur about 6 to 12 weeks after she has been in season.
Your spaniel will gather blankets, towels, clothes and other things and make nests from them as though she is preparing to have puppies and she will nurse things such as soft toys, shoes and other items.
A false pregnancy normally lasts about 3 weeks and during this time your spaniel’s hormone levels will be similar to those that she would have if she was pregnant.
If it persists for longer than 3 weeks then you should ask your vet to examine her as she may need extra help with her symptoms.
Can you stop an unwanted dog pregnancy?
We have experienced this in the past when one of our dog’s escaped while in season and mated with next door’s dog. Thankfully they were both English Springer spaniels.
We were not in a position to look after young puppies so we consulted our vet who gave our dog an injection to prevent her from becoming pregnant.
However the vet did tell us that timing was important and that there was no 100% guarantee that this would work. It didn’t and we ended up with two Springer puppies.
So, it is possible, but the best solution is prevention and caution.
You should consult your vets for their expert advice.
Does a human pregnancy test work on spaniels?
Surprisingly, this is a common question that is often asked by inexperienced dog owners.
Unsurprisingly the answer is No, it will not work.
A human test looks for different hormones.
There are no urine tests that can detect pregancy in dogs.
How often can a Cocker spaniel have puppies?
You should always allow at least a year between litters with Cocker spaniels and should aim for longer if you can.
If the first litter is healthy and your dog doesn’t have any problems during birth then you can reasonably expect that other litters should be fine.
A maximum of 3 to 4 litters is suggested for female Cocker spaniels during their lifetime with the average Cocker spaniel litter being between 3 to 7 puppies.
Popular whelping and new born puppy items
What are the common signs of pregnancy in Cocker Spaniels?
One of the most noticeable signs of pregnancy in Cocker Spaniels is an increase in appetite. The dog may show a greater interest in food and may eat more than usual.
Another sign to look for is changes in behaviour. Pregnant Cocker Spaniels may become more affectionate and seek extra attention from their owners.
Physical changes can also be observed, such as weight gain and enlarged nipples. The dog’s abdomen may also begin to swell as the pregnancy progresses.
How long does a Cocker Spaniel’s pregnancy last, and what are the stages?
The average gestation period for Cocker Spaniels is around 63 days, although it can vary slightly. It is important to note the date of mating or breeding to estimate the due date accurately.
The pregnancy can be divided into three stages: early, middle, and late. During the early stage (approximately the first 3 weeks), there may not be many noticeable changes.
In the middle stage (around weeks 4 to 6), the Cocker Spaniel’s abdomen will start to expand, and physical signs like weight gain and enlarged nipples become more apparent.
The late stage (weeks 7 to 9) is when the dog’s belly is visibly large, and you may notice increased nesting behavior as the mother prepares for labour.
Are there any potential complications or warning signs during Cocker Spaniel pregnancies?
While most Cocker Spaniel pregnancies progress smoothly, there can be complications. One common issue is a false pregnancy, where the dog displays signs of pregnancy but is not actually carrying puppies. Consulting a veterinarian can help confirm a pregnancy.
Another concern is a condition called dystocia, which refers to difficult or prolonged labour. Signs of dystocia include strong contractions without delivering puppies, more than 2 hours between puppies, or if the mother appears distressed or in pain.
If you notice any abnormal symptoms like bleeding, discharge with a foul odour, severe lethargy, loss of appetite, or any other signs of distress, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance promptly. These may indicate complications or health problems that require immediate attention.
Last update on 2023-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API