Can a Dog Get Pregnant During Her First Mating?
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Dogs have lived with humans for thousands of years. Some studies show that dogs are descended from wolves and apparently were domesticated about 40,000 to 27,000 years ago. But despite this long coexistence between humans and dogs, knowledge about dog reproduction still raises questions. Female dogs can become pregnant every time they are in heat, which is once every eight months. This period of fertility lasts up to three weeks.
In the following AnimalWised article, we will try to answer some of these questions. We will explain some of the most important facts about canine pregnancy and whether a dog can become pregnant during her first mating.
Phases of estrus in female dogs
The total duration of the heat cycle and its individual phases can vary greatly by breed and individual, making it difficult to determine the phase of the cycle and the ideal time for reproduction. By studying the dog's heat cycle, we can understand which phases are most likely to result in pregnancy.
- Proestrus: the proestrus lasts an average of 9 days and may vary more or less according to the individual characteristics of each dog. It is characterized by the male's sexual interest in the female dog, but her refusal to mate. There is a gradual increase in vulvar edema and bloody secretions.
- Estrus: this phase is when the female accepts to be mounted by the male and when there are more possibilities of getting pregnant. It lasts approximately 5–10 days. Vaginal secretion decreases and acquires a browner color. The vulva continues to increase in size.
- Dioestrus: the dioestrus period begins when the female again rejects the male for mating, and lasts about 2–3 months. The vaginal secretions gradually become mucous, and the vulva shrinks to its usual size.
- Anestrus: also known as a phase of sexual rest that lasts about 4-5 months and ends with the beginning of a new cycle.
The different phases of the sexual cycle can affect our lives and those of our dog. During the proestrus and estrus phases, your dog will attract male dogs, so walks can become an odyssey.
During anestrus and anestrus, your dog will not attract male dogs, but you should watch for abnormal mammary secretions. These might indicate that she may have developed a psychological pregnancy that, if not properly treated, can lead to mammitis or abnormal vaginal secretions indicating uterine abnormalities.
It is advisable to note the first day of heat to monitor that your dog has regular cycles. Otherwise, it could give us indications of pathology in her reproductive system.
You may be interested in this other article, where we explain how to control a male dog around a female in heat.
Can dogs get pregnant the first time they mate?
Puberty or sexual maturity in the female dog usually occurs at nine or ten months of age. In many dogs, the first heat is 'silent' or without clinical signs associated with estrus. Also, in many dogs, the first estrous cycle is unlikely to allow for successful breeding, but not impossible. Dogs can become pregnant on their very first heat cycle and also on their first mating.
This has no effect on pregnancy or parturition, as pregnancy proceeds normally. If it can have an influence on the fact that in a single mating the litter is not so big, this also depends on the quality of the sperm of the male. Also remember that the dog's cycle covers a range of days and can vary. It can be between 9 and 13 days.
You may be interested in this other article, where we explain why your female dog rejects male dogs and will not mate when she is in heat.
Other common questions about mating and pregnancy of dogs
How many times should dogs mate to get pregnant?
There is no exact number of times dogs must mate to become pregnant. Your dog can get pregnant the first time they have intercourse if she is ovulating at that time. Nevertheless, the more copulations occur during heat, the greater the chances of pregnancy and a large litter.
How many times do dogs mate during heat?
The number of times a female dog will be mated during heat cannot be quantified because this depends on several factors, including the affinity between the male and female, and the calmness of the environment.
How do I know if my female dog has mated or not?
It is certain that the dogs have mated when they are "stuck". This happens because during copulation, the blood circulation in the male's penis increases, causing the bulb to enlarge. In this way, the male cannot pull his penis out of the female's vulva, and you must wait a few minutes for this penile region to shrink and for the animals to "separate". Separation should never be done by force, as this can cause injury to the dog's vulva and the dog's penis, resulting in permanent sterility and causing pain.
Can a bleeding dog get pregnant?
When the female dog is bleeding, she is usually still in the proestrus phase and not ovulating. In the next phase, estrus, eggs are released, which increases the chances of pregnancy. However, because the days of the estrus cycle vary in some animals, early ovulation may occur.
It is also possible for a dog to become pregnant while she is bleeding during estrus, the fertile phase, because some bitches continue to bleed after their period ends.
How many days after mating do dogs become pregnant?
Technically, dogs becomes pregnant shortly after copulation, when the sperm meets the egg and fertilizes it. From that moment on, a series of complex and synchronized events takes place in these two cells, resulting in the future embryo. After three weeks, with the help of an ultrasound, you can determine whether your dog is pregnant or not.
Since pregnancy can be expensive for both you and your pet, it is usually best to leave the breeding to the experts. If you want to prevent your dog from getting pregnant, you should consider spaying her.
You may also be interested in this other article, where we explain why it makes sense to neuter a dog and what is the best age to do so.
If you want to read similar articles to Can a Dog Get Pregnant During Her First Mating?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.
- Silva, LDM, Lima, DBC. (2018) . Aspects of female reproductive physiology . Annals of the IX North and Northeast Congress of Animal Reproduction (CONERA). Available at http://www.cbra.org.br/portal/downloads/publicacoes/rbra/v42/n3-4/p135-140%20 (RB750).pdf. Consulted on 01/31/2023.
- Barny, BS. (2021). Cystic endometrial hyperplasia in dogs and cats. Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Available at https://www.lume.ufrgs.br/bitstream/handle/10183/69821/000873232.pdf?sequence=1. Consulted on 01/31/2023.