Is my bitch pregnant?

This may sound like an easy question to answer however many a breeder, however experienced in breeding, will tell you it’s not always the same for each bitch and not all bitches give the same symptoms or clues to confirm a canine pregnancy. Some bitches are mated and within the first 3 weeks an owner/breeder will just know if their bitch has taken or not, whereas with another bitch there may be no obvious signs which therefore makes it difficult to confirm a real and viable pregnancy early on.

There are a few signs, symptoms and clues that may help you diagnose a pregnancy however a canine ultrasound scan at around 28-35 days (4-5 weeks) after first mating at your veterinary surgery is recommend as bitches may display many signs of being pregnant when actually she’s experience a mild or very realistic phantom pregnancy. Phantom pregnancies cannot be ruled out when looking for early canine pregnancy symptoms, so do ask your veterinarian to palate or scan your bitch and if the scan is inconclusive or performed too early into pregnancy then a second scan should be arranged.

At around 28 days (4 weeks) after first mating some veterinarians will be willing to palpate your bitch’s tummy to feel her uterus. Your veterinarian may palate or scan at around 28-35 days (4-5 weeks after mating). The cost can vary between practices but generally an ultrasound scan to detect canine pregnancy with consultation fee is around £60-£90 in the UK and some practices may do the scan without a consultation fee which may be considerably cheaper at a cost of approximately £40-50. The cost really isn’t that important as knowing if your bitch is pregnant or not and that all is going well is actually priceless to a caring owner/breeder.

An ultrasound scan may show up problems such as reabsorbing puppies or uterus infections, but it’s also important to mention that even after a scan is given and a pregnancy is confirmed your bitch could still go on to abort or reabsorb some or all of her puppies.

Your veterinarian may be able to tell you approximately how many foetuses and heartbeats can be seen during the scan and this can be very reassuring, however all good veterinarians will say this is not a puppy count therefore just an estimate at this stage of pregnancy of how many can be seen at this present time.

Early signs your bitch may be pregnant (Between 1 -4 weeks after mating)

  • Raised teats with change in colouring
  • Change in character, more affectionate or just wanting to be left alone
  • Morning sickness
  • Less active or playful
  • Change in eating habits, eating more or much less than usual
  • Vulva remains swollen and may not shrink as it has after previous seasons

Further signs your bitch may be pregnant (Between 4-5 weeks after mating)

  • Further teat enlargement, swelling at the base of teat, deeper colouring and hard to touch
  • Mammary tissue may look more defined and developed
  • Thickening of the rib cage
  • Firm tummy
  • A clear discharge (if not clear in colour then your bitch needs to see your vet)

Each bitch it different and some may show all of the signs of pregnancy whereas others will show none at all. It’s important to look for the signs and to get professional confirmation as the mum-to-be will need extra feeds, quality care and her exercise requirements may change dramatically too when carrying a litter.

The litter size being carried may also change symptoms and signs seen, plus make it harder to diagnose some canine pregnancies. A bitch with an average size litter for the breed being six puppies per litter, but actually carrying ten puppies will start to show earlier than if she was only carrying two or three puppies.

It really isn’t always easy to detect a pregnancy in all bitches, but knowing the signs to look out for, treating her with much care after mating and asking your veterinarian to help you by confirming a pregnancy really is important.

The not knowing can be the hardest part for a caring owner/breeder, but ask for your vets help and enjoy this experience with the mum-to-be.

Barking Heads Puppy Days ‘Meat Loaf’ Wet Puppy Food

Firstly what a great name for a wet meaty dog food range, Meat Loaf :)

Barking Heads have listened to their customers and have therefore recently introduced their new wet food range.

Barking Heads pride themselves on using quality natural ingredients for all their dog food, and their wet food ‘Meat Loaf’ range is no different as the Puppy Days version contains tasty, natural ingredients with no nasty and unnecessary artificial colourings, preservatives and flavourings.

Each Puppy Days Meat Loaf tray contains 80% of freshly prepared British chicken (60% chicken and 20% chicken broth), brown rice (10% rice), carrots, peas, potato, sunflower oil, salmon oil, tomato, seaweed and basil. That’s got my mouth watering and I’m a human, imagine what a puppy would be like when offered this for dinner!

Barking Heads Puppy Days 'Meat Loaf’ Wet Puppy Food

Product Name: Barking Heads Puppy Days Meat Loaf Wet Puppy Food

Pricing: £7.63 for 7 trays each containing 150 grams of Meat Loaf

My Dog’s Rating: 5 out of 5

Purchase Barking Heads Puppy Days Meat Loaf and have a peep at the rest of the Barking Heads natural dry and wet dog food range.

My dogs try and test many dog foods (dry, wet and raw) and natural treats too, but only the best are reviewed and shared with my readers :)

Green & Wild’s Pet Naturals – Antler Bakes Training Treats

Here’s a new training treat you may like to try for your much loved dog, get them sitting beautifully for a tasty and natural apple and carrot Antler Bakes training treat.

These training treats are made with 100% natural ingredients therefore reassuring for owners to know that treating their dog during training and for general good behavior still provides their dog with much goodness as well as being tasty and rewarding.

The 100 grams packet contains cute heart shaped biscuit treats which are small in size therefore an ideal size to carry in your pocket during walks, they are crunchy and even the smell of them will get your dog interested, which is great for training purposes.

These treats are baked in the UK using all natural ingredients including rye flour, oat flour, jumbo oats, flax seed, vegetable oil, carrots, antler powder, garlic, apple, parsley and rosemary. Carrots provide vitamins A and E for your dog’s healthy skin, apple provides vitamin C, vitamin B and antioxidants, antler powder helps improve your dog’s blood circulation, rosemary helps prevent your dog’s bad breath, garlic provides a natural source of antioxidants and parsley provides vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and iron for your dog’s general health. There’s no artificial additives, flavourings, added sugar, added salt or preservatives in this recipe, just tasty ingredients for natural goodness.

Green & Wild’s Pet Naturals - Antler Bakes Training Treats

Product Name: Antler Bakes Apple & Carrot Training Treats

Pricing: £2.79 per 100g pack

My Dog’s Rating: 5 out of 5

Purchase Antler Bakes Apple & Carrot Training Treats and have a look at the rest of the range of  natural dog treats too.

My Dog’s Life Update

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to give you a quick update and let you know about some exciting changes that will be happening shortly. After several years in it’s current form we’ve decided it’s time for ‘My Dog’s Life’ to undergo a revamp and redesign, so please bear with us if things go a little quiet whilst we make these new changes. It will of course remain useful, user friendly and informative for all dog and puppy owners to enjoy and we will of course still be reading and replying to your comments and questions.

It would also be great if you could share any likes and dislikes about the current site, and also tell us if there are topics or items you would like us to add or consider for the new site. Please feel free to leave your comments or feedback on this post, or alternatively use our contact form.

And please remember ‘My Dog’s Life’ wouldn’t be here without all of you, so thanks for your ongoing support and friendship, it makes it all worth while.

Love JoJo xxx

Puppy Paws for iOS Now Available

Puppy Paws – Helping you and your new puppy every step of the way…

Further to my recent post, I’m very proud and extremely happy to be able to confirm that Puppy Paws for iOS is now available to download from the Apple App Store.

As I’m sure many of you will agree finding a puppy can be quite a task in its self! Let alone when you add all of the preparation that is needed in order to be ready, and that’s of course before the real work begins once you and your new puppy are at home together.

Puppy Paws has been designed and developed to…

  • help potential puppy owners to compile and compare a list of puppies that may be suitable,
  • prepare for the home coming day so they and their new puppy get off to the best start,
  • offer ongoing support as you and your puppy settle in to a daily routine together,
  • it also provides information to help educate new owners about the awful use of puppy farms and traders with an aim to help eradicate this practise whilst promoting better dog breeding in general.

Using the following five key stages, Puppy Paws allows users to…

  • Puppy Search – Add details such as the puppy’s breed, birth date, colour, location and parents’ health tests. Take or add photos and videos, and share with your friends puppies you’re considering.
  • My Puppy – Select your chosen puppy and set their coming home date to activate the built-in countdown.
  • Puppy Preparation – Complete checklists including puppy proofing, shopping and general set-up so you and your home is fully prepared for your puppy’s arrival.
  • Puppy Pick-up – Ensure that the pick-up day goes as smoothly as possible and that you remember to ask important questions.
  • Puppy at Home – Then once your new puppy has arrived home, store important information such as vaccination, worming and flea treatment brands and dates, set reminders directly to your calendar so you don’t miss anything, and record the progress your new puppy is making including their weight and height in their own diary.

So whether you are looking to adopt a young dog or puppy from a rescue shelter or you are considering buying a puppy from a reputable and responsible breeder, Puppy Paws helps every step of the way.

I also just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ for all of the incredible support and kind messages I’ve received since I first announced Puppy Paws. It’s truly comforting to know that there are so many like minded people in the world, who simply have the well being of puppies and dogs in their hearts, and want to help ensure puppy farms are stopped as a priority, and that better dog breeding including adequate health testing becomes normal practise. Obviously this is something that means a great deal to me, and I’m really hoping Puppy Paws can help make a difference, both now and as we develop it further in the future. So please help to spread the word and share Puppy Paws with any canine loving friends, colleagues and family members, and of course responsible breeders and rescue centres who obviously want to help their new puppy or dog owners get off to the best start.

Love JoJo xxx

Download Puppy Paws for iOS


Other useful Puppy Paws resources

Puppy Paws Website
Facebook Page
Twitter Stream
YouTube Channel

My Dog’s Life and Puppy Paws

As many of you know I started My Dog’s Life in 2011 as I wanted to share my love of dogs with others. It has evolved a fair amount in the past 3 years from its initial starting point when it was really about me and my dogs, on to all things Cockapoo, and then more recently to a more general and informative puppy and dog ownership blog which will hopefully continue to help many new and existing puppy and dog owners.

I’m not planning to breed many more litters as my own dogs will retire from breeding naturally, but I have managed to fulfil a dream by experiencing breeding first hand which I will cherish for the rest of my life. It has also allowed me to gain a lot of knowledge, hands on experience of quality puppy care, socialisation, and of course training, all of which as many of you will know are true passions of mine, and which I feel gives each and every puppy I’ve bred the very best start in life.

My Dog’s Life continues to help puppy and dog owners of many different breeds each week and I truly value the wonderful feedback I get from its readers, followers and my dog loving friends. I especially enjoy the ever growing amount of questions I receive each week, as it allows me to help others with tips, support and sometimes just a bit of reassurance about puppy or dog ownership, which we can all do with every now and then.

However as I mentioned previously, things have moved on and I am very excited (as well as a little nervous) to tell you about the launch of my new ‘Puppy Paws’ website, blog and in the very near future iOS app, which has been designed to help both new and existing puppy owners every step of the way.

Puppy Paws for iPhone

After searching for my own dogs over several years, I realised that finding the right puppy really isn’t an easy task. I found myself preparing paper lists of potential puppies and the parents’ health tests which soon became spreadsheets that got bigger and bigger. Then once I’d found the right puppy the same process started again as I prepared for them coming home. So when I started breeding I decided that I would aim to help the owners of my own puppies as much as possible, ensuring they were fully prepared for when their new puppy came home, and then of course by being there to help them once they were at home together. Somewhere along the line, someone in my family (probably my hubby) said I wish there was an app for this! So the seed was sown. After much talking, planning, dog walking, re-planning, more talking, walking and prototyping, we finally managed to keep the ball rolling long enough to convert Puppy Paws from that seed to the fully functioning app that we are releasing shortly!

Puppy Paws for iPad

Puppy Paws has been designed and developed to help puppy owners at every step, promotes rescue shelter adoption, better breeding practises, and aims to hopefully help educate new owners about the awful use of puppy farms and traders, which needs to be eradicated as an absolute priority!

So please help spread the word by sharing, liking and telling other dog and puppy owners, groups, forums, communities, breeders, rescue shelters about the new Puppy Paws website and blog, and of course the forthcoming iOS app.

Love JoJo xxx

Visit the Puppy Paws website

Register for notification of the Puppy Paws app launch