Can A Pregnant Dog Jump Around? Is It Safe?

Dr Daisy May, MRCVS BVSc, Vet Surgeon
Can A Pregnant Dog Jump Around

Jumping around when pregnant may not always be safe for your dog. Your dog’s physical exertion level must be closely monitored. But is best to know if it is safe to allow your dog to perform some strenuous activity like jumping, hence the question; Can a pregnant dog jump around?

Yes, it is okay to allow them to jump around depending on how far along they are, their physical fitness, and general health. Most importantly, it is great to seek advice from your vet to be sure your dog can jump around as much as they like.

Simply put, dogs, whether pregnant or not, need to exercise; however, it is best to limit the amount of physical activity your dog has during pregnancy as jumping around in some cases can lead to miscarriage.

In this article, we will discuss and explore all the information you need about the stages of canine pregnancy and how to reduce the amount of jumping around and exercise your dog does.

Stages Of Normal Canine Pregnancy

The following are the stages of normal canine pregnancy;

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1. Fertilization

In the first stage: successful mating occurs, resulting in sperm fertilizing eggs in the female dog’s reproductive tract.

2. Rapid Division, Growth, And Implantation Of The Embryos

The fertilized embryos rapidly divide and grow within the first 2-3 weeks of gestation (pregnancy). Implantation occurs around days 16-21; this is when the embryos find a ‘home’ by embedding themselves within the uterine lining, also known as the endometrium. 

3. Fetal Development

Once implanted, the embryos continue to grow and develop into fetuses. Day 35 is considered to mark the end of embryogenesis (stage 1 of gestation) and the start of stage 2 (the fetal phase). At this point, organs are beginning to form and we can refer to the embryos as fetuses.

From around day 40 onwards, rapid weight gain begins, with the fetuses each increasing in weight by around 75% during the fetal phase. This weight gain will continue through into the final stage (below).

4. The Final Stage

From around day 42 onwards, your dog has entered the third and final stage or trimester of her pregnancy. The puppies develop claws and fur (cute!), and from around day 50, the fetal skeletons have formed and can be seen on an X-ray.

5. Labor and Delivery (Whelping)

Puppies are born! Overall, canine pregnancy lasts for a rough average of 63 days, but it absolutely can vary between individuals as a normal occurrence. So it’s perhaps more helpful to think of a normal range being around 59-68 days.

How To Safely Exercise Your Pregnant Dog

Exercise is extremely beneficial to dogs, including those who are pregnant, so long as a few basic safety precautions are followed.

Staying active helps maintain muscle tone, promotes healthy circulation, and assists in preventing excessive weight gain. This is especially important because poor muscle tone and being overweight are both risk factors for experiencing birthing difficulties.

Of course, in an ideal world, your dog should be in good shape (fit and of a healthy body condition score) prior to mating, so that you are starting from a good place; it is not sensible to wait until your dog is pregnant before starting to pay attention to diet and exercise!

So, during the first 28 days or so of her pregnancy, your dog can continue her usual exercise routine, with the common sense caveat that any extreme overexertion (such as intense, extended periods of agility training or long runs in the sweltering midday sun) should obviously be avoided.

During these first four weeks, it’s perfectly fine for your dog to walk for a couple of hours a day if that’s normal for her. Of course, if she usually only walks half an hour a day, it’s best to stick to this.

From 28 days onwards, exercise should be limited to lower-impact activities; gentle walks are best. I prefer to recommend 3-5 x 10-minute walks daily, depending on the prior fitness level of the dog, sticking to mostly flat terrain and avoiding any exercise during high temperatures.

Activities Your Pregnant Dog Should Avoid

From around day 28 of her pregnancy, your dog should refrain from any activities that cause significant exertion; stick to several short walks per day (as outlined above), allowing ample time for recovery in-between to keep things as safe as possible.

Rough play with human family members or other dogs, agility training, and even bump car rides should be avoided during these later stages of your pet’s pregnancy, and jumping around (for example, when the postman comes) should absolutely be minimized!

This is because these activities can result in bumps or jolts to the unborn puppies which may damage the pregnancy.

Exertion and training can also be stressful for some dogs, which again may have negative consequences for the pregnancy in some instances.

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