My Bichon Frise is 9 months old. She went into heat three weeks ago today, and the first day of the second week she got caught twice by my 2-year-old male Bichon. If she is pregnant, what are my options?
Dogs are very efficient breeders and if they mated two times, it is highly likely that she is pregnant (unless one of them has a fertility problem). At about 30 days of pregnancy, your veterinarian can perform an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy (although you may start to see some signs she is pregnant, like increased appetite and weight gain). At 45 to 50 days after mating, the puppy’s bones will have mineralized and you can have X-rays taken to count the number of puppies (unfortunately this cannot be done accurately with the ultrasound).
Dogs are typically pregnant for a total of 63 days or nine weeks (although it can range from 52 to 73 days). You should change her diet to one that is appropriate for pregnancy (usually a puppy or growth diet). At around four to five weeks of gestation, she will need to have her food intake increased by 25 percent over what she is eating now. At around seven to eight weeks of gestation and during nursing, increase her food intake by 50 percent.
Do not, however, give her any calcium supplements when she is pregnant, as it can increase her chances of developing eclampsia (milk fever). Once you have confirmed with your veterinarian that she is pregnant, start preparing for the puppies by getting a whelping box together where she can deliver the puppies and nurse them after they are born, as well as some supplies to have on hand once she delivers in case you need to help. There are several videos on the Internet of what a normal delivery looks like and many books available that discuss what to expect so you can read about labor and delivery in more detail, as well.