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How Long Are Golden Retrievers Pregnant? Vet-Approved Facts & Breed Characteristics

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

first day of golden retriever puppies and mom_stockphoto mania_shutterstock

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It’s important to understand that dogs go into heat as early as 6 months of age and will go through another heat cycle every 6 months or so.

It’s also essential to note that the only time your Golden Retriever can get pregnant is when she’s in heat. If you don’t want puppies, it’s best to get your furry friend spayed to eliminate the possibility of unwanted pregnancy. At the very least, keep her away from males while she’s in heat.

If you’ve decided it’s time to breed your Golden Retriever, or she became pregnant, you’re probably wondering how long Golden Retrievers are pregnant, as a general answer is approximately 63 days (plus or minus a few days). Learn the details and more in the article below.

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How Long Are Golden Retrievers Pregnant?

A Golden Retriever’s gestation period, like that of all dogs, is approximately 63 days (plus or minus a few days). Of course, you’ll need to know when exactly your dog was mated (or have a vet scan the abdomen to check for fetuses!), to have an approximate idea of how far along she is in her pregnancy.

golden retriever dog with puppies indoors
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

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What Are the Signs of Pregnancy in a Golden Retriever?

Below are a few signs of pregnancy in a Golden Retriever (or any dog, for that matter).

1. Appetite Change

In the first few weeks, your dog may actually have less of an appetite and vomit occasionally, similar to morning sickness in women. However, you should always consult with your vet if this occurs, in case vomiting is not related to their pregnancy but to some illness. But generally, after a month or so, dogs will typically show a slight increase in appetite that will persist throughout the pregnancy and nursing.

2. Weight Gain

A Golden Retriever will start gaining weight about halfway through the pregnancy, and her abdomen may appear enlarged. If you notice this, an ultrasound scan will help your vet determine that a litter of puppies is expected!

3. Vaginal Discharge

Not all, but some dogs have a thin, watery mucus discharge by the end of their pregnancy.

4. Enlarged Mammary Glands & Nipples

Pregnant Golden Retrievers will also exhibit enlarged mammary glands and enlarged nipples. They will become swollen and rounded. This might be more obvious from the sixth or seventh week of pregnancy 

Smiling Golden Retriever
Image Credit: MISS_SUMMER, Pixabay

5. Behavioral Changes

Your pregnant dog may show a decrease in energy or become tired after a walk or after play much more quickly than usual. Additionally, she may wish to keep to herself more often than not or conversely become more affectionate and clingy, rubbing against your legs constantly.

6. Frequent Urination

As your Golden Retriever gets further along in her pregnancy, she will urinate more and more often. So, don’t be surprised if you have to take her out to use the bathroom twice as much as normal.

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Tips for Caring for a Pregnant Golden Retriever

During her pregnancy, your dog will need extra care and attention from you. Your expectant mama will now be eating to support her offspring, and it’s best to increase the amount of food you give her and change her diet following your vet’s advice. Your pregnant Golden Retriever still needs to exercise and play; however, you should adjust her physical activity to her new situation. You should follow your vet’s advice for exact times and frequency of walks. Avoid situations where your pet gets excited and wants to run, jump, or become rambunctious to protect her and her pups.

As always, make sure there’s always plenty of fresh water available at all times of the day. Take your dog to the vet as soon as you suspect she might be pregnant, then follow their instructions and suggestions for the health of your Golden Retriever throughout her pregnancy.

You can also read books and talk to family members and other pet parents about their experiences with a pregnant Golden Retriever. However, this is no substitute for advice from your vet. Your Golden Retriever will need you more than ever, so ensure you’re there for her from the beginning of her pregnancy to the end.

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A Golden Retriever is pregnant for around 63 days, as previously stated, if you see any of the signs of pregnancy, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet for confirmation and suggestions on taking care of your dog throughout her pregnancy and beyond.

Featured Image Credit: stockphoto mania, Shutterstock

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