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How Much Are Vet Costs for a Pregnant Dog (2023 Update)

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

pug dog having ultrasound scan in vet office

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Dr. Tabitha Henson

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As a pet parent, wondering if your dog is pregnant can be stressful. If your best girl is becoming a mother, you want nothing but the best for her. If you have suspicions concerning your dog and the possibility of puppies, it is best to schedule a visit to the veterinarian soon as possible. But what about the costs? Yes, caring for a pregnant dog can be expensive, but allowing a vet to look after your pet during her pregnancy is the best way to ensure both she and her puppies are happy and healthy.

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The Importance of Vet Care for a Pregnant Dog

Vet care for a pregnant dog can relieve you, the pet owner, of unwanted stress, ensure your pet is safe throughout her pregnancy, help provide healthy puppies, and avoid any unexpected medical issues your dog may face during this difficult time. Whether your dog has been through the process of proper breeding or an accident has occurred, having a vet at your side during this special time for your dog is the best scenario for everyone involved.

brown dog getting ultrasound at vet clinic
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

How Much Does Canine Pregnancy Care Cost?

Several things will take place when you take your dog in for her first veterinarian visit. Keep in mind that an office visit to the veterinarian normally runs $50– – $60. First and foremost, at this visit, your vet will want to positively determine whether your dog is pregnant. They will examine her, using their hands to press on her abdomen, but they may also order a pregnancy test. These tests are blood tests that typically range between $200 and $300.

After pregnancy is determined your veterinarian will most likely want to perform an ultrasound. This imagining will help your vet see how many puppies your dog is carrying and help them determine an exact due date for delivery. Ultrasounds normally cost $500 – $600 if performed by the office’s cardiologist. If the veterinarian does the ultrasound you may find yourself paying closer to $300 – $350.

Office Visit: $50–$60
Pregnancy Blood Test: $200–$300
Ultrasound: $500–$600 or $300–$350
X-ray: $180-250

You’ll also go through an entire consultation while at the veterinarian’s office for the initial visit. This is where your vet will speak with you about things you should adhere to during your dog’s pregnancy.

Here are a few things you should expect to discuss:
  • Nutritional Choices
  • Feeding Schedules
  • Safe/Recommended Medications
  • Medications to Avoid
  • Proper Exercise
  • Checkup Schedule During Pregnancy
  • Signs of dystocia or difficult labor

It is also important to remember that pregnancy care for dogs will differ according to the area in which you live. In bigger cities, you should expect to pay more as their initial fees are higher. If you’re in a more rural area, veterinarian fees are often much more manageable.

Regardless of where you live, quality veterinary pet care can be pretty costly. A balanced pet insurance plan from a company like Lemonade to help you keep those costs under control.

cropped young veterinarian doctors taking blood work from dog
Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Of course, when it comes to a dog pregnancy, other issues may arise while your pet is being examined. When this happens, you’ll find yourself facing more veterinarian costs than you anticipated. Here are a few services you may be expected to pay for once veterinarian services are rendered.

  • Anesthesia and Sedatives ($25–$150+) – if your veterinarian sees any issues, they may need to sedate your dog to perform the procedures they need.
  • Treatments ($25–$150+) – While doing your dog’s pregnancy visit, your vet may find signs of illness or parasites. When this happens, you will be expected to pay for services rendered before you leave.
  • Medications ($25+) – If your dog has illnesses or parasites the vet may suggest certain medications to help them get into better shape for the pregnancy.

How Often Should My Pregnant Dog Visit the Vet?

It is difficult to determine when your dog is pregnant. After their initial exam, your vet may notice things of concern. If so, they may ask you to bring your dog back more often. If things are advancing normally in the pregnancy, your dog will visit the vet again at the beginning of their third 3rd trimester which is around 45 days into the pregnancy. During this visit, your vet may decide it is time to take a few Xx-rays. This is to give them a better look at the number of puppies your dog may be having and to determine whether the puppy’s bone structures are as they should be.

When your dog reaches the final stretch of their pregnancy, in the final 2 weeks, your veterinarian may ask to see her again. At this visit, your vet may take more Xx-rays to ensure your dog can pass the puppies through the birth canal successfully. If they feel any issues may prevent a safe delivery, a cesarean section may be scheduled to protect both the mother and the pups.

3rd Trimester Visit:

Office Visit: $50–$-60
X-Rays: $150–$-250

Final Visit:

Office Visit: $50–$60
X-Rays: $150–$250
Cesarean Section (If necessary): $500–$-2,000 (depending on any complications)
dog held by a vet
Image Credit: J C, Pixabay

Does Pet Insurance Cover Vet Costs for a Pregnant Dog?

Over the years, many pet insurances have added pregnancy to the list of coverages they offer for pets. This is especially true for breeders. The trick is to know what your insurance provider covers before going ahead with a planned pregnancy. According to the coverage you purchase, your pet insurance may pay the costs for office visits, bloodwork, and Xx-rays. Some may even cover the initial sonogram. Other plans may only help you with the office visit and what they deem necessary for your pregnant dog’s care.

If you’re unsure of what your policy provides for these situations, reach out to your insurance provider and discuss it at length before you begin any type of breeding program for your dog.

What To Do For Your Pregnant Dog Between Visits

Keeping your pregnant female comfortable throughout their pregnancy is of the utmost importance. Have them a comfortable place to sleep, and provide them with nutritional, high-protein dog food, clean water, and exercise as their veterinarian suggests.

As delivery gets closer, you will need to supply your dog with a few things to make the delivery easier on her. A whelping box is the perfect starting point. This will provide your pet with a safe area to deliver her pups. To help keep the pups warm and protected after delivery, have a laundry basket with a heating pad and blankets at the ready. You’ll also need plenty of clean towels and rubber gloves on hand to assist your pet if need be.

a pregnant jack russell in bed
Image Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana, Shutterstock

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Being by your pet’s side during pregnancy is a great way to further build the bond you share. While you may feel it is best to let your dog go through this event on its own, proper care from your veterinarian is in the best interest of both the mother and her puppies. This is the only way to stay aware of potential complications and pave the way for a smoother, more successful birth.

Featured Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

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