15 Signs Your Golden Retriever Is Pregnant And What To Do

If you’re an owner of a furry little Golden Retriever, congratulations! These dogs are known for their friendly nature, loyalty, and their adorable looks. But, are you noticing some unusual behavior in your Golden Retriever lately? Have you been thinking if your pup might be expecting? Well, you’re in the right place because, in this blog post, I’m going to share with you 15 signs that your Golden Retriever is pregnant and what to do about it.

It’s important to know the early signs of pregnancy in Golden Retrievers, such as morning sickness, a decreased appetite, and a change in her energy levels. You might also notice physical changes, like a swollen belly, enlarged nipples, and a weight gain of about 10-15%. But, just how do you confirm if your Golden Retriever is pregnant? We’ll get to that!

Being a responsible owner, it’s crucial to provide your pregnant Golden Retriever with the proper prenatal care, nutrition, and exercise. You need to prepare for their delivery too and make sure to be aware of any possible complications that may arise. So, let’s dive into each aspect in detail and get ready to welcome those little golden puppies!

Signs of PregnancyWhat to Do
Increased appetite and altered eating habitsProvide a balanced diet and monitor weight gain
Lethargy and lack of energyEncourage light exercise and provide a comfortable resting area
Nesting behaviorCreate a safe and comfortable whelping box
Enlarged abdomenSchedule an appointment with a veterinarian for confirmation of pregnancy and monitoring
Swollen or pink nipplesMonitor for any changes or signs of discomfort
Increase in body temperatureMonitor temperature regularly and be prepared for labor
Personality changesBe patient and understanding with your dog’s changing moods
Vomiting and morning sicknessProvide small and frequent meals, consult with a veterinarian if necessary
Increase in urinationProvide ample opportunities for outdoor breaks and regular bathroom breaks
Restlessness and pacingProvide comfort and reassurance, monitor for signs of labor
Mammary gland developmentMonitor for any changes or signs of discomfort
Fetal movement felt by the ownerConsult with a veterinarian for further monitoring
Breeding historyConsult with a veterinarian for a pre-pregnancy checkup and monitoring throughout pregnancy
Ultrasound or X-ray confirmation of pregnancyDiscuss with a veterinarian for options and planning for labor and delivery
Labor and deliveryBe prepared with necessary supplies and contact a veterinarian if necessary

Early signs of pregnancy in Golden Retrievers

If you suspect your Golden Retriever might be pregnant, there are some early signs to look out for in the first few weeks. One of the earliest signs can be a change in appetite, with the dog seeming less interested in food than usual. You may also notice your dog being more tired or lethargic than usual and possibly even vomiting.

Other early signs of pregnancy in Golden Retrievers can include changes to the nipples, which can become swollen or enlarged, and a change in the dog’s behavior towards people or other animals. Some dogs may become more affectionate towards their owners while others may become more withdrawn or protective.

If you notice any of these early signs, it’s important to have your Golden Retriever examined by a veterinarian to confirm the pregnancy as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you on the best prenatal care for your dog and help ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Physical changes to expect in your pregnant Golden Retriever

As your golden retriever moves through her pregnancy, you will notice several physical changes. These changes are typically evident within the first four weeks and become more pronounced as your dog’s pregnancy progresses.

Here are several physical changes you can expect in your pregnant golden retriever:

  • Enlarged Abdomen: Your dog’s belly will start to expand, making her look rounder and heavier.
  • Changes in Nipples: The nipples will enlarge, darken in color and be more prominent, as they prepare for nursing the puppies.
  • Increased Appetite: Your dog’s nutritional needs will increase, and she will be looking for more food. It’s essential to feed your dog smaller, more frequent meals to improve digestion.
  • Weight Gain: You can expect your dog to gain weight during pregnancy, usually 15-30% of her normal weight.
  • Lethargy: Your dog will spend her time sleeping and becoming increasingly lethargic. This is normal as her body works hard to produce and nourish puppies.
  • Behavior Changes: You may notice some behavioral changes like increased affection and clinging behavior to her owner.

These physical changes are all part of the pregnancy process and are completely normal. However, if you have any concerns, it is always best to consult your veterinarian.

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Behavioral changes in pregnant Golden Retrievers

Behavioral changes are common in pregnant Golden Retrievers. It’s important for pet owners to observe their dogs closely during this period to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Here are some of the most common behavioral changes you might notice in your pregnant Golden Retriever:

  • Increased appetite: You may notice that your dog’s appetite increases significantly during pregnancy. This is because she needs more nutrients to support fetal growth.
  • Lethargy: Due to physical changes and hormonal fluctuations, your Golden Retriever may become more tired and less active than usual.
  • Nesting behavior: As the due date approaches, your dog may start showing nesting behavior, such as looking for a comfortable place to lie down or gathering blankets to create a cozy nest.
  • Mood changes: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can cause mood swings or changes in your dog’s behavior. She may become more affectionate, distant, or irritable.
  • Protective behavior: Some pregnant Golden Retrievers become more protective of their owners or their puppies. They may bark more frequently or become more alert to potential threats.

Remember, every dog is different, and some may not exhibit all of these behavioral changes. However, monitoring your dog’s behavior during pregnancy can help you detect any potential health problems and ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

How to confirm your Golden Retriever is pregnant

If you think your Golden Retriever is pregnant, it’s important to confirm it as soon as possible. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Visit the vet: The only way to confirm your Golden Retriever’s pregnancy is by visiting your vet. You can take your dog for an ultrasound, which can detect the presence of puppies as early as 28 days into gestation.
  • Look for physical changes: Around 4-5 weeks into pregnancy, your Golden Retriever’s nipples will enlarge, and the area around them will become darker. You may also notice weight gain and a larger appetite.
  • Check for behavioral changes: Your Golden Retriever may become more affectionate, clingy, or restless than usual. She may also start nesting and preparing a spot for the puppies.

It’s essential to confirm your Golden Retriever’s pregnancy as early as possible so you can take proper care of her and her puppies. Once you’ve confirmed her pregnancy, consult with your vet to develop a prenatal care plan for your furry friend.

Factors that affect pregnancy in Golden Retrievers

Several factors affect pregnancy in Golden Retrievers. These factors include age, genetics, overall health, and pre-existing medical conditions.

Older Golden Retrievers tend to have a harder time getting pregnant due to decreased fertility levels. On the other hand, genetic factors can affect the number of puppies a pregnant Golden Retriever can carry. Some Golden Retrievers may be predisposed to pregnancy-related disorders, which can make it difficult for them to carry their pups to term.

Overall health is also a crucial factor in Golden Retriever pregnancy. Pregnant dogs that are overweight or underweight may experience complications during pregnancy and delivery. Additionally, pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease can increase the risk for complications during pregnancy.

Therefore, it’s essential to take proper care of your Golden Retriever’s health before and during pregnancy. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if your Golden Retriever is healthy enough for pregnancy and learn how to manage any pre-existing conditions. A healthy Golden Retriever is more likely to have a successful pregnancy and delivery.

Timeline of Golden Retriever pregnancy

Golden Retriever pregnancy typically lasts for around 63 days. The timeline can be divided into three main stages: early, mid, and late pregnancy. During early pregnancy, the fertilized eggs travel to the uterus and implant themselves in the uterine lining. Mid-pregnancy is marked by the development of the puppies’ organs and features such as fur and whiskers. In late pregnancy, the puppies continue to grow and gain weight, and the mother dog may start to show signs of labor, such as restlessness and nesting behaviors. It is essential to monitor and care for your Golden Retriever at each stage of pregnancy to ensure a healthy and successful delivery.

Prenatal care for your pregnant Golden Retriever

Prenatal care for your pregnant Golden Retriever is essential for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Regular veterinary check-ups are necessary to monitor your dog’s health and the health of her developing puppies.

Your vet may recommend specific tests, such as ultrasounds, blood work, and X-rays, to ensure proper fetal development.

Additionally, it is essential to provide a comfortable and safe environment for your pregnant dog, with plenty of space to move around, clean water to drink, and a balanced diet.

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Ensuring your pregnant Golden Retriever receives proper prenatal care will help ensure the best possible outcome for both her and her puppies.

Nutrition Requirements during pregnancy for Golden Retrievers

During pregnancy, Golden Retrievers require a nutritious and balanced diet to support the growth and development of their puppies. As a pet parent, you need to provide your pregnant Golden Retriever with high-quality and premium dog food that contains a balanced ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Experts recommend increasing the pregnant dog’s calorie intake by 25% to 50% to support the growth of puppies. This means your Golden Retriever may need to eat more frequent small meals throughout the day.

Choose a dog food that is specially formulated for pregnant or nursing dogs, as these diets are designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of a gestating or lactating dog. You can consult with your veterinarian to recommend a suitable diet for your pregnant Golden Retriever.

To ensure that your pregnant Golden Retriever gets the necessary nutrients, you can also consider supplementing their diet with prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid, calcium, and iron. However, you should always consult with your vet before giving any additional supplements.

Remember to provide your pregnant Golden Retriever with plenty of fresh and clean water to keep them hydrated. Dehydration can lead to complications during pregnancy, so make sure your dog has access to water at all times.

Overall, a nutritious and balanced diet that meets the nutritional needs of your pregnant Golden Retriever is crucial for their overall health and the healthy development of their puppies.

Physical and mental exercise for pregnant Golden Retrievers

Physical and mental exercise for pregnant Golden Retrievers are important to maintain their health and wellbeing throughout pregnancy. However, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian first before starting any new exercise regimen.

Here are some safe and gentle types of exercise that pregnant Golden Retrievers can do:

  • Daily Walks: Regular walks at a moderate pace help keep your dog active and healthy.
  • Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is great for pregnant dogs as it doesn’t strain their joints.
  • Simple Games: Playing simple games with your dog like fetch or hide-and-seek can help keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

You should also avoid any type of strenuous exercise or activities that involve jumping, sudden stops or turns, and agility training. As your dog gets closer to her due date, it’s important to reduce the intensity and duration of exercise.

Remember, the key to successful exercise during pregnancy is to start slow and gradually increase as you go along. Don’t forget to reward your dog with plenty of love and treats!

Preparing for delivery: What to expect

As your Golden Retriever nears the end of her pregnancy, it’s important to prepare yourself for the delivery. Labor can be a very exciting and stressful time for both you and your dog, but with proper preparation, you can ensure a smooth delivery process. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Your dog will show signs of nesting and may seek out a safe and comfortable place to give birth. It’s important to provide a designated whelping box for her to deliver in.
  • The first stage of labor consists of uterine contractions and can last up to 24 hours. Your dog may pant, shiver, and pace during this time.
  • The second stage of labor is the actual delivery of the puppies, which usually occurs within an hour after the first stage. Your dog may appear restless, vocalize, and push during this time.
  • Once a puppy is born, your dog will likely lick it clean and may even eat the placenta. After all the puppies are delivered, your dog will continue to have contractions as she passes remaining fluids and tissues.
  • It’s important to monitor your dog during the delivery process and contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of distress or complications.

By preparing yourself and your home for the delivery process, you can help ensure a safe and successful delivery for both your Golden Retriever and her puppies.

Signs of labor in pregnant Golden Retrievers

As your pregnant Golden Retriever approaches the end of her pregnancy, it’s important to keep a close eye on her for any signs of labor. Here are some tell-tale signs that your furry friend is going into labor:

  • Nesting Behavior: Your dog might begin nesting by digging, scratching, or pawing at a designated spot in preparation for the birth.
  • Loss of Appetite: Your dog may stop eating or become picky about their food as they approach labor.
  • Temperature Drop: A sudden drop in your dog’s body temperature can indicate that they are about to go into labor.
  • Panting or Restlessness: Your dog may start panting or pacing around the room more frequently than usual.
  • Vaginal Discharge: Bloody discharge from your dog’s vagina may also indicate that labor is starting or that your dog is experiencing contractions.
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If you notice any of these signs, make sure you’re ready to assist your dog during the delivery process or seek help from a veterinarian. It’s always better to be prepared and have a plan in place just in case!

Complications during pregnancy and delivery in Golden Retrievers

While pregnancy in Golden Retrievers usually progresses smoothly, there are several complications that can arise during pregnancy and delivery.

Some common complications during pregnancy include gestational diabetes and hormonal imbalances, which can lead to difficult deliveries and complications for the mother and puppies.

Golden Retriever Pregnancy.

Additionally, Golden Retrievers may experience dystocia, which is difficult during delivery, and it can be life-threatening for both mother and puppies if not treated immediately.

Therefore, it’s essential to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect any issues during pregnancy or delivery and to follow all guidelines from your veterinarian to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Caring for newborn Golden Retriever puppies

Caring for newborn Golden Retriever puppies is a crucial part of their growth and development. Here are some tips on how to care for them:

  • Ensure they stay warm: Newborn puppies cannot regulate their body temperature, so keep them in a warm area with heat lamps or heating pads.
  • Monitor their feeding: Puppies need to nurse frequently, usually every two hours, so ensure they are getting enough milk. If they are not nursing, you may need to bottle-feed them.
  • Keep them clean: Puppies need regular cleaning, especially around their genitals, to prevent infections. Clean them gently with a warm, damp cloth.
  • Provide socialization: Puppies need to interact with humans and other dogs to develop socialization skills. Start with gentle handling and introduce them to new experiences gradually.
  • Watch for signs of illness: Keep an eye out for any signs of illness, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. Contact your vet if you notice any concerning symptoms.
Pregnant golden retriever outdoors with owner.

Postnatal care for Golden Retrievers and their puppies

Caring for your Golden Retriever and her puppies after delivery is just as important as taking care of them during pregnancy. Here are some essential postnatal care tips:

  • Bring your Golden Retriever to the vet for a checkup within a week after delivery. The vet can check for any complications, ensure that the mother is healing well, and address any concerns you may have.
  • Monitor the puppies’ weight gain, as it is an important indicator of their health. Make sure they are feeding well and gaining weight at a healthy rate, and if you have concerns, seek veterinary advice.
  • Keep the area where your Golden Retriever and her puppies stay clean and comfortable. Provide a warm and dry space for them and clean it regularly to prevent infections.
  • Make sure your Golden Retriever gets plenty of rest and avoids stress during the postnatal period to aid her recovery.

With proper postnatal care, your Golden Retriever and her puppies should thrive, grow, and develop normally.

Common questions about pregnancy and delivery in Golden Retrievers.

As a Golden Retriever owner, you might have some questions about your dog’s pregnancy and the delivery process. Here are some common questions and their answers:

How long is the gestation period for Golden Retrievers?

The gestation period for Golden Retrievers usually lasts between 60 to 65 days. However, it is not uncommon for some litters to be born earlier or later than expected.

How many puppies can I expect my Golden Retriever to have?

The litter size for Golden Retrievers varies from dog to dog. On average, Golden Retrievers can have between 6 to 8 puppies per litter.

Do I need to take my pregnant Golden Retriever to the vet for check-ups?

Yes, it is highly recommended that you take your pregnant Golden Retriever to the vet throughout the pregnancy for prenatal check-ups to ensure that both the mother and puppies are healthy.

What should I do if my pregnant Golden Retriever has complications during delivery?

If your dog is experiencing complications during delivery, seek veterinary care immediately. Golden Retrievers may sometimes need a C-section to safely deliver their puppies.

How long does it take for Golden Retriever puppies to open their eyes?

Golden Retriever puppies usually start to open their eyes between 10 to 14 days after birth.

Remember, every pregnancy and delivery process can be different. If at any point you’re unsure about something, don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet for guidance.


In conclusion, being a pet parent to a pregnant Golden Retriever is an exciting yet challenging time. It is essential to keep an eye out for early signs of pregnancy, such as changes in behavior and physical appearance.

Prenatal care and proper nutrition are vital to a healthy pregnancy and delivery of newborn puppies. Appropriate exercise and preparation for delivery are also critical to ensure a smooth process.

Complications during pregnancy and delivery can occur, and pet parents must know the warning signs and seek medical help immediately. Caring for newborn puppies and postnatal care for both the mother and puppies are crucial to their well-being.

As a pet parent, it is essential to keep yourself informed and ask common questions about pregnancy and delivery in Golden Retrievers. With proper care and attention, you can look forward to welcoming a happy and healthy litter of puppies into your home.

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