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If you are planning on breeding your dog or cat we recommend a full physical examination before mating so that we can ensure that they are in excellent health. If your pet accidentally becomes pregnant then a physical examination as soon as possible is recommended.


The average length of pregnancy for dogs and cats is 60 to 63 days (9 weeks). During this time they will gradually gain weight and have some mammary development. Towards the end of the pregnancy they will start to leak some milk from the teats. Pregnancy can be diagnosed with a blood test from 3 weeks and an abdominal ultrasound from 4 weeks.During the pregnancy it is essential that your pet receives adequate nutrition. We recommend feeding puppy or kitten food from the moment you know your pet is pregnant. We will discuss any further nutritional requirements your pet and her puppies or kittens may require on an individual basis.


When your pet is due to have the puppies or kittens it is important to provide a safe, quiet space to whelp/queen. This space needs to be away from any other pets and children. This space should have a bed with raised edges so the puppies or kittens can’t wander away and get cold. Food and water should be slightly away from the bed so the puppies or kittens can’t accidentally drown.


When your pet goes into labour try to keep her in the area provided. Observe, when possible, from a distance so that she doesn’t become distressed. Call your vet if you have any concerns, in particular watch out for the following:

  • Your pet strains for 20 minutes without passing a puppy/kitten.

  • Your pet seems unsettled and no puppies/kittens have been passed for more than 2 hours.

  • Several puppies/kittens have been born, the last more than 2 hours ago, and a large litter is expected. You may suspect not all the puppies/kittens have been born.

  • Your pet seems distressed.

  • There is an unusual discharge from the vulva and no signs of labour.


We recommend a post-whelp check within 24 hours of whelping/queening, even if everything went smoothly. At this check we can examine all the puppies/ kittens as well as the mother.

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