Has your pet dog been acting strangely for a while now? If you have no reason to believe that they are ill or injured, then their change in behavior may be related to a different matter. More specifically, your dog may be acting weird because she is pregnant.
Now that the idea is in your head, you probably want more clarity when it comes to your pet’s current state. Can a pregnancy test help with that? Let’s find out as we dive deeper into that topic below.
Do Human Pregnancy Tests Work on Dogs?
It’s only natural for you to be curious if your dog is pregnant after they start acting strangely. In the absence of an immediately obvious explanation, your mind can wander towards all kinds of possibilities.
Of course, a pregnant dog will require specialized care. You may need to change up how you care for your pet if there are pups growing in her belly.
Then again, there’s still the distinct possibility that your pet is not pregnant. She may just be acting weird for no particular scenario.
In the hopes of getting a definitive answer one way or another, you may decide to test your dog. Rather, you may decide to give her a pregnancy test so you can get an answer.
So, will you get a clear answer if you use a human pregnancy test to ascertain your dog’s current condition? Unfortunately, those readily available pregnancy tests are not going to be useful in this scenario.
That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise since those tests are made for humans. Don’t bother buying any of those at-home pregnancy tests for your dog because they will just yield useless results.
Do Human Urine Pregnancy Tests Work on Dogs?
Even if you weren’t surprised to learn that human pregnancy tests don’t work on dogs, you may still be wondering why that is the case. It’s a fair question to ask too, so let’s expand on that topic.
To understand why those tests are not compatible with dogs, you have to know more about how they work.
At-home pregnancy tests that you can purchase from pharmacies look for a specific hormone. The hormone in question is human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin allows the body to produce progesterone. More importantly for testing purposes, hCG is produced when someone is pregnant.
Since it is known as human Chorionic Gonadotropin, you’ve likely already figured out that dogs don’t produce that hormone. Because of that, a typical at-home pregnancy test will always be unable to produce a positive test if you use it to check your dog’s urine. The hormone the test is looking for is always absent after all.
How to Tell if a Dog Is Pregnant?
We now know that using an at-home pregnancy test on a dog will not work. That means you will need to use other means to determine if your dog is pregnant or not.
Detailed in this section are some of the things you can do if you wish to confirm your pet’s current condition.
Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian
Taking your pet to the veterinarian is a wise move if you want to check if she is pregnant or not. Veterinarians can perform different examinations to find the answer to that question. It’s best to rely on them in this scenario.
First off, veterinarians can perform an examination known as palpation to check if your dog is pregnant. Palpation involves gently pushing on the dog’s abdomen to check if there are any puppies in there. Veterinarians can perform this test safely because they know exactly how much force to apply.
The palpation test is useful for determining the presence of puppies, but that’s about it. You won’t learn anything more about the puppies if there are any. Additional tests must be performed to find out the condition of those pups.
Ultrasound exams are your best bet if you want to confirm your pet’s pregnancy and gain insight into the condition of her offspring.
Those ultrasound exams are also very useful for monitoring the development of the puppies. Going in for regular ultrasound exams is worth your time if you want to stay on top of your pet’s condition and that of her puppies too.
X-ray exams are also useful for checking your dog’s pregnancy. They are especially helpful for determining the number of puppies that are currently inside your pet’s body.
If you suspect that your pet dog is pregnant, paying a visit to the veterinarian will be necessary at some point. You can even go there early on so you can confirm the pregnancy as soon as possible.
Use a Canine Pregnancy Test
You cannot use human pregnancy tests to accurately examine your dog, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of at-home testing altogether.
Go online and you should be able to find at-home pregnancy test kits that are specially designed for dogs.
Instead of looking for hCG, those canine-focused pregnancy tests detect the presence of relaxin. Relaxin is a hormone that is produced by the placenta. If your dog has high levels of relaxin in her body, then she is likely pregnant.
The catch with some of those canine pregnancy tests is that you will still need special equipment to extract accurate results from them. Newer tests are easier to use, but you may have a hard time getting your hands on them.
Look for Signs That Your Dog Is Pregnant
Monitoring your dog can also help you determine if she is pregnant or not. You can look for the signs of pregnancy in your dog. Some of the most common signs are detailed below.
- Weight Gain – Pregnant dogs will start to gain weight a little over a month into their pregnancy.
- Swollen Belly – Your dog’s belly may start to swell up shortly after she gains her pregnancy weight.
- Vomiting – A little bit of vomiting is to be expected if your dog is pregnant. This vomiting should only last for a short while.
- Fatigue – Pregnant dogs tend to get tired faster. Give your pet more frequent breaks if you suspect that she’s pregnant.
- Change in Appetite – Dogs may start to become more voracious later in their pregnancy.
- Liquid from Her Teats – You may notice that a liquid is coming out from your dog’s teats. That is also an indicator that she is pregnant.
- Teats Grow in Size – Speaking of your dog’s teats, you may also find that they are bigger than normal.
- Nesting Behavior – Your pet may exhibit different examples of nesting behavior as she goes through her pregnancy.
- Mood Swings – A pregnant dog’s mood may switch frequently throughout the day. She may be affectionate one moment and then become irritable shortly after that.