The news of your dog’s pregnancy will most likely fill you with a mixture of emotions – a strange concoction of excitement, happiness, and apprehension. Your dog will no doubt still crave their day-to-day quantity of exercise, and certain events are more than likely to stir up its enthusiasm, resulting in over-excitement and jumping around.
It’s understandable, the thought of them endangering their little unborn pups, or even themselves may weigh heavily on your mind. You’re aware of the potential risks associated with your dog’s jumps and movements during this delicate time. So it’s a top priority to make well-informed decisions. Fear not, as we’ve got your back. This guide aims to provide you with practical and empathetic advice, allowing you to fully support your dog during its beautiful journey into motherhood.
Risks of Jumping During Pregnancy
A small amount of jumping around and excitement isn’t always going to be harmful to your pregnant dog, however, it might pose some significant risks that you should be aware of:
- Miscarriage: Possibly the biggest concern a dog owner can have is that their jumping around and overly excitable behavior might harm their unborn pups. While it is rare, significant falls, injury, and overexertion can lead to complications, so it’s best practice to try to keep your dog as calm and relaxed as possible in this delicate period.
- Preterm Labor, In a couple of rare cases overexertion or jumping during pregnancy has resulted in preterm labor, which can pose a threat to both your dog and the unborn puppies.
- Injury: Moving around whilst heavily pregnant can be difficult, the extra weight, and change in center of gravity can result in extra pressure on her joints, ligaments, and bones.
Pregnant Dog Physical Limitations: Can She Still Jump
Pregnant dogs can usually jump without problems if they do it calmly and carefully. But if they get too excited and start running and playing too much, it can be risky for both the dog and her puppies.
It’s important to remember that all dogs are different and come in many different shapes and sizes and thus each dog has a different limit to physical abilities. However, the general consensus is that when a dog becomes pregnant their ability to jump around and their moveability becomes more limited. A dog’s center of gravity is most likely going to change and there will be an additional weight on her legs that maybe strain joints and ligaments increasing the chance of injury.
Whilst a small amount of jumping is most likely fine for your pregnant dog it’s important to monitor her behavior and adjust her routine based on her physical capabilities. Avoid high jumps and activities that require sudden movement changes with high levels of intensity. Try to focus more on low-impact exercise such as short walks on the lead, which allows your dog to stay active but not get overly stimulated.
The Dos and Don’Ts of Exercise for Pregnant Dogs
- Consult with a trained professional or veterinarian for a training/exercise routine that is specific to your dog’s needs.
- Make sure to monitor your dog’s behavior during the exercise and control it, if it starts to get out of control. Try to provide shorter, low-impact activities.
- Allow your dog to get plenty of rest, and provide plenty of water whilst exercising.
- Consider using a harness or leash to help maintain control and balance of your dog.
- Do not allow your dog to overexert themselves or engage in activities that are too strenuous for their body.
- Do not allow your dog to jump from heights or allow them to engage in activities that involve high-impact movements and changes in direction.
- Do not ignore signs and symptoms of fatigue, such as heavy panting and lagging behind on walks.
- Do not walk or provide exercise for your pregnant dog when the weather conditions are unsuitable or harmful to health.
Supporting Your Pregnant Dog’s Needs
Although your dog is pregnant it’s important that they still get some exercise and mental stimulation. Here are some slightly alternative ideas that you can try out that are a bit more controlled and safer for a dog entering the later stages of pregnancy:
- Short walks: Instead of the usual long walk, that you might have off the lead, consider shorter walks in a more controlled way. Try to find locations that do not overstimulate your dog, and try to keep them calm and in control at all times.
- Swimming – Swimming is great because its low-impact and is beneficial for dogs in the sense there is no pressure or weight strain on their joints. It’s worth noting that easier swimming should still be monitored and done in a controlled way.
- Treadmill exercise: If your dog is trained and able to use a treadmill it might be worth considering letting them go for short strolls on the treadmill instead, walking indoors provides less stimulation and is less likely to encourage your dog to behave in a way that might incur injuries.
When to Call Your Veterinarian
If you believe that your dog has incurred some form of injury as a result of jumping it’s important to contact your vet and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Here are some signs that you should look out for that might indicate that you need to seek help:
- Difficulty breathing: If your pregnant dog is having difficulty breathing or seems to be panting excessively it might be a sign of a respiratory problem associated with pregnancy.
- Unusual Behavior: If your pregnant dog is acting lethargic, not eating, or seems just unwell in general it might be worth double-checking with a vet.
- Unusual Discharge: If your pregnant dog is showing signs of discharge that are abnormal in color or consistency it might be a sign of an issue with your dog’s reproductive system.
- Abnormal bleeding: If your pregnant dog is experiencing bleeding that is abnormal in color, consistency, or volume, it may be a sign of a problem with the pregnancy or reproductive system.
- When Is Dog Diarrhea an Emergency? [Guide]
- Pregnant Dog – How to Tell if It’s Pee or Water Breaking?
To sum up, a pregnant dog can exercise and jump but you need to be careful and know your dog’s limits. It’s best to keep activities gentle and easy so your dog doesn’t get hurt.