How to Care for a Pregnant Beagle: From Day 1 to Birth

First of all, Congratulation! Your beagle is pregnant, and you will soon see the cutest little puppies running all over your house. Dealing with your dog’s pregnancy can be exciting as well as stressful, especially if it’s your first time. But trust me, there’s nothing to worry about if you know how to care for a pregnant beagle.

Further, we will understand how to know when your beagle is pregnant and go through a week-by-week guide for caring for your pregnant beagle.

Signs that your Beagle is Pregnant

Knowing that your beagle is pregnant prior can help you get ready and provide better care. However, dogs can be secretive about their love affairs. You may not even realize your beagle is pregnant until a few weeks before giving birth.

So here are few signs that can help you detect pregnancy in your beagle.

  • The energy level of the beagles drops when they are pregnant. Look if your dog has been lazy lately.
  • In the initial weeks of pregnancy, beagles lose their appetite. Keep a watch on eating patterns. Look if she has been leaving her food in the bowl. Remember that in the later stage of pregnancy, the appetite increase, and they will require more dog food.
  • Just like humans, pregnant beagles will have a bigger belly. So check if her abdomen has swollen. Pregnant beagles don’t like to be touched on their tummy, so prevent that.
  • Check her weight. As the belly gets bigger, they start gaining weight quickly.
  • Pregnancy prepares the dog’s body for nursing. Beagle’s nipple gets noticeably bigger. This can be an excellent sign to detect early pregnancy.

If you suspect that your beagle is pregnant, take her to the vet. He will be able to confirm whether or not your dog is pregnant.

If you have bred your beagle or know the date of mating, you can ask your veterinarian to do an ultrasound test to detect the pregnancy. This test should be taken between 25 to 35 days of gestation. It can help you find the number of puppies she is carrying. Headsup, this test can be a little expensive.

Now I know you might have lot of questions during this pregnancy. Visiting your vet for every basic query can get expensive. So if you want, you can consider online vet services like JustAnswer.

Beagle Pregnancy Duration

Counting from the conception to birth, the pregnancy of a beagle will last for around 9 weeks or 63 days. It’s normal for them to give birth between 60th to 65th day of pregnancy.

However, if the pregnancy lasts for more than 65 days, take her to the vet immediately.

Necessary Supplies for Whelping

In most cases, dogs deliver their puppies at home without any guidance. Which means you don’t need a vet to deliver your beagle’s puppies. They are capable of doing it themselves. You just need to provide a comfortable environment and proper care to your pooch. We will talk more about it in the later section.

Here is a list of necessary supplies that you will need for whelping.

  • A big box of cardboard in which your beagle can whelp. You can find it in a nearby furniture store. Just ask them if they have any spare box big enough for your beagle to lie down. A better option will be to use a big plastic box or a large dog pool. The cardboard will easily get wet in blood, water, and other fluids.
  • Lots of newspapers to put down inside the box. You can also put this whelping pad in the box and put the newspaper on it.
  •  Canine Rectal thermometer to check the temperature of your beagle.
  • Dry, plain, and Clean towel for cleaning puppies
  • Clean tissues.
  • Unwaxed and non-flavored Dental Floss and clean scissors just in case if it is required to tie the umbilical cord. We will talk more about it later.
  • Trash bag for putting used towels, tissues, and newspapers.
  • It is advised to have a helper around during whelping.
  • Inform your vet and ask him to be available in case of an emergency.
  • Get a heating pad to keep the newborns warm.
  • Puppy Weighing Machine for aftercare.

Please consult your veterinarian for better advice on whelping supplies. Show him the list and ask him if you need anything else.

Week by week Care for Pregnant Beagle

To provide the best care for your beagle, you should know what your pooch is going through. The pregnancy of a beagle can take around 9 weeks, so let’s discuss things you need to do every week.

Week 1

In the 1st week after the mating, the sperm fertilizes the beagle’s egg. At this stage, you don’t need to do anything.

Stick to the regular dog food you have been giving her before—no need to make any changes to her exercising routines.

One thing you need to make sure throughout the pregnancy, starting from week 1, is to make sure your beagle doesn’t get any stress.

Just like humans, stress is not good for pregnant dogs. So prevent situations that put stress on your beagle.

Week 2

Many parents think their pregnant dog needs more food and start feeding more. They expect her to gain weight. It is incorrect.

Do not overfeed your dog. Right now, she does not need any extra nutrients. So stick to the regular feeding schedule.

You can take her out on regular walks just like before. However, it is a good time to stop any extreme, hardcore exercise.

During the initial two weeks, your beagle may become a little lazy and lose appetite. It’s totally normal. Do not force her to exercise or complete her food.

Week 3

Keep up with the routine. Take her out for daily walks as usual. The appetite of your beagle might increase this week. She may have some morning sickness, so take care of her.

Week 4

At the end of the 3rd week or the beginning of the 4th, take your beagle to the vet to confirm the pregnancy.

There are a few ways the vet can confirm the pregnancy. Generally, most parents prefer ultrasound tests, which will not only confirm the pregnancy but also tell you the size of the litter. So by week 4, you will know how many cuddle monsters will be running around your house.

Feeding: As per your veterinarian’s instruction, switch to food, which is high in nutrients. She may start feeling more hungry, so slightly increase her food intake. Avoid giving her food, which is high in calcium. From now on, at no cost, allow her to consume anything toxic. Beagle proof the entire house.

Exercise:  Minimize her exercise to short walks. Put a hold on running and jumping.

Week 5

During this stage, the fetuses begin to turn into puppies. The belly of your beagle will be a little swollen. Her extra nipples will come out. Expect her to be a bit moody.

Feeding: Slightly increase her food intake if needed. Ask your vet about adding a small amount of whole white plain yogurt in her diet.

Exercise: With an increase in weight, she may start feeling tired easily. But it’s healthy to continue with short daily walks. Strictly no long walks, running, jumping, or rough plays.

Week 6

As the puppies grow, her your beagle’s belly will start getting bigger. Her nipples will get bigger and darker.

Feeding: By now, you should start feeding her food that is high in proteins. Talk to your vet about adding high protein ingredients or switching the food. Your vet may give you multivitamins if needed.

Exercise: It totally depends on what your beagle wants. Some dogs may prefer having short walks, some won’t. Try to make her comfortable as much as possible.

Set up the Whelping Box

During this time, she will try to find a comfortable place where she can give birth. So it’s time to set up the whelping box and introduce it to your beagle. Chose a quite where your beagle can feel safe and comfortable. Put some clean sheets and a comfy blanket inside it.

Week 7

During week 7, your beagle will shed hair from her belly. Don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal.

At this stage, there is a slight concern about parasites. If your beagle has worms, she can pass it to her puppies. So ask your vet if she needs to be dewormed.

Feeding: Increase the amount if needed.

Exercise: You can take your beagle on a short walk only if she wants.

Week 8

By this time, you should be ready with all the supplies and whelping box as there is a chance of early birth.

During this time, dog owners often take their dog to vet for x-rays to find out the size of the litter. This can be uncomfortable and stressful for your dog. X-ray is not at all essential, so I strongly advise you to skip it. However, don’t hesitate to visit the vet if it’s a health emergency.

Week 9

Your beagle will be giving birth any time now, so be prepare. Take a few days off the work and stay with your dog to comfort her. It’s always good to have an extra pair of helping hands during this time.

She may start showing nesting behavior, and her appetite may decrease.

Check her temperature regularly. A drop in temperature can be a sign of giving birth.

Make sure the room temperature does not drop below 78 degrees Celsius. Do not get stressed. Try to be calm. Comfort her, provide her emotional support through the journey.

Birth Care

After 58th day, measure your beagle’s temperature 4 to 5 times a day with a Canine Rectal thermometer. The normal body temperature of a beagle is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When it drops below 100 degrees, it’s a sign that she will give birth within 24 hours.

Ask your vet to teach you how to check your beagle’s temperature. You can watch this video for a general guide:

Soon her contractions will begin. It can last for about 6 to 18 hours. This can be painful for your beagle. She may cry, pant, or shiver. Try to provide her with emotional support.

Your dog will give birth to puppies every 10 to 30 minutes. Each of these puppies will be born in their own fluid bag called an amniotic sac. This may break before or after their birth.

Watch this video to have a better visual understanding:

However, if the pup is inside the sac and the mother does not tear it or lick it, you will have to gently tear it and clean the liquid with a clean cloth. Gently run the puppy so he can breathe.

It is normal for the mother to lick her puppies clean as they are born. She may eat the amniotic sacs. It’s totally normal. It may seem gross, but they have nutrients and minerals. It’s totally fine if she doesn’t eat it, and you can throw it away.

The canine usually bites off the umbilical cord herself. But if she doesn’t, you will have to cut it. To cut the umbilical cord safely:

  1. Tie the pup’s cord with dental floss on two places: One about 1 inch away from the pup’s belly and second 0.25 inch away from the first piece.
  2. Now use sterilized scissors and cut the umbilical cord between the two flosses.
  3. Apply iodine on the end of the cord attached to the puppy.
  4. The umbilical cord attached to the pup’s belly will fall off within a week.

After giving birth to all the puppies, her uterus will contract and remove all the remaining fluids, blood, and placenta. Clean it up without disturbing the pups and the mother. Let her lick her puppies clean.

After Birth Care

Once your beagle has given birth to all the puppies, remove the newspaper and put it in a garbage bag. Put some layers of clean blankets.

Put a heating pad under the blankets to provide warmth to the newborns. Cover the box with the lid or a thin sheet to make the adorable family feel safe and comfortable.

You will have to weigh each of the puppies and note down their weight from the first day. Puppies gain weight daily. So you will have to do it every day and see if each of them is gaining a healthy weight.

Now all the puppies might look exactly the same. What you can do is, look for some unique markings in each one of them and write it down. It will make it easier to identify each puppy.

Go through this guide for Beagle Puppy Care.

Things Not to do during pregnancy

There are a few things you may not want to do when your beagle is pregnant:

  • Do not continue with rough exercises like running and jumping during pregnancy.
  • Do not give any medication or supplements without the vet’s approval.
  • Do not continue with flea treatment without your vet’s approval.
  • Do not let her outside without your supervision.  She can consume something toxic.
  • Do not get stressed out during the process.

Call the Veterinarian if:

A dog pregnancy is nothing to stress about. Infact near about 90% of the dogs give birth in their owner’s house. However, you may need to make an emergency call to the vet if:

  • There are more puppies to come, and the mother has not pushed the next puppy in more than 30 minutes.
  • The puppy has stuck.
  • If the newborn puppy does not gains weight in a day.

Final Thoughts

Pregnancy of your cute little beagle can be scary. But trust me, you don’t need to worry about anything. You just need to be responsible, which I am sure you already are. And make sure to consult your veterinarian and do not hesitate to ask any doubts regarding your beagle’s pregnancy.