UPDATE: 12th December 2018 – (Week 7)
The bitch will begin shedding the hair on her belly in preparation for the birth. The puppies will continue to grow and develop, and now look almost completely fully formed.
The bitch will continue eating as much as she would like to, this triggers the bitch's body to begin to store calcium from the rich puppy food she has been fed until this point, an important mineral during the later stages of the pregnancy.
UPDATE: Thursday 6th December (Week 6)
The bitch will have a noticeably larger tummy and her pregnancy will be obvious to most people. Her tummy will grow on a daily basis, and her nipples will become noticeably darker. The puppies will begin to develop their markings and the skin pigmentation that will eventually determine their colour and looks.
The amount of food that she eats will be increased, and she will eat as much as she wants to.
UPDATE: Tuesday 27th November 2018
The puppies will continue to grow and develop, and look almost completely fully formed.
Towards the end of the seventh week, the mother will eat lots of nutritious food, and this triggers the bitch's body to begin to store calcium, an important mineral during the later stages of the pregnancy.
UPDATE: Tuesday 20th November 2018 (Week 5)
Amniotic fluid in the uterus increases in order to protect the pups around day 32 of gestation and the vet will no longer be able to detect the presence of puppies by palpating the abdomen. From week five onwards, the puppies are much less susceptible to developmental issues and defects. The individual toes begin to form, and claws and whiskers start to grow. The foetuses also develop their male or female sexes during this time.
The bitch's weight will begin to noticeably increase at this stage, she will be fed little and often, and puppy food will start to be thrown into the mix.
UPDATE: Tuesday 13th November 2018
Towards the end of the fourth week of pregnancy, a vet may be able to detect the presence of the developing puppies by gently palpating the abdomen. The eyes and spine of the foetuses begin to develop, and their faces begin to take shape. The foetuses grow to around 1.5 centimetres long during week four.
The fourth week of foetal development is considered to be one of the most formative stages of the pregnancy when the growing puppies are most vulnerable to damage and developing defects. At this stage of development, rough play and particularly strenuous exercise are limited.
UPDATE: Friday 7th November 2018
As previously announced, we have now raised the £5,000 required to enable us to name a Guide Dog Puppy. We are thrilled with the support we have received from Toyota UK, staff and customers to enable us to reach our target. The money raised will go to Guide Dogs so they can continue their important work.
At the beginning of October, we visited the Guide Dog Breeding Centre to see the great work that goes on behind the scenes. We were able to spend time with a Puppy Walker, who look after the puppy’s from 7 weeks of age until they are a year old.
We also found out that when a bitch comes into season (approximately every 7 months) she will be brought into the breeding centre for mating. Extensive research is carried out to select an appropriate stud dog and this is married to the bitch with reference to her own qualities. Blood samples are taken from a bitch due for mating to evaluate the progesterone levels, which rise at the point of ovulation, so they know she is ready for mating. While they always try to effect natural mating wherever possible, at times it is necessary to artificially inseminate. Guide Dogs are proud that their conception rates remain consistently high at over 90%. At approximately 4-5 weeks post mating, the bitches are checked for pregnancy using an ultrasound scanner and to determine the number of pups expected. The average gestation period is 63 days and the average litter size seems to be on the rise, currently at 7.2.
Our pregnant bitch is around 3 week’s pregnant at the moment, so what goes on during this time? The embryos begin to plant into the uterus and they will receive the nutrients and life support. The foetuses are under a centimetre long at this stage.
In approximately 10 weeks time, we will get a notification that our puppy has been born, and we will announce the name we have chosen, the puppy will also visit us in due course so everyone can say hello, so watch this space! Look out for updates - we will look at what happens in the first 7 weeks of the Puppy’s life and how they are prepared to become fully trained guide dogs.
We may have hit our target, but it’s not too late to donate to this amazing charity:
Find out more about Guide Dogs here: