When you have an unsprayed American Bully, you do have the risk of having puppies, either planned or unplanned.
Understanding how to identify an American Bully pregnancy is the first step in making sure that your dog is as healthy as possible.
We have broken down everything that you need to know, including how long are American Bullies pregnant for, what to expect week to week, and even how you can identify that your American Bully is pregnant.
When you understand what your dog is going through, you will be able to be the support system that she needs.
How Long Is An American Bully Pregnant For?
Knowing how long your American Bully will be pregnant is important so that you can give her proper care.
The American Bully is pregnant for the same amount of time as most breeds, which is around 63 days.
Of course, that is the average and your dog may be pregnant a few days longer or shorter than that.
If you also have not been keeping track of her heat cycle, you might not know exactly when she became pregnant to start with. If that is the case, you will need to go off a guess that your vet gives you.
American Bully Pregnancy Stages
Week 1 in an American Bully pregnancy is uneventful. Unless you are working on breeding your dog, you will not even know that she is pregnant at this time.
There will be no physical signs at all, so even dog owners who are keeping a close eye will not know that anything has happened.
Week 1 is where the eggs are fertilized within the dog’s uterus. Her body should not even be amping up with hormones or anything else, so she should feel just fine and there will be no behavioural changes either.
Week 2 & 3
Once the eggs have fertilized, then there will be some fast changes for your American Bully.
You cannot compare a human pregnancy with a canine pregnancy, so while a human will still have no indication that something has happened, a dog’s pregnancy is so much shorter that things move fast.
During week 2, the eggs that were fertilized in week 1 will attach themselves to the uterine wall. This is also the week that hormones will begin to floor your dog’s system.
She may show signs of moodiness, lethargy, or simply just not quite seem like herself. Some dogs become clingier at this point.
In week 3, your American Bully’s nipples will visibly change in size and in some dogs, the colour changes as well.
While the eggs are not puppies yet, there may be some swelling in your dog’s abdomen as her body adjusts to the pregnancy.
The hormones really start to take over by week 4. If she did not have behaviour issues prior to this week, she will certainly show behaviour problems at week 4.
Her body needs the hormones to help her grow the puppies, but the hormones will also cause her to feel poorly.
Just like with humans, some digs experience morning sickness with the uptick in hormones.
Of course a dog cannot tell you that she is feeling nauseous, but you will be able to tell from an increase in water consumption, lack of appetite, and an increase in urination.
Week 4 is also the time to take your dog into the vet to confirm the pregnancy and make sure that everything is going well.
Your vet should do an ultrasound, but may also only do an x-ray. Either test will show how many puppies are expected as well.
Week 5 & 6
By week 5, your American Bully’s belly should be actively swelling. You should be able to tell that she is pregnant simply by looking at her.
She may have not had much of an appetite in week 4, but it should be catching back up to her in week 5.
Some dogs will increase in weight between 20% and 50% during these weeks, so do not be surprised if your dog seems larger overnight.
At 6 weeks, your dog will officially be uncomfortable and will be much less interested in moving around.
If your dog wasn’t moody before, expect to see some attitude now. Do not force her to do things that she doesn’t want to do.
Instead, give her space and breathing room. At this point, your vet can hear the puppies’ heartbeats as well when you take your dog in for a check-up.
Your dog may have been uncomfortable at week 6, but until the end of the pregnancy, she is only going to become more and more uncomfortable.
She will likely be completely lethargic, grumpy, and might even seem sad. She may also never want you to leave her side as she looks to you for comfort.
Her tummy will be even larger in size and should be firm when you touch it. This is just a good indication that she is near the end of her term.
You could see some discharge coming from the vagina as well, but that is normal and nothing to worry about.
While your American Bully may have had a voracious appetite a couple of weeks ago, at week 8, she is less likely to be interested in eating.
She will not be getting up and about much at all, minus needing more frequent bathroom breaks.
The puppies will be pushing on her stomach and bladder, making her disinterested in food, but needing to be taken outside more often.
If your dog is not eating at all, talk to your vet. Make sure she has a substantial access to water as well as she should be drinking a lot. You might also see the puppies themselves shifting under her skin as they are running out of room.
Your dog is at the end of her pregnancy at week 9. She will be more uncomfortable and incredibly restless.
She may wander about looking for a safe and comfortable location for her to give birth. It is important that you supply that location for her and keep your home quiet and calm.
Your dog will need reassurance and love at this point. She should not be left alone for long periods as she will want your company to keep her calm and help her to feel safe enough to deliver. Keeping your home stress-free will help keep her stress-free as well.
American Bully Pregnancy Signs
If you have not been monitoring your American Bully to know for sure that she might be pregnant, one of the earliest signs of pregnancy is a change in behaviour and mood.
It can vary from dog to dog, so you may see nothing, but many dogs show some kind of shift.
Some dogs just become moodier at this point, while others need a lot more attention and affection from their humans.
On the other hand, some dogs will hide out, looking for quiet and solitude. Of course these behaviours might not be mean pregnancy, but it is a sign.
Changes In Appetite
Throughout a dog’s pregnancy, there are a lot of changes in appetite, from being sick and losing appetite, to being completely ravenous and requiring a lot of calories.
As you have seen above, the changes vary from week to week.
If you are looking for signs that your dog might be pregnant, but she isn’t showing much weight change, you could look for nausea in your dog or morning sickness.
She may vomit or just be off of her food, seeming disinterested in eating.
Later in pregnancy, she will be showing in size and then will have a much larger appetite.
Enlarged Or Discoloured Nipples
Enlarged nipples on your dog can also be a hint that your dog might be pregnant. The nipples on a pregnant dog will swell and become prominent, but they also will turn darker.
The area around the nipple, known as the areola will also enlarge and you might even see a kind of milk come out of them.
Nipple size and colour change is not necessarily an accurate way to confirm pregnancy.
These changes can happen because of hormonal imbalance issues, weight gain, and other simple causes, such as excitement. Only a vet can confirm a pregnancy.
Weight Gain & Enlarged Abdomen
An enlarged abdomen or sudden weight gain are the most visible signs of pregnancy in dogs. As the puppies inside the dog’s uterus begin to grow, your dog’s belly will begin to swell.
An enlarged abdomen will usually appear after the dog has already been pregnant for a month, but the size is determined by the amount of puppies that she’s carrying.
You may not see the weight gain or swelling right away if she is only carrying a couple of puppies. If you think that your dog might be pregnant, take her to the vet immediately.
How To Confirm That My American Bully Is Pregnant
Ultrasounds are a great and non-invasive way to confirm pregnancy in a dog. You may need to ask for one as they are not the automatic method that vets will use. Vets tend to prefer x-rays to confirm pregnancy.
Ultrasounds can be performed about day 28 and will reveal the amount of puppies that your dog is pregnant with.
This can help guide you in the preparation of the births. Of course dogs are not pregnant for long, but knowing what to expect is essential.
A vet can also confirm your dog’s pregnancy with a blood sample. The blood sample will be done at the correct time. If blood is drawn too early, it may give you inaccurate results.
Ideally, a blood sample should be taken at about 5 weeks into the pregnancy, but since an American Bully’s pregnancy is only 9 weeks in length, your dog will already be demonstrating physical signs of pregnancy at this point and a blood test may not be needed.
Palpation is one of the most traditional methods of confirming a dog’s pregnancy. A vet will perform this by pressing on your American Bully’s abdomen gently in order to feel your dog’s uterus.
Where a blood test and ultrasound need to happen later, a palpation test can be performed as early as 3 weeks, indicating that there is a change in the dog’s uterus.
A palpation test will not be able to tell the vet how many puppies are on the way, however.
Caring For A Pregnant American Bully
If your American Bully is pregnant, it is crucial that you give your dog the amount f care that she really deserves for her health and well-being.
Proper care means that you are taking her in for routine checks with the vet to make sure that there is nothing concerning going on. Your vet can guide you through proper diet and needs.
You will also want to make sure that you have a safe location for your dog not just at the end, but throughout the pregnancy. She needs to have good rest and a calm environment.
How Do American Bullies Give Birth?
Just as the case with humans, a natural birth is the most common and the ideal way to give birth.
This means that the puppies are born through the vagina on their own, without any medical intervention. Unfortunately, this process can take a couple of days to complete.
Your dog’s labour will begin a day or two before the birth actually happens. She will roam around, looking for a secure place to give birth, so make sure that is already set up.
When the puppies begin to arrive, you can expect one about every hour or so. The length of the labour will depend on the amount of puppies she’s having.
In some situations medical intervention is needed and a caesarean section or c-section is required.
This happens if it is not safe for a dog to deliver naturally or if something else is going on that requires the dog to deliver puppies right away.
A c-section will be handled entirely by your vet. It is a major surgical procedure, requiring anaesthesia for your dog. An incision is made into the dog’s uterus and the puppies are then physically pulled out.
Unless there is a known problem ahead of time, most c-sections are unexpected and need to be performed quickly.
How Many Puppies Does An American Bully Have On Average?
The amount of puppies than an American Bully has depends on the individual pregnancy of the dog as dogs can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy.
An American Bully is also a mixed breed, so there is no solid average for them. We can say that in general, you can expect between 4 and 8 puppies.
The amount of puppies that you will get will depend also on the male that has mated with your dog, but regardless, most American Bullies are going to have at least 2 puppies in a pregnancy, but are not likely to have as many as 12, like other breeds can.
Taking care of an American Bully during a pregnancy is essential to the health and well-being of your dog, as well as the health of the puppies that she is having.
If you are concerned that your dog might be pregnant, it is important to get her to the vet right away to have that confirmed.
If your dog’s pregnancy is unexpected, remember to have your dog spayed when she has weaned her puppies off of milk so that you do not have the same surprises again in the future.
Until then, make sure your dog has plenty of healthy food, water, and a lot of love and care.