Can’t Feel Puppies in a Pregnant Dog Explained

Can’t Feel Puppies in a Pregnant Dog Explained

If you recently discovered that your dog is carrying a litter of puppies, you’re likely eager to experience all the joys of watching your furry friend give birth. But before you can indulge in the excitement, there are a few things you need to know about pregnancy in dogs, including why it may be difficult for you to feel puppies in a pregnant dog’s belly.

It’s true that feeling puppies in her belly can cause anxiety; after all, nothing is more concerning than not being able to identify potential risks for the safety of your pet and her brand-new litter. Thankfully, there are ways for you to better understand this phenomenon and know what’s going on with your pup without spending hours at the vet.

In this article, we’ll delve into the why behind not being able to feel puppies in a pregnant dog’s belly and explore how it’s possible to still determine when they’re ready to make their grand entrance into the world.

Reasons Why You May Not Feel Puppies Moving

When a dog is pregnant, it’s normal for you to feel the puppies moving inside her in the later stages of her pregnancy. However, there are some cases where you may not be able to feel any movement at all. Wondering why this could be?

Here are a few potential reasons why you may not be able to feel the puppies inside your pregnant dog:

  • Too many puppies: If your pregnant dog has a large litter (seven or more puppies), their movements may become too gentle or spread out enough that they’re no longer detectable in the abdomen.
  • Puppies are nestled in: As the puppies get bigger, they start to nestle in and snuggle close together which makes it trickier to detect individual movements.
  • Uterine wall thickening: The uterus thickens during late pregnancy and this can make it harder for you to detect individual fetal movement.
  • Your hands: If your hands aren’t strong enough or sensitive enough, they may not be able to pick up the subtle movements of small puppies.

If you’re worried that something is wrong because you cannot feel your dog’s puppies moving, then keep an eye out for other signs of a healthy pregnancy, such as a smooth and shiny coat, weight gain, and appetite changes, among other things.

Pregnancy Stages and When You Can Expect to Feel Puppies Move

When a dog is pregnant, there are certain stages you can expect her to go through. During the first two weeks of pregnancy, you won’t be able to feel puppies move because the embryos are still developing and attaching to the uterine wall. At around three weeks of gestation, however, you should start to be able to feel the puppies move.

If your dog is past the three-week mark and you still can’t feel any movement, don’t panic. There are a few other things that could be going on. It’s possible that your pup may have a smaller litter than expected, or that she’s carrying less active puppies—or it could even be that her uterus is too deep in her abdomen for you to feel them move just yet.

The best thing to do if you’re unsure is to take your pup to a vet for an ultrasound so they can get an accurate count of how many puppies she’s carrying and make sure there aren’t any health issues present.

The Puppy Growth Timeline in Pregnant Dogs

When it comes to feeling the puppies in a pregnant dog, timing is key. As your pooch’s pregnancy progresses, you’ll be able to feel her growing little ones at different stages of development. Here is the typical puppy growth timeline for pregnant dogs:

Weeks 3-4

At 3-4 weeks, they’ll start to move around, so if you put your hands on their mom’s belly and press gently, you might just feel them.

Weeks 5-6

By the 5th or 6th week, those puppies will start to get bigger and will become easier to feel. You’ll still need patience—there’s no rush! Just keep your hands light, as your pup is sensitive to pressure.

Weeks 7-8

At this point, it’ll be pretty easy to feel them moving around. You should also be able to find out how many puppies there are—and it’s usually way more fun when you can sense more than one!

Weeks 9-10

Now they’ll be getting quite big, although they’ll still not have reached full size. Keep gentle pressure on that belly, and you should be able to identify all of them quite easily, even if they are a bunch of wriggling bundles.

When Puppies Start Moving in Pregnancy

The fourth thing to know about pregnant dogs is when puppies start moving inside their stomachs. If you can’t feel the puppies in your dog’s abdomen, they may have just recently started to move around.

At around day 28 of the pregnancy, the puppies will have already developed enough muscle and skeletons that they can wiggle around in the mother’s womb. You may then start feeling them in your dog’s abdomen.

It is normal to feel no movement in the first few weeks and very little movement in the earlier stages of a dog’s pregnancy, especially if this is her first litter. Most people are unable to detect any movements until at least day 28 of a dog’s pregnancy.

But it’s not all about feeling them—you should also pay close attention to any subtle changes in your dog’s behavior during her pregnancy. Signs such as reluctance to move or jump, increased sleeping time, and behaviors like nesting and panting can indicate that your pup is carrying puppies inside her tummy.

What to Do if You’re Worried About the Lack of Puppy Movement

If you’re worried about the lack of puppy movement, there are a few things you can do. Of course, it’s important to consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns, but here are some steps you can take in the meantime:

Check for Movement from the Outside

Sometimes, when you can’t feel anything from inside your dog’s belly, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong. You may be able to see your dog’s belly moving or notice when puppies move around. Try gently pressing all around your dog’s stomach and looking for any signs of movement.

Monitor Her Health

Make sure to keep an eye on her overall health. Look for signs that she may not be feeling well, such as vomiting and diarrhea or a loss of appetite or energy levels. Also, pay attention to her breathing—does she seem unusually labored? If that’s the case, she could be in distress and need immediate medical attention.

Regular Veterinary Checks

It’s important to take your pregnant pup in for regular checkups throughout her pregnancy so your vet can monitor everything properly. If there are any potential issues, they can be caught and dealt with quickly instead of worrying later on, when it could potentially be too late.

Other Signs to Look Out for in a Pregnant Dog

When a pregnant dog can’t be felt, you should look out for other signs. Here are a few clues that can indicate pregnancy in your furry friend:

Uterine Swelling

A pregnant dog’s uterus will swell and become enlarged during weeks five to seven of pregnancy. This swelling is one of the most reliable and visible signs of pregnancy; palpating the area around the abdomen should reveal your pup’s pregnancy.

Weight Gain and Appetite Change

As puppies grow throughout their gestation, you may notice that your pet’s appetite increases. This is especially true during the final three weeks of pregnancy, when puppies gain the most weight before they are born. A sudden weight gain is one way to tell that a litter of puppies may not be far off!

Nipples Enlargement and Milk Production

During the last three weeks of pregnancy, your pet’s mammary glands will enlarge in preparation for her milk production as she gets closer to her due date. Most dogs start producing milk between days 56 and 63 after breeding, so if you’re close to that date, look out for swollen nipples!

Keep an eye out for these signs so you know what to expect if you can’t feel puppies in your pet during their gestation period.

When to Take Your Pregnant Dog to the Vet

If you can’t feel puppies in your pregnant dog, it’s important to take her to the vet for a proper examination. Not being able to feel puppies could be due to a few different causes—like a dog that isn’t carrying puppies, something wrong with the pregnancy, or the puppies could be too small to feel at this stage.

Your vet will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of action. Depending on the situation, you may need an ultrasound or X-ray scan to get a better look at what’s going on inside your dog.

The good news is that many of these issues can be treated. Here are some potential courses of action your vet might recommend:

  1. Bed rest for your dog.
  2. Puppy supplements and vitamins.
  3. An emergency C-section in serious cases.
  4. Anti-inflammatory medicines if there is infection or inflammation present in the uterus.
  5. Observation if your pregnant dog is approaching full term but no puppies can be felt.

By understanding the signs of complications and taking your pregnant pup to the vet quickly if anything is off, you can ensure that both she and her babies get the care they need during this important time.

When to Call the Vet if You Can’t Feel Puppies

Thankfully, it doesn’t mean the end of the world if you can’t feel puppies in a pregnant dog, though it is always cause for concern. Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, you might be able to determine what’s going on. It could be caused by a number of things.


If your dog is far enough along in her pregnancy, then it might be time to call your vet and get an X-ray done. This will give you an idea of how many puppies there are and whether any of them have passed away.


Another option is an ultrasound; this will help you more accurately determine if there are puppies inside your dog’s womb, as well as their size and condition. Doing this will help determine if they are still alive or not; if they aren’t, then you’ll need to have a c-section done to remove them before they can cause any harm.

Progesterone Levels

Finally, the last option is having your vet measure your dog’s progesterone levels; this hormone can help assess the progress of her pregnancy and determine if any puppies are present even if you can’t feel them.

The earlier that you can detect any potential issues with the pregnancy, the better chance you’ll have for a successful delivery, so don’t hesitate to call your vet when you suspect something isn’t quite right.

Caring for Your Pregnant Dog When Puppies Aren’t Moving

When you can’t feel puppies in a pregnant dog, there’s a good chance the pup is late in her pregnancy and the puppies are just tucked away deep in her uterus. This is normal, but it can still be nerve-wracking for a pet parent.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your pregnant pup is healthy and well taken care of when puppies aren’t moving:

Monitor Eating Habits

It’s important to monitor your pregnant pup’s eating habits closely. If she isn’t eating as much as she normally does or stops eating altogether for more than a day, call your vet immediately.

Get Regular Exercise

Regular exercise not only helps keep your pregnant dog physically healthy, but it also helps reduce stress and increase blood flow to the uterus—both of which help the puppies grow better. Go on daily walks with your pup and always keep an eye out for any signs of distress.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can be dangerous during pregnancy, so make sure your pup has plenty of access to clean water at all times. Also, consider feeding her wet food because it tends to have a higher moisture content than dry food.

When you find yourself worrying about not being able to feel the puppies in a pregnant dog, remember that it may just be that they’re too far down for you to detect yet. However, if there are other concerning signs or symptoms—such as abnormal discharge or lethargy—contact your vet right away.

How to Care for a Pregnant Dog When Puppies Aren’t Moving

It’s normal for puppies not to move much during the last few weeks of their mother’s pregnancy, so if you can’t feel them, don’t panic. You may want to take your dog in for a check-up with the vet just to make sure everything is okay and that the lack of movement isn’t anything to be concerned about.

In the meantime, here are some tips on how to care for your pregnant dog when you can’t feel any puppies moving:

  1. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of rest and is as relaxed as possible. Pregnant dogs need more sleep than usual, and stress can affect them and their unborn puppies.
  2. Feed her high-quality food that has been formulated specifically for pregnant pets—this will ensure she gets the right balance of vitamins and minerals while she’s nursing her pups.
  3. Provide fresh, clean water at all times since pregnant dogs have an increased water intake due to their growing fetuses inside them.
  4. Spend time with her every day—nothing beats lots of love from her humans!
  5. Regularly check on her belly to make sure she doesn’t have any discharge or other signs of distress that could indicate something isn’t quite right with her pregnancy.

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Ultimately, the best way to ensure a smooth pregnancy and delivery for your pregnant dog is to stay informed and visit your veterinarian regularly. This can reduce the chances of a difficult pregnancy and help you detect any potential underlying issues early on.

When you can’t feel puppies during palpation, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with your pup. It could just be that the puppies aren’t situated in an area that can be palpated. If you’re still feeling uncertain, you can always schedule a veterinary ultrasound to confirm the health and development of your pup’s pregnancy.

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or just want to know more about this canine phenomenon, understanding when you can’t feel puppies in a pregnant dog is key. Knowing the signs and symptoms, as well as any potential risks and complications, can help ensure the health and safety of your pup and her litter.

Posted by
Ronald Maxwell

Through my blog, I aim to provide useful tips, advice, and information on pet care, training, nutrition, and health. To keep my readers informed and engaged, I also post uplifting tales, fascinating statistics, and pet-related news.

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