It’s been forever since our last blog post but we finally have some noteworthy news to share. Our beautiful Tia is now in the 8th week of her pregnancy!! The gestation period for a golden retriever is remarkably short – only 9 weeks in duration and most girls follow that 63-day timeline to the day. So we are almost there…. Tia is getting as much rest and relaxation as possible before the pitter-patter of little paws fills our home.
Young pups in utero undergo 75 percent of their growing in the last 3 weeks so Tia will start to lose her shapely figure quite rapidly now. She has already gained quite a few inches around the abdominal area as you may be able to see in the photo; she won’t be sporting her bikini body anytime soon! Although she has been active to date her walks and physical activity will start to gradually slow down during this home stretch. She is also starting to lose the hair on her stomach to make things easier for the pups when it comes time to nurse.
Tia is eating 3 gourmet meals a day now and this may likely need to be broken into smaller, more frequent meals in the last days as the puppies begin to crowd her stomach area.
At this stage of development the puppies have a full coat of hair and can be felt moving around in Tia’s tummy. Their skeletons are just beginning to calcify although they have fully developed their puppy features. Organs are completing the finishing touches needed to survive in the outside world The pups will continue to grow rapidly until the big day (and beyond). Some breeders carry out an x-ray at this time to get a puppy count however we do not x-ray our mums unless their is a health concern to warrant it. New studies suggest that even the small amount of radiation exposure involved in the x-ray process can increase the risk of cancer later in life. So unless an emergency necessitates it – we just let nature take its course and play the guessing game of “how many??”.
It is an interesting fact that during this pre-natal period a dog’s tactile perception develops, therefore unborn puppies can detect touch when the mother is petted from the outside of the abdomen. This establishes the basis for puppies to tolerate (and welcome) being touched, when compared to puppies born to mothers that were not petted.
Pregnant dogs that are exposed to stressful events tend to release hormones that can be detected by the fetuses, which can negatively influence their future development. This underscores the importance of providing pregnant dogs a stress free and tranquil environment. Fortunately, Tia lives a happy, pampered, care-free life.
A big thank you to the Fleming family who have been Tia’s guardians since last year. They have given Tia an amazingly warm, attentive and loving home where she has completely enjoyed being the one-and-only centre of attention!! Tia will return here soon to get ready for the arrival of her own little family – I know all of her friends and family here (both 2-legged and 4-legged) will look forward to having her as part of “the pack” once again. We are counting down the days!!