|Misty enjoying an evening walk.|
As we head into the final 10 days of Misty’s pregnancy, we don’t see her slowing down too much. She opts to stay inside enjoying the air conditioning and enjoys our company more than frolicking outside with the rest of the pack.
Her waistline measures 31 inches (78 cm) now but she still has a voracious appetite. She is quite happy that we have increased her serving sizes over the past couple of weeks!
This weekend she will be introduced to the “whelping box” which is where she will have her puppies. It will be in our bedroom and will stay there till the pups are approximately 3 weeks old. Then it will move to a sunny location in our living room. The living room has French doors to a private yard for pups and mom.
Misty has just begun to seek out a special area in the yard to deliver her pups. This is normal behaviour as moms dig a den for their newborns. Obviously, we have a much cozier and cleaner idea in mind.
Pre-natal period: It is an interesting fact that a dog's tactile perception develops before birth, 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 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.
|National Geographic image of a Golden Retriever puppy fetus|
At this stage, the puppies have a full coat of hair and can be felt moving around in her tummy. Misty sleeps in our room - typically in the middle of the bed. However, as her waistline is expanding she is feeling more uncomfortable and likes to lay on the tile floor in our ensuite bathroom. She demands belly rubs, so it’s easy to detect movement of the little ones.
It seems like they are anxious to get out into the world and meet their forever families!