Performing an ultrasound scan on a dog at 21-days can help to detect pregnancy and infection. When the dog is scanned, you should be able to see small “sacs” on the ultrasound monitor, indicating pregnancy, and if the bitch has an infection such as pyometra, you can identify this before it causes problems.

At Canine Scanning, early scans – from 21-days since first mating – have helped us save numerous dogs’ lives by quickly picking up on major health issues. Some veterinarians and clinicians choose to scan from 35 days, yet, at Canine Scanning, we believe that this can be late, and the benefits of an early scan are too important to ignore.

Our team are specially trained on the ins-and-outs of dog pregnancy and the full breeding process, from artifical insemination all the way to the whelping process.

When Can You Scan A Dog For Puppies?

A specially trained dog clinician, such as the team at Canine Scanning, can scan a dog from 21 days to confirm pregnancy. At 21-days since the first mating, a professional dog scanner should be able to offer a basic puppy count for piece of mind.

Moreover, having an early ultrasound scan on your dog can help to detect harmful infections such as pyometra. Early ultrasound scans also provide you with the chance to see if your dog is reabsorbing her puppies and what you can do to prevent this.

However, for an accurate count, we recommend between 25-35 days. An earlier scan allows for confirmation of pregnancy and ensures we pick up on any possible issues as soon as possible. An example of some of the issues that we can detect early is reabsorption and uterine problems.

If you require an earlier scan, we scan from 18 days, but we recommend 21 days onwards for the best results.

Dalmatian dog on table at Canine Scanning

Benefits Of 21-Day Ultrasounds For Dog Pregnancy

As mentioned above, time can be crucial when a dog is pregnant. For example, time of breeding is also vital. Many hobby breeders choose to breed their dog on day 10, 12, and/or 15, under the belief that these days are “ideal”.

However, this simply isn’t true. Canine Scanning offer a “progesterone testing” service to pinpoint the exact day of ovulation. Progesterone testing paired with artificial insemination and healthy sperm absolutely limits the possibility of a failed breeding.

As with the initial breeding, 21 day ultrasounds are also essential for dog pregnancies. Here are some of the main advantages:

  • Puppy count – by performing an ultrasound scan on a dog at 21 days, you can easily count the amount of puppies. In fact, 21-days is our preferred date to count puppies as they do not appear too large nor to small on our ultrasounds monitors
  • Infection detection – earlier scans mean we can pick up on signs of infection such as pyometra. This infection can be deadly if left unnoticed and untreated
  • Piece of mind / reassurance – if your dog is pregnant, you are bound to feel some sort of anxiety or nervousness. Fortunately, by booking an ultrasound scan for your dog at 21 days, you can be reassured and understand the full process of your dog’s pregnancy.

Dog Pregnancy Scan At 4 Weeks

Sometimes, dog pregnancy scans may take place at 4 weeks since the first breeding. This can be for a number of reasons.

For example, a scan may take place at 21 days. However, if the clinician is unable to see any puppies, or they are hard to make-out, the client may be asked to return for a dog pregnancy scan at 28 days, usually free of charge.

At 4 weeks, the puppies are more developed than a week prior. This means the clinician can detect if there are puppies and can help the client by offering a puppy count. Moreover, dog pregnancy scans at 4 weeks mean the clinician can detect infections before they become serious.

Dog Ultrasound

Best Time To Scan A Pregnant Dog

Ideally, the best time to scan a dog is 21-days (3 weeks) after the first mating. This is enough time for the puppies to develop in the womb of the bitch and appear on the screen of the ultrasound scanner. Around this time, the placenta is formed and the puppies are around 5mm – 8mm in length.

Fortunately, dog pregnancies do not last as long as humans. Dog pregnancies last around 9 weeks in total, compared to 9 months for a human. This is why you can perform a scan very early.

At the same time, some clinicians are not properly trained to detect puppies at 21 days. Therefore, they may request to see you and your dog for an ultrasound scan at 28 days.

Our team may also request to scan your dog at 28 days, free of charge. This may happen if we cannot detect puppy at 21 days, or they do not seem to be correctly developed. If a client cannot remember the specific date of their dog’s mating, then we request to scan at 28 days.

Mobile Scanning

We can also scan at your convenience with our mobile scanning. We work within a 100-mile radius of our premises to bring our ultrasound scanning to you. This allows your bitch to remain calm by being in the stress-free, familiar environment of your home.

If you would like to hear the puppies’ heartbeats, this is usually possible between 24-26 days of pregnancy.

For further information, please visit our ultrasound scanning page or contact Canine Scanning directly.