At this stage, amniotic fluid in the uterus increases in order to protect the pups around day 32 of gestation, and so you or your vet will no longer be able to detect the presence of puppies by palpating the abdomen.
From week five onwards, the puppies are much less susceptible to developmental issues and defects. The individual toes begin to form, and claws and whiskers start to grow. Fetuses grow from 18 mm - 30 mm. The foetuses also develop their male or female sexes during this time. The puppies will begin to develop their markings and the skin pigmentation that will eventually determine their color and looks.
The fetuses develop their sex organs and begin to look like actual puppies. The leg buds lengthen and develop toes. Your dog's belly will begin to look noticeably swollen as the pups take up more space. With less room for full meals, it's time to think about serving smaller meals more frequently.
- Dam begins to lose her "tuck-up" as weight increases and puppies shift
- Swelling of the vulva becomes more noticeable
- Be aware of her weight, do not over feed