Dogs give birth between 57 and 65 days after mating, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. The average length of gestation is 63 days. Early in the pregnancy many dogs show signs of decreased appetite and energy, nipple growth and behavior changes, notes Dog Training Central.

In the last weeks of the pregnancy, dog owners prepare a whelping box for the dog to give birth in and to nurse the puppies. Right before giving birth, most dogs exhibit signs of anxiety and stop eating.

During the final three weeks of pregnancy, most dogs require up to one and a half times their normal amount of food. Close to giving birth, dogs prefer many small meals opposed to a few large ones, because the increased abdominal pressure created by the pregnancy makes a full stomach uncomfortable, notes VCA Animal Hospitals.