As one looks at the calendar, there’s a particular date that the majority of people have circled as a reminder for a celebration known as Mother’s Day.

On this special occasion, people celebrate the day by treating their mothers to food, doing their chores or even getting them gifts for the hardship of giving birth to a new life.

Unlike humans, animals do not celebrate Mother’s Day; but their hardship and nurturing love is still prominent for owners to see and admire.

Compared to humans, cats and dogs have much shorter gestation periods. Cats have an average of 63 days of gestation, while dogs have a range from 58-72 days. Even though their gestation periods are much shorter than humans, they still experience a variety of symptoms due to the changes in hormones within their body and the burden of a new life form inside. The obvious sign of a pregnant pet is that their stomachs will enlarge. The size of their stomach will depend on couple factors: time of gestation and number of babies. As time passes, the stomach will grow in size due to the growth of the babies inside the womb. In addition, the more babies inside will result in the growth of the physical appearance of the stomach as well. The nipples will swell and enlarge due to the change of hormones within the mother during gestation. All these are physical signs the owner can observe if they do not know if their pet is pregnant.

In order to determine an exact result on whether a pet is pregnant or not, there are two methods. The first one is an ultrasound. The ultrasound can be done after 25 days from pregnancy, but will only determine whether the pet is pregnant or not. This method does not determine how many babies there are. The second method is by performing an x-ray. An x-ray can only be done after 42-45 days for both cats and dogs. The x-ray results will determine how many babies there are in comparison to an ultrasound. Between the two methods, the x-ray will cost less than an ultrasound and be able to determine how the number of babies. As a result, the majority of owners will choose to perform an x-ray over an ultrasound.

When the mother is ready to give birth, there are a few signs to let the owner know. 24 hours before labour, there will be a 1OC decrease in temperature in their body heat only for cats. For both dogs and cats, the pet will start to moan and scream; while contracting the muscles in the back half of their body to try to push the babies out. Discharge and blood will be produced to allow for lubrication for the babies to come out easily. If one is ever unsure whether or not their pet is in labour, it is always recommended to bring their pet to an animal hospital immediately just to be safe.

Being pregnant and subsequently giving birth is an extremely difficult task. The amount of time, energy and resources a mother uses during gestation is uncountable; just like the amount of love a mother has towards their child. As a result, show your pets some love and affection this Mother’s Day especially if they have given birth before because they deserve every praise in the world for being a mother.