Can Dogs Have an Abortion?

Can Dogs Have an Abortion?

Author WDF Staff


The main reason many dogs end up in shelters is unwanted pregnancies. Unplanned or unwanted dog pregnancies can be an issue for owners that are not equipped to handle puppies or if the female dog is too young to carry puppies. That is the moment when many owners and breeders think of one question, “Can dogs have an abortion?” The answer is - YES. Here is what you should know about dog abortion.

What is dog abortion?

Dog abortion is a procedure dogs undergo to terminate a pregnancy. The procedure is done to prevent the dog from reaching the full term and delivering the puppies. Abortion can be planned or unplanned. Unplanned abortion is called a miscarriage.

Abortion or miscarriage

If the owner decides to terminate the dog’s pregnancy and the abortion is made with the vet’s help, it can be called an abortion. If the pregnancy got terminated because of a complication and it occurred naturally, it is called a miscarriage. The main difference is that the abortion is planned, and a miscarriage is not.

Why do dogs need an abortion?

There are many reasons a dog might need an abortion. The pregnancy can be a health risk, or the owner cannot take care of puppies. Some abortions are scheduled because the dog breeds outside of their breed. Here are some of the common reasons dog owners decide for dog abortions;

Owner decision

The first reason a dog might need an abortion is the inability to take care of the puppies. The main reason shelters are full and dogs get abandoned is unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. If an owner can’t take care of the future puppies or simply doesn’t want them (which means they will end up in a shelter), they can take their dog to the vet and schedule an abortion.


Dog breeders could ask for an abortion if their dogs mated outside their breed. If a Golden Retriever breeder has a female dog in heat and that dog mates with a dog from another breed, the owner can schedule an abortion. They don’t want to deliver mixed-breed puppies.

puppies behind fence

Health risk

Pregnancy might be a health risk for some dogs. Female dogs that are too young or too old might not have what it takes to safely endure the pregnancy and deliver puppies. If your vet discovered some other health problems, they will tell you more about them and advise you to terminate your dog’s pregnancy.

Is dog abortion legal?

There are different laws in the US regarding human abortions. Some states allow it, and some forbid abortion. However, dog abortions are entirely legal. Keep in mind that dogs are pretty resilient. Most abortion cases are performed because of the owner’s inconvenience rather than health issues.

How is abortion in dogs performed?

There are two main types of abortion in dogs - surgical and with medications. The best dog abortion method will be decided by your vet. They will perform a detailed test of your dog, and based on how far along she is and many other factors, the vet will let you know what the best option is.


Surgical abortions are usually recommended in the later stages of pregnancy. Dogs that undergo this type of abortion will take longer to recover. This is not something vets will recommend as the first option. The price for this procedure is usually between $2.000 and $3.000, depending on the dog’s actual needs, hospitalization, and meds.


If you decide to terminate your dog’s pregnancy early, your vet will probably advise you to take this option. There are several options that you can give your dog to induce abortion, and they are;

  • Prostaglandin F2 Alpha - This is a natural hormone that will terminate a dog’s pregnancy. You should have a vet monitor your dog through the procedure. There are some side effects to taking these hormones, like vomiting, diarrhea, panting, and trembling.
  • Dexamethasone - Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that is used for dog abortions. It is injected into your dog, and it is very effective. There are some side effects like excessive drinking and urination, and panting.
  • Antiprogestins - These medications can only be used before the 45th day of the pregnancy. The vet will inject your dogs twice in the first 48 hours and once a week after that with 4 applications in total.
  • Oral estrogens - Oral estrogens are a possibility, but this dog abortion method is usually avoided. It increases the risk of pyometra in dogs, and vets typically advise against it.

Depending on where you live, the price of medicine-induced dog abortion can range from $45 - $800.

Is abortion safe for dogs?

There are no drugs or surgeries that are 100% safe. Unexpected complications can happen, but generally, dog abortions are considered reasonably safe. Keep in mind that, depending on the abortion method, your dog might take some time to recover physically and mentally. Some drugs can stay in your dog’s body for up to 24 days.

You will have to ensure them a safe, cozy place to rest. Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water and look for signs of anorexia. You can include some dietary supplements to help your dog recover.

Surgical recovery will take some time. During that period, you should provide everything your dog needs. Make sure the sutures are clean and dry, and you have thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the area your dog is recovering in. Look for vaginal discharge, and make sure you keep your vet informed about your dog’s recovery process.

Keep in mind that the best way to prevent unwanted dog pregnancies is by spaying your female dog.

World Dog Finder team

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