An expectant momma dog needs grooming just like any other dog would, perhaps even more, so that she is clean and has excess hair removed prior to the birth of her puppies and to help prepare the mammary area for nursing puppies.
There are a few things you need to be aware of, however, when grooming a pregnant dog. When handling your pregnant dog, do not put pressure on her belly or abdominal area. You can pick up a pregnant dog by putting one arm around her chest and the other around her back legs under the tail area, so you can handle her when grooming. Also, a pregnant dog will have mammary glands filling up with milk, and nipples will be protruding, even engorged, prior to whelping. Be careful when grooming, trimming or clipping the abdomen, not to interfere with the teats or put pressure on mammary glands. Putting pressure on mammary glands a few days prior to whelping can result in milk being expressed. The first milk is colostrum, which the puppies need and you do not want to lose it or interfere with or injure the milk ducts.
Ever been pregnant? Well if you have, your dog probably feel pretty similar--uncomfortable, emotional, the works! A pregnant dog may act unpredictably due to discomfort or fluctuating hormones. Be sure to pay attention and stop or adjust grooming methods if you observe signs of stress in a pregnant dog. Also, be careful not to handle or groom your dog in a way that would increase her discomfort; avoid pressure on the belly and near mammary glands that might injure unborn puppies or milk ducts.
Remember not to put pressure on the belly when handling a pregnant dog. Do not pick her up with your arm under the abdomen. Put your arm under the tail area, behind hind legs.
Make sure the dog has good footing at all times when being groomed so she does not slip and injure her pelvis or abdominal area.
Keep your dog clean prior to whelping, but avoid over grooming, which could cause skin irritation.
Avoid contamination of genitals with fecal material. Keep the area clean, work from front to back.
Be careful of the mammary area and teats. Work around these areas gently but keep them clean and free of excess hair.
Remember that a pregnant dog can act unexpectedly. Be aware of your dog's mood, avoid stressing her, and take precautions if she seems agitated or aggressive.