Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds, but they can still produce some pretty big litters. However, determining how long a Chihuahua stays pregnant is not an easy task. Many different factors can affect the gestation period. However, with careful observation, you can get a good estimate of when your dog will deliver her puppies.
This article will discuss the most important factors determining pregnancy length in Chihuahuas. By understanding these factors, you can be better prepared for the arrival of your new puppies!
How Long Does a Chihuahua Stay Pregnant
Chihuahuas are small dogs, and as such, they have relatively short pregnancies. Most Chihuahuas will be pregnant for between 58 and 63 days, although some may give birth as early as 56 days or as late as 65 days. The developing puppies will be very small for the first few weeks of pregnancy and will not place much strain on the mother’s body. However, as they grow larger and begin to move around, the mother may start to feel uncomfortable. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, it is important to make sure that the mother has plenty of food and water and is not allowed to become too tired. Once labor begins, it is usually quick and straightforward, with most Chihuahuas giving birth within a few hours.
4 Stages of a Chihuahua Estrous Cycle
Dog pregnancy is preceded by a process called the estrous cycle. It is the reproductive cycle of all mammals, and it consists of four distinct stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus. Each stage has its own characteristic signs, and knowing what to look for can help determine when your Chihuahua was impregnated.
The first stage of the estrous cycle is proestrus. This phase lasts about nine days and is characterized by a slight swelling of the vulva and a bloody vaginal discharge. During this time, the female will not allow mating.
Estrus is the second estrous cycle stage and lasts about three weeks. It is the phase in which the female is most receptive to mating and will allow mounting by the male. The vulva will swell significantly during estrus with a clear or straw-colored discharge.
The third stage of the estrous cycle is diestrus, which lasts about two months. It is the “resting” phase, during which fertilized eggs implant in the uterus and begin to develop. The vulva will return to its normal size, and there will be no discharge.
The fourth and final stage of the estrous cycle is anestrus, which lasts for about two months. This is the “resting” phase, during which the reproductive organs prepare for the next cycle. There are no external signs during this phase, but the female may start gaining weight, and her nipples will enlarge in preparation for nursing.
What Are the Signs That a Chihuahua Is Pregnant
If you’re just suspecting that your female Chihuahua might be pregnant and want to know for sure, there are a few key signs to look out for; these include:
- Weight gain: Most Chihuahuas will gain between two and four pounds during pregnancy. This weight gain is mostly due to the increase in the size of the puppies and the placenta.
- Nesting behavior: As the due date approaches, many dogs will start to nest. This behavior includes gathering soft materials, such as blankets or towels and making a cozy bed for puppies.
- Decreased activity level: As the puppies grow, they will take up more space inside the mother’s abdomen. It can make the mother feel uncomfortable and lead to a decrease in her activity level.
- Increased appetite: The growing puppies need more nutrients, so the mother’s appetite usually increases during pregnancy.
- Changes in nipples: The nipples may darken and enlarge during pregnancy. They may also start to leak milk a few days before labor begins.
How Your Vet Diagnose if Your Chihuahua is Pregnant
If you notice any of these signs or just want to be sure that your Chihuahua is pregnant, the best thing to do is to take her to the vet. The vet will perform a physical exam to confirm the pregnancy.
The vet may take a blood sample to test for the presence of the pregnancy hormone progesterone. The placenta produces this hormone and is present in all pregnant dogs.
X-rays can be used to confirm pregnancy after about 21 days. It is because, at this point, the puppies’ skeletons will be visible on the x-ray.
After about 28 days, the vet can feel the puppies by gently palpating (feeling) the mother’s abdomen.
Ultrasound can confirm pregnancy as early as 14 days after breeding. This is because, at this point, the puppies’ hearts will be visible on the ultrasound.
When to Worry If Your Chihuahua is Pregnant
If you’re worried that something might be wrong with your Chihuahua’sChihuahua’s pregnancy, there are a few signs to look out for. These include:
- No weight gain: If the mother isn’t gaining any weight, this could be a sign that something is wrong.
- No nesting behavior: If the mother isn’t showing any nesting behavior, this could be a sign that she’s not getting enough calories.
- Excessive activity: If the mother is still very active and isn’t showing any signs of fatigue, this could be a sign of trouble.
- Lack of appetite: If the mother isn’t eating enough to support her and the puppies, this could be a sign of trouble.
- Bleeding from the vulva: If the mother is bleeding from her vulva, this could be a sign of a miscarriage.
If you notice any of the signs, it’s important to take your Chihuahua to the vet right away.
How Do You Take Care of a Pregnant Chihuahua
Pregnant Chihuahuas need special care to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Here are five tips for taking care of your pregnant dog:
🐾Provide Plenty of Food and Water
The growing puppies will need more nutrients, so it is important to ensure that the mother has enough to eat and drink.
🐾Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is important for all dogs, but it is especially important for pregnant dogs. It helps to keep them fit and healthy and can reduce the risk of problems during labor.
🐾Visit the Vet Regularly
Pregnant dogs should see the vet at least once a month to make sure that everything is progressing normally.
Stress can harm both the mother and the puppies, so it is important to try to keep your dog calm and relaxed.
🐾Provide a Comfortable Nesting Area
As the due date approaches, many dogs will start to nest. This behavior includes gathering soft materials, such as blankets or towels and making a cozy bed for the puppies.
How to Help Your Chihuahua During Labor
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what to expect when your Chihuahua’sChihuahua’s puppies are born, let’s first learn how to help your Chihuahua during labor.
To help your Chihuahua during labor:
Chihuahuas are very intuitive and can sense when their owners are stressed. If you’re feeling anxious, try to take some deep breaths and relax. It will help your dog to stay calm as well.
✔️Speak in a Soft, Reassuring Voice
It will help to keep your dog relaxed and will also help her to focus on you.
✔️Offer Food and Water
Labor can be taxing on the body, so it’s important to ensure that your dog has plenty of food and water.
✔️Provide a Comfortable Nesting Area
As labor progresses, your dog will likely want to find a quiet, comfortable place to have her puppies. She will likely appreciate it if you can provide a blanket or towel for her to nest in.
✔️Do Not Interfere Unless There Is an Emergency
It is best to let your dog labor on her own unless there is a problem. Interfering can increase the risk of complications.
⚠️Danger signs during labor include:
- Bleeding that is more than a few drops
- Puppies that are born not breathing or with fluid in their lungs
- Prolonged labor (more than 12 hours for the first puppy and more than two hours between puppies)
If you notice this pregnancy complication, you must seek veterinary help immediately. Remember, each dog and delivery is different, so it’s important to be prepared for anything.
What to Expect When Puppies Are Born
Now that you know how to help Chihuahua during labor, let’s look at what to expect when the puppies are born.
▸Expect Anywhere From One to Eight Puppies
Chihuahuas typically have between one and eight puppies. However, it is not uncommon for them to have more or fewer.
▸Puppies Are Born Blind and Deaf
They will start gaining their sense of sight and hearing at around two weeks.
▸Puppies Should Be Born Within 12 Hours
Ideally, all of the puppies should be born within 12 hours. If it takes longer, it is best to seek veterinary assistance.
▸The First Puppy Will Take the Longest to Deliver
The first puppy usually takes the longest to deliver, with each subsequent puppy coming more quickly. However, this is not always the case.
▸After the Puppies Are Born
Once the puppies have been born, your dog will need to deliver the placenta. Each placenta is attached to a puppy by the umbilical cord.
▸Your Chihuahua May Eat the Placenta
It may seem gross, but many dogs will eat their own placenta or their puppies’ placentas. This is perfectly normal and helps to keep them clean and healthy.
The umbilical cords will eventually fall off on their own, but you can speed up the process by gently rubbing them with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
After delivery, it is important to watch for any signs of illness in both the mother and the puppies. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away.
How to Take Care of Newborn Chihuahuas
Now that your Chihuahua has given birth, it’s time to learn how to take care of her newborn puppies.
📌The First Few Weeks Are the Most Critical for Puppies
Puppies are born very fragile and need special care during the first few weeks of life. This is when they are growing and developing the most.
📌Keep the Puppies Warm
Puppies cannot regulate their body temperature and must be kept warm. A good way to do this is to put them in a box lined with towels. You can also use a heating pad, but be sure to wrap it in a towel first, so it doesn’t get too hot.
📌Feed the Puppies Every Two to Three Hours
Newborn puppies need to be fed every two to three hours. If you are bottle-feeding, use a puppy formula designed for small breeds. Or much better if you can get them to nurse from their mother.
📌Keep the Area Clean
Puppies can make a mess, so keeping their area clean is essential. This means cleaning up any accidents promptly and changing their bedding often. You should also ensure that the whelping area is clean and free of any debris that could harm the puppies.
📌Take the Puppies to the Vet
You should take the puppies to the vet within a week of them being born. This is so that they can get a health check and any necessary vaccinations.
After Birth Care For Your Chihuahua
Postpartum care for your Chihuahua is just as critical as taking care of the puppies. Like humans, dogs can get postpartum depression. Here are a few things you can do to help her:
👉Give Her Time to Rest
Your Chihuahua will be exhausted after giving birth. It is important to give her time to rest and recuperate. This means keeping the puppies out of her bed and giving her a quiet place to sleep.
👉Feed Her a nutritious diet
Your Chihuahua will need lots of nutrients to recover from childbirth. Feed her a healthy diet that is high in protein and low in fat. You can also give her supplements designed for nursing dogs.
👉Give Her Plenty of Love and Attention
This is probably the most important thing you can do for your postpartum Chihuahua. She will need plenty of love and attention to help her through this time. Be sure to spend extra time petting and cuddling her.
When Can You Start Training Puppies
You can start training your puppies as soon as they are born. However, keep in mind that they will not be able to fully understand or follow commands until they are around six months old.
Some basic things you can start teaching your puppies right away include:
- Their names: Start by calling them by their name often so that they get used to hearing it.
- Toilet training: You can start teaching your puppies to use a litter box or go outside to relieve themselves as soon as they are born.
- Basic commands: Start with simple commands like sit, stay, come, and down.
- Socialization: It is important to socialize your puppies from an early age. This means exposing them to different people, animals, and environments.
When teaching your puppy, be sure to use positive reinforcement such as treats and praise. Avoid using negative methods such as scolding or hitting, as this will only make the puppy scared and less likely to learn.
Puppy classes are a great way to socialize your dog and give them a good foundation for obedience training. These classes typically start around eight weeks of age and last for six to eight weeks.
If you have any questions about training your puppy, be sure to consult with a professional trainer or your veterinarian.
FAQS About Chihuahua Pregnancy
❕Do Chihuahuas always require C-sections?
No, Chihuahuas do not always require C-sections. The vast majority of Chihuahuas are born via vaginal delivery without complications. In fact, C-sections are only typically considered when there is a medical need, such as if the puppy is too large to be delivered vaginally or if the dam is having difficulty with labor.
That said, there are some situations where a breeder may opt for a C-section to avoid potential risks. For example, she may risk developing complications during labor if the dam is very old or small.
In such cases, a C-section may be considered to help ensure the safe delivery of the puppies. Ultimately, whether or not a Chihuahua requires a C-section is a decision that should be made on a case-by-case basis by the veterinarian.
❕How long does it take for a chihuahua to give birth?
Chihuahuas are small dogs, and as a result, they have a relatively small litter. Most chihuahuas will give birth to two to four puppies at a time. The actual birthing process is relatively quick, and most litters can be delivered in under an hour.
However, the entire gestation period usually lasts around 63 days from start to finish. So, while the delivery may be relatively quick, it is still a process that takes just over two months from start to finish. During that time, it is important to ensure that the mother has plenty of rest and good food to keep healthy puppies.
❕How old does a chihuahua have to be to get pregnant?
Chihuahuas are one of the smallest breeds of dogs, and they typically reach full size around 10 months of age. However, they can begin reproducing much sooner than that. Female Chihuahuas can have their first heat cycle as early as 4 months old and become pregnant at 6 months old.
While Chihuahuas can have a litter of puppies at such a young age, it is not recommended, as the health risks are high. Pregnant dogs under 1-year-old are more likely to experience complications during chihuahuas pregnancy and childbirth, and their puppies are more likely to be born prematurely or with low birth weights.
For these reasons, it is best to wait until a Chihuahua is at least 1 year old before breeding her.
❕How soon can you tell a chihuahua is pregnant?
Chihuahuas are small dogs, and they don’t show very much when they’re pregnant. You might be unable to tell your Chihuahua is pregnant until she’s about four weeks. By this point, her belly will begin to round out, and she may start to gain weight. She may also begin to eat more than usual and have a sudden burst of energy. If you’re not sure whether your Chihuahua is pregnant, you can always take her to the vet for a check-up. The vet can feel her belly for puppies and confirm the pregnancy with a blood test.
❕What food is good for a pregnant chihuahua?
When a chihuahua is pregnant, she will need more food to support her growing litter. However, feeding her specially formulated pregnant dog food is important, as regular chihuahua food does not have the extra nutrients she needs. Pregnant dog food is higher in calories and fat to help the mother dog gain weight and produce milk for her puppies. It is also higher in protein to support the growth of the puppies. Once the puppies are born, the mother dog will slowly transition back to regular chihuahua food. Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about what food to feed your pregnant Chihuahua.
❕What happens if a chihuahua gets pregnant by a bigger dog?
If a chihuahua gets pregnant by a bigger dog, the litter size will usually be larger than average. This is because the Chihuahua’sChihuahua’s pelvic bones are smaller than average, which can cause problems during delivery.
In some cases, the mother may need to be delivered by Caesarean section. The puppies may also be born early and may have low birth weights. Some chihuahuas may even experience complications during pregnancy due to their small size. However, most chihuahuas will give birth without any major problems.
So, how long does a chihuahua stay pregnant? Around 63 days. Give or take a few days, of course. But that’s the average! Pregnancy is a delicate time for both mother and puppies, so it’s essential to ensure everything goes as it should. By being aware of the signs of pregnancy and knowing what to expect, you can help ensure that you and your Chihuahua have a happy and healthy experience. And now you know everything else there is to know about chihuahuas and pregnancy. Congratulations!
Here at ILoveChihuahua, we share our personal experiences as owners of this feisty breed. We talk about recommended methods, dog supplies picks, and advice on common Chihuahua problems. Our goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, so there would be fewer Chihuahuas in shelters.