Are you aware of the signs of your chihuahua’s pregnancy? Even if you know that your chihuahua has gone through breeding, you should know the signs that she’s pregnant. Surprise pregnancies can happen, especially if you have multiple dogs in the house. You can’t possibly keep an eye on them 24/7 if you are busy with work or school. So it is very important that you are prepared if it happens.
In this article, we will talk all about chihuahuas and the signs if they are pregnant. We will also discuss what you should do as an owner during the whole process. But first, we need to talk about one critical factor about a dog’s pregnancy and breeding. Long-term dog owners and breeders are already aware of this term, and that is “going into heat.”
How Often Do Chihuahuas Go In Heat?
Going into heat for an animal means they have higher levels of sexual excitement than usual. This means they are more likely to breed when they are in heat. There are obvious signs that a chihuahua is going into heat. These signs include:
- Swelling of the vulva.
- Bloody discharge from the vagina (or “menstruation” in chihuahuas).
- Changes in temperament (they are more playful and clingy during this state).
- Sudden friendliness or attraction towards other dogs.
- Changes on how their tails wag.
Chihuahuas go into this state every six months. Once they are in heat, this state will last up to 28-29 days. This means that you have to look after your chihuahuas within that month if you don’t want surprise pregnancies. However, you also need to be aware that symptoms of pregnant chihuahua can be false pregnancy.
False pregnancy can happen to your chihuahua when she is in heat. That means her hormones have reached the point where her brain thinks that she is somewhat pregnant. That means she will suddenly show some signs of pregnancy even if she is not pregnant. These symptoms would include:
- Desire to create a nest where the puppies will be born.
- She will be sleeping less than usual.
- Signs of lethargy such as inactivity and low mood.
- Lower appetite than usual.
- Symptoms in the breasts (such as swelling and discharge).
The symptoms will usually last for until a month if it happens. However, it is vital that you monitor your chihuahua during this time. She may develop concerning symptoms such as pus discharge or sudden weight loss. If this happens, take her to the vet immediately, as this could be a sign of an underlying illness.
Now we will go over the early signs of an actual pregnancy for a chihuahua.
Early Signs Of Pregnancy
We can’t really confirm if your chihuahua is pregnant before 25 days. However, for the first few days after mating, she could show early symptoms. These symptoms are:
- Negative changes in appetite (they usually eat less than usual).
- Swollen nipples.
- Stiff and seemingly bloated stomach.
- Lethargy and inactivity.
These are the symptoms she may experience before the 25 days. They may be subtle, but this is because the puppies are still developing slowly. However, once it reaches 25 days, you will be able to confirm the pregnancy through your vet.
Tests At The Vet Clinic
Your vet can administer ultrasound tests to confirm the pregnancy 25 days after mating. The vet may also administer blood tests after five weeks for confirmation. According to vets, however, the ultrasound is your best option for confirmation. Like in human pregnancies, the doctor will be able to see the baby’s current state through ultrasounds.
During this phase, your chihuahua will already start to show more apparent symptoms.
- Another change in appetite (this time, she will eat more than usual.
- Increased weight gain.
- Enlargement of the nipples.
- Morning Sickness (vomiting and nausea).
- Frequent urination.
- A more considerable and firmer belly.
- Nesting symptoms. She will try to collect soft material in one spot, precisely where she will birth the puppies.
- Possible vaginal discharge that is not urine. It is usually clear, but it should not be red or pus-like in color.
Other Signs And Symptoms She Will Experience Before The Puppies’ Birth
The mother will deliver the puppies 63 days after mating. This means chihuahuas only have roughly three months of pregnancy as opposed to 9 months for humans. During this stage, you will see symptoms that the day of delivery is approaching.
- Her stomach will seemingly move around by itself. This is a sign that the puppies are kicking inside.
- She is even more lethargic than usual, yet she may sleep less.
- She will show signs of pain and agitation.
Things You Should Be Prepared For
During these pregnant stages, your chihuahua is going to need you for a lot of instances. As a result, a lot of adjustment is required on how to take care of her. There are a bunch of factors that you will need to change.
Since she is lethargic and inactive, she won’t be needing much exercise. But during the early stages, you need to be careful when taking her out for a walk. Spend less time outside and be observant of her physical status. If she seems to be struggling to keep up, stop immediately.
If you usually walk for an hour, make it about 30 minutes less. Exertion can lead to painful cramps or even miscarriage during exercise.
You have to consult your vet on what diet plan she should follow. She is going to need a lot of nutrition in a small amount of food. It would be best if you were also ready and provided lots of water because she will be urinating a lot. You should also avoid any sweet or fatty treats that you usually feed her. It’s better to stick to a nutrition-based diet such as dog pellets or brands of dog food.
If you are wondering what are the basic ways to feed your Chihuahua, you can refer here.
If your chihuahua is having a hard time nesting, make it yourself. If she does not find any nesting material, she may rip out the couch or bed for soft material. You can use newspaper shreddings, towels, and blankets as long as they are sanitized.
You should also keep younger children away from the chihuahua during the later stages. They may play with her, which is definitely not the best during those times. Your chihuahua will experience mood swings and may show sudden aggression in certain instances.
You should also make sure everything she needs is ready in one spot—food, water, toys, and any items that will provide her with comfort. Once the 63 days come around, it will be time for the puppies’ birth.
Two Types Of Delivery
Like in humans, there are also two types of delivery for chihuahuas. These procedures depend on your chihuahua’s condition and the number of puppies she’s pregnant with.
- Normal Birth
This is the natural birth in which the babies will be born through the birth canal. In this state, the chihuahua will independently birth the puppies on her own. Unless you have experience or are accompanied by vets or vet nurses, you should let her be. Trying to assist the birth without any knowledge can lead to unfortunate instances.
Your responsibility will be to provide care after the delivery. Normal deliveries usually go well in healthy mothers. However, some babies may come out with some issues that will need the attention of a vet.
- Cesarean Section
For more significant amounts of puppies, C-section is recommended by vets. Too many puppies during normal birth can cause a lot of pain for your chihuahua. This is also a much safer way to ensure both the mother and the puppies stay healthy during the procedure. The vet is equipped with the proper medical equipment necessary for minimizing pain during birth as well.
However, recovery time can be a bit longer than normal birth. This is due to the incision that the vet performed to conduct the delivery. Lack of physical activity is restricted after delivery for a week instead of a few days in normal birth.
Post-Delivery Care For Both The Mother And The Puppies
There are post-delivery procedures you must conduct after birth. This will ensure the mother stays healthy after the painful process. Listed below are some things you should do:
- Cleaning the soiled materials
There will be fluids and blood around the nest after the birth. After the mother cleans the puppies and marks their scent, remove the soiled nesting material. Replace these materials with newly cleaned ones because the puppies will be lying on them.
- Providing a warm wet cloth
Soak a towel or cloth in water to be used for cleaning the mother. Please do not give her or the puppies a bath within a period of a few weeks after birth. You may use gentle soap as long as it does not comes in contact with the puppies.
- Watching out for discharge
Fluid discharge can happen after birth. This fluid is usually dark green to dark red in color. This is due to the remaining flesh that was part of the pregnancy, such as the placenta. However, if the fluid becomes grey or pale and starts to smell, take her to the vet immediately. An unpleasant odor can be a reason for infection. This is especially prevalent in mothers that have gone through C-sections.
- Providing divided but constant meals
Instead of giving her one giant meal, you can portion out the meal multiple times a day. This ensures she does not overeat and promote healthier digestion. She is going to need a lot of nutrition to provide milk for the puppies. Please consult your vet on what food you should feed her during this process.
Monitoring the mother and the puppies is the most crucial stage of the whole process. Watching her and the puppies every hour is vital for their health. In addition, you should regularly check their temperature and if the puppies are being breastfed. You should also check their skin for any discoloration that may occur. Lastly, check their temperature for any signs of fever caused by an infection.
- Keep them isolated from other people and pets
The mother would usually trust her owner and no one else during the process. Even then, she may still become aggressive towards everyone. Her instincts will kick in, and she will be overly protective with her puppies. Keep them isolated for a few weeks to prevent any injury or fights from happening.
How Old Can The Puppies Be Separated From Their Mother?
If you are planning to rehome some of the puppies for financial or personal reasons, you have to wait a while. They can only be taken away from their mother at a minimum of 8 weeks of age. Before that, trying to take away the puppies from the mother can cause unfortunate events. However, the puppies should be independent enough to live without their mother’s milk after eight weeks. At that point, you are allowed to rehome them or take them to the vet clinic.
Spaying And Neutering
If you do not wish to have any surprise or unwanted pregnancies, consider these procedures. Spaying is for female animals, while neutering is for males. In these procedures, their reproductive systems are adjusted to a point where they will be ineffective. This means you can’t breed your chihuahua anymore. It will also avert them from going into heat.
Not only will these procedures prevent unwanted pregnancies, but they have benefits as well. They can prevent types of cancers and can extend the lifespan of your chihuahua. It also discourages pets from ending up in the shelters or from being euthanized. Though they are recommended, it is a personal choice the owner has to make.
A pregnant chihuahua can be a long and tedious process for the owner. But like in human pregnancies, everyone must be gentle towards this process. It is a moment of life and death for both the mother and the puppies. But with the proper steps during and after being pregnant, their well-being will be kept safe. It is also worth seeing those adorable chihuahua puppies finally seeing their mother’s owner and caretaker.
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.