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Pregnancy is an extremely delicate process during which female dogs need to receive various specific care to maintain optimal health and to be able to give birth to strong and healthy puppies. Therefore, when deciding to adopt a female, it is important that we have a good understanding of how pregnancy works in dogs, both to prevent unplanned litters and to know how to care for them and help dogs during pregnancy, childbirth and lactation..
With this in mind, in this AnimalWised article, we clarify the common doubts of tutors on this topic. Here you will discover how many puppies can a dog have, how long does it take for a new dog to give birth and what to do if your dog gets pregnant without any planning.You may also be interested in: How many puppies can a Chihuahua have Index
- How many puppies can a dog have? - Here is the answer
- How long does it take to give birth to a new dog?
- How to know if my dog has finished giving birth?
- Abortion In Dogs - Causes And What To Do
- What to do if the puppies are stillborn?
- I don't want my bitch to have puppies, what do I do?
How many puppies can a dog have? - Here is the answer
This is probably the most common question from most guardians who share their daily life with a pregnant dog. After all, ¡you have to plan the arrival of the new members of the family! However, we must tell you that there is no exact number of puppies that a dog can have in the same pregnancy.
For example, an English Bull Terrier can give birth to 1 to 15 puppies in the same birth, but generally the litter of this breed consists of 5 or 6 puppies. A smaller dog, such as a Chihuahua or Yorkshire Terrier, usually only gives birth to 2 or 3 puppies in the same birth, although they can have up to 6 pups. On the other hand, some large breeds can easily give birth to litters of 8 or 10 puppies, such as female Labradors or Golden Retrievers. In fact, a Neapolitan Mastiff bitch entered the famous Guinness Book of Records after giving birth to 24 puppies.
¿How many puppies can a dog have? - By races
Generically, the following dog breeds can have this number of puppies, although the number of puppies in a birth depends on many factors:
- English bull terrier: 1-15 puppies.
- Chihuahua: 2-6 puppies.
- Yorkshire terrier: 2-6 puppies.
- Pinscher: 2-3 puppies.
- American staffordshire terrier: 1-15 puppies.
- Labrador: 8-10 puppies.
- Golden retriever: 8-10 puppies.
- American bully: 3-5 puppies.
- Bichon frize: 3-8 puppies.
- Dalmatian: 6-8 puppies.
- German shepherd: 4-9 puppies.
- Shin tzu: 6-10 puppies.
- French bulldog: 1-4 puppies.
The number of puppies a dog can have during pregnancy will depend on endogenous factors of your own body, such as race, physical background, age, and health. In general, a young female dog that is still experiencing her early years tends to raise fewer puppies because her body is still maturing. In addition, the female must be healthy and well fed to be able to develop a pregnancy and delivery without complications..
The size of the father and litter
It is also important to know that the males influence litter size, not just females. Sexually mature males can fertilize a greater number of eggs and can conceive, together with the bitch, a larger litter. It is worth remembering that the sexual maturity of all dogs (male and female) also depends on internal and external factors of their organism. Therefore, if your dog has become pregnant, we recommend go to the vet so that you can explore her and analyze her state of sexual maturity.
In addition, there are external factors that can influence the number of puppies that a bitch can give birth. In this aspect, the environment and the care we provide to a pregnant dog are often a big differential. During pregnancy, childbirth and lactation, it is essential that dogs are not stressed and can enjoy balanced nutrition, exercise appropriate to their condition and have an enriched and loving home.
How long does it take to give birth to a new dog?
There is no exact or correct time for female dogs to finish giving birth to their puppies. This will also depend on physical characteristics, age and health of each dog, as well as environmental factors. Therefore, it is very important that, as guardians, we can provide a positive and safe environment where the dog finds a refuge to relax and be calm before, during and after giving birth..
It is important to have an idea of how long a bitch's part lasts to be able to identify when there are problems during this process. Usually the length of labor is directly related to how many puppies a dog can have at the end of a pregnancy. On average, it is estimated that a puppy can take between 60 and 90 minutes to reach the world, with intervals of 15 to 30 minutes between births. Therefore, it can take 6 to 8 hours for a female dog to give birth to 4 to 6 puppies. And obviously, the bigger the litter, the longer it will take for the bitch to give birth to all the puppies..
In addition, it is important to remember that the bitch's labor can begin long before the first puppies are given birth. Therefore, it is essential that a tutor knows how to recognize symptoms of childbirth in bitches to provide the necessary help to your pet.
How to know if my dog has finished giving birth?
As this is often a lengthy process, it is normal for many guardians to have doubts about how to tell if the labor is over or if there are still puppies in the dog's belly. In fact, one of the possible problems in giving birth to the bitch is that a puppy gets trapped, which is usually due to the fact that the pup has taken a position that is not ideal for the birth or because its head is too big to be able to pass through the mother's vagina.
The best way to avoid this problem is follow up with a vet to find out exactly how many puppies your dog is going to have. Ideally, visit once a month to monitor the progress of the pregnancy and make sure the dog and puppies are healthy. In this way, you can be sure to reduce the risks during birth and easily recognize if there are puppies left to be born..
What's more, it is highly recommended that the dog has the help of a veterinarian when it gives birth to the puppies, ¡especially when it comes to a risky pregnancy! A qualified professional will know how to respond to complications during delivery and will ensure that the new mother and her little ones are stable after this delicate process..
Abortion In Dogs - Causes And What To Do
Unfortunately, some female dogs end up having a miscarriage during pregnancy. There are many reasons why a dog can lose its puppies and it is important to analyze the period and the context in which this phenomenon occurs.
If the loss of embryos occurs before the fifth week of gestation, it can be a sign of fertility problems. In such cases, miscarriage is often asymptomatic and does not harm the health of the expectant mother, and may even go completely unnoticed by guardians. It is also important to mention that the loss of an embryo does not necessarily mean the end of the pregnancy, since the bitch can continue to carry the other embryos normally..
However, if the bitch loses her puppies after the fifth week of gestation, the vet will probably look for more complex and diverse causes, What:
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Viral infections.
- Bacterial infections.
In such cases, female dogs often experience bleeding and other symptoms that cause a clear deterioration of your health, such as fever, loss of appetite and apathy. In this other article we show you in greater detail the Symptoms of abortion in a dog.
Remember: if you notice irregularities or changes during your dog's pregnancy, do not hesitate to take her to the vet immediately.
What to do if the puppies are stillborn?
Of course, your dog is likely to be sad, listless, and more reserved after having a miscarriage or losing a puppy after giving birth. Regardless of how or how many puppies die, it will be essential that both the female dog and the surviving puppies (if any) are examined by a veterinarian. For this reason, we again recommend that your dog be accompanied by a veterinarian, who can try to revive lifeless puppies and provide the immediate help the dog needs to prevent any postpartum problems. In this other article we will talk about the Resuscitation of newborn puppies.
If other puppies survive childbirth, it is also important that observe the behavior of the female to avoid problems. Sometimes the mother can reject and even harm a puppy, especially after experiencing a traumatic experience or if she feels vulnerable. This behavior is natural and can occur for various reasons, being related to the survival instinct of all species (including humans). For more information, you can consult this other article about ¿Why do dogs eat their young?
If the dog realizes that he will not be able to feed and care for all the puppies, or if he identifies that any puppies are too fragile to survive alone in the future, may refuse to breastfeed, distance themselves from the litter and even cause death. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to provide the dog with the necessary care, complete nutrition and a positive environment.
But beware: don't touch the puppies if this is not really necessary. During the first weeks of the puppy's life, the dog can understand that contact with individuals and external stimuli to the litter makes the puppy more fragile and less able to survive in the wild. Here at AnimalWised, we explain the Care for newborn dogs.
I don't want my bitch to have puppies, what do I do?
This is a very delicate matter and when it comes to preventing the birth of a new litter, it is always better to be safe than sorry. That is, the surest way to prevent your dog from having puppies is spay or neuter her, with the prior guidance of a veterinarian to know which procedure is best for your pet and identify the most suitable age to achieve it. Here we explain what are the Differences between neutering and spaying a dog.
¿How many litters can a dog have in its life??
This advice above is not only for female dogs, for whom pregnancy entails changes and wear and tear of the body, but also for dogs. Remember that females experience heat 2 times a year, so, although it would be very harmful to health, a pregnancy would be possible for each heat. Therefore, as guardians, we must be aware of maintaining effective reproductive control for both females and males..
However, sometimes we need to be extremely realistic. The fact is, many guardians fail to neuter their pets at the right time and then find out that their dog is pregnant. We must be aware that there are already many more dogs (of all ages) living on the streets or in shelters than people who are willing or able to adopt them, so one option would be terminate a bitch's pregnancy, as we explain in this other article about ¿How to terminate a dog's pregnancy?
Risk factors in the pregnancy of a bitch
In addition, there are some risk factors that make pregnancy a threat to the well-being of female dogs. Age and health, for example, can cause complications both during pregnancy and at birth, endangering the lives of the dog and the puppies. Therefore, it is very important to consult a veterinarian to find out if it is safe and feasible to continue the bitch's pregnancy.
Currently, there are pharmaceutical methods that make it possible to interrupt a bitch's pregnancy. However, we should never try to do these procedures or self-medicate our animals. Only a trained veterinarian has the knowledge to determine if it is safe to interrupt and what is the safest way to do it. Therefore, before making any decision about your dog's pregnancy, consult a veterinarian..