Chihuahua pregnancies can be risky because they are so small, which is the reason that most pregnant Chihuahuas give birth via cesarean section since it is safer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog will have any problems though. The first time a Chihuahua is pregnant, it’s likely for her to deliver 1-3 puppies, but after becoming pregnant again it’s likely for her to have 5-6 puppies.
Read on to find out how many pups do Chihuahuas have, and plenty of other relevant things about Chihuahua pregnancy.
How Many Chihuahua Pups?
The average size litter for a Chihuahua, teacup or otherwise, is 1 to 3 puppies. Any more than that is unusual for the first time, but Chihuahuas tend to have their largest litter the third or fourth pregnancy, giving birth to as many as 5 or 6. After that, the size of litters tends to decrease again, but it is not advised to breed a Chihuahua more than four times because this can lead to physical and mental health complications.
Fun Fact: A Chihuahua in Kansas gave birth to 11 puppies in 2018, and this is believed to be the world record.
Chihuahua Pregnancy Symptoms & Signs
It’s a good thing to be aware of the symptoms and signs of pregnancy so that you can begin offering gestation care for your Chihuahua.
Even if you aren’t planning to breed your dog, there is a chance that she managed to get out of the house while in heat.
If your Chihuahua is pregnant, she will act lethargic and tired, have an upset stomach causing her to be reluctant to eat and/or vomit, her stomach will also appear bloated and firm, her nipples become larger and previously recessed teats will emerge, and she will clean herself thoroughly more often than usual.
When in doubt, you could have an X-ray done but you won’t be able to see any gestating puppies until she has been pregnant for 45 days. Earlier on, 15-30 days after conception, you can only tell by a visibly swollen stomach. Labor begins between days 60-65.
An X-ray should be done at some point in order to know for sure how many pups your Chihuahua is going to have. This is important to know for later so that you can be sure all of the puppies have been pushed out during the birth. It will also need to be determined whether a cesarean section is necessary or not, although it’s common to not know this until heavy labor.
Pregnant Chihuahuas rest and eat more than usual, and food should never be denied during this period. The only things you should limit your dog from doing are exercising excessively or jumping from heights. Mood swings are to be expected and a change in behaviour such as an urge to retreat and nest.
A whelping box comes in useful here and should be prepared well in advance. You can read more about whelping boxes and some good choices here – best whelping boxes.
A Chihuahua’s internal temperature drops below normal within 24 hours before, so this is how you can tell when she will go into labor. You can check this by using a rectal thermometer – lubricate it and insert about half an inch for three minutes. Your dog’s regular temperature should be between 101 and 102.5 Fahrenheit or 38.3 – 39.17 Celsius.
When your Chihuahua’s temperature drops below 100 Fahrenheit, she will deliver her puppies in less than 24 hours. Vomiting and crying are normal during this stage. Gentle, kind words of encouragement help.
Even though whining, crying, and vomiting are normal during labor, there are still warning signs to keep an eye out for. Take your dog to the vet immediately if she’s been pregnant for over 70 days, it’s been 24 hours since her temperature dropped but no pups have come out, one puppy came out, but it’s been over 2 hours without any more coming out, and/or if she appears to be in a lot of pain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long is a Chihuahua pregnant for?
Like any other dog breed, Chihuahuas are pregnant for between 58-68 days.
Is it dangerous for Chihuahuas to have puppies?
It can be risky for a Chihuahua to give birth due to the large heads of the puppies, which is why it’s very common for these dogs to undergo cesarean sections to give birth.
How many times can a Chihuahua have puppies?
Chihuahuas are normally bred 2 or 3 times in a lifetime, and pregnancies should be spaced out by at least 18 months at a minimum. It is not safe to breed a Chihuahua more than four times at most.