Many dogs have litters that fall outside this range; some dogs only give birth to a single puppy and others are known to give birth to more than 20 puppies. Smaller breeds can have two to five puppies. Dogs that have only one or two puppies may not go into labor on their own and may need a cesarean section. Singleton pregnancies and breeds of dogs that do not give birth naturally should have a planned C-section with their veterinarian.
Typical litter size tends to range from 1 to 12 puppies, with an average of 5 to 6 puppies in all dogs. However, large breeds can have up to 15 offspring. It's a wide range and depends on your dog's species, size, health, and pregnancy history. Chihuahuas generally have small litters, but the first time a chihuahua gives birth, the litter will be even smaller.
Don't expect to see more than three puppies the first time, and your Chi is much more likely to give birth to only one puppy in the first litter. With a planned breeding, you must record the exact date of mating. If there are two matings, write down the dates and expect the birth to occur between 63 and 65 days later. This is important, as you'll need to know when their labor is over so you can be sure that none of the puppies have been restrained.
As long as you educate yourself and move forward with the proper feeding and care of your pregnant dog and the proper care of your newborn puppy, you will give those puppies the healthiest start possible. Make sure your Chihuahua is fully vaccinated before attempting to breed it; otherwise, both mother and puppies may be at risk of contracting infectious diseases such as parvo. Otherwise, there is a risk of complications and a high chance that puppies will be born with serious health problems. For example, a 45-pound Labrador Retriever can produce a litter of only five or six puppies, while an 85-pound Lab can produce a litter of 10 or more.
Certainly, you'll notice changes in your mom dog, but most of the action is happening to the puppies inside her. Giving a litter of puppies proper veterinary care adds up quickly, and emergency C-sections can cost thousands of dollars. This will not only allow the veterinarian to count the number of puppies present, but also to inspect their bone structure and observe any abnormalities. If the suspension is killing you and you can't wait six weeks to find out how many puppies your chihuahua will have, you can choose to have an ultrasound between 25 and 35 days of pregnancy.
And, every time a dog becomes pregnant, she is more likely to have even more puppies with the next calf. You can also minimize the risk of complications by carefully choosing a partner and following all stages of your pregnancy with a dog pregnancy calendar. It's hard to guess the exact number of puppies a Chihuahua will have the first time, but your veterinarian can help you with that. This method can give you a good idea of what to expect when it comes to the actual litter size and the number of puppies it contains.
Keep in mind that because canine ovulation produces several eggs, dogs may conceive with more than one parent in the same litter of puppies. It doesn't hurt puppies to breastfeed these glands, even in the presence of infection, but the glands need to be evaluated quickly.