Whether you’re thinking about breeding your pug or if you’re just curious about understanding the breed, how many puppies a dog can have in a litter is a question that crops up a lot.
One thing to know is there is really no surefire way of predicting how many pups a pug can have. What we will look at today is knowing the general range, how to tell if your pug is pregnant, how we can help her prepare for delivery and give birth, and the aftercare. Are you ready? Let’s go!
How Many Puppies Should I Expect?
Let’s get the big question out of the way first. How many puppies do pugs have? In general, you can expect anywhere from 4 to 6 puppies on average from your pug. Even the size of your pug will affect how many puppies she can have. There may be the odd time when all you get is just one big little puppy or you can have up to 9!
If you find out your pug dog is having a large number of babies, you will need to take extra care of her during the pregnancy.
Unfortunately, it’s usually a mystery until the latter half of the pregnancy when you can take your pug in to have an ultrasound. Pugs are adorable dogs and we understand the appeal they offer, but if you are thinking about breeding your pug, we strongly advise you to keep her health in mind. Pregnancy for dogs is similar to humans and it takes a great toll on their bodies.
What about the First Litter?
During your research, you may come across articles addressing a pug’s first pregnancy. The number of puppies during the first pug pregnancy is different than the second, third and so on. Again, this is a generalization and will vary from pug to pug.
For the first litter, a pug pregnancy tends to be on the smaller side, averaging around 3 puppies. The younger your pug is when she gets pregnant, the more likely her litter will be smaller as well.
How to Tell if Your Pug is Pregnant
Understanding a pug pregnancy is moot if you can’t be sure if your pug is pregnant. You don’t want to be caught off-guard, which is very likely since dog pregnancies aren’t very obvious in the beginning. Just like with humans, pregnancy symptoms in your pug will vary. In preparation for giving birth, you need to ready supplies such as a whelping box among other things. So what are the symptoms of a pregnant pug?
Much like human PMS, your pug will undergo significant hormonal changes during pregnancy. You may notice a slight or very obvious change in your pug that can manifest as extra clinginess, irritability, and more.
The pregnancy hormones will do a number on your pug. Your dog may either have a surge in appetite or they will lose interest in food altogether. Because appetite changes can also signify illness, it’s not enough to evaluate your dog’s pregnancy based on this one factor.
A very tell-tale sign of a pug pregnancy is nipple change. The nipples will either appear larger or there may be some discoloration. The color will usually be a darkening of the original paired with a bit of swelling.
A Bigger Belly
The most obvious sign of a pug pregnancy is the enlarged belly. The many puppies develop inside the mom, your pug’s belly will grow in size. It’s easy to write off a swelling abdomen to weight gain, but if this sign is supported by the above factors, then pregnancy is the most likely reason.
Pregnancy takes a toll on your pug dog, so don’t be surprised if she is extra tired from minimal activity. This is a good thing because an overactive pug could harm the puppies.
Like many animals, your pug may make herself a comfortable little nest in preparation for giving birth. You can either use a whelping box or she may prefer to use her bed. She may drag soft materials such as blankets and pillows to her nest for the big event.
Caring for Your Pregnant Pug
If you’re sure your pug is pregnant, then it’s time to gear up to be a grandparent. As a pug owner, you need to care for your dog during the pregnancy to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Start by investing in more food. She is essentially eating for many puppies, so don’t be alarmed if her appetite grows.
There are dog food brands that have special formulas for nursing or pregnant moms. These recipes are usually very nutrient-rich to supplement her regular diet with much-needed micros and macros.
A consultation with your vet is very helpful once you find out your pug is pregnant. Your vet may prescribe or suggest some prenatal vitamins and supplements as well as advise what not to do.
You shouldn’t baby your pregnant pug, but just tone down the intensity of her regular exercise routine. Walks are still okay, but make sure not to overwork her. Be sure to make her feel as comfortable as possible by providing her with a very cozy ‘nest’.
The Gestation Period
How long does it take before you can finally meet the newborn pups? A dog pregnancy is much shorter than the human gestation period, and you can get ready to welcome the new members of the family in about 50 to 60 days. Of course, this is just a general estimation as it will vary with each dog and each pregnancy.
To get a better idea of a due date, you can ask your vet who will give you a more informed answer closer to the end of the pregnancy.
Understanding the Delivery and Birthing
There are three stages to the labor process before pugs give birth. Stage one is when the uterus starts to contract and your pug starts to feel great discomfort. The uterine contractions may be accompanied by other symptoms including panting and even vomiting. This uncomfortable stage can last anywhere from half a day to a full day.
Stage two will last for a full 24 hours, and this is the birthing process stage. Your poor pug dog will go through hours of birthing to deliver her puppies with each one tacking on an extra 30 min to an hour. There is ample time between each birth for the mom to clean off her pug puppies and to get them moving.
Stage three is the completion of the birthing and the placenta is released. When this happens, it means all the pug puppies have come into the world.
What Can You Do to Help?
As a pug parent, watching your dog give birth and go through such an ordeal is heartbreaking. There must be something you can do to make the birth easier, right? Yes, there is!
First off, let’s address that most pugs will have a c-section. Because of the other’s narrower hips, most vets will recommend pug moms to have a caesarean section rather than a natural birth to avoid delivery problems. If this is your dog, then it’s out of your hands. The vet at the animal hospital will make sure your dog has everything she needs to get through the birth unscathed.
If you decide to host the birthing process at home, then there are a few things you should prepare. You want to maintain a higher temperature in the room to keep your pug comfortable while giving birth. Invest in heating pads, blankets and towels. A whelping box or an enclosed space where the mom can nest and recover is also important.
Have a first-aid kit packed with essentials recommended by your vet. Inside the kit will be gloves, scissors for the umbilical cord, and more. Always have your vet on speed dial and everything you need ready to go to the animal hospital in case anything happens.
Your Role in the Birth
Make sure that your dog breaks the protective layer of film around each puppy and gets them to wake up and start moving. Just in case the mother is already onto the next birth, forgets, or is too tired to do it, then you need to step in. Rub open the membrane gently with a clean towel or gloves. When you reach the puppy, you should help him take his first breath by rubbing him as well.
Your dog is an amazing mother and is equipped with all the natural instincts required to prepare her pups for the world. There should still be an umbilical cord attached to the puppy and your dog should chew through it. However, if she doesn’t, then it’s your job to sever it with sterilized scissors.
Your dog’s natural instinct is to eat the placenta after every puppy, but make sure she doesn’t ingest more than one or two. Remove all of the placentas and discard them according to safety regulations. Don’t worry if you don’t see anything after each birth, because they should all come out after the last remaining puppy has been born.
Place each puppy into the whelping box and keep them close to your dog. You want the mother to have a clear line of sight of her babies so she doesn’t become anxious.
As much as we don’t want to face any issues during natural birth, we have to face the fact that it could happen. Understanding and learning about these potential issues will help protect the puppy and the mother.
For example, if everything points to your pug giving birth but nothing happens in an hour, then your pug could be facing birthing difficulty. We would suggest calling the vet right away and maybe even schedule a house visit.
Your pug could possibly contract some bacteria and cause an infection during birth. To avoid this, you need to make sure the environment is as clean as possible and continue monitoring the mother and the puppies to make sure everything is okay.
How Often Can a Pug Give Birth?
Pregnancy is hard on any animal, so we wouldn’t recommend breeding your pug at too young an age or too frequently. We do not suggest breeding your dog over 3 times in her entire lifetime, but if she is on the smaller size, don’t exceed 2. Your dog is your pet, child, family member, and we would advise against using your poor dog as a puppy generating machine.
Should I Let My Pug Get Pregnant?
Many dog parents wonder if they should spay their pug or give her a chance to be a mother. From a completely medical standpoint, we would recommend spaying your dog compared to the alternative. A spayed dog tends to be healthier because there will be a lower risk of certain health issues. It’s also much easier on the dog parent because you won’t have to worry about your dog going into heat, wearing diapers, and preventing male dogs from coming into contact with her.
Others may wonder if they should let their female pug experience birthing at least once or wait until the first heat before spaying. We would advise against that because the spaying process is much easier before then. The risks of waiting after the first heat to spay your dog include mammary tumors and more.
So when is it okay to spay your dog? You may hear some pet parents say the earlier the better, with some going through the procedure as early as 8 weeks. It’s not so much the time that is a dictator of when you can spay your dog, but it’s the internal development. You shouldn’t spay a dog that isn’t at least a few pounds in weight.
There is growing evidence that earlier spaying and neutering of dogs has benefits over having it done later in life. Also, puppies tend to recover much faster than adults and will see much fewer side effects.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long are pugs pregnant for?
The average length of a pug pregnancy is anywhere between 50 to 60 days, some more and some less. It all depends on your dog and it’s on a case-by-case basis. During this time, it’s important to monitor your dog and be ready for the birth by preparing the right supplies and tools. Most vets will recommend a pug dog have a c-section due to the structure of their bodies. They have larger shoulders and chests and narrower hips, which can pose problems during the birthing process.
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Do pugs have trouble giving birth?
Yes, many pugs will have trouble giving birth. Due to their top-heavy stature, pugs exhibit narrower hips in contrast to their shoulders, which can make a natural birth difficult and sometimes dangerous. When you’re sure your dog is pregnant, we would recommend consulting with the vet to figure out which type of birth is the most suitable for your dog.
What is the average number of puppies a dog has?
The average number of puppies a dog has will depend on the breed, the size of the dog, and the age. Even the first litter could yield a different puppy count than subsequent births. For pugs, the average is around 3 to 5 puppies, but we have seen instances where only one or two were in a litter and there are rare occurrences where up to 10 puppies are introduced to the world.
The correct number of puppies won’t be available until later on in the pregnancy. A quick trip to the vet will be able to determine how many puppies your dog will have via an ultrasound.
At what age are pugs full grown?
Pugs are part of a small breed, which means their maturity happens a lot faster than medium to large breeds. Most pugs will reach their full size around 9 to 10 months. Female pugs will go through their first heat cycle as soon as 6 months or up to a year. They can get pregnant during their first heat cycle, but we don’t recommend breeding at such a young age.
Most breeders and vets will recommend waiting at least until your pug is 2 years old to attempt the first litter. Dogs, in general, are classified as seniors when they reach around 7 years of age, which means 7 or 8 years is the maximum age your dog should get pregnant.
A congratulation is in order if you’re on track to become a dog grandparent. We’re sure you’re ecstatic about welcoming the puppies into the world. Just remember that your pug is naturally at a disadvantage to give birth, so make sure to schedule a caesarean section if the vet recommends it. Do your best to take care of your pug to reduce the risk of health problems that may manifest during the birthing.
Always be ready to step in just in case anything goes wrong and have your vet on speed dial and an exit plan in case you need to rush to the hospital. Pregnancy is a tough ordeal on the body, so be sure to do all you can to keep your pug safe. If you don’t plan on breeding your pug, then we strongly recommend spaying at a young age.
Did You Know
If you cannot find suitable pregnancy food for your dog, puppy recipes are the next best thing. They offer more nutrients and protein – everything a female dog needs during pregnancy.
It’s a good idea to thoroughly bathe your dog before the big event. This will rid her of surface bacteria, dirt, and grime that could contaminate the birthing environment.
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