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Thinking of breeding a dachshund? Or maybe your dachshund got pregnant accidentally and you’re unsure what to do? Whatever your reasons, here’s everything to know about a dachshund’s pregnancy week by week.
Dachshund Pregnancy Symptoms:
The most common dachshund pregnancy symptoms include enlarged nipples, behavioral changes, swollen belly, vaginal discharge and changes in their appetite. Additional Dach symptoms include nesting behaviors, avoiding other dogs, and burying food and water dishes.
In this article you’ll discover:
- What age dachshunds can get pregnant
- 6 common symptoms of dachshund pregnancy
- The 7 stages of dachshund pregnancy week by week (with pictures)
- Dachshund labor and what to expect
What Age Can Dachshunds Get Pregnant
Sexual maturity in female dogs usually happens around 6 months of age. However, when it comes to smaller dog breeds like dachshunds it can happen earlier.
Also smaller dogs not only undergo “heat” cycles earlier but they have them more frequently than larger dogs.
A large dog has 2 heat cycles every year, whereas smaller dogs can have as many as 4.
So what age can dachshunds get pregnant?
Dachshunds can get pregnant at around 6 months old. This is usually when their first heat cycle arrives.
It’s advised by breeding experts to avoid the first heat cycle and wait until the second cycle to get a dachshund pregnant.
This is because studies show an increased risk for health issues when pregnancy occurs during the first heat cycle.
Instead it’s best to wait until after your dachshund is around 1 year old.
6 Most Common Dachshund Pregnancy Symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of dachshund pregnancy can give you the evidence you need to determine if your dachshund is pregnant.
Some symptoms alone might not be enough to fully confirm anything but the more symptoms you can identify the more certainty you will have.
Here are 6 of the most common symptoms to look for:
1) Enlarged Or Discolored Nipples
During early stages of dachshund pregnancy nipples increase in size and may become discolored.
This is because the areolas (end of the nipples), are preparing for the milk production process.
Also blood flow is increased to the nipple area which can change their color to a darker red.
2) Appetite Changes
During early stages of pregnancy your dachshund may lose their appetite. She may feel sick or vomiting and this can make her lose her appetite.
During the later stages of pregnancy she may have an increased appetite.
These appetite changes are caused by changes in her hormones. Your dachshund may even become picky with the food she eats.
3) Behavioral Changes
Pregnancy changes hormones in a dachshund’s body which can directly impact their behavior.
Some may become more clingy than usual and others might want space and look for isolation.
You may also notice your dachshund is lethargic. They may not want to go for walks and tend to sleep a lot more than usual.
If you notice a significant behavioral change in your dachshund, make sure to get them looked at by a vet.
4) Weight Gain & Swollen Belly
As with any pregnancy, expect weight gain and a large belly.
Your dachshund’s belly will become enlarged, but how much depends on the size of the litter she is carrying.
The first few weeks of pregnancy her stomach will grow at a steady rate.
During the final weeks you may notice her belly becoming much bigger quite fast.
5) Vaginal Discharge
The last symptom you may find is vaginal discharge.
At around 1 month you might see a clear discharge coming from their vagina.
Important note: Although knowing the symptoms of pregnancy can be helpful, the best way to know if your dachshund is 100% pregnant is to get your dachshund tested at the vet.
Additional Pregnancy Symptoms
Some dachshund owners have mentioned a few unique pregnancy symptoms such as:
- Creating a den
- Avoiding other dogs
- Burying food and water dishes
When Do Dachshunds Start Showing Pregnancy Symptoms?
A pregnant dachshund will start showing minor signs of pregnancy within a few days. You may notice enlarged nipples, loss of appetite, clinginess, and lethargy.
Major symptoms like swollen belly, vaginal discharge, and increased appetite usually come about a month in.
What To Do If Your Dachshund Got Pregnant By Accident
If your dachshund accidentally got pregnant the first step you will need to take is identifying the male dog.
This is because you will want to know the breed and size of the other dog they mated with.
This is important for knowing if your dachshund will be safe to deliver the puppies. If they won’t be safe a decision needs to be made about terminating the pregnancy.
The next thing you will need to do is set up a plan. The best way to do this is to consult with your vet.
You will need to closely monitor your dachshund and prepare a safe area for them to give birth.
If your dachshund bred with a large breed dog it might be difficult for your dachshund to give birth naturally.
If that’s the case, the puppies may need a c-section. Your vet will be able to help you determine the best course of action.
Hopefully, your dachshund bred with a smaller breed so no intervention will be needed.
Lastly, what you need to do is what you’re already doing! Research and learn about the stages of pregnancy, how to feed them, keep them safe during labor etc.
To properly handle a pregnant dachshund you need proper guidance so you can keep your pup happy and healthy.
How Long Are Dachshunds Pregnant For?
A dachshund’s pregnancy lasts anywhere from 53 to 71 days. The average gestation period for dachshunds is 63-65 days.
If your dachshund hasn’t given birth after 65 days and is not showing signs of labor, check with your vet to make sure things are okay.
The 7 Stages Of Dachshund Pregnancy Week By Week
The pregnancy stages of a dachshunds:
Stage #1 – Fertilization By Male Dachshund (Week 1)
Pregnancy can only begin once the female’s eggs have been fertilized by the males sperm.
When this happens the gestation period begins and an embryo is formed high in the uterus. Over the next few days the embryo begins to migrate down to the uterine horn.
Stage #2 – Nidation (Week 2 & 3)
In the nidation stage, the embryos have become fully embedded into the lining of the uterus. This occurs between day 15 – 25 and the embryos develop a protecting membrane as well as the placenta.
The placenta provides all the necessary nutrients from the mother for proper growth and development.
Stage #3 – Foetal Stage (Week 4)
At the foetal stage is when the organs are now starting to develop. The spine, eyes and face begin to shape up.
The embryos have developed into fetuses and are about 1.5 centimeters long.
Stage #4 – Skeleton & Hair Development (Week 5 & 6)
Around week 5 and 6 is when the fetus will begin to increase in size by 75% and start forming the shape of an actual puppy.
Claws, toes, akin pigmentation, marking, whiskers, and sexual organs are all beginning to grow.
This is the period of time when all the components that make up the look and color of each puppy are formed.
At this point in pregnancy your dachshund may appear in discomfort. This is usually from the size of the fetuses at this stage.
Stage #5 – Final Development & Milk Production (Week 7 & 8)
Week 7 the puppies will continue to grow and develop. They are almost fully formed at this point.
At week 8 the puppies are almost ready to be born. In fact, they could come at any time at this point.
This is also the stage where your dachshund will begin producing nutrient-rich milk.
Stage #6 – Labor (Week 9)
At 9 weeks your dachshund will give birth (if they haven’t already).
Roughly 24 hours before your dachshund goes into pregnancy they’ll have a temperature drop.
A normal temperature is 101 to 102.5 degrees, during pregnancy you may see your dachshunds temperature drop to 98 to 99 degrees.
This is a good indication labor is coming.
If your dachshund goes past the 60 day mark, measure their temperature every few hours during the day and night.
Dachshund Labor: What To Expect
Most questions people ask when it comes to dachshunds in labor is, how do I know my dachshund is in labor?
Before going into labor your dachshund may stop eating and her temperature will drop suddenly. She may get set up in her den or nest that she’s created for her pups.
You will be able to tell your dachshund is in labor when her uterus contracts and her cervix dilates. As contracts worsen you may notice fluid discharge from her vagina.
She’ll start licking her vulva and you may notice tightening of her stomach. This is an indication that contractions have started.
She’ll continue having contractions as each puppy is born and will likely moan and squirm throughout the uncomfortable process.
Puppies are born between intervals of ~20-60 minutes and the whole process can last more than 4 hours.
If the pregnancy is lasting longer than 4 hours your dachshund may need help with the birthing process and should be taken to the vet.
How Many Puppies Do Dachshunds Have On Average?
Female Dachshunds have an average of 5 puppies per litter. They can have as little as 1 and up to 8+ puppies per litter all depending on the size of the dog and insemination period.
Miniature dachshunds will have fewer puppies than standard sized dachshunds due to their smaller size.
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12 Best Dog Beds for Dachshunds: Ultimate 1-Stop Resource