Health

Dachshund Pregnancy Stages & Signs 

Dachshund_Pregnancy
Written by Adriana

Deciding to breed your Dachshund is something that you should take seriously because it requires a long-term, strong dedication and commitment during the entire process.

You should also be willing and ready to cover all the costs involved with your Dachshund pregnancy such as medical bills.

Another thing to consider is the responsibility of taking care of the future puppies and finding a home for them.

This article will give you more information on Dachshund pregnancy signs, stages, how to take care of a pregnant Dachshund, and many more.

How Long Are Dachshunds Pregnant For?

Dachshund_Pregnancy_Stages

Typically, Dachshunds have a gestation period of between 63 days and 65 days. However, she can give birth at 53 days or even at 71 days.

If after 65 days your Dachshund does not show any signs of labor, contact your vet to ensure that everything is alright.

Once you have done tests and have confirmed that your Dachshund is pregnant, it is important that you provide her with balanced nutrition and required exercise so that she can have a healthy pregnancy.

Always consult with the vet to guide you throughout your pet’s pregnancy.

Dachshund Pregnancy Stages

The following is practical information about your Dachshund pregnancy on a week-by-week basis:

Week 1

The ovulation of Dachshunds takes place at the end of the cycle and a few days after mating, the sperm reaches the egg for the fertilization process to start.

Note that you may need to mate your Dachshund more than once to have successful fertilization.

Like people, your Dachshund may experience morning sickness during the first week, but it may not happen for all Dachshunds at this stage. Watch out for any potential symptoms of infection that she may have contracted during mating.

It is normal if you see the presence of a light pink discharge from the vagina, so there is no need for concern. Consult with your vet before using any wormers or flea treatments during the pregnancy period.

Week 2 & 3

During week 2, the fertilized egg moves to the uterus for implantation. The cells that develop into puppies start to grow and separate and the new embryos move to the uterus for the rest of the pregnancy.

You might notice that the nipples of your Dachshund are enlarged, and they start showing some behavioral changes, such as becoming more affectionate. This is the time to take her to the vet for an exam and check-up.

During week 3, the embryos start to implant in the uterus where they will receive life support and vital nutrients from the Dachshund’s body throughout the pregnancy. At this stage, the fetuses are less than one centimeter long.

Dachshunds Pregnancy

Your Dachshund will show some changes in appetite and mild mood swings because breast tissue development is taking place.

Continue feeding and exercising her normally, but you must monitor any signs of an increase in appetite and provide what she needs for her developing needs appropriately. You do not need to make any unnecessary or sudden changes to the content of her diet.

Week 4

During week 4, visit the vet once more to confirm the pregnancy through ultrasound examination. The vet should be able to determine the number of puppies your Dachshund will have, as well as any potential abnormalities.

The spine and the eyes start to develop, and their faces begin to shape up. At this stage, the fetuses are about 1.5 centimeters long.

You may start noticing that your Dachshund’s nipples are starting to swell, and she may have a clear, thin discharge from the vagina.

As the fetuses develop and grow, your Dachshund’s appetite is likely to increase as well, therefore, you should feed her 50% more food than she normally eats.

The food should be high in proteins, and the best food to feed her is dairy products, meat porridges, and cooked vegetables.

However, you should consult with the vet before making any nutritional changes to your Dachshund’s diet. Also, you can find out whether you need to give her supplements or not.

Week 5 & 6

During week 5, the weight of the fetus will increase by 75% and they start looking like actual puppies. Their sexual organs begin to develop, and the individual claws, toes, and whiskers begin to grow.

At this stage, your Dachshund’s belly becomes swollen and big, and you should feed her small but frequent meals.

During week 6, your Dachshund may experience some discomfort because the fetuses are big now. Because of the pressure against her stomach, she may occasionally vomit.

Ensure that your Dachshund does not have any stress. The nutritional requirements of your Dachshund changes as they now need food high in protein, energy, and mineral.

The pregnancy of your Dachshund will become more obvious to people because of her noticeably larger stomach. You will notice that her nipples are getting darker at this point.

The puppies will start to develop their skin pigmentation and markings that will eventually determine their looks and color.

At this time, increase the amount of food you are giving your Dachshund and let her eat as much as she wants.

You should increase the puppy food ratio in her diet as well as feed her a multivitamin supplement, following your vet’s recommendation.

Start preparing the box or bed which your Dachshund will use for whelping, and ensure that it is inviting, comfortable, well-padded.

Week 7

In preparation for birth, your Dachshund will begin to shed her belly hair, there is no need to worry because this is normal.

The puppies will continue to develop and grow, and they are now almost fully formed. Since worms are dangerous for puppies, seek advice from the vet on the best product for deworming your Dachshund.

Towards the end of week 7, go back to feeding your Dachshund her regular diet and stop feeding her the puppy food you have been introducing to her during the pregnancy.

This makes your Dachshund’s body start storing the calcium she got from the puppy food, which is an essential mineral for the later stages of pregnancy.

Dachshund Pregnant

Week 8

You need to be prepared because the puppies could be born at any time now. Avoid any stimulation or intense playing that may cause early labor because the puppies should still spend another week in the womb.

At this stage, your Dachshund will start nesting and when she is laying down, you may feel or see the puppies moving within her stomach.

At the end of week 8, your Dachshund will begin producing colostrum followed by her nutrient-rich milk. Continue feeding her as much as she wants to eat in preparation for birth.

Week 9

This is the week when your Dachshund will give birth, so ensure that you are ready. By now, your Dachshund should be settled at the whelping and nesting bed.

For her preparation for birth, she will become more introverted and quieter than normal.

Feed your Dachshund as much as she wants but be ready for an appetite drop as the whelping time comes closer. Start taking your Dachshund’s temperature multiple times a day.

If the pregnancy goes past the 60th day, measure the temperature every few hours during the day and night.

Dachshund Pregnancy Signs

Here are a few signs that indicate your Dachshund could be pregnant:

Behavioral Changes

Certain changes in your Dachshund’s behavior may be a sign that she is pregnant. For example, she may look for comfort from your more often than usual. A pregnant Dachshund may spend more time next to you, seeking attention.

On the other hand, a pregnant Dachshund may also not wish to be bothered and can look for isolation. She may even seem irritable or depressed when given any attention.

If you notice that your Dachshund’s behavior has changed, take her to the vet for pregnancy tests.

Changes In Appetite

The appetite of your Dachshund can change in different ways depending on the stage of pregnancy she is in. At the beginning or midway of her pregnancy, she may frequently vomit or eat less food than she usually eats.

However, she may also be dissatisfied with her food or eat more than normal.

Dachshunds Pregnancy Signs

This change in appetite is because of the changes in your Dachshund’s hormones. You must find the specific food that she likes during her pregnancy to ensure that she is getting enough nutrients to sustain her and the growing puppies in her tummy.

Enlarged Or Discolored Nipples

Normally, your Dachshund’s nipples are small, but pregnancy causes them to increase in size especially during the early stages.

Usually, the areolas are flat, but pregnancy causes them to become somewhat rounded in preparation for the milk production process.

During pregnancy, the flow of blood to the nipples is increased making the nipples turn into a slightly darker red color than usual. Towards the end of the pregnancy, milk will occasionally leak out of the nipples.

Weight Gain & Enlarged Abdomen

As the puppies grow in your Dachshund, the stomach increases in size to accommodate them. Depending on the size of the litter, the stomach may be smaller or bigger.

This is a clear sign that your Dachshund is pregnant, especially if there is no reason for her to gain weight suddenly.

If you notice the increase in weight and abdomen size as well as the above signs, it is time to take your Dachshund to the vet to know how the exact number of weeks she is pregnant.

In the final weeks of the pregnancy, her stomach will grow much bigger suddenly because the puppies are fully grown ready to come out.

When Can Dachshunds Get Pregnant?

Dachshunds can get pregnant during their first cycle, but it is not advisable. It is recommended that you wait until your Dachshund is fully mature to breed her, which is her second full heat cycle.

This means that you can breed her from the age of one year. However, you should not breed her after 12 years of age.

To breed your Dachshund, you should understand her reproductive cycle. Your Dachshund is fertile when she is on heat, a process known as estrus which happens two times a year every six months.

The heat cycle lasts for 21 days, and your Dachshund can get pregnant during this period.

How To Confirm That Your Dachshund Is Pregnant

The following are the three ways that you can confirm the pregnancy of your Dachshund:

Ultrasounds 

This is the best way to diagnose the pregnancy of your Dachshund. To get the correct results, an ultrasound should be done between 25 and 45 days of the pregnancy.

The test can confirm the pregnancy and register the heartbeats of the puppies to diagnose their health.

Ultrasound also determines the number of puppies in your Dachshund’s stomach and their gestational age. Note that your Dachshund’s belly hair will be shaved to allow the ultrasound process to be successful.

Blood Sample

This test detects the hormone released by the placental tissue during gestation. It is known as relaxin. For this test to produce accurate results, it should be done at least 30 days into the pregnancy as the hormone has been released and is detectible in the blood.

Dachshund Health During Pregnancy

If you are eager to know whether your Dachshund is pregnant or not, this test will determine the pregnancy before even before the embryos form and are seen through ultrasound.

Palpation

This method of determining the pregnancy of your Dachshund is the cheapest and most traditional. This test should be done between 21 and 35 days of pregnancy.

Palpation after this period is not recommended because the embryos rapidly grow, and they are no longer individual distinct swelling.

In this test, the vet feels the gestational sacs forming around the fetuses in the uterus. You should not do this at home unless you have mastered the technique because rough handling can harm the embryos or even lead to a miscarriage.

Dachshund Stages of Labor

You will notice that your Dachshund is going into labor when her uterus contracts and the cervix dilates. This can happen for between one to thirteen hours. When the contraction gets stronger, there will be a fluid that comes out of her vagina.

During the second stage, you will notice that the puppies come to the pelvic and are born between intervals of 20-60 minutes.

Dachshund Pregnancy

There should be a resting period in the middle of birthing and the mother can clear the body and nostrils of the newborn puppies.

Since Dachshunds are small, some of them may need help to deliver the puppies. the birthing process can last for more than four hours. If the process is longer, take her to the vet for assistance with labor.

After labor, the Dachshund pushes out the placenta and she may eat it as well as the umbilical cords to get the extra nutrients.

Caring For a Pregnant Dachshund

When your Dachshund becomes pregnant, it is crucial that she is healthy by providing her with a well-balanced diet and enough exercise.

This will ensure that she does not become overweight. Being overweight can cause issues such as dystocia during the whelping of puppies.

Ensure that her vaccination is up to date because she will be passing natural antibodies to the puppies in the womb allowing for maximum immunity in the first weeks.

Your Dachshund should also be wormed before mating and during pregnancy and lactation. Ensure that the wormers used are effective against hookworm, roundworm, and tapeworm.

How Do Dachshunds Give Birth?

The following are the ways that Dachshunds can give birth:

Natural Birth

With natural birth, you should be aware of the warning signs that your Dachshund is ready to give birth.

If it is time to give birth, ensure that her nest is ready as she will be visiting it multiple times and scraping the towels. Finally, she will pant as if she had plenty of exercises and settle down.

This is not calming for your Dachshund, and you will notice increased heart rate and heavy breathing. This may take up to 12 hours for the first puppy to be born.

After the puppy has been born, the Dachshund will bite the sac and lick the puppy to allow them to start breathing.

Dachshund C Section

C-section

Dachshund pregnancies are not complicated, but since they are a small breed, some cases may need a c-section to give birth.

Your vet will help you decide whether this is a good option for your Dachshund by using an x-ray to check the number of puppies and how large their skulls are. There are risks to a c-section as it is performed under anesthesia.

How Many Puppies Do Dachshunds Have on Average?

On average, Dachshunds have between 4 and 8 puppies in a single litter. The number of puppies that your Dachshund will have depends on certain factors including age and size as well as the method of insemination.

Standard Dachshund will have more puppies than the miniature.

Generally, older Dachshunds produce fewer puppies than younger Dachshunds. The two options of insemination are artificial insemination and the natural mating process.

Artificial insemination is a safer option, has a high chance of successful pregnancy, and produces more puppies.

Pros & Cons of Spaying Your Dachshund

Are you wondering whether you should spay your Dachshund after giving birth? The following pros and cons will help you decide, but you should also consult your vet:

Pros

  • Spaying prevents the development of dangerous infections in the uterus such as pyometra.
  • Spaying prevents the heat periods nuisance.
  • Spaying prevents real and false pregnancy.
  • Spaying protects your Dachshund against breast cancer.

Cons

  • Spaying increases the risk of obesity and hypothyroidism.
  • It is a surgical procedure that needs general anesthesia.
  • It increases the risk of torn ligaments, hip dysplasia, and bone cancer if done at the wrong age.

Final Words

There are essential things that you need to know about the pregnancy of your Dachshund. It is better to know these things earlier to prepare your Dachshund for the pregnancy.

You should plan the pregnancy to reduce the risk of health problems and the risk of complications.

You should always seek help and guidance from the vet to help your Dachshund have a comfortable and easy pregnancy.

About the author

Adriana

Adriana has been around dogs since she was a little kid. It all started with growing up with a German Shepherd Lord and an English Cocker Spaniel Bady. Her dream job has always been becoming a veterinarian. She has been taking care of animals all of her life and she wants to share her experience with other dog lovers.