Chihuahua Pregnancy: Gestation Period, Weekly Milestones, and Care Guide

Chihuahua (Canis familiaris) - chihuahua puppies
© Natalia Fedosova/Shutterstock.com

Written by Luke Stevens

Published: June 8, 2023

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Introduction

Named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, Chihuahuas have become a popular household pet. These tiny dogs originated in Mexico, but are now beloved by families around the globe. Chihuahuas were first discovered in the 19th century, and are thought to be descendants of the Techichi. The Techichi is an extinct species of dog beloved by the Toltec people. These dogs were considered to have magical powers and were often sacrificed to guide their owners in the afterlife. Techichi dogs no longer exist, but Chihuahuas are their closest relative. If you own a Chihuahua that has recently become pregnant, you are probably wondering about what to expect. Keep reading to learn all about the Chihuahua gestation period including weekly milestones and an in-depth care guide.

Overview: Chihuahua

Dog eating berries from tree

Chihuahuas live for up to 18 years, making them companions in the long run.

©iStock.com/cynoclub

The chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds in the entire world. They usually weigh between three and six pounds. However, a small body does not mean a small personality! These dogs are incredibly active and affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners but can become difficult if spoiled. Chihuahuas live for up to 18 years, making them companions in the long run. While these dogs love their owners, they are more reserved and timid with strangers. Chihuahuas love to explore and are incredibly intelligent creatures. Similar to other dog breeds, Chihuahuas will become pregnant if they are not neutered. Now that you know a little more about these dogs, read on to learn all about their pregnancies.

Chihuahua Gestation Period and Care

While Chihuahuas can get pregnant when they are only six months old, they cannot deliver a healthy litter until they reach 18 months of age. Chihuahua pregnancies typically last between 58 and 68 days, and produce a little of between one and six puppies. These puppies are tiny, usually weighing between three and six ounces. Adult Chihuahuas will nurse their puppies for eight weeks until they are ready to go off on their own. After this time, the Chihuahua puppies can be adopted and find new homes, and may even become moms themselves someday! Here is everything that happens during a Chihuahua’s gestation period.

Week One

chihuahua puppy on a gray background studio photo

Changes are usually not noticeable during the first week of Chihuahua gestation.

©Al_Er/Shutterstock.com

The first week of a Chihuahua’s pregnancy is when breeding takes place. The Chihuahua will find a mate, and the pregnancy begins after conception. While changes in the Chihuahua are usually not noticeable at this point, hormonal changes begin to occur. These changes may cause morning sickness in some Chihuahuas, but it will be hard to know for sure if they are pregnant. You can continue to feed your dog a normal amount and give it a typical amount of exercise at this stage.

Week Two

By the second week, the fertilized egg cell will move to the Chihuahua’s uterus. Hormonal changes will increase, and you may notice your pup becoming more moody or affectionate. There will be no physical changes in the Chihuahua at this stage, and it may still be hard to tell if the dog is pregnant or not. No drastic changes in your Chihuahua’s care are necessary at this time.

Week Three

Week three is when the Chihuahua fetuses begin to grow much faster. This growth will increase your Chihuahua’s appetite significantly, and you will notice your dog eating more than normal. This is the clearest indicator that your Chihuahua is pregnant if you have been noticing mood changes prior to this point. While no major physical changes take place at this time, you may notice some breast tissue development in your Chihuahua as she prepares for motherhood. It may be a good idea to increase the size of your Chihuahua’s meals at this point to appease her growing appetite. The dog will still require the same amount of exercise and daily care as before.

Week Four

In a modern veterinary clinic, an ultrasound of a purebred Chihuahua is performed on the table. Veterinary clinic
By week four, a veterinarian will be able to confirm if your dog is pregnant or not.

Week four is the one-month mark in the Chihuahua pregnancy. By this time, a veterinarian will be able to confirm if your dog is pregnant or not. Additionally, you may be able to feel the puppies moving around in the Chihuahua’s belly. This milestone is when physical changes begin to be noticeable in the dog. The Chihuahua’s body will grow larger, and the dog’s stomach will become firmer. In addition to physical changes, the Chihuahua will become much more tired than she was before. While she is tired, she will still want to eat more, as the developing puppies in her uterus are demanding extra nutrition. The Chihuahua may be more aggressive during this time and could bite strangers or unwelcome visitors. It is important to take your Chihuahua to a veterinarian at this time to learn about the best care you can give your pup during her pregnancy.

Week Five

The fifth week of the Chihuahua’s gestation period is when the puppies develop organs, toes, and nails. By this time, your Chihuahua will be very visibly pregnant, with a round stomach and noticeable breast tissue. As the puppies take up more room in the Chihuahua’s stomach, her appetite may decrease. The dog should eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than a few large meals, as her stomach can hold much less at one time. As the puppies grow inside your Chihuahua’s stomach, it is a good idea to feed her a special formula for pregnant dogs.

Week Six

Nothing significantly changes during week six. However, the Chihuahua’s stomach will continue to grow and become more round. At this point in the Chihuahua’s gestation period, the puppies begin to develop pigmentation and eyelids. As these puppies begin to grow, the mother Chihuahua may become more nauseous. The pressure in her stomach may cause her to vomit more often than before, but this is not a major complication. It is important to pay attention to your dog’s appetite and feed her when she seems hungry, as she may not be able to stomach large meals.

Week Seven

Week seven is close to the end of the chihuahua’s gestation period! By this time, the chihuahua puppies have almost fully formed within the dog’s stomach. The mother Chihuahua’s breasts will fully develop in this stage and may contain some milk. During this time, your Chihuahua will begin searching for a place to give birth. It is important to set up a whelping box and let your dog examine it. This will allow your Chihuahua to become oriented with where she will give birth, and ease her anxiety.

Week Eight

Fat pregnant Chihuahua dog standing on the floor in morning light

The Chihuahua’s stomach will be moving a lot during week eight, as the puppies are ready to be born.

©seksan wangjaisuk/Shutterstock.com

By week eight, the puppies have fully formed in your Chihuahua’s stomach. Your dog will spend a lot more time in the whelping box, digging in the bedding, and preparing herself to give birth. The Chihuahua’s stomach will be moving a lot during this time, as the puppies are ready to be born. It is important to keep careful watch of your dog during this stage, as it is possible that she could begin going into labor.

Week Nine

This is the final week of the Chihuahua’s gestation period. Your dog could give birth at any minute during this week, so it is important to be with her at all times. Chihuahua’s temperature will typically increase to 100 degrees Fahrenheit 24 hours before she begins labor. Taking your Chihuahua’s temperature is a good indicator of when to expect the labor to begin. The dog may act lethargic or anxious as the birth approaches, but any extremely abnormal behavior should be reported to a veterinarian. Labor is divided into three stages that last between six and 18 hours in total. Puppies are born 10 to 30 minutes apart, and a veterinarian should be notified if more than an hour passes between deliveries.

Final Thoughts: Chihuahua Gestation Period

Closeup of three lovely, cute domestic breed mammal chihuahua puppies friends lying, relaxing in dog bed. Pets resting, sleeping together. Pathetic and emotional portrait. Dog ears, eyes and facesþ

At the end of the gestation period, the Chihuahua gives birth to a litter of puppies.

©Benevolente82/Shutterstock.com

After nine long weeks, the chihuahua finally gives birth to a beautiful litter of puppies! Caring for your Chihuahua and showing her love and support during the pregnancy will help her feel safer and less anxious. Now the next journey of dog ownership begins: caring for a litter of newborn puppies!

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About the Author

My name is Luke, and I currently a student at the University of Southern California. I love the outdoors, learning, and writing. I am also involved in several groups focusing on the entertainment industry and business administration. My favorite animals are dogs, koala bears, and dolphins.

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