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

Written by Heather Hall
Updated: June 22, 2023
© 4sally scott/Shutterstock.com
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Dachshund Summary

Dog Food For Dachshunds
Dachshunds are pregnant for 63 days.


The dachshund is a unique and beloved breed known for its long, low body and courageous personality. Originating in Germany centuries ago, this breed was originally developed for hunting badgers and other burrowing animals. Today, dachshunds come in three different coat types (smooth, wirehaired, and longhaired) and two sizes (standard or miniature), making them versatile companions for many households. They are loyal to their owners but can be wary of strangers, making them great watchdogs. With proper training and socialization from an early age, dachshunds can make wonderful family pets that are both playful and affectionate. However, it’s important to note that they may be prone to certain health issues, such as back problems, due to their elongated spine shape. Overall though, the dachshund is a charming breed with a lot of character packed into its small frame!

Dachshund Pregnancy Symptoms

long-haired red dachshund lies on a fur bed at home, selective focus
Take your dachshund to the vet for a blood test or ultrasound if you suspect she is pregnant.

©Leka Sergeeva/Shutterstock.com

While a blood test is the most accurate way to confirm pregnancy in dachshunds, there are some physical and behavioral changes that can indicate a potential pregnancy. One of the earliest signs is a change in appetite, with many pregnant dachshunds experiencing an increase or decrease in their food intake. Additionally, you may notice that your dog’s nipples become more prominent and swollen as they prepare for lactation.

As the pregnancy progresses, your dachshund may also exhibit changes in behavior, such as increased sleepiness or restlessness. Some dogs become more affectionate, while others may withdraw or show signs of anxiety. Some dachshunds will exhibit nesting behavior. You may notice them arranging their bedding as they prepare to give birth. It’s important to pay attention to these behavior changes and provide extra love and care during this time.

Another physical sign of pregnancy is weight gain, although it can be difficult to accurately assess this without regular weighing or measuring. A vet may also be able to feel for puppies during a physical exam after about four weeks into the gestation period.

Overall, while a blood test provides definitive confirmation of pregnancy, attentive observation of your dachshund’s behavior and body can help give early indications that she might be carrying puppies.

Gestation Period: How Long Are Dachshunds Pregnant?

The gestation period for dachshunds, like most dog breeds, is approximately 63 days or nine weeks. During this time, the pregnant dachshund will go through significant physical changes as her body prepares to carry and deliver a litter of puppies.

Pregnancy Care for Dachshunds

Dog in a carrier
Take your dachshund to the vet for a diagnosis at 25 days gestation.


It’s important for owners to provide proper care and attention to their pregnant dachshunds during this time. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are essential to monitor the health of both the mother and her growing pups.

Owners should also make sure their pregnant dachshund has access to clean water and high-quality food that meets her specific nutritional needs. As the pregnancy progresses, it may be necessary to adjust the amount and type of food given to ensure proper weight gain for both mother and pups.

In addition, owners should create a comfortable space for their pregnant dachshund that is quiet, warm, and free from any potential hazards or stressors. This will help minimize any disruptions in the mother’s behavior or health during this critical period.

Average Litter Size for Dachshunds

Longhaired Miniature Dapple Dachshund Puppy laying on dog bed with toy.
Dachshunds come in long, short, and wire-haired.

©Carolyn Dietrich/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to the average litter size for dachshunds, there is quite a range. Typically, a dachshund can have anywhere from 1 to 6 puppies per litter, with an average of around 4. It’s important to note that this can vary depending on factors such as the age, genetics, and health of the mother dog.

From the moment they are born until two weeks old, puppies are totally reliant on their mother for meals and hygiene. At birth, they can feel and taste, though their movement is limited to a sluggish crawl. Between weeks two and four, pups interact with their littermates and mom, while their vision becomes better developed by five weeks. During this time, they start hearing, smelling, walking, barking, and wagging their tails. By the end of the period, they can use the restroom without needing their mom’s help.

What to Expect in Week 1

During the first week of pregnancy in a dog, there are not many visible changes happening in the body. However, behind the scenes, some important biological processes are taking place. After mating has occurred and fertilization has taken place, the zygote (the resulting cell from the fusion of egg and sperm) begins its journey down to the uterus, where it will implant itself into the uterine lining.

At this point, it is difficult to confirm whether or not a dog is pregnant as there are no obvious physical signs yet. It is important for owners who suspect their dog may be pregnant to start monitoring her behavior closely and taking note of any changes that occur over time.

Owners should also begin making preparations for their soon-to-be-pregnant pup by ensuring they have a warm and comfortable living space with plenty of clean bedding available. They should also begin thinking about nutrition and providing their furry friend with high-quality food that meets all necessary nutritional requirements.

What to Expect in Week 2

Dachshund sitting in front of purple flowers
Dachshunds go through three stages of pregnancy.


During the second week of a dog’s pregnancy, which is known as the maintenance phase, there are several changes that occur in the body. The fertilized egg begins to divide and form a cluster of cells called a blastocyst. This blastocyst will eventually implant itself into the lining of the uterus, where it will continue to grow and develop.

At this stage, it may be difficult to tell if your dachshund is pregnant just by looking at her. However, some signs you can look out for include an increase in appetite and possible mood changes such as lethargy or irritability.

Overall, although not much may seem different on the surface during week 2 of pregnancy for your dachshund compared with other weeks, taking extra precautions now can ensure a healthy litter later down the line!

What to Expect in Week 3

During the third week of pregnancy, also known as the nidation phase, significant changes occur in a pregnant dachshund’s body. This is the time when implantation occurs, and the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. The developing puppies will begin to receive nourishment from their mother through a specialized connection called the placenta.

As this process unfolds, hormonal changes take place that prepare the dog’s body for pregnancy. Progesterone levels rise and help maintain pregnancy by preventing premature labor, while estrogen stimulates milk production in preparation for nursing after birth.

At this point in gestation, it is essential for pet owners to keep a watchful eye on their dog’s health and well-being. Ensuring proper nutrition and adequate rest are crucial during this critical period of fetal development.

What to Expect in Week 4

5 dachshund puppies on a log
Day 25 is a good time for a formal vet visit to start prenatal care.

©Shedara Weinsberg/Shutterstock.com

During the 4th week of pregnancy in a dachshund, there are several important developments taking place within the mother’s body. At this stage, it is highly recommended to schedule your pet for her first prenatal vet appointment – ideally around day 25 after mating. This visit will be crucial in confirming whether or not your dachshund is indeed pregnant via ultrasound examination.

The ultrasound scan will also provide you with valuable information about the size of the litter that your dog is carrying. The veterinarian will be able to estimate how many puppies are developing and give you an idea of what to expect in terms of delivery date and litter size.

The embryos are still very small and fragile. As such, it’s important to take extra care when handling your pet and avoid any activities that could cause harm or stress, including excessive exercise or exposure to toxins.

Overall, week four marks an exciting time for both owners and their furry companions as they begin their journey toward parenthood together. With proper veterinary care and attention, these precious pups have a bright future ahead!

What to Expect in Week 5

During the 5th week of pregnancy, which is commonly referred to as the fetal stage, significant changes occur inside a dachshund’s body. The embryogenesis process is coming to an end, and the puppies’ organs are now beginning to take shape. This important milestone marks a crucial period in the development of the litter.

At this point in time, expectant mothers should be vigilant in monitoring their dog’s health and well-being. While it can be difficult to detect physical changes during this early stage of pregnancy, veterinarians recommend providing plenty of rest for your furry friend and ensuring they receive proper nutrition.

As for the puppies themselves, they will begin putting on weight from this week onwards as more nutrients are being transferred from mother to fetus. It’s essential that dachshunds have access to high-quality food sources during this critical phase of growth.

What to Expect in Week 6

Be sure your dachshund has plenty of high-quality nutrition during her pregnancy.


During the 6th week of a dachshund’s pregnancy, also known as the turning point phase, significant developments are happening in your dachshund’s body. After day 42, your furry friend enters the final phase of pregnancy. This is an exciting time, as you can now observe visible changes in her physical appearance and behavior.

One of the most important things to note during this period is that the puppies are developing rapidly. They are growing skeletons, claws, and organs which will eventually lead to their formation as fully-formed babies.

Mama dog will start to gain weight due to these rapid developments taking place inside her body. She needs a higher-calorie diet with plenty of minerals at this stage to support both her own health and that of her unborn offspring.

Some dogs may experience a lower appetite during this time because their uterus presses against their stomachs leading them to feel full quickly. If you notice such symptoms, it’s best to feed several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.

What to Expect in Week 7

During week 7 of a dachshund’s pregnancy, significant developments are taking place inside her body. The puppies growing within her start to develop hair, and their organs are almost fully formed. Additionally, the skeletal bones of the puppies begin to harden and solidify at this stage.

There is also a potential risk for the puppies to contract worms from their mother during this period. Therefore, as a responsible owner, it is crucial to ensure that your pet has been regularly dewormed throughout her pregnancy and consult with a veterinarian on which product would be safest for use at this critical juncture in your dog’s life cycle. Ensuring proper care of both mother and litter will help guarantee healthy offspring when they’re born.

What to Expect in Week 8

Cute and shy wire-haired Miniature Dachshund puppy.
During week 8 of pregnancy, the puppies can be seen on an x-ray with fully formed bones.


During week 8 of a dachshund’s pregnancy, there are several significant developments happening inside the mother’s body. At day 50, the fetal skeletons become completely ossified and can be viewed on an x-ray. Many veterinarians will perform this procedure to accurately count the number of puppies in order to ensure that they are all delivered safely.

To prepare for the imminent arrival of her litter, it is important for owners to create a comfortable and safe environment where their dog can give birth. A quiet area that is warm and clean should be designated as the whelping area. It may also be recommended to provide a heat lamp so that the puppies can stay warm in one corner while their mother rests comfortably at another end.

It is crucial to maintain proper temperature control during this time since newborn puppies cannot regulate their own body temperatures until they are about three weeks old. The room should be kept at a consistent temperature of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer so that these vulnerable little ones don’t get too cold or overheat.

Owners should also make sure they have plenty of linens on hand for changing out bedding frequently once the puppies arrive. This includes towels and blankets that will help keep them cozy while providing easy cleanup after accidents.

As week eight progresses, owners may notice milk coming from their dog’s nipples – this is perfectly normal as her body prepares itself for nursing duties ahead! By taking care to create an ideal environment for both mom and pups, owners can help ensure a smooth delivery process with healthy.

What to Expect in Week 9

During week nine of a dachshund’s pregnancy, the mother dog will start to display behaviors that indicate she is preparing for birth. She may begin seeking out quiet and comfortable nesting places as her body prepares for delivery. However, it is common for her to feel irritable or on edge due to the discomfort caused by her growing belly.

As a responsible owner, it is important during this final week of gestation to keep the mother’s genital area clean and sanitary. This helps prevent any infections from occurring after birth which could be harmful to both the mother and puppies.

If your dachshund has long hair around their genitals or teats, consider trimming them before giving birth. Doing so can make cleaning easier and reduce the chance of bacteria build-up in these areas.

It is also crucially important that you set up appropriate temperatures in your whelping room prior to the birthing day. Aim for approximately 85 degrees Fahrenheit initially, as newborn puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature until they are a few weeks old.

Lastly, ensure that you have a supply of puppy milk available just in case there are any feeding issues with the newborns after birth. Having everything prepared ahead of time can help alleviate stress and allow you to focus solely on caring for your new litter during this exciting period!

How to Prepare for Labor and Delivery

Here is a pre-birth checklist, so you can be fully prepared at the end of your dachshund’s pregnancy:

  • Birthing room temperature is set to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during birth and for the first 24 hours after the puppies arrive. (75 after that) If this is impossible, the whelping box can be warmed with a heat lamp.
  • Turn down the lights. Most mother dogs seek out a dimly lit environment.
  • Whelping box or nest is located in a quiet, private area where the mother feels safe and comfortable.
  • Plenty of clean linens and towels. All bedding will need to be changed several times.
  • Disposable gloves
  • Newspaper or a drop cloth to protect your floors if a whelping box is not used.
  • Can of dog milk in case of feeding issues.
  • Scales to weigh the new puppies
  • The veterinarian’s phone number is nearby.

How to Help

  • Check the mother’s progress often as she gives birth. Most dogs do not need any assistance.
  • The labor can last for several hours, so be there to provide comfort. Keep your own worry and anxiety levels down so as not to upset her.
  • If she does not tear open the sack surrounding the puppy after birth, you can do this yourself. Be sure to wear gloves over pristinely clean hands.
  • Check her progress at regular intervals.
  • If a new puppy needs help, gentle rubbing with a towel is helpful.
  • Call the vet if contractions stop or are not productive.
  • Be sure that all of the puppies are nursing, warm, and happy.
  • Schedule a vet visit for 48 hours after birth.
  • Weigh the puppies once daily to ensure they are all gaining weight and keep good records for your vet.

What Not To Do:

  • Never pull on an emerging puppy.
  • Never submerge new puppies in water or attempt to bathe them.
  • Never use a blow dryer on the new puppies
  • Never shake a new puppy.
  • Do not forcibly separate a mother from her babies.

How to Care For Your Dachshund Afterward

Dachshund puppies and adults dogs
Keep a close eye on mothers and babies after birth.

©4sally scott/Shutterstock.com

Keep your lactating dachshund clean and well-groomed. She will leak a bit of discharge for several weeks after giving birth, and this is normal. A bath is not recommended, but you can use a warm washcloth to clean her very gently. Keep long hair trimmed away. If the discharge is pale, grey, or foul-smelling, take her to the vet immediately. Colors of red, brown, black, and green are all normal.

Many dachshunds have a higher-than-usual temperature for two days after birth. A temperature of 102 is normal. If it gets higher than that, contact your vet.

Check her mammary glands and teats often. If you notice swelling, redness, inflammation, or hot spots, these are symptoms of an infection called mastitis. If she is panting, whining, lethargic, or having muscle tremors, see your vet.

Give your dachshund plenty of fresh water. Birthing and lactating use up a lot of fluids, and she will be dehydrated and tired. Puppies will also need water after they are six weeks old.

Be sure your lactating dachshund gets dog food that is specially formulated for pregnant and nursing mamas.

Most mama dogs are protective of their new puppies and don’t want to leave them. Encourage her to leave her pups under the heat lamp and take a break outside to potty and eat for 5 or 10 minutes. If she does not do this, make sure she has food and water within reach.

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The Featured Image

Dachshund puppies and adults dogs
Dachshunds are pregnant for 63 days.
© 4sally scott/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I am a freelance writer with 22 years of experience. I live in the Pacific Northwest and am surrounded by nature. When I go for my daily runs I often see herds of elk, deer, and bald eagles. I am owned by two dogs who take me on hikes in the mountains where we see coyotes, black bears, and wild turkeys.

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