Typically weighing between 4 to 6 pounds, and growing to be about 6 to 10 inches tall, Chihuahuas are some of the cutest little dogs – and their puppies are even more adorable. They are brachycephalic, which refers to dogs and dog breeds with shortened snouts that can lead to respiratory distress.
Being brachycephalic also means that Chihuahuas have relatively small litter sizes. If you’re wondering how many puppies do Chihuahuas usually have, then we can help you out.
In our Chihuahua litter size guide we share their average litter size and answer the question do they have smaller litter sizes when having puppies for the first time? Keep reading for more info on Chihuahua litters.
How many puppies can a Chihuahua have?
On average, Chihuahua litters have 3 puppies in them, but can have as few as one puppy. Older Chihuahuas may have more puppies in a litter, so around 5 to 6 puppies in the litter.
Because of their small size, most Chihuahua litters are born by C-section.
With so few puppies being born in a litter, it’s easy to see why Chihuahua puppies are so expensive to buy from a breeder.
How many puppies do Chihuahuas have the first time?
The first time a Chihuahua gives birth to a litter, it will likely be a small litter. With age, more puppies tend to be born in Chihuahua litters.
Don’t to see more than three puppies born in that first litter, and it may be as few as just one puppy that very first time.
Breeders agree that the largest litter will come around the 3rd or 4th time the Chihuahua gives birth, and then they get smaller after that.
How Many Litters Should My Chihuahua Have?
Excess pregnancies, especially in small-breed pooches can degrade mamma’s physical and mental health which can ultimately result in unhealthy litters. Therefore, it is recommended to only breed a chihuahua four times in her lifetime.
Having one litter every other year is the most responsible way to breed. Giving her a year in between to heal and fully recover will ensure that she is producing healthy litters.
Before, During, and After Breeding your Chihuahua
Handling any female dog during their pregnancy can be a challenge, however, it is even more so when handling a pregnant chihuahua. Their small size as well as their delicate and vulnerable demeanor can pose an instant risk for both the litter and the mamma.
Therefore, if you intend to breed your chihuahua, you should be prepared to be attentive and hands-on.
- Visit your vet beforehand: So, you have decided to breed your chihuahua, well before you find her stud, you should take your pooch to the vet for a pregnancy check-up. Your vet will ultimately determine if your chihuahua is a good candidate to breed.
- Knowing what to expect: Chihuahuas usually carry between 3 to 4 puppies in a litter, although it is not uncommon for mamma to carry a little as 1 to as much as 6 puppies.
- Wait to Impregnate: while a chihuahua can conceive at their first heat cycle which is between 4 to 7 months, it is highly recommended to wait until their 2nd heat cycle to pair dogs. Pairing your chihuahua on their first heat cycle can lead to irreversible complications.
- Keep your chihuahua healthy: Before you breed your dog, make sure that mamma is up to date on all of her recommended vaccines, and also, be sure to feed her a brand that stimulates all of her immune and nutritious needs. Keep your chihuahua active by playing with her and exercising her. A healthy chihuahua will equal a healthy litter of puppies.
- Find a stud/pairing your pooch: You should not want to pair your female with any ole male, her stud should possess the healthy characteristics that you would want to pass down to their litter, therefore, you should take your time to find her stud. When you find her match, conception should take place during the 8th to 15th day of heat.
- Visit your vet: It can be difficult to determine if your pooch was successfully impregnated, therefore, you should visit your vet soon after pairing. X rays and blood work will determine pregnancy, then you can plan the delivery date.
- Caring for your pregnant chihuahua: The gestation period for your dog is between 58 to 68 days, during this time your pooch’s personality may change drastically. She may become withdrawn, protective, and obviously more tired. It is important to love on your pooch and continue to keep her active during her gestation to keep her and her litter healthy. Also, you should prepare a cozy nesting area for her that provides enough space and comfort for her and her upcoming litter.
- Schedule her C-section: Having a c-section is the safest way to deliver a litter of chihuahuas. The vet will determine your dog’s delivery date with will allow you to then schedule her c-section.
- It takes a village, help mamma out: Mamma needs time to heal after her c-section while she cares for her newborns, this may pose challenging. Therefore, you may have to give her a helping hand by bottle feeding the babies if need be and keeping them warm with blankets and towels.
Chihuahuas will continue to be a top choice to breed and keep as pets due to their favorable personality, size, and appearance. However, because of their size and fragility, the level of care is drastically increased, especially during pregnancy.
Nevertheless, it is ultimately up to you as a responsible pet owner to determine if and when you decide to breed your chihuahua. Regardless, your chihuahua will undoubtedly improve the quality of your life by providing loyalty, love, and continual companionship.