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How Long Are Dachshunds Typically Pregnant? Gestation Period & Stages Explained

Written by: Eleanor Glaum

Last Updated on June 28, 2024 by Dogster Team

A pregnant Dachshund lying on its back

How Long Are Dachshunds Typically Pregnant? Gestation Period & Stages Explained

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Dachshund puppies are incredibly cute and full of energy. Somehow, the smaller the breed of dog, the cuter their offspring. If your Dachshund is in the early days of her pregnancy, you probably have several questions. The first may be, “When is the big day?” If you know when successful insemination occurred, you can expect Dachshunds to be pregnant for 61 to 65 days.

There are a few circumstances that may influence the gestation period. There are also several other aspects of your doxie’s pregnancy to be aware of. Let’s have a look at what you can expect.

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What’s the Best Age to Breed My Dachshund?

Your little lady matures sexually at around eleven months of age or earlier in some dogs. Although she can become pregnant at this age, she is still a pup herself, and it’s advisable to wait until she is fully grown. Female Dachshunds typically experience about two heats (estrous cycles) per year. Each estrus lasts around 10–14 days.

Doxies are considered fully grown when they are about a year old, and female Dachshunds shouldn’t be bred on their first heat. Doing so is associated with increased risks of health complications during labor. It is also advised that they do not become first-time mums if they are at least 4 years old.

dachshund dog in the arms of his owner
Image Credit: TetiBond, Shutterstock

How Can I Tell If My Doxie is Pregnant?

If your pup is pregnant,  there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for that could hint at her condition. You might fancy that you can see these signs within a few days, but in reality, you’ll only be able to get an idea once she is around 3 weeks along. Look out for the following:

  • Decreased appetite (first few weeks)
  • Morning sickness
  • Less energy
  • Weight gain

Of course, every dog is different, and yours may be pregnant but exhibit none of these signs. Once the pregnancy is very far along, you can observe her visibly distended abdomen and (gently) feel the pups inside her tummy. The only effective and accurate means of confirming a pregnancy is to consult with your veterinarian. They will perform blood tests and a physical examination to confirm the condition.

On occasion, the dog may experience what is known as a “phantom” or false pregnancy. In this event, she will exhibit all the signs of being pregnant and even believe she is, but the opposite is true. That’s why it’s important to confirm pregnancy through a vet.

How Many Puppies Will She Have?

As a rule of thumb, the smaller the dog, the smaller the litter. A female doxie will produce between one and six pups per litter. Somewhere in the middle of this range is the norm. Litters of six or more are rare and are only expected in large (standard) Doxies. It’s not uncommon for them to produce just one pup, but this usually occurs in younger dogs or first-time litters.

For miniature Doxies, you can expect the average litter size to be smaller. Usually, between one and four is normal for the tiniest versions of this breed.

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The Seven Stages of a Typical Dachshund Pregnancy

1. Week One

The first week of pregnancy is when fertilization occurs, following one or more matings. You may not see any signs of pregnancy, though your mom-to-be might not be keen on eating her food.

dachshund dog sleeping at home
Image Credit: Stepan Soloveiv, Pixabay

2. Week Two and Three

During this stage, the fertilized eggs are implanted. There are no physical signs of pregnancy yet, but your dog may exhibit increased affection and experience morning sickness. The puppies are beginning to grow inside the new mum’s tummy, but her tummy still doesn’t appear pregnant. She may experience some mood swings and a decreased energy level. 


3. Week Four

The pups continue to grow during this stage. They are visible on an ultrasound, particularly their little spines. You might notice that your dog’s nipples are slightly enlarged.

dachshund curled up in a ball on a knitted blanke
Image By: ollytheoutlier, Shutterstock

4. Week Five and Six

Big changes happen during this stage of the pregnancy. The puppies’ growth spikes significantly during these weeks. Your Dachshund might feel a bit of discomfort by this stage. Her abdominal area is now visibly enlarged, and an ultrasound at this stage can reveal the sexes of the pups.

Mom’s appetite will begin to increase. It’s important to offer her the best-quality, high-protein food. By now, she should be eating more than she usually does. She may also prefer and benefit from more frequent, smaller meals. By this stage, she could be moody and grumpy.

Make sure that she is kept comfortable at all times and minimize any stressful situations. Now is the time to start thinking about where she will whelp if you haven’t already done so.

dachshund dog eating from elevated bowl
Image By: marialevkina, Shutterstock

5. Week Seven

Your mum-to-be will start losing her belly fur at this stage of her pregnancy. Enlarged, swollen nipples are visible in her distended and less furry abdomen. Her appetite might also continue to increase. 


6. Week Eight

It is important to avoid strenuous activity or overexcitement at this stage, as this could cause premature labor. If you see some colostrum or a milk-like liquid around her nipples, this is perfectly normal. It signals that she will be giving birth within the next week.


7. Week Nine

It’s puppy time! Your Dachshund will almost certainly go into labor during this stage of the pregnancy. Ensure she has somewhere comfortable, safe, and quiet to give birth. As the birthing time approaches, she may quiet down and become very inwardly focused. Signs that birth will begin within a few hours are uterine contractions and vaginal discharge.

Make sure that plenty of food and fresh water are available should she require them. She may even snack while she is in labor and between births. Although the birth is likely to proceed without issue, it’s always a good idea to have the vet on standby if you require their assistance.

dachshund with newborn puppies, dachshund lactating
Image By: Shift Drive, Shutterstock

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Caring For Your Pregnant Doxie

vet with stethoscope examining sick dachshund
Image By: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

The most important aspects to take care of during your pup’s pregnancy are her diet, any veterinary needs (prophylactic or symptomatic), and stress levels. Ensure that she has access to the best quality, high-protein feed and fresh water. Be prepared for the massive increase in appetite she will undergo while she is pregnant and while she is lactating. Raw diets are best avoided during this time.

Keep environmental and other stresses to a minimum while she is in this delicate state. Exercise is important but must not be rigorous. Don’t be afraid to consult your veterinary specialist if you ever feel concerned about any aspect of her pregnancy.

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Final Thoughts

A Dachshund’s pregnancy and labor are natural processes—it’s unlikely that your pup will experience any problems. Within 9weeks, your home will be filled with little squeals, snuffles, and, eventually, yaps. Consider yourself privileged if you get to observe and even be a part of the process of your doxie’s pregnancy, labor, and birth. There can’t possibly be anything more special than new life coming into our wonderful world.

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Featured Image Credit: Iamjorge, Shutterstock

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