How Long are Basenjis Pregnant For? (Average Weeks)

How long are Basenjis pregnant for? Is your Basenji pregnant and do you want to know how soon it will be before you have new additions to your family? Are you considering breeding and want to find out all there is to know about Basenji pregnancy?

Like most dogs, Basenji pregnancies last 57 to 70 days. Basenjis become sexually mature between 8 and 12 months and during this period your female Basenji may enter their first cycle when they are in heat. You can expect a Basenji to give birth to 4 to 6 puppies.

A Basenji puppy sleeping on the couch.
A Basenji puppy sleeping on the couch.

How Long are Basenjis Pregnant For +What to Expect During Pregnancy

Basenjis are more or less the same as most canines when it comes to their pregnancy cycle. They take anywhere from 55 to 63 days from the point of conception to birth. There are early signs of pregnancy that you can be on the lookout for especially if you haven’t taken your B for a pregnancy test.

Early signs of pregnancy in your Basenji may include loss of appetite. Though this is not an outright sign that your B is pregnant, it is something that you need to watch out for especially if she is in or was recently in her cycle.

What to Expect During Trimester 1

At around 3 weeks into the pregnancy, your Basenji’s tummy will begin to show limited signs of growth which may fly under the radar to the inexperienced eye. During this period, an experienced vet or breeder will be able to feel around the tummy to establish whether or not she’s pregnant.

Around this stage, the vet will be able to do an ultrasound to conclusively ascertain whether or not your Basenji is pregnant. They may, at this point, also give you an estimate of the litter size you can expect.

Another sign to look out for in the first trimester is growth in the nipples. You will notice that your Basenji’s nipples begin to grow and some pinkness around them. At this point, you still may not notice any signs of growth in the tummy.

training a tricolor Basenji puppy
In the process of training a tricolor Basenji puppy

What to Expect During Trimester 2

In the second trimester, you will begin to see muted signs of growth in the belly. At this stage, the foetuses are beginning to develop the skeleton though not yet fully formed. Your Basenji will be requiring an increase in food quantities in order to support the growing pups in her belly.

You will also notice that she may give off an odourless milky discharge. This is no cause for concern unless it gives off a smell in which case you need to consult your vet.

What to Expect During Trimester 3

In the third trimester around week 6 or 7, the puppies would have fully developed skeletons at which point you may ask the vet for an x-ray to ascertain the exact number of puppies that your Basenji is carrying. This is optional and not really necessary albeit to make sure that all the puppies have been delivered.

During the final week of pregnancy, your basenji will begin to seek out a quiet place to give birth. You can prepare a room for her and a box where she can deliver her litter. You also need to make sure that the space that you provide for her has sufficient insulation and absorption.

A great way to do this is to line your room floors with newspaper.

basenji dog eye wipe
Like many small dogs, Basenji’s neer eye gunk removed – preferably before they dry. Dog eye wipes help but any cloth can do.

When Does a Basenji Become Sexually Mature?

Your Basenji will become sexually mature anywhere from 8 to 12 months. It is during this phase when you can expect them to undergo their first cycle. A normal cycle will last around 30 days and if you don’t want your Basenji to breed, you need to keep her confined.

If, on the other hand, you do want her to breed, you may want to take her to experienced breeders during this time.

If you have a dog in the house that is not neutered, you may want to keep the two in separate parts of the house or have him live with a close family member or friend during that time. A female dog on heat will attract males from a wide radius.

What to Expect When Your Basenji is in Heat

It is not uncommon to see males pacing up and down outside your yard once they’ve caught the scent. There are cases where live in males have chewed through doors to get to a female in heat. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask someone close to take them for a while is that option is available to you.

Your Basenji will cycle once every six months. During this period, you can expect some discharge and bleeding from her and enlarged vulva. A cycle will last up to 4 weeks and you know when it’s over by the vulva going back to its normal size.

If your Basenji lives indoors, you may need to do a lot of laundry during this period because of the discharge and bleeding.

a white and red basenji sleeping on a bed
A white and red Basenji sleeping on a bed. Comfortable!

False Pregnancy

During her cycle, your Basenji may also exhibit signs of a false pregnancy. She will show all the signs like enlarged nipples and her tummy may even begin to enlarge. If you have made sure to isolate her during her cycle, it may possibly be the case that she’s going through a phantom pregnancy.

How to Breed My Basenji

If you want to breed your Basenji, it is good to go with recognized breeders. This is also the case when buying or adopting a Basenji. Breeders will keep records of a Basenji’s genealogy. It s especially important when it comes to hereditary ailments that affect Basenjis.

Conditions like Fanconi are passed on genetically and can significantly reduce your Basenji’s lifespan.  It’s good to discuss your desire to breed with your vet and reputable breeders to ensure that everything is in order.

Make pre-arrangements, upon agreement, with your breeders so that you take her to them as soon as her cycle begins.


It’s a great thing to have a litter of puppies in the home but even greater if this is planned and not something random. Make sure that you take the necessary precautions as well as know what to do when your Basenji does get pregnant.