Your dog’s pregnancy can be an exciting time for both you and your pup. However, breeding also takes time, patience, and dedication. Your Dachshund will likely need a little bit of extra love and attention during their pregnancy, from conception all the way to birth.
If you’re planning to breed your Dachshund, you may wonder: how long are Dachshunds pregnant?
Here, I’m going to discuss how long the different stages of pregnancy last for Dachshunds. You’ll learn about all of the most important milestones to watch for so that you ensure a happy, healthy litter of puppies.
When Can a Dachshund Get Pregnant?
Dachshunds can only get pregnant once they’ve reached sexual maturity. They begin to go into estrus three to four times per year. Estrus is a dog’s fertile period and typically lasts around 21 to 28 days for a Dachshund.
Like most dogs, Dachshunds see their first heat at around six months old. However, every dog is different. Some may reach sexual maturity at a younger age, while others can take longer to develop.
How to Tell if a Dachshund Is in Heat?
The best way to tell if a Dachshund is in heat is by looking for common signs of estrus. Once a female reaches sexual maturity, you’ll begin noticing certain behaviors that indicate she’s fertile and ready to mate. Most dogs will experience at least one or more of these symptoms during their first and subsequent heat cycles:
- Dark swelling in the vulva and bloody discharge around the area.
- Frequent trips to the bathroom and increased urination.
- Mood swings or changes in temperament.
- Aggression towards or from other female dogs.
- Increased attention and aggression from male dogs.
- Changes in eating habits.
- Flagging the tail, which is a breeding signal that involves moving the tail aside to release pheromones.
How Long Are Dachshunds Pregnant?
Once you and your vet have confirmed a pregnancy, your dog will need proper care and nutrition throughout the course of her pregnancy. But just how long will your dog’s pregnancy last?
In most cases, Dachshunds remain pregnant for around nine weeks. The typical gestation period is between 63 and 65 days. However, as with estrus cycles, every dog’s pregnancy will be different. Some dogs may give birth at as early as 53 days, while other pregnancies may last over 70 days.
Pregnancies longer than 65 days are fairly rare, so it’s best to check with your vet if your Dachshund isn’t showing signs of labor at this point. There could be an issue with the pregnancy that requires medical intervention.
The Stages of Pregnancy
With each passing week of pregnancy, your Dachshund goes through physical, mental, and emotional changes that may require your support. It’s a good idea to be aware of what gestational stage your dog is at to ensure you’re able to give your pooch the best possible prenatal care.
In the first week of pregnancy, ovulation occurs as your dog nears the end of its heat cycle. If you breed your dog at this time, fertilization is likely. Conception isn’t guaranteed, though, so you may want to mate your dog multiple times to increase your chances of a pregnancy.
If the mating is successful, one or more eggs will get fertilized. You’re unlikely to see any outward signs of pregnancy, though your Dachshund may experience the first signs of morning sickness.
During week two of pregnancy, successfully fertilized eggs will implant themselves in the uterus. Early growth begins at this stage, though puppies won’t be visible on any ultrasound or sonogram.
You may start to notice behavioral changes in your pregnant Dachshund around week two. Often, dogs will become more affectionate with both their owner and strangers. You may also see your dog’s nipples growing larger and darker.
Young puppies will continue to develop during week three, though they won’t grow large enough for your dog to start showing. You may notice your Dachshund undergoing mood swings and other behavioral changes. An increased appetite is also common at this point, as dogs need more nutrients to support their growing litter.
Outwardly, you may notice your dog developing breast tissue around each nipple. There may also be some slight weight gain as pregnant dogs begin to eat more each feeding session.
Around week four, puppies should be large enough to view via ultrasound or sonogram. They begin to develop a spine and distinct facial features, though these body parts are all still immature. You can learn more about potential health or developmental concerns the puppies may have.
Your Dachshund’s appetite will continue to grow at this point as her puppies get larger. It’s best to offer high protein meals to support fetal development, but be careful not to overfeed. Pregnant dogs that gain too much weight can remain obese after giving birth and may suffer from resulting health complications.
Puppies grow rapidly during the fifth week of pregnancy and can increase in size by as much as 75%. At this point, they are large enough to determine sex through ultrasound. Your Dachshund will appear visibly pregnant, with a swollen belly and fully developed breast tissue.
You should continue feeding your Dachshund large, protein-rich portions to support fetal growth. You may have to adjust your dog’s meal schedule to allow for smaller, more frequent feedings throughout the day.
At week six, puppies are large enough to cause discomfort for most dog mothers. You may even be able to feel puppies moving. However, all this extra weight may result in a tired, moody, or uncomfortable Dachshund.
As an owner, it’s your job to cater to your pregnant pooch and do everything possible to reduce stress.
Provide as much nutrient-rich food as your dog needs during these final weeks of pregnancy. You should also set up plenty of soft, comfortable spots that will help take some of the pressure off your dog’s legs and hips. It’s a good idea to include a well-padded box where your dog can give birth to its litter.
By week seven, puppies are almost fully developed. Your dog’s body will begin preparing for birth by increasing calcium stores and shedding belly hair, particularly around the nipples.
At this point, it’s a good idea to see your vet to ensure everything is still going smoothly. Issues such as worms can be life-threatening for newborn puppies, so it’s a good idea to get both momma and her litter examined by a professional.
While most puppies aren’t born until week nine, some dogs may go into premature labor at week eight. The best way to prevent this is by avoiding any strenuous activity or intense stimulation.
At week eight, most Dachshund mothers will begin to produce their first milk. You may see colostrum or liquid milk around the nipples up to a week before birth, which is perfectly natural and not a cause for concern. It’s simply your Dachshund’s body preparing itself for imminent motherhood.
Your Dachshund is likely to give birth at week nine. You should have a safe, comfortable bed set up and ready for the occasion. Make sure that your Dachshund is comfortable and has plenty of food and water at its disposal.
As birth draws near, your dog may begin to show behavioral changes. It will likely be quieter and may act shy or introverted. Give them some space, but be sure to keep a close eye on her wellbeing.
Watch for any signs of distress and check your pup’s temperature several times a day to catch fevers as early as possible.
If all goes well, your Dachshund will give birth to a happy and healthy litter without any trouble. However, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency vet on standby in case anything goes wrong.
If your Dachshund is due to have puppies, you’ve probably found yourself wondering: how long are Dachshunds pregnant?
Dachshunds typically have a gestation period of around nine weeks—or between 63 and 65 days. You’ll see your dog undergo rapid changes as its body prepares for pregnancy. With a little bit of love and support, you can ensure that each week goes smoothly as you both anticipate your new litter of puppies.