If you are the owner of a pregnant Yorkie, then you may be wondering how long your dog will be pregnant for.
You are not alone in wondering how long normal Yorkie pregnancy takes. As a dog expert, I get asked about pregnancy and gestation duration all the time!
A Yorkshire Terrier is a relatively small dog, and as such they have a shorter gestation period than many other breeds.
In this blog post, we will provide an overview of Yorkie pregnancy – from conception to delivery. By the end, you will know
- How long Yorkies are pregnant
- How to tell if a Yorkie is pregnant
- How many puppies a Yorkie can have (litter size)
- Steps to look after a pregnant Yorkie
- How to know when a Yorkie is in labor
- Warnings and when to be concerned about a pregnant Yorkie
How Long Are Yorkies Pregnant?
In general, the average Yorkie pregnancy lasts 63 days. However, this can range from 58 to 68 days. Keep an eye on your dog and be aware of any signs of labor, such as panting, nesting, or restless behavior.
Yorkie pregnancies are very fast compared with humans and some other mammals. The puppies need to develop quickly, so they can be born healthy and strong. Make sure to keep your pregnant Yorkie well-fed and hydrated, and provide plenty of soft bedding for her to rest on.
You may also want to set up a whelping box for when the puppies are born. This is a specially-designed box that will help keep the puppies warm and safe.
If you notice any changes or are worried about your dog, consult your veterinarian.
How To Tell if a Yorkie is Pregnant
There are signs that you may observe that will let you know that your Yorkie is pregnant. As we mentioned earlier, Yorkies have a shorter gestation period than other breeds, so you will likely see changes in your dog’s behavior and body relatively early on.
Early signs that a Yorkie is pregnant
- A decrease in activity (lethargy, or more sleeping)
- An increase in appetite
- Weight gain
- Enlarged nipples
- Nesting behavior
Later on, there are more obvious signs
- By the fourth week, you typically see an enlarged belly – the puppies are growing!
- A pregnant Yorkie can gain up to 2 pounds in weight! Given the tiny size of a Yorkie – this can surprise owners.
No you cannot use a human pregnancy test on a Yorkie
While it may be tempting to use a human pregnancy test on your Yorkie, this is not accurate the chemicals for human and dog pregnancy are not the same.
There are dog pregnancy tests but they all involve seeing a Veterinarian and often a blood test.
How Many Puppies a Yorkie Can Have (Litter size for Yorkshire Terriers)
Yorkies typically have a litter size of between one and five puppies. However, it is not unheard of for a Yorkie to have a larger litter size.
The trouble with larger litter sizes is that there is a much higher chance of developmental problems with the puppies.
This is because the puppies are not able to develop as well in the limited space inside the mother’s uterus. As a result, a puppy may be born prematurely or with health problems.
Steps to Look After a Pregnant Yorkie
If you are the owner of a pregnant Yorkie, there are some steps you can take to ensure she has a healthy pregnancy:
- Keep your Yorkie well-fed and hydrated. A pregnant Yorkie needs plenty of food and water to support her growing puppies.
- Provide soft bedding for your Yorkie – to allow nesting even before birth
- Provide soothing activities or games to help your dog relax – no overexcitement or necessary roughhousing
- Make sure she gets plenty of rest, especially in the final week – being pregnant with puppies can be very tiring
Yorkshire Terriers often have an increased appetite as they progress through their pregnancies. This is because their bodies are working hard to support the development of their puppies.
Make sure to provide your pregnant dog with plenty of Yorkie-appropriate food and water. Keep an eye on her weight to ensure she is not gaining too much or too little weight.
- Up to 2 pounds of weight gain is normal,
- A decrease in weight week to week is not normal.
- Straight to the Vet if you notice either extreme
How to know when a Yorkie is in labor
Looking for signs such as panting, nesting, or restless behavior.
The most important way to know when a dog is in labor is to monitor her temperature. One of the most dependable clinical indications when expecting whelping is a drop in body temperature.
Take your dog’s rectal temperature twice a day from day 60 of her pregnancy. Surface level temperature checks are not accurate.
- Approximately 8 to 24 hours before whelping, your dog’s body temperature will drop below 99 degrees Fahrenheit/37 degrees Celsius (Vet Source)
When labor begins, your Yorkie may exhibit the following symptoms – which can be distressed for an owner new to the experience
- Yorkies often resist eating or drinking water
- Yorkie often vomit at some point during labor
- And there is often whining and distress (as the contractions begin)
When to be Concerned About a Pregnant Yorkie
If any of the following occur, you should consult your Vet as an emergency ASAP. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Being overly cautious when it comes to the health of our beloved Yorkies is a GOOD thing.
- If your Yorkies temperature drops for more than 24 hours – but labor has not started
- If there is a bloody discharge
- If the vomiting is continuous and does not stop
- Fluid loss
- Overwhelming pain that seems relentless
Yorkshire Terrier Pregnancy Conclusions
Yorkies are pregnant for an average of 63 days, but can range anywhere from 58 to 68 days. As a Yorkie owner, it is important to be aware of the signs that your dog is in labor, so you can get her the help she needs.
Symptoms of labor include restless behavior, panting, nesting, and a drop in body temperature. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your Yorkie to the vet immediately.
If your Yorkie has had a litter – you might need some good Yorkie dog names for the new crew!