How Many Puppies Can a Chihuahua Have?

The average Chihuahua female will have about three puppies in her litter, but it can range from one to six puppies.

The Chihuahua gestation periods typically last between 58 and 68 days. A female chihuahua can get pregnant as early as six months, but she will not be physically mature enough to deliver a healthy litter until it’s about eighteen months.

chihuahua playing tug
A Chihuahua playing tug on a carpet

How Many Puppies Can a Chihuahua Have In Her First Litter?

Chihuahuas are toy breed dogs, and as such, they do not have large litters. Generally speaking, a Chihuahua will only produce one to three puppies in the first litter if healthy and well-bred. Much younger mothers may only deliver a smaller litter.

How Long Is a Chihuahua Pregnant?

The average gestation period is about 60 days, although it can be between 50-70 days for each litter.

Outlined below are the three stages of a Chihuahua’s pregnancy.

  • The first trimester (0-29 days)
  • Second trimester (35-58 days)
  • Third trimester (58-63 days)

In the first stage, a Chihuahua will start to show signs of pregnancy within three weeks after ovulation has occurred. During this period, she may be moody and vomit from morning sickness. Her tits may also become grander, and her nipples darker in color at this point as well.

By the time her breasts begin to swell and become more pliable, she’s probably 29 days into pregnancy. At this point, if she’s carrying more than one fetus, it will be possible to feel them by touching her abdomen. Though this is not advisable and should only be done by your vet, it could lead to an accidental miscarriage. 

After 40 days, the fetuses’ skeleton, coat, and legs begin to form, and their eyes will open within another week of this. If they’re born at that point, there is a good chance of surviving on their own without medical intervention.

The third stage of a Chihuahua pregnancy is when puppies become viable outside the womb with proper care. After 58 days gestation, they can survive if they are born early through a cesarean section or induced labor.

They will need immediate medical attention to stay alive because they are incredibly vulnerable at that point. If the puppies survive, it’s usually possible for them to live long lives with proper care and attention after this type of delivery.

a long haired chihuahua
A long haired Chihuahua living its best life outdoors

How Do I Know if my Chihuahua is Pregnant?

The period that a female is capable of getting pregnant in dogs is called the estrus cycle. There are no pregnancy signs during the first few days, either right after she comes into heat or before it starts. It is hard to tell whether a female dog is pregnant without an ultrasound.

The signs that your dog is pregnant will vary depending on the number of puppies she’s carrying, but you may notice an increase in her appetite and a swelling around her mammary glands. She might also gain weight rapidly, which can make it difficult to see if she’s pregnant at first.

It’s essential to engage your dog’s vet throughout the process as they will do their best to keep your dog and her puppies safe. They will help with ultrasounds, nutrition counseling, and other health concerns as well. The more you know ahead of time, the better chances your Chihuahua has at a smooth pregnancy.

Can Chihuahuas Give Birth on their Own?

Chihuahuas require more attention and care than other breeds. A Chihuahua can give birth naturally or via a C-section, where vets often recommend the latter to reduce the risk of injury or death during labor due to their small size.

The most considerable risk to the mother is that she’ll have trouble recovering from surgery. Therefore, you should only breed your Chihuahua under veterinary supervision. However, it’s important to note that it can be challenging to know if a female Chihuahua will have any complications before labor.

Chihuahua Birth Complications

Chihuahuas have a small uterus which makes it difficult for them to carry large litters without complication. If they have more than four or five puppies at once, there could be problems with the pregnancy and birthing process.

Highlighted below are some of the main complications.

  • Dystocia – the female doesn’t have enough time between pregnancies because of her small uterus.
  • Uterine inertia – there isn’t adequate cervical dilation at birth, causing slow or difficult labor.
  • An enlarged uterus is another result of the small uterus not holding enough puppies for full pregnancy.
chihauhua loves water
Some Chihuahua’s LOVE water and swimming

Are Chihuahuas Too Small to Have Puppies?

Chihuahuas are a very small breed of dog that can weigh up to six pounds and stand only about four inches at the shoulder when fully grown. Despite their tiny size, they can have puppies with relative ease compared to other breeds of dogs.

The average Chihuahua will only have one litter in her lifetime, but some may be able to give birth multiple times if she was spayed too late. However, the size of your Chihuahua will not affect how many or what sex they produce during their breeding cycle.

When Can a Chihuahua Get Pregnant?

Chihuahuas can get pregnant when they are four months old, but this is not advisable. It is best to wait until they are over six months old as the risk of them having problems with their reproductive system increases if they become pregnant or give birth before this time.

Is It Safe For Small Dogs to Have Puppies?

The answer to this question is yes. Generally speaking, there are no significant health risks in a small breed dog having puppies.

However, Chihuahua mothers neglect their pups if they don’t bond with them within a week or so after birth. It is, therefore, essential for chihuahua owners to keep a keen eye on the mother and the pups if they want them all to survive.

short hair chihuahua outdoors
A short-haired Chihuahua


If you’re thinking about breeding your Chihuahua, you must be aware of the expected litter size. While it’s not possible to tell exactly how many puppies you can get from your Chihuahua, you can expect anywhere from one to six.

It is nearly impossible for you to guess exactly how many puppies you will get from your pregnant Chihuahua. However, you can engage your vet, who will do an x-ray. It is the most effective way by which you can tell what’s the size of your dog’s litter. 

Your vet will also be professional and will not cause any harm to your Chihuahua’s pregnancy. You shouldn’t try and feel the size of your dog’s litter by hand, as it could lead to a miscarriage.