How Long Are Shih Tzus Pregnant For? + Pregnancy Calendar Days


Sometimes getting a dog pregnant and allowing them to give birth is one of the most stressful things an owner can do. You’ll probably be thinking about how many puppies your Shih Tzu will have and how you can be sure that the birth goes as smoothly as possible.

The gestation period for different dog breeds varies, although you can be sure that one Shih Tzu will probably be pregnant for roughly as long as another. You can expect your Shih Tzu to give birth within 63 days of falling pregnant.

If you are expecting your Shih Tzu to deliver a fresh litter of pups, then the best way to track their progress is by keeping a pregnancy calendar. That way you can make sure that everything is going smoothly. But first, you’ll need a basic guide that you can use to measure it against.

Below we have supplied you with a pregnancy guide that will hopefully give you everything that you check your pup’s mating cycle with. Your dog will roughly be pregnant for around 63 days. During this time it will go through very distinct weekly cycles.

So how can you make sure that your dog has a trouble-free birth? If any problems arise in your Shih Tzu’s birth, then who is the best person to go to? Are Shih Tzu’s able to have C-sections?

Well, luckily for you we have the perfect guide for your Shih Tzu’s pregnancy cycle. You can spot when your dog is having trouble giving birth and what to do if any complications arise. You can also skim through our Shuh Tzu pregnancy calendar to make sure that everything is going according to the normal gestation period for your dog and her pups.

Shih Tzu Pregnancy Calendar

First, we’re going to give you a week-by-week breakdown of your dog’s pregnancy guide, so that you can make sure that it is experiencing all the right symptoms, as well as being able to check for abnormalities in your dog’s birthing cycle.

First Week

This is the week that your female Shih Tzu will have been impregnated. In terms of feeding and exercise, you’ll want to treat your dog as you normally would. Changing its routine at this point might lead to upset stomachs and vomiting, which will certainly cause hormonal imbalances in your dog that will not benefit her pups.

There might be an above-average level of sickness in your Shih Tzu, although unless this is very frequent, then we would recommend that you just carry on as normal. Your Shih Tzu might also be experiencing some pink discharge from her vagina, but again, this is normal and not a sign that your dog has had a miscarriage.

Second Week

At this point, your dog’s biology will have kicked in and you should start to notice some real changes in your dog’s appearance. The dog’s cells will have started developing and the embryos in your dog’s womb will already be growing at a very fast rate.

Other dogs might be developing slightly faster than your Shih Tzu, with the embryos already moving into the uterine zone. However, your Shih Tzu’s embryos will be traveling a lot slower than regular dogs.

In much the same way as the first week of her pregnancy, you won’t have to alter your dog’s diet or exercise regime too much. In fact, if you decide to exercise your dog too hard, then it might result in her becoming exhausted which increases the risk of miscarrying.

If you are going to make any changes to your dog’s diet, we would recommend that you give her an increased level of fresh protein in the form of cooked chicken. Increasing its protein will give the dog more strength and the ability to repair itself in the weeks ahead.

Third Week

This is where your Shih Tzu will be developing fetuses in its little uterus. The pup will be growing into some recognizable form, with legs and arms as well as craniums.

You might notice that at this point your dog is craving a lot more food than usual. If this is the case, then you should increase her calorie intake by around 10%. This way you can be sure both your dog and the pups growing inside her are getting the ample amount of nutrients and protein that they need.

At this stage, you still won’t want to alter your dog’s exercise regime too much, as this might result in fatigue and cause your dog to miscarry.

Fourth Week

This is where you might start noticing some physical differences. If you press very gently on the outside of your dog’s stomach, then you might be able to feel the forms of your dog’s pups on the inside.

If you were to place your dog under the scanner, then you will be able to see fully formed puppy dogs on the inside of your dog’s uterus. You’ll be able to make out spinal columns as well as faces developing in your animal. If you were to measure them, your Shih Tzu’s pups would probably be only 1.5 centimeters in length.

This is the point in the dog’s pregnancy where the risk of miscarriage is a lot higher than usual. You have to keep an eye on your dog for signs of sickness or fatigue, as this could be a sign that she needs more calories and increased amounts of rest.

Now is the time to start making changes to your Shih Tzu routine, reducing the amount of over-exertion and increasing the amount of food that your dog has. This will be to promote growth and not to disturb the pups that are in the womb already. You should add mineral and vitamin supplements to your diet to make sure your dog is getting all the essentials.

You should also notice that your dog might start swelling around the teets and having clear discharge from her vagina. This is a sign that your dog is about to give birth to a litter of healthy puppies. Make sure that if your dog is experiencing any discomfort that you ensure that she is doing well and is not pushing herself too hard.

Fifth Week

This is when your Shih Tzu puppies will start resembling her mother, developing claws and other features such as whiskers. You should also be able to tell what genders the puppies are using scans, which should show their genital areas nice and clearly.

Your pregnant Shih Tzu will start to experience increased growth, which will ultimately result in it needing more food. You should gradually increase the number of calories that your Shih Tzu is eating. We would recommend giving it around 20% more food.

If you decide to go for an ultrasound scan, then you’ll be able to discern how many puppies your dog will be having. On average, your dog will deliver around 3 to 4 puppies, which should give you an idea about how much food and space that you need to prepare.

Sixth Week

This is where the evidence that your dog is pregnant will really start to make itself clear, with it developing quite the belly. With each day that passes, you can be sure that you’ll have a Shih Tzu that is visibly getting bigger!

Each of the puppies in your dog’s womb will already be developing their own unique markings that will identify them as their puppy. If you fancy it, then you can even start naming them at this stage!

At this point, your Shih Tzu will also be developing her own markings, including her nipples getting darker. You can also start supplementing your dog’s diet with puppy food, which will gradually introduce your puppies to additional nutrients even before they have gotten out of the womb.

At this point, you might want to make sure that you Shih Tzu has her own comfortable place to give birth. Making your dog as comfortable as possible is the most important thing to do before it has given birth.

Seventh Week

One thing that will happen at this stage that you as a dog owner might find very alarming but is actually perfectly natural is that your dog will be experiencing hair loss. This is because your dog’s body will be preparing itself for breastfeeding its pups when they arrive.

Again, you should be increasing your dog’s calorie intake, as this will be the time that your dog needs to really feed herself and her pups. The puppies inside her will be almost developed, so you’ll need to make sure that there is plenty of nutrition to feed upwards of 5 creatures, including your mother Shih Tzu.

Make sure that your dog is getting plenty of calcium, as this will help to develop the puppies’ strong teeth and bones.

Eighth Week

This is the week that your dog may very well give birth, so you’ll want to make sure that the setting is right for her to have as comfortable a birth as possible. Your dog will need to be relaxed and calm enough to give birth. This means that your dog should be having absolutely no physical exertion.

You should be able to see the puppies wriggling around in your mother dog’s stomach. This means that they are very active and could be ready to come out early!

Ninth Week

This is the moment of truth, so get ready for your puppies to come out of the oven! Signs that she is ready to give birth will be loss of appetite, slowing down gradually and getting very quiet. This is when your Shih Tzu pups will almost definitely be ready to come out.

Again, do as much as you possibly can to make sure that the birth is calm and relaxed. There are plenty of relaxing and smoothing things you can do to make sure that your dog is calm, including rubbing her head and making sure that the surrounding environment is dark and warm.

Shih Tzu Pregnancies

There can be many methods that your dog can get pregnant. There is the natural method whereby the female dog is introduced to a stud purely for procreation. However, an owner can shop around for suitable male dog semen and artificially inseminate its dog.

Artificial insemination is probably the best way to optimize the DNA of your pups, ensuring that they have good genes, which is great for selling purposes. Having pups with good genes will ensure that you can get a good price for them when you sell them on. Some people make a living out of being reputable breeders.

The Number Of Puppies That A Shih Tzu Has

Shih Tzu’s generally have smaller litters than a lot of other dog breeds. As mentioned above, the average Shih Tzu will give birth to no more than 4 pups at a time. This is because they are smaller dogs and will not be able to hold much more in their tummies.

A larger dog like a Rottweiler will have around 8 puppies, simply because they are larger dogs and the puppies will be a lot smaller. On the plus side, because of the smaller litters, you can be sure that Shih Tzu puppies will command a lot higher prices.

A dog will have no more than 8 puppies (Bernese Mountain or German Shepherd dogs) and will have a minimum of 3 puppies (Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas).

You wouldn’t want your Shih Tzu to have more than 4 pups, simply because the more pups they are carrying, then the higher the chances that some of the pups will be stillborn. If the dogs are underweight, this will also put more pressure on the mother to produce milk to feed all of them, which might cause her to get sick.

Can Shih Tzu’s Have Cesareans?

Around 20% of all Shih Tzu births are C-sections according to the statistics. The reason for this will be the size of the dog itself. Shih Tzus have a narrower birth canal, which will often lead to difficulties if multiple pups are coming out at once. If the puppies get stuck in the birth canal, this can lead to fatalities.

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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