From the date of mating, a Chihuahua’s pregnancy could be anywhere between 58 and 72 days. This is because fertilisation can potentially take place many days after a successful mating.
However, the actual length of the pregnancy will be very consistently 62-64 days from the day of ovulation. So if your Chihuahua had veterinary monitoring to help identify the stage of her cycle, in order to help optimise the timing of the mating, your vet may well be able to pinpoint her likely due date more accurately.
If your Chihuahua hasn’t whelped (given birth) within 68 days of mating, seek veterinary advice.
Signs of Chihuahua Pregnancy
Although you should have a veterinarian confirm your Chihuahua’s pregnancy, these are signs that might suggest your Chihuahua is pregnant:
- Nipples will become enlarged and in most cases will darken
- Her tummy will enlarge and will become firmer
- Your Chihuahua’s behaviour may change – she may make a nest and collect toys to keep with her, and the pressure from the uterus means that your Chihuahua may urinate much more frequently
- Your Chihuahua’s appetite may change – she could become hungrier than usual or fussier with the food she eats, or she may eat less in one meal and require more frequent meals
These changes may also be seen in cases of pseudopregnancy (false pregnancy), which can occur very commonly due to the high levels of progesterone that persist after ovulation.Your vet will be able to distinguish a true pregnancy from pseudopregnancy and advise on the best management for your Chihuahua.
How to Prepare
It’s important to be as prepared as possible, so these are some tips that should be taken into account during a Chihuahua’s pregnancy:
- Keep in close contact with your vet during your Chihuahua’s pregnancy to ensure she receives the right care, nutrition and preparation for a healthy whelping and lactation. You will need to ensure she has treatment to control parasites but ensure you only use products recommended by the vet.
- With the vet, discuss your plan for preparing for the birth, how the whelping should normally progress and in what circumstances you need to seek professional help. Ensure you have the vet’s contact number handy so that you can call for advice if needed.
- A Chihuahua’s energy requirement does not alter dramatically in the first 6 week’s of pregnancy so at first, simply ensure she is on a good quality complete diet appropriate to her age and size. From day 42 onwards, her energy needs will increase by around 10% per week, so it helps at this time to transition her on to a higher energy diet to help meet these needs without having to feed larger quantities. An appropriate high energy diet can be continued throughout lactation, when her energy needs will increase dramatically.
- Provide your Chihuahua with a quiet, warm, comfortable area to rest and allow her to become accustomed to it. Consider preparing or purchasing a whelping box.
- Exercise and activity is still important for your Chihuahua during pregnancy, but ensure that this is not excessive and is part of a consistent routine.
- Just before whelping, your Chihuahua is likely to start digging and chewing at her bedding and will probably start licking and cleaning herself much more than usual. This nesting behavior is a telltale sign that the birth of her puppies is imminent, meaning you should monitor her progression and be prepared to contact your vet if you have any concerns.
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