Updated August 26, 2019
One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make as a female pug owner is whether or not to spay her or not. Whether you purposely breed or she gets pregnant by accident, this article will guide you through the basics of pug pregnancy. You’ll learn how to spot the signs and symptoms, Pug gestation period, as well as caring for your dog.
Pug Pregnancy Age
Female Pugs go into their first heat between 6-12 months and during this time, they can get pregnant. If you’re planning on breeding your pug, it’s recommended that you wait until they are 24 months old.
If you breed your Pug too young, it can result in smaller litter sizes and can cause health problems for the mother. (we’ll discuss some of the dog pregnancy risks below)
6 Pregnancy Facts You Should Know About
- Pregnancy in dogs, known as the gestation period normally ranges from 57-65 calendar days. A normal Pug pregnancy between a range of 60 to 65 days. If she’s pregnant for more than 67 days, you need to take her to the vet.
- Natural birth is challenging for female pugs because of the puppies larger head and shoulders. If your Pug is pregnant, you should contact your vet to determine if she’ll need a cesarean section.
- Average litter size for a Pug is between three and five puppies. However, it is not unusual for a Pug to have only a single puppy.
- Sometimes a vet can perform an X-ray or ultrasound to help determine how many pups she’ll have. However, there is no surefire way to determine how many puppies your pug will have before birth.
- You should NEVER allow your Pug to get pregnant more than once a year. She needs time to recover physically and emotionally from giving birth. Breeding her too often will cause excessive stress on her uterus.
- Dogs do not produce the hormone HGC (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) that humans do, therefore, you can’t use a pregnancy test on canines.
How to Tell If Your Pug Is Pregnant
If you’ve ever wondered “is my pug pregnant?”, you’re not alone. A dog’s pregnancy can happen a lot faster than that of a human. Maybe you cannot get an appointment with your vet or you just don’t want to pay the fee?
Unfortunately, there is no home Pug pregnancy test kit like there are for humans. Regardless, of why you might think your pug got pregnant, you need to know what to look for.
Hopefully, it’s a false pregnancy, especially, if you didn’t want a pregnant dog.
I’ll share some of the signs and symptoms that a Pug is pregnant.
Pug Pregnancy Stages
Find out what to expect from your pooch from these Pug pregnancy week by week stages.
Week 1 and 2: The early stages of the pregnancy, can be difficult to even tell that your Pug is pregnant. Most people can’t even tell that their dog is pregnant. Although some dogs may start showing signs of slight nausea and a decrease in appetite.
Week 3: You may notice Fido is more tired than usual and just want to lay around. It can still be hard to tell she’s pregnant because Pugs love sleeping. But hopefully, you’re familiar with her daily routine and can notice the differences:
- She’s more tired than usual
- Her stomach may appear slightly swollen
- She will clean herself more than usual
- Her nipples will start to become more noticeable
Week 4: At this point, the signs are very clear:
- Her stomach is distended, clearly showing she’s carrying a litter.
- Her nipples are enlarged and darkened preparing her for nursing. You may even notice that the nipples will hang down as they fill with colostrum.
- Her hormones have triggered strong nesting behaviors. At this point, she is seeking for a safe place to give birth and care for her puppies. These behavioral changes are common in all pregnant canines.
- At this point, her appetite will increase greatly, after all, she’s possibly eating for 6.
Weeks 5 and 6: Coming to the end of the gestation period, your Pug may show the following signs:
She becomes fatigued easily and quickly.
- Her bed has become her sanctuary and she is not as social as she used to.
- During this period is when she puts on the most weight gain. It’s no unusual for her to gain 10% of her normal body weight during her pregnancy. The weight gain will depend on the size of the litter she’s carrying.
The extra weight gain is comprised of the pups (which will weight under one pound, a few ounces), but also tissue (amniotic sacs) and fluids (amniotic fluids and water).
Caring for A Pregnant Pug Dog
A pregnant dog requires more care, in the form of diet, sleep, and some will require supplements. (ask your vet about the supplements)
Food – Pregnant Pugs will require more food than they normally eat. You’ll notice their appetite increase around week 3 or 4. Do not try to minimize her food during this time. She needs more calories and nutrition for her pups.
It’s not uncommon for your canine to consume more than 30 – 50% more calories for the last half of the pregnancy cycle. In fact, most dogs will see a weight increase by 15-30% during their pregnancy from the puppies and increased body weight.
Supplements – Some people provide prenatal vitamins for dogs during pregnancy, however, you want to check with your vet before giving your dog any type of supplements.
Avoid giving her extra calcium, it has been shown to:
- Increase her chances of developing postpartum hypocalcemia, also called eclampsia. It is a life-threatening condition which involves seizures and high blood pressure.
- Cause her labor to be more intensive.
- Joint abnormalities in the pups.
Instead of calcium supplementation, your Pug should be fed a well-balanced puppy or performance food during the latter half of gestation. Supplementation should only be instituted at after whelping (giving birth), after consulting your veterinarian.
Activity – You can continue walking your Pug daily at a normal pace or slower unless exercise restrictions have been put in place by the veterinarian. Daily exercise will allow her to stay in fit and becoming sedentary can cause her joints and muscles to weaken.
Comfort – Provide your Pug with her own personal space. She will require a great canine bed that can support her muscles and provides her a great night’s rest. We gave Mindy some baby blankets (these are great for your dog’s nesting materials). Put her bed in the corner where the family hangs out.
Pugs love being a part of the family, so avoid putting her in a corner or in her own room. We had Mindy’s bed in the living room where we watched television. During this time, we would give her a dental dog treat which she absolutely loved.
Pregnant Pug Giving Birth
Deciding to breed your pug is a difficult decision. Whether your dog gives birth at home or the veterinarian’s office, you need to realize that it is a time consuming, expensive, messy and sometimes heartbreaking process.
Make sure you do your research and read all the online guides you can about dog pregnancy. Canine pregnancy is hard on your dog and if you don’t plan on breeding them, I highly recommend getting your pug spayed. I’ve written an article to help you with everything you need to about when to spay your pug.
Here’s a video that will show a pug giving birth to a litter of 7 pups. If you’ve ever wondered “how do Pugs give birth,” this video will answer all those questions.
Pug Dog Delivery Period?
The actual delivery times of the birth will vary from breed to breed. Dogs with slim heads tend to have faster delivery times than the Brachycephalic breeds.
Once the pregnant mother starts contracting, you should start seeing the puppy emerge from the birth canal in about 10 minutes or so.
When a Pug or Brachycephiclic breed goes into labor, they usually deliver one to two pups right away. After the first pups are born, she may take a break before delivering the rest of the litter. This article will help you determine the gender of the pup.
This is completely normal, but if she doesn’t strain again in two hours, it’s time to contact your veterinarian.
As you can see, the actual pug dog delivery period can take up to 3-12 hours, as long as there are no complications.
Pregnant Pug Problems You Should Be Aware Of
Newborn Pug puppies are cute, but you need to be aware of how hard on brachycephalic dogs. If you allow your pug to give birth, you should know about the possible complications it can cause.
1) Dystocia – refers to a difficult delivery and it is usually contributed to a large fetus size and small pelvic size. Brachycephalic dogs are prone to this condition because the large had and shoulder size of the puppies.
There is a good chance that your Pug will need to have a C-section. This is why it’s vital to have her checked by the veterinarian, he will be able to determine if there is enough width for a natural birth. Dystocia requires immediate veterinary assistance.
2) Stalled labor also referred to as Uterine inertia. This only happens when the pregnant female experiences issues delivering naturally because her uterine muscles prevent her from delivering the pups through the uterus.
3) At this stage, you’ll want to monitor her blood sugar levels for any irregularities.
4) Pregnant canines are at risk of acquiring infections of the reproductive tract.
If Your Pug Goes Into Labor At Home
If your Pug enters the whelping process while at home, then you’ll need to be prepared to oversee the delivery process of the pups. Here’s what you’ll need to know to assist her through the whelping process.
Prepare a quiet corner in a room or creating a whelping box to get ready for the birth of the pups. This video will show you how to build a whelping box.
Once the whelping process starts, you won’t want to leave your Pug. You’ll want to make sure that you have all the supplies you’ll need without leaving her. If possible, have someone in the family with you, in case you need something. If it’s your dogs first pregnancy, you’ll be overwhelmed and shouldn’t do this job by yourself.
Items you’ll want close by are:
- Heating pad
- Clean towels
- Thermometer, Petroleum Jelly
- A suction bulb
- Sterilized thread
- Disinfection spray
- A small dropper (the kind you use to give medication
- Round-Tipped Scissors
- Sterile scissors
- Surgical Gloves
- Ribbons (to identify the pups)
- Puppy milk substitute
- Heavy thread or dental floss (if you need to tie the umbilical cord)
Also, make sure you have your dogs regular vet as well as an after-hours animal emergency hospital. Most dogs will go into labor during the predawn hours.
After each pup is born, you will want to place them inside a laundry basket that is lined with a heating pad and blanket. You’ll want to get them out of the mother’s way, but leave the basket close enough for her to see her newborn pups.
Signs of Pug Labor
Start paying more attention to your dog as it nears the end of her gestation period. Your momma dog may start showing some of the following signs:
- She becomes more restless.
- It’s not unusual for her to stop eating 24 hours before labor. (don’t try to make her eat, she may just vomit)
- She may paw or dig at her bedding like she’s preparing or building a nest.
- Some will vomit or discharge mucus.
- She will start licking her vulva.
- Drop in rectal temperature below 100 degrees (37.77 Celsius). You can monitor her temperature with a canine rectal thermometer.
Second Stage of Labor
During the second stage of labor, your canine will show physical signs that are much more noticeable:
- Watery discharge
- Whining or whimpering
- Heavy panting
The mother will clean the pups after the delivery process. The cleaning process will help stimulate blood circulation. After all the pups are delivered the dam will push out the placenta.
After this happens the birthing process is over. Some canines will ingest the placenta and all the birthing fluids and materials, including the amniotic sac, and umbilical cords.
The pups need to be close enough to the mother to reach the mother’s nipples to nurse. If she shows any signs of disinterest or aggressive behavior towards them, you’ll need to feed them puppy milk replacer administered with a dropper.
Continue monitoring your Pug for signs of bleeding, fever, or weakness. If she shows any of the following symptoms, you will need to take her to the veterinarian immediately.
After a few weeks, you’ll want to help her “babysit” the pups. This will allow her to get more sleep and take a much-needed break from the pups.
Should You Allow Your Pug to Get Pregnant?
As a pet owner, it’s up to you to make sure you’re taking care of your dog. If you’re planning on breeding your pug, then make sure you’re responsible enough to know how often you should do it. Don’t turn her into a baby machine just to sell the pups and make money.
Pregnancy is hard on a Pug, that’s why I totally believe every pet owner should have their dog spayed and neutered.
Final Take Away On Pug Dog Pregnancy
I’ve done my best to share some of the Pug pregnancy signs, symptoms and Pug labor process.
Hopefully, this article helped you understand what to expect with your pregnant Pug. During the Pug gestation period, your dog will require more attention and better quality food.
If it’s her first litter, her maternal instincts will kick and she will know what to do when she goes into labor and starts delivering her pups.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Can Pugs Get Pregnant? As I mentioned above, you should wait until your female Pug reaches at least 24 months of age.
Can Pugs Have Natural Birth? It is harder for this brachycephalic dog to have a natural birth, due to the puppies large heads and shoulders.
How Many Puppies Can A Pug Have? A Pug can have up to five puppies at once.
How Long Is A Pug Pregnant For? Dogs are pregnant for about 63 calendar days or 9 weeks.
References and Further Reading
Medic Animal – Canine Pregnancy: The 7 Most Common Problems During And Post Whelping
VCA – Breeding for Pet Owners Pregnancy In Dogs
AKC – American Dog Kennel – The Care and Feeding of the Breeding Bitch
DVM – Practical Matters: Do Not Institute Calcium Supplementation During Canine Pregnancy
PetCoach – Dystocia (Difficult Giving Birth) In Dogs
PetMed – Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems in Dogs
Cesars Way – Quick Tips for Delivering Puppies