Shih Tzu Pregnancy — Shih Tzu dogs are one of the dogs that most people would want to have and for this reason, people are intentionally breeding their Shih Tzus so they would procreate and they’ll have more cute Shih Tzu puppies. If you are planning to breed a Shih Tzu, you would need to get as much information as you can so you will be able to know when your dog is already pregnant. In general, dogs have a gestational period of about 56-63 days which is shorter than a human’s gestational period so it is important for the mother and the puppies to have proper prenatal care and for it to begin the soonest possible time.
Taking care of the dog and preparing for its giving birth as important as recognizing the first signs of pregnancy. The dog’s health should be your priority so that the puppies will come out alive and healthy.
Here's a video of a Shih Tzu who is pregnant for 45 days or more:
Shih Tzu Pregnancy – Signs
Before any obvious physical changes, your Shih Tzu dog will display changes in behavior. Unlike other breeds, a Shih Tzu usually turns from active to calm or the other way around.
These are some of the physical changes:
Larger and firmer nipples which pop out
Enlargement of mammary glands
Swollen vulva that would usually remain throughout the pregnancy
By the end of the 3rd week, there will be an increase in appetite
Not very long after the start of pregnancy, the tummy will begin swelling
Shih Tzu Pregnancy – Nesting Instincts
When a Shih Tzu dog is pregnant, they begin showing nesting instincts which usually appears towards the end of the pregnancy. When it does happen, she will usually appear restless and is constantly looking for something which is a place to give birth to her puppies. Now, it is important to note that you don’t need to prepare for a place for her to give birth because they like to choose their own birthing area and there is not too much thing that you can do about this. If you want to prevent her from giving birth to dangerous places, you can confine her to a room until the end of her pregnancy.
Shih Tzu Pregnancy – Proper Care
Caring for a pregnant Shih Tzu is an effort between you and the dog’s veterinarian. Your Shih Tzu should be monitored very often and for this period, should be spoiled as much as possible.
To start with, plan a very good prenatal nutrition program for your Shih Tzu. An ideal diet for her would be puppy food and puppy replacement milk. Have her drink those a couple of times per day because those are high in protein and fat. Consult her veterinarian for vitamin supplements and keep track so that she takes them every day. Keep a close watch to your Shih Tzu to make sure she is eating and drinking well. It is very important for your dog to get enough nutrition as well as her puppies.
Shih Tzu Pregnancy – Veterinarian Checkups
Make it a point to bring your Shih Tzu to her regular veterinarian checkups as soon as the first sign of pregnancy comes up. Knowing if your Shih Tzu’s hip and pelvic area will allow her to give natural birth will give you a heads up on her pregnancy condition and will help you take care of her correctly. You may need to bring her to the Veterinarian 1 to 2 times every week to make sure that everything is fine with her pregnancy. By the 6th week, an x-ray can be done so you’ll know exactly how many puppies your Shih Tzu is having.
Shih Tzu Pregnancy – Puppies Expectancy
The common Shih Tzu litter is around four puppies but there are cases where only one puppy is born and in very rare cases, even up to ten puppies can be born. We highly recommend that you find out how many puppies your Shih Tzu is having by having an x-ray done on her on the 45th day. If you consult your veterinarian, you will be able to know more about what to expect on your Shih Tzu’s pregnancy. Try to stay calm as much as possible because your dog can actually pick up your emotions.
In general, a dog’s pregnancy goes by quickly so put it in mind to make sure that before you even attempt to breed, you prepare all the necessary things your Shih Tzu might need during her pregnancy. But remember, dogs have been giving birth ever since the beginning of time and they already have motherly instincts in them. They just need a little assistance from you and would want you to remain in the background as long as you can. However, when medical issues arise, you may want to intervene to help her through.
During the course of her pregnancy, try to stay out of the way of your Shih Tzu and just let nature do its work.