Pug Pregnancy – The Basics
When talking about Pug pregnancy, you’ll hear that many bad things can happen. Due to the brachycephalic skull of this breed, most bad news are true – in part. There are a lot of exaggerated truths about this beautiful version of the miracle of life, with even a lot of people saying that Pugs can’t give birth naturally. Still, that’s not always the case. In this article you’ll learn:
- How to know if your Pug is pregnant.
- Major concerns everyone should have about Pug pregnancy.
- Safety measures to take while having a pregnant Pug at home.
- And a short yet useful guide on the stages of a Pug pregnancy, including the miraculous delivery.
After reading this article, you’ll have a pretty sound idea about how to take care of a pregnant Pug mommy. Whether you’re a breeder or an accidental future owner of a Pug family, it will be very useful to you. Let’s get right into it!
“Substantially increased risks of birthing difficulties are seen in some brachycephalic breeds compared with crossbreed bitches (French Bulldog: 15.9 times more likely; Boston Terrier: 12.9 times more likely; Pug: 11.3 times more likely). Without intervention, birthing difficulties can lead to the death of the puppies and often of the mother. Consequently, cesarean section rates are high in these breeds, up to 86% in the Bulldog. Some breeders opt to have ‘elective’ caesareans in their bitches to avoid inevitable problems during birthing“UK Kennel Club
How to know if a Pug is pregnant
If you’re one of those owners that really care about a Pug’s wellbeing, we must tell you that this is lifesaving knowledge. A Pug pregnancy is a life-changing situation that you must approach carefully – not fearfully. It’s of utmost importance that you take the necessary measures when you know this.
There are a few ways of knowing if a Pug is pregnant. As you might have expected, going to the vet is the best way of knowing this! A vet can tell you if your Pug is expecting puppies easily with a few tests, still, those can’t be carried out at home. Unlike humans, dogs don’t produce HGC, which is what pregnancy tests detect.
The second way of knowing is simply by paying attention to different signs that you’ll notice pretty quickly. Dogs have a short pregnancy, unlike humans, which is why the symptoms appear rapidly in comparison. You’ll be noticing some changes between the second and third weeks of their pregnancies. Some of them are:
- Tiredness after short exercises or simply walking.
- Swollen belly.
- Sleeping for longer periods.
- Bigger nipples.
Over the next weeks, more changes will appear. Once you notice that her belly is much bigger, her nipples seem full, she’s digging in her bed or somewhere else she finds comfy (nesting instinct), and increased appetite; it’s obvious that you are dealing with Pug pregnancy. By this time a vet visit is mandatory.
Stages of Pug pregnancy
Pugs are highly social dogs that expect tons of love and attention. Still, when they are pregnant, their needs will be rather altered as the weeks pass by. You need to know that a Pug pregnancy will last something between 60 and 65 days; more than this is dangerous for both the dam and the puppies.
You should provide her with different types of care as the weeks pass:
- Week 1 and 2 often pass unnoticed if you haven’t taken the Pug to the vet. Still, if you know that she’s pregnant from week one, you should always maintain a healthy routine of exercise just as normal. Avoid extensive and hardcore Pug-xercise; short walks should suffice. Also, don’t alter her diet yet.
- During week 3, her appetite will increase noticeably, as she’s eating for the family inside her. That’s why you’ll have to feed her on a need-to basis. If she’s hungry, feed her. You can expect her to eat up to 30% more from this week on, with some Pugs eating even up to 50% more. From this week on, you should not let her jump; climb up or downstairs, furniture, or beds. This could harm the womb’s integrity and the puppies within.
- During week 4, the nesting instinct will surely kick in, making her good at keeping herself comfortable. If you have a backyard, she’ll probably dig up dirt and lay in a comfortable hole in the ground. Still, you must keep her inside and comfortable. You should provide here with a bigger bed or whelping box in a quiet space, so she can get as comfortable as she wants. You can also use one of our selected enclosing rings for Pugs. You can also use a cardboard box with one of the sides cut out. Inside, add a layer of plastic, a thick layer of newspapers, and a blanket on top, with her bed and extra blankets for her to nest. You’ll probably need to change the newspapers and clean the blankets a few times before delivery. Make sure to leave an opening so she can leave the enclosing whenever she wants.
- During week 5, puppies are becoming puppies, being almost fully formed inside her. Her weight will have increased noticeably. By this stage, you should take her to the vet to check her progress. By now, you’ll vet will let you know if she will need a C-section or if she can give birth naturally. You need to know that both procedures are safe in most cases, and it’s up to you to deliver the pups at home or not.
- Week 6 to 8 will come announced by thick mucous discharges from the birth canal. She’ll be hungry constantly, so you must feed her as recommended by the vet. You will have to supervise her constantly from this week on, as she could give birth at any moment between weeks 8 and 9.
- Week 9 is when the magic happens. You’ll need to make a few changes in her diet. If you want to deliver at home, keep reading. If not, you should take her to the vet as this week passes. Don’t let her alone at any time during the last week!
“Heavy lactation places such a dramatic drain on the bitch’s reserves of this mineral that sometimes her body’s calcium metabolism is unable to compensate for the loss. This unique syndrome is called eclampsia (or puerperal tetany). As the blood-calcium level drops, the bitch becomes restless and nervous, with incoordination, trembling and muscle spasms (which together constitute a condition called tetany) following soon thereafter. If not treated, the body temperature rises, and seizures and death can occur”American Kennel Club – AKC
How to Deal with a pug Pregnancy
There are a few areas you’ll have to pay extra attention to.
- Diet: As soon as you know that your Pug is pregnant, her diet should be planned by a vet. Regularly, it will be as follows. During the first week or two, her regular diet is ok in most cases. At the start of the third week – often accompanied by hunger -, you should start fending off her craves with extra doses of highly nutritious puppy food. If you had her on a raw diet, cooking up extra carrots, potatoes, boiled eggs, and yams should keep her well-fed. This should suffice in most cases. Supplementation is not needed in most Pugs and this can even cause issues in puppies; especially avoid Calcium supplementation.
- Comfort: During the first three weeks, she will be ok sleeping the same way, still offering her a bigger space and other commodities is advice. From the fourth week on, she will need a whelping box or enclosed space as we described it above. Make sure to place it in a quiet place where you can supervise her constantly. Usually, living rooms are ok, but make sure to keep noises down. This can stress a Pug mommy a lot! Other dogs, pets, and children should also be kept away from her.
- Activity: The regular exercise routine of a Pug should be kept until week 5. Still, by this time you’ll notice lower energy levels and other issues while turning to the sides. A good thumb rule is to learn how to read when she’s not able to walk, which usually happens around week 6. After that, leave her be; she’ll be sleeping a lot and you shouldn’t mess with that!
How to help a Pug deliver puppies?
During week 7, this will happen naturally. It’s important for you to know this, as you’ll have to be prepared to supervise her and help her when the time comes. Also, you should only do this if a veterinary deems it safe!
Before Pug Puppies birth
Supervise the dog all day long. Usually, they will go into labor by pre-dawn time, but it can happen at any time. To know when the last 24 hours before birth will start, you’ll have to check her temperature constantly. Normally, they won’t have an appetite for anything, so you’ll have to keep them hydrated with as much water as they want.
Their temperature should remain normal, and once you notice a small drop below 100°F (37.7 °C), she will be ready to give birth in the next 24 hours.
You will have to gather:
Clean towels, blankets, sterilized thread, surgical gloves, a small size dropper, an anal thermometer for dogs, a heating pad, a special comfy and warm place to put the puppies once their born, a disinfection spray, a suction bulb, a pair of sterilized safety scissors, puppy milk substitute, and clean water for her to drink.
During labor and delivery
You must remember that you’re only there to supervise that everything goes as it should. Offer water, not food, as she will probably throw up from the effort. This can take a while (up to 12 hours), so be prepared.
- Once the first puppy comes out, the dam will tear open its amniotic sac with her teeth. If she doesn’t and is delivering the second one, you must do it carefully, and make sure the puppy is breathing (you can use the suction bulb to suck anything obstructing their breathing).
- You can take the puppies away as they’re born so the dam doesn’t step on them while delivering the next ones. You’ll have to place them in a warm comfortable place and start feeding them with the milk substitute.
- This process will be repeated naturally as the pups are born. When the last one comes out, she’ll push out the placenta. Sometimes, they eat it, and you shouldn’t worry about this. She will also cut the umbilical cord with her teeth and eat it. Still, it’s better if you do it using the sterilized thread.
- Once the placenta is out, you can give her puppies back, close to her nipples so they can nurse. She will lick them roughly, but this is normal, as it’s the way she cleans and bonds with them. You should not interrupt this unless she shows abnormal or aggressive behavior.
And that’s it!
After delivering puppies
When the process is done, Pugs recover quickly from it. You should pay attention to different signs, like bleeding, fever, weakness, among others, and if you see any of that, contact your vet immediately. She should recover her appetite as well. Her energy levels will be depleted, so you’ll have to leave her rest, but not unsupervised.
After three or four weeks, your Pug will be able to return to her daily routine without any issues. You must follow your vet’s advice regarding the puppies.
Pugs are prone to suffer from certain complications that make their breeding rather difficult when compared to other dogs.
- C-section: Among the most common issues, is that Pugs are broad in the shoulders and have big heads. Because of that, the Pug’s birth canal might be a little bit too small for them, and a C-section is required. This is called Dystocia.
- Reproductive tract infection: This can happen due to poor hygiene during pregnancy.
- High blood sugar levels.
- Stalled labor: Also called Uterine Inertia, which means having weakly developed uterine muscles, preventing the dam from having natural deliveries.
- Eclampsia, difficult delivery and abnormal puppies are some things that can be caused due to poor diets or Calcium supplements.
Aside from that, you shouldn’t worry, as your vet will probably tell you everything else you need to know regarding your own Pug.
Frequently Asked Questions – Pug Pregnancy
Usually, anything between 4 and 10 puppies. Still, some Pugs have just one puppy per litter.
Dogs can get pregnant twice per year naturally, but this is not recommended at all. Reputed breeders leave a year or more pass by before mating dams again for a new litter.
98% of the time is safe to deliver them at home and naturally. Still, you must visit your vet before planning to do so. He’s the only one that can let you know if it will be safe or not!
As you can see, Pug’s pregnancy is not as bad as it’s been exaggerated. We believe that you can have your Pug’s puppies delivered at home at least 98% of the time and safely, as long as your vet approves this. Security measures are always necessary while supervising the delivery. You should have your Vet on speed dial while doing it and take all the extra measures like hiring a babysitter, fueling your car, among others.
This is a beautiful experience that makes you love puppies much more, and that every dam should undergo to have a healthier and happier life.
Are you ready to have puppies running around at home?