How Many Puppies Can a Yorkshire Terrier Have?

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Dogs are a man’s best friend. This four-legged ball of fur is the most trusted and faithful companion for your life. They are extremely friendly, love catching the ball or Frisbee you throw in the air and love snuggling with you while you sleep. Dogs can broadly be classified into big and small dogs. The second most common breed of small dogs is the Yorkshire terrier.

Yorkie’s are extremely friendly, adorable, and easily manageable. They literally have the cutest face ever and make the perfect pet for senior citizens or people facing hard times. A Yorkie can melt your heart and make all your stress vanish in a second. This is why; they are often referred to as therapy dogs.

If you are the proud owner of a female Yorkie you must know how to deal with the pregnancy period. Yorkie’s are small and pregnancies can be hard sometimes. However, being well informed beforehand not only eases the pregnancy pressure on your pet but for you as well. Read below to understand the do’s and don’ts of a Yorkie pregnancy and how many puppies can one Yorkshire terrier have.

Quick facts about the pregnancy period: –

Female Yorkie dogs are very fertile; they may or may not become pregnant after the completion of their first mating period.

So, how long does it take for a Yorkie to have puppies? The full gestation period covers an average of 63 days. The puppies can be delivered between day fifty-eight to sixty-eight.

If the puppies have not been delivered by the sixty-ninth day, this may be an indication of a pregnancy complication and the dog should be taken to the vet immediately.

Multiple pregnancies are possible in Yorkie but all the puppies born may not be healthy and few can pass away shortly after the delivery.

So, how many times can a Yorkie get pregnant?

The breeding period of a female Yorkie should be kept between her second heat cycles till she is 5 years old. She can give birth till she is seven years of age at the maximum. Getting your pet Yorkie pregnant beyond that can cause various complications.

The first pregnancy symptoms: –

The pregnancy period will be the most difficult yet wonderful period in your pets’ life. Some owners are keen about their Yorkie dog having puppies but some aren’t. If you fall into the latter category, then getting your dog spayed beforehand is important to avoid unintentional pregnancies later.

pregnancy symptoms on a YORKSHIRE
Image via pets4homes.co.uk

Knowing if your dog is pregnant or not in the first few weeks can be a difficult task. However, there are some obvious signs that you can look out for.

 Visible physical changes: –

The most common symptom would be a visible change in your pet’s stomach and nipples. If the stomach becomes firmer along with the nipples becoming larger and the hidden nipples becoming more visible as the weeks pass, it is a clear indication of pregnancy.

Decreased energy: –

The next most common indication would be a drop in your pets’ energy levels. If your dog seems less physically active and playful than usual and rather prefers being lazy, sleepy and sluggish then your dog might be pregnant.

Preparing for the little ones: –

If your pet starts grooming herself more than usual along with collecting items to give her a soft and comfortable area, she is definitely pregnant.

Tests: –

X-rays and blood tests can be performed to confirm pregnancy after the initial pregnancy symptoms. They only work after your dog has been pregnant for more than 3 weeks.

The later pregnancy symptoms: –

 Bulging belly: –

As the weeks pass, the tiny puppies begin to develop in your dog’s womb. This will lead to a significant increase in the belly size by the end of week three- the beginning of week four.

Increase in the diet: –

During multiple pregnancies, your dog will need to sustain a litter of four-five puppies in her womb. Her food intake will increase significantly with each passing week as she will feel hungry more often than usual.

Increased weight: –

During this period, she will put on some extra kilos ranging from 0.5- 1 kg. This weight gain is normal and ideal during pregnancy.

Confirmation tests: –

By day twenty-two, a blood test can be performed. Ultrasound should be carried out by day forty-two to check if the puppies are doing well and by day forty-five, an X-ray should be performed to get a clear picture of the total number of puppies.

Pre-pregnancy care for the Yorkie mother:-

There are a few steps you should take to provide your pet the comforts she deserves while she cares for her little ones.

Comfort: –

First and foremost, make sure that your dog is comfortable during her pregnancy period. Providing her with a soft, warm and comfortable corner of the house which is separate from the chaos is important. She may even begin to nest.

Free-feeding: –

As mentioned before, her appetite will surely increase. You can change from scheduled meal timings to free feeding so that she can eat whenever she is hungry. Free feeding should be accompanied by proper cleaning of food and water bowls and only fresh food should be consumed by her to remain healthy.

Exercise: –

Exercise should be minimized to conserve energy, but not stopped completely. Running and jumping should be avoided, but a 15-20 minute brisk walking is recommended.

Others: –

Supplements rich in calcium or any such supplements should not be given to your pregnant pet as it can lead to infections like Eclampsia post pregnancy.

So, what is the Yorkie moms litter size?

  • In general, a healthy Yorkie female dog is known to give birth to at least three to five healthy puppies during her pregnancy.
  • Sometimes, the puppies which are born last are not strong enough to survive and often pass away due to complications or are stillborn.
  • The Yorkie puppies start gaining weight immediately after birth and within ten days they can weigh double their initial birth weight.
  • The number of the litter is based on few physical factors and others which we cannot control.
  • Have you wondered how many puppies can a Yorkiepoo have or how many puppies can a Morkie have? The Yorkiepoo is a mixed breed of a Yorkie and a poodle whereas the Morkie is a mixed breed of a Yorkie and a Maltese and both of these mixed breeds have around three-five puppies in a litter.
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How many litters can Yorkie have in a year?

  1. Usually, a Yorkie undergoes breeding once a year, thereby producing one litter.
  2. Sometimes, breeders even breed their Yorkie’s every other heat cycle or breed for two heat cycles and give the next two off thereby producing two litters in two years.

Factors affecting the Yorkie pregnancy and her litter number: –

There are a number of factors affecting your dogs’ pregnancy.  Some of the common ones are mentioned below.

The age factor: –

Image via youtube.com

The age of your pet dog is directly proportional to the number of puppies she can have at a go. If your pet Yorkie is still a puppy and was impregnated accident, then she is most likely to give birth to a single puppy as her body has not matured fully and ready for it yet. If she is in her youthful years between one to five years, then her body is matured enough to foster for three to five puppies at one go without any problems. If your pet is older than 5 years, they are more or less likely to have one puppy only.

The size factor: –

Larger dogs can give birth to as many as twenty puppies. The larger the dog, larger will be the area inside her body to care for her little ones. Most of the Yorkie’s are small and cannot fit a large litter inside her. The maximum number of puppies would be five.

Food and nutrition: –

The type of food you feed your pet will determine her weight and size. If she is over-weight, then it will be difficult for her to sustain multiple pregnancies. The number of puppies born will be less. If your pet is her ideal weight, then sustaining multiple pregnancies will be easier.

As your pet has to sustain about three-five lives along with her, her diet will definitely increase during the pregnancy period. It is important to include foods rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals for good bodybuilding and strengthening of bones.

Read honest and authentic reviews on best 10 dog food.

Physically active: –

If your pet is lazy and out of shape, it will be physically difficult for her to carry five puppies. But, if she is well in shape, physically active and enjoys her morning and evening walks then the pregnancy would pass smoothly.

If your pets’ vitals are in check then the pregnancy will be smoother as she will have enough stamina and nutrients to sustain the multiple puppies.

Medical conditions: –

Female dogs are susceptible to serious ailments like ovary and mammary cancer.

If your pet has suffered from such ailments then it will not only affect the litter number, a full-term pregnancy will also be difficult.

Previous pregnancies: –

If this is your pets’ second pregnancy, the litter number will not be similar to her last. If she produced a good litter number in her last pregnancy, then this time she might produce less and vice-versa.

What are the pregnant Yorkie signs of labor?

Your pets’ pregnancy should not exceed the seventy-day mark.
One week before the delivery is due; your pet’s temperature should fall below the normal level.
A dog’s normal temperature ranges from 38.3 to 39.17 degree Celsius. If the Yorkie’s temperature drops below 37.77 degree Celsius, she will deliver her puppies within the next twenty-four hours.
Your pets’ mood swings will increase and she will try to withdraw away from you owing to her pain. However, do not be disheartened, this is all a part of the pregnancy journey.
Other symptoms of labor include crying, resistance to food and vomiting. The crying and whining will increase as the contractions increases during labor.

How to help your Yorkie deliver her little ones?

The babies can be delivered at the vet or in the house if you are an experienced breeder. Read below to understand how to help your dog through her delivery.

The basics: –

  • The basic need for your Yorkie’s pregnancy is a whelping box or a canine bed.
  • The whelping box can be bought or made at home. This home-made box can have a one-sided cut to allow for the “flap down”.
  • A canine bed is a bed lined with cushions and a soft cloth.

Before the delivery: –

  • Find the suitable corner of your house where the delivery can occur without any external disturbances.
  • If you have any other male dogs in the house, they should be kept safely away in some other room.
  • It is important to keep layers of clean newspapers or a bunch of soft and comfortable clothes handy during the delivery time. Delivery at home can be messy and this helps to keep your surroundings clean.

During the delivery: –

  • As she delivers, the puppies will emerge consecutively one after another. Sometimes, the time difference between the deliveries of two puppies can be as long as two hours. You and your dog both need to be patient.
  • As the pups are being delivered, it is your duty to make sure that you safely keep the older pups aside in order to make way for the incoming ones.

After the delivery: –

  • After the babies are born, the mother dog will bite the umbilical cord and also lick her new-borns to clean the blood and mucus off.
  • Once all the pups are born, you need to nurse them as the Yorkie mom will be too tired to do so.
  • Taking care of the newborns and their mom is your responsibility. The mess should be cleaned and clean, soft and warm cloth should be given to comfort the Yorkie mom and her puppies.

Post-pregnancy care for the Yorkie: –

Bath: –

  • An immediate bath should be given to your pet to clean the blood and mucus away. She should rest with her litter on fresh and comfortable towels which you should provide.
  • Good hygiene after pregnancy is important to rule out the possibilities of any infectious diseases for both.

Necessities: –

  • After the delivery, she will remain quiet or nap till she resumes eating and drinking properly.
  • The mother should be fed several times in a day. Bowls containing food and water should be kept nearby for when she gets hungry.
  • Providing foods like cotton cheese, raw cheese, and scrambled eggs can be a good source of protein.

Fluid discharge: –

  • Post pregnancy can be accompanied by a fluid discharge. This fluid discharge is normal, pink-brown in color and odorless.
  • If there is excessive fluid discharge accompanied by pale, gray and smelly fluid, she should be taken to the vet immediately. This is a sign of retained infected placenta or uterine infection, which should be treated immediately.

Eclampsia: –

    • One of the most common infections, milk fever can occur after delivery due to a decrease in the calcium levels in a Yorkie mom’s body.
    • Be careful of Eclampsia symptoms which include anxiety, restlessness, muscle tremors, dilated pupils, etc.
    • Visiting the vet is a must because untreated Eclampsia can lead to convulsions, collapse and finally, put an end to her life.

Post-pregnancy care for the Yorkie puppies: –

Nursing the Yorkie puppies is as important as the Yorkie mother. Read the points below to understand how to do the same.

Birth to Week 3: –

  • Once the Yorkie mother begins to reclaim her strength after the delivery, she takes care of the puppies for the next three-four weeks.
  • Sometimes, some of the puppies have to be bottle fed by you if he/she is weaker than the remaining.
  • Care for puppies in the first three weeks is extremely crucial to avoid hypoglycemia.
  • The whelping box should be kept clean. The newspapers and cloth should be fresh and cleaned regularly by you.
  • The puppies should be given their first de-worming medicine after consulting the vet.

Week 4- Week 5: –

  • By this week, the puppies have opened their eyes and developed their sense of smell.
  • Their nails should be trimmed regularly.
  • As they become more active, they should be played with and loved often as socialization is an important part of their growth.
  • The puppies should be given their second de-worming medicine during this period.

 Week 6: –

    • By this week, the puppies should be fed more of puppy food rather than drinking their mother’s milk only.
    • As their milk teeth are growing, they should be given soft toys to play with and chew.
    • It is a good option to make your house puppy proof in order to avoid any unnecessary accidents as they begin to explore around your house.
    • By week seven, their first vaccines should be given at the vet. The vaccination is important to keep the puppies safe from diseases like Hepatitis, Para influenza, Rabies and Corona virus.

In conclusion, this article will help you to understand the dos and don’ts of a Yorkie pregnancy and how many times can a Yorkie breed. This article also gives you ample information about the litter size, how many litters can a Yorkie have and how to take care of them.

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