Pugs are popular even though they may cost a lot extra than other breeds. But Can Pugs give birth naturally? Or do they need help in the form of a C-section?
The truth is Pugs rarely give birth naturally due to high chances of complications. They mostly require a C-section.
If your Pug is pregnant, the best thing you can do is to be there for her and make sure she gives birth without problems hence you must be aware of all the facts.
In this article, you will find all the information you need about Pugs and their pregnancy journey.
Signs Your Pug Is Pregnant
Telling if your dog is pregnant should be easy enough, right? But it actually isn’t so.
For one, dogs do not produce the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). Meaning there is no home test kit available for a fast and easy answer.
For a Pug owner who doesn’t want a pregnant dog, the anxious visit to the vet can be tense! Since puppies can come with more expenses and chores for which some may not be ready.
Experienced dog owners who have had a pregnant dog, know what to look out for. But, novice dog owners have no clue what to expect!
If you have reason to believe your Pug is pregnant, there are signs to look out for. These include a few obvious ones and some that are not so obvious.
Signs that your Pug is pregnant include:
- Enlarged belly
- Longer naps
- Bigger nipples
- Increase in appetite
Sometimes, a few of these signs are not of pregnancy, but rather of disease. Dogs that have eaten onion can have vomiting and tiredness, posing a possible risk to a dog’s life.
Pug Pregnancy Facts
Here are a few things we thought you should know about pregnancies in the Pug breed.
- It is difficult but not impossible for a Pug to give birth naturally. But, your dog will most likely need a C-section (Cesarean). If you know your dog is pregnant, seek a vet’s advice to know if a C-section is necessary.
- Pugs have difficulty giving birth naturally because Pug puppies have large heads and wide shoulders. These characteristics pose a threat to the mother Pug who cannot pass them out naturally.
- The gestation period for Pugs (and all dogs) is very short. Expect your dog’s gestation period to last between 60 and 65 days. It if exceeds the 66/67 day mark, contact a vet immediately. A longer gestation period could be a problem and it may mean your Pug is struggling.
- A female Pug’s womb cannot bear too much burden. That said, make sure your Pug does not get pregnant more than once a year. If this happens more than once it could pose a larger problem for your Pug’s overall health.
- A typical Pug litter can consist of 5 to 6 Pug puppies. But, given the difficulties a female Pug can have during pregnancy, a litter of a single Pug puppy is not rare.
How Long Does Pug Pregnancy Last? (Pug Gestation Period)
Naturally, a dog’s gestation period is much less than that of human beings, much less! Dogs usually have a gestation period of between 57 and 65 calendar days. But, a Pug’s gestation period is on the higher end of the spectrum.
A Pug’s gestation period can last between 60 and 65 days.
It usually lasts this many days and anything beyond 67 days is not a good sign. If by chance gestation is longer than 67 days, you should seek expert advice. It could mean the vet needs to perform a C-section immediately!
This is a great reason why all dog owners, especially Pug owners should have pet insurance.
Detailed Stages of Pug Pregnancy
Here is what to prepare yourself for in the 6 weeks of gestation.
Week 1 & 2
If the pregnancy was not a planned one, you may not even know your Pug is pregnant at all! But some signs to make you suspicious are nausea and loss of appetite.
This is the week when symptoms are more noticeable than ever. Symptoms to look out for are:
- More sleeping than normal
- Getting tired more easily
- Slightly expanded stomach area
- More noticeable nipples
You cannot ignore the signs now!
- The stomach is clearly swollen with puppies!
- Nipples are large and ready for lactation
- A strong maternal sense will make her look for a safe quiet place to give birth
- Their appetite will increase to accommodate her growing puppies
Week 5 & 6
This is rounding off the gestation period and the special day is drawing close!
- She is not as mobile and will likely choose to stick to her bed.
- Expect her to gain quite a bit of weight (almost 10%) of their regular body weight. This is because of the puppies and she will probably lose it when she becomes mobile again.
Caring For A Pregnant Pug
It is no secret that pregnant dogs need to be taken care of properly.
Well, it is even more so in the case of a pregnant Pug. These dogs might not have such a great time managing pregnancy by themselves. This is why owners must be there to care for them every step of the way.
Here are a few ways Pug owners can care for their pregnant dogs.
Considering there are puppies growing inside your Pug, diet changes need to be made. She will need nutritious food and an increase in the quantity of food in general.
Poor dog food will affect the overall health of the puppies and can possibly affect the pregnancy.
Her consumption will increase by between 30 to 50%. It is important not to starve her of this extra food or else the puppies could be weak or ill.
Throughout her pregnancy, she will gain an extra 15 to 30% of body weight due to the pregnancy. This is understandable and will probably be lost after the birth of her puppies.
Supplements for pregnant Pugs can be a good thing and possibly a bad thing as well. It is vital to listen carefully to the advice of a trained and experienced vet.
Try to limit the number of supplements given and instead try to balance the required vitamins and minerals by using food instead.
If giving supplements, make sure you provide them only after whelping (after puppy birth) not before or during the pregnancy.
However, sometimes the quantity of minerals increases too much. In this case, it can do more harm than good.
One such example is the mineral Calcium. When in excess it can cause the following problems:
- Deformed joints in the puppies
- Labor can be more intensive, perhaps this can cause more pain and birthing problems
- It can cause eclampsia (postpartum hypocalcemia). This can cause seizures and high blood pressure, it even raises the chances of death due to pregnancy complications
This is why a balanced diet is preferred over giving your Pug medical supplements.
Although supplements help to cover the nutrients that are lacking in dog food. These nutrients and minerals are usually required for the complete growth of the growing puppies.
Note: Supplements if given, should be given after puppy birth as this is when she needs the nutrients and minerals most. Also, supplements can be given at this time since there is no chance of harming the puppies.
Another problem to worry about is if your Pug is comfortable or not.
If this is your Pug’s first pregnancy, you should go out of your way to accommodate her. She would probably be feeling odd and uncomfortable, so make sure her environment is comfortable.
How can you make her surroundings more comfortable? It starts with her bedding and the linen available to her. She should be able to sleep comfortably without feeling distressed or fear.
Make sure to get her a comfortable bed that has enough padding to support her body and rest her muscles.
A bed like this with soft blankets will make for a good night’s sleep. Don’t let your Pug feel lonely, place her bed near the family. This will make her feel safe and she’ll know you love her!
So, while pregnant, don’t expect high activity from your Pug. As it is, this dog breed is not very active and energetic to start off with.
You must keep in mind that your dog is pregnant and brachycephalic!
Your vet may even tell you not to exercise your dog during this time. If exercise is permitted, it will involve slow short walks.
The exercise, no matter how little, will help to keep her joints working and not stiff. Let her get exercise, that’s if she can handle it!
– Emotional support
Your dog could be feeling afraid or really uncomfortable if this is her first pregnancy. Offering up some emotional support in the form of cuddles and verbal comfort. This will help her to cope with the changes happening to her body.
Keeping her close to the family and the noise will do a world of good for your Pug. Try to get the whole family involved in this activity. Your dog will definitely appreciate all the effort and will be back to normal after giving birth to her puppies.
How Long Does Pug Delivery Period Last?
Given the challenges associated with the Pug body form, it can take longer than most other dog breeds that have slim heads.
From the time of contraction till the first puppy emerges, it takes approximately 10 minutes. But, the whole process can last anywhere between 3 and 12 hours! (without complications)
How Do You Know It’s Time: Signs of Labor
Start expecting labor after the last week of gestation. Signs to look out for are:
- She may stop eating 24 hours before labor
- Pawing or digging in her bedding area (nesting)
- Drop-in rectal temperature (below 37℃ or 100℉)
More serious signs
- Water discharge
- Heavy panting
What To Do If Your Pug Goes Into Labor At Home?
NOTE: Do not attempt to have a home birth if you have no experience in this kind of situation. Call a vet immediately if labor signs start.
You should already have a clean and comfortable whelping area set up. Next, you will need to have some supplies on hand. This avoids having to leave your Pug when she needs you most.
The supplies to keep on hand are:
- Clean towels
- Sterilized thread
- Sterile scissors
- Surgical gloves
- Disinfection spray
- Heating pad
- Tags (to identify each Pug puppy)
- Milk substitute
Because of instinct, a Pug will know how to give birth. But, help is required to assure no complications or accidents happen.
As each pup is born, place them in a container with a heating pad to keep them warm. Do not place them too far from the mother as she may panic.
What Happens After Delivery?
Maternal instincts kick in and the mother cleans her puppies.
This licking action will get the blood circulating through stimulation. As for the placenta and umbilical cord, it is common for canines to ingest them.
Now that movement is visible. You should place the puppies close to the mother for nursing. It is possible for your Pug to become a bit aggressive over her puppies!
But in other cases, she may disown her puppies. You will have to use a milk substitute and a dropper to feed the puppies if she disowns them.
Throughout this time, observe for any signs of illness (fever, bleeding, fatigue, rashes). If there are any signs, immediately consult a doctor. Once puppies are a few weeks old, watch them so they can relax for more time.
Neutering a Pug
As you have seen, Pug pregnancies are no walk in the park! Sometimes it is too overwhelming and even dangerous.
This is why you might want to take precautions and get your Pug neutered. A vet can do the procedure to avoid any more pregnancies.
Unwanted pregnancies are an inconvenience and may also put your Pug in an unwanted spot.
Make sure you know the process and risks pregnancy involves. Having a vet on hand when it happens is important. But, if you want to prevent it, you can opt for neutering.
A Pug can have between 1 and 6 puppies. Pugs are extremely difficult to breed and are met with birthing challenges. Female Pugs often require a C-section to give birth. However, this could be expensive and dangerous for your Pug.
But, even then a full healthy litter is not guaranteed. This is why you should think twice before breeding your own Pug.
Rarely, but it is not advised to make that decision by yourself. Only once a professional vet has had a look at your Pug, a decision can be made. Making the wrong call can be dangerous for your dog. The puppies may also be in danger if the birthing method was not right.
Pugs naturally have trouble giving birth because their Pug puppies have large heads and wide shoulders. This creates a problem when giving birth.