If your dog is currently pregnant you might be wondering how many puppies to expect. Especially if that is your dog’s first litter, you want to know what is coming. The number of puppies in your dog’s litter depends on many different factors. In this article we will go over the factors and explain how many puppies can a dog have.
What are the factors determining the size of a dog’s litter?
There’s a number of different factors that play a role in the size of your dogs litter. To this day, the largest litter ever found was 24 puppies by caesarean operation. The average number of puppies in a litter is 5.4.
Factors that affect the number of puppies in your dog’s litter are:
The most important factor is the breed of your dog. Larger dogs produce larger litters. Therefore, Golden retrievers will give birth to more dogs than Chihuahuas.
However, even if it’s the same breed, larger and heavier from the same breed are still more likely to give birth to more puppies.
If your dog was bred for more than one time during her heat, she is more likely to get more puppies. Also if she was bred exactly during her ovulation, you can also expect more puppies.
If your dog is in weaker physical condition or is obese, it’s more likely that the litter will be smaller. The food you give your dog also plays a huge role. Food that is rich in protein and nutrients will be better for your dog and the puppies that she is carrying.
Determining the Litter Size
If you want to know how many puppies your pregnant dog is going to have, you can determine the size by ultrasounds and radiographs. Contact your vet and schedule an appointment. It’s always good to know what to expect.
The average litter size for some of the most popular dog breeds is:
Labrador and Golden Retrievers — 7.6 puppies per litter.
German Shepherds — 6.6 pups per litter
American Cocker Spaniel — 5 pups per litter
Shetland Sheep — 4.3 pups per litter
Yorkshire Terriers — 3.3 pups per litter
Chihuahuas — 3.3 pups per litter
Pit-bull — 6 pups per litter.
How many puppies can a dog have depends on many factors. One of the most important one of them is the size of your dog. The larger the dog the larger the litter is most likely to be. Also remember, even if your dog has a huge litter — you have to take extra good care of them during the pregnancy. You need to contact your vet regularly and be careful when it comes to puppies.