Every owner, in whose house a pregnant dog lives, is probably interested in finding out how many small dogs it will produce.
What determines the number of puppies in the litter
Neither the owner nor the veterinarian will be able to guess the number of fetuses in her womb just by looking at a pregnant bitch. However, you can try to find out how many puppies a dog can give birth to, based on the following data:
- Dimensions (breed) of a pregnant dog. As a rule , the number of pups in the litter is higher in dogs of large breeds (from 7-8 and more), because, from a biological point of view, they can safely carry more pups. Miniature Pets usually produce from 1 to 4 babies. Although there are exceptions to this rule. There is information that some baby Pekingese can give birth to up to 10 puppies;
- Age of the bitch. Usually little puppies have young dogs in age until 1.5 years (1-2 schenka have dogs small breeds and not more 4 have large). And in dogs older than 5-6 years, as a rule, there are also few babies in the litter. Maximum  pups are born in bitches that are 2 to 5 years old;
- Age of the male. The number of puppies depends on how old their father is . Young males aged 1-1. 5 years and older dogs have low sperm quality, which affects the number of offspring;
- The order of delivery. In the first time, bitches, regardless of age, give birth to fewer puppies than in the second. And the third and fourth genera account for the most numerous litters . After this, litters tend to decrease with each successful mating. For example, tiny Chihuahuas in the first litter produce no more than 2 babies, and in the third they can give birth to 3-4 cubs;
- State of health of the dog during pregnancy and before childbirth. Here everything is simple: the stronger the dog is physically, the stronger its immune system, the higher the chances that it will be able to safely carry a large number of puppies. Thus, a healthy small mongrel can give birth to more puppies than a purebred large dog, whose condition leaves much to be desired. Ideally, before binding, the owner should show his four-legged pet to the veterinarian and make sure that everything is in order with her health;
- The dog’s weight. Few puppies in the litter usually occur in dogs whose weight is far from normal. And this applies to both animals with insufficient body weight, and Pets with obesity;
- Season. There is evidence  that in the spring bitches give birth to a larger number of young compared to other seasons (the smallest number of dogs are born in the cold season, that is, in late autumn and winter);
- Natural or artificial insemination (insemination). Almost always  with natural insemination, when a female has contact with a male, more puppies are born in the litter than with artificial insemination. This is due to the fact that during artificial insemination, spermatozoa partially die during the collection and storage of male semen.
Exact ways to find out the number of puppies
Of course, you can’t completely rely on the age of a dog and, say, its weight to find out how many puppies will be in the litter. More reliable information can be found using ultrasound, which is performed on bitches after the 25th day of pregnancy (veterinarians sometimes use ultrasound only to confirm pregnancy, and not to count the number of puppies). And even more precisely, you can find out the number of puppies using x-rays, but this study is most informative only after the 55th day of pregnancy, when the skeleton of the puppies is fully formed. By the way, during the x-ray examination, the doctor will determine the position of the fetus and decide whether the dog will need help during childbirth.
By the way, some owners, trying to calculate the number of fetuses in the belly of a dog, use the method of palpation, pressing on the stomach of their pregnant pet. Don’t do this! And not only because it is very difficult to find puppies. Just strong pressing can damage immature babies, as well as cause pain to a pregnant animal.