How Do I Know If My Dachshund Is Pregnant?

Dachshund pregnant

Are you thinking of breeding your Dachshund but aren’t sure if it’s a good idea? Or maybe your Dachshund has accidentally got pregnant and you’re not sure what to do? Here’s everything you need to know about Dachshunds and pregnancy.

How Do I Know If My Dachshund Is Pregnant? The signs a Dachshund is pregnant are enlarged nipples, clinginess, lethargy, swollen belly, vaginal discharge and changes in appetite. It’s important for a Dachshund’s pregnancy to be confirmed by a vet as there are other conditions that cause similar symptoms.

Read on to find out whether you should breed your Dachshund, what to do if your Dachshund gets pregnant by accident, when they start showing, how long they’re pregnant for, how to tell when your Dachshund is in labour and what can go wrong.

This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer, dog breeder or dog behaviourist. If you think your Dachshund is pregnant or want advice on breeding, it’s important to speak with your vet.

Should I Breed My Dachshund?

If you’ve decided to breed your Dachshund to make some easy money or because you just like the idea of your Dachshund having puppies, you should seriously reconsider.

Breeding Dachshunds is not a hobby, nor is it a part-time job. It is a full-time commitment and there’s nothing easy about it.

In reality, breeding Dachshunds takes a lot of work and comes with a shed load of responsibility. Most breeders spend many, many years refining their skills and knowledge. 

Breeding should be left to professional breeders who know exactly what they’re doing and have knowledge of the breed. They have the experience, money and dedication to keep the mom and puppies happy and healthy.

Experienced breeders will know how to deal with any complications that might occur during pregnancy or whelping too.

Here are just some of the things you’d be responsible for if you bred your Dachshund:

Understanding the breed

You’d need to understand the Dachshund breed and find out what you can and can’t do when it comes to breeding.

For example, you must not breed two dapples or dilute Dachshunds as this can lead to serious health problems for the puppies.

Not only that, you also have to ensure the puppies are not inbred. For example, brothers and sisters, mothers and sons and fathers and daughters.

You need to match the temperaments of the Dachshunds too. So it’s not just a case of picking a male and female and allowing them to mate. There’s much more to it than that.

Paying all the vet bills

A pregnant Dachshund needs a lot of vet visits and scans to make sure she’s doing OK, and you’ll have to pay for all of these.

If your Dachshund experiences complications during pregnancy and needs a C-section, you’ll also have to pay for this, and it can be very expensive!

So if you’re breeding your Dachshund as a hobby or a one-off to get a new puppy, the costs can be surprising big!

Getting a license

Depending on where you live, you may need to get a license to breed your Dachshund. The cost of the license can be significant too.

Filling in paperwork

Inevitably, there’s going to be paperwork involved. If you register the pups with a Kennel Club, there’ll be many forms to fill in.

You may also need breeders liability insurance too, which is yet another expense to add to the list!

Health tests

Both of the Dachshund parents need to be screened to make sure they’re not carriers for any mutated genes or diseases that could be passed on to the puppies.

For example, conditions like Lafora Disease and Cord1 PRA (where the Dachshund either carries the gene or doesn’t), and also inherited conditions like Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and patellar luxation.

Knowing the Dad’s health status

You will need to know that the male Dachshund you’re breeding your female with is also free from the relevant health issues that can occur in Dachshunds.

Finding homes for the puppies

You’ll be responsible for making sure the puppies go to safe, dedicated, responsible homes, where their welfare will be paramount.

This is harder and more involved than it sounds. Sadly, with the rise in the popularity and value of Dachshunds, comes a lot of unscrupulous people.

So you’d need to make sure the puppies were going to genuine, loving, family homes (not puppy farms!) and that new owners aren’t going to sell them on for a quick buck!

This is a HUGE responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly.

What Do I Do If My Dachshund Gets Pregnant By Accident?

Sometimes Dachshunds fall pregnant by mistake, particularly because many owners choose not to spay their Dachshunds too young due to the potential associated risk of IVDD.

If this has happened to your Dachshund, the first thing to do is take her to the vet to confirm the pregnancy.

If she is indeed pregnant, it’s your responsibility to get her through the pregnancy safely and find suitable homes for her puppies.

Ask the vet for as much advice as you can and make sure you know what to expect. Your Dachshund will need you to be there for her! 

When Do Dachshunds Start Showing?

A pregnant Dachshund will usually start showing after about 4 weeks. Her belly will only grow slightly, but more if she’s carrying a larger litter.

However, other symptoms will be noticeable before this. In the final weeks of her pregnancy, her belly will swell rapidly. 

What Are The Signs A Dachshund Is Pregnant?

If your Dachshund is pregnant, she’ll probably start showing signs within a few days.

Within a few weeks, you might notice:

Enlarged nipples

Your Dachshund’s nipples will start swelling as she prepares to produce milk for her pups. This usually happens about two weeks into her pregnancy.

Loss of appetite

Your Dachshund may feel queasy and go off her food. It’s a bit like a woman experiencing morning sickness.


Your Dachshund might start acting clingy. She may feel anxious and confused about the pregnancy and is looking to you for comfort and support.


Your Dachshund may doze more than usual and not seem interested in going for a walk or playing. Her hormones will change a lot in the early stages and this can be very tiring.

About a month in, you might notice:

Swollen belly

Just as women get a baby bump when pregnant, your Dachshund’s tummy will also grow slightly as her puppies grow inside her.

This isn’t hugely noticeable if she’s only carrying a small litter. But the more puppies she’s carrying, the bigger her belly will be.

In the final weeks of her pregnancy, her belly will suddenly grow much bigger.

Vaginal discharge

When your Dachshund gets a month into her pregnancy, you might notice a clear discharge coming from her vagina.

Increased appetite

Your Dachshund’s appetite will increase significantly as her pregnancy goes on. In fact, she’ll probably eat about twice as much as she normally does.

If you notice any of these signs or are worried your Dachshund may be pregnant, take her to the vet.

It’s important for a vet to confirm your Dachshund’s pregnancy as there are other health conditions that can produce similar symptoms, such as phantom pregnancy and bloat.

What Age Can A Dachshund Get Pregnant?

Technically, Dachshunds can get pregnant as soon as they start their first heat cycle, which is between 6 and 12 months of age. However, this is horribly young for a Dachshund and she shouldn’t be allowed to get pregnant until she’s at least 1 year old, so during her second heat cycle at the very earliest.

It’s important to wait until your Dachshund is both mentally and physically mature. If you don’t, it can pose all sorts of serious health risks.

Again, that’s why breeding is best left to experienced breeders that have knowledge of the Dachshund breed. It’s not an easy thing to do and things can go horribly wrong.

The decision to breed your Dachshund should not be taken lightly.

How Long Is A Dachshund Pregnant For?

A Dachshund’s typical pregnancy gestation period is 63–65 days. But, she can give birth anywhere between 53 days and 71 days.

If your Dachshund is still not showing signs of labour after 65 days, it’s a good idea to call your vet to make sure everything is OK.

How Do You Know When A Dachshund Is In Labour?

You should be able to tell when your Dachshund is about to go into labour because she’ll go off her food (about a day before) and her temperature will drop suddenly (a few hours before).

She might take herself off to a place where she feels comfortable and safe. That’s usually a den or nest that she’s created for her puppies.

When your Dachshund does this, make sure she’s comfortable and has plenty of water and even some food nearby.

She’ll start licking at her vulva and you’ll see her stomach go tight as she starts having contractions.

Her waters will break as she bites at the grey sac containing the puppies, which by now will be visible through her vulva.

She’ll continue having contractions as each puppy is born one by one, and will probably squirm and moan throughout to cope with the discomfort.

Do Dachshunds Have Problems Giving Birth?

Sadly, some Dachshunds do experience complications when giving birth, and the vet may need to perform a C-section. You should keep your vet updated every 15 minutes once your Dachshund is in labour. 

If you notice any of these signs of complications or if there’s anything else you’re unsure about, call your vet immediately for advice:

  • Extreme pain (beyond the moaning and squirming that you’d expect)
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Trembling
  • Bleeding before any puppies are born
  • A gap of more than 2 hours between each puppy being born
  • More than 45 minutes of contractions with no puppies being born

Keeping your vet fully informed on what’s going on is extremely important for the safety of both mom and babies.

Again, breeding is best left to experienced and ethical dog breeders. So, if you’re thinking about this just to have another puppy or to make some easy money, you should seriously reconsider.

Dog breeding is NOT easy. It can be very costly and, unfortunately, things can go horribly wrong.

Can Dachshund Puppies Be Stillborn?

Yes, sadly, not all Dachshund puppies make it and some may be stillborn. That’s not always the case but you do need to be prepared for that.

This is just another reason why dog breeding should be left to the professionals who know what to do and how to cope in these situations.

When things do go wrong, the whole experience can be both heartbreaking and traumatic. And those feelings can stay with you for a very long time.

If you breed your Dachshund for the wrong reasons, you may be unprepared for the realities of what’s involved.

Can Dachshunds Die Giving Birth?

Sadly, female Dachshunds can die during whelping. So, if you’re breeding as a hobby or to get a new puppy to join your family, it is possible that you could lose your precious girl in the process.

This is a very important reason why breeding should be left to professional dog breeders with experience and knowledge of the breed.

Should the worst case scenario happen, you’ll also be left to hand rear the puppies, and this can be very time consuming and intensive.

How Many Litters Can Female Dachshunds Have?

Ethical and responsible breeders would not allow a female Dachshund to have more than 4 litters in her lifetime. Nor would they allow a female Dachshund to have more than one litter in a year.

The Kennel Club would also require those conditions to be met. However, there are sometimes exceptions to this, but that would need to be discussed with a vet and any relevant health tests done.

Also, if your Dachshund has previously had a C-section, you need to take your vet’s advice on whether she can ever whelp again.

Don’t take any chances with your Dachshund. Her health and welfare must be your top priority.

How Many Puppies Do Dachshunds Have?

Female Dachshunds can have up to 6 or 8 puppies in a single litter.

For the first 8 weeks of their lives, the breeder will be solely responsible for the health and welfare of the puppies. This can take time, commitment and money.

How Do I Stop My Dachshund Getting Pregnant?

While getting a dog spayed will stop her getting pregnant, it’s not that straightforward for Dachshunds.

According to research, spaying too young is said to increase a Dachshund’s risk of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).

IVDD is a painful back disease that affects one in four Dachshunds.

If you don’t want to get your Dachshund spayed right away but want to stop her getting pregnant, you need to know when she’s going to be in heat.

You can make a note on your calendar and look for signs of her being in heat, such as bleeding.

When you know she’s in season, don’t leave her on her own with any intact males.

If you go for a walk, keep her on a leash so she can’t get pregnant from any male dogs running around in the park.

If you let her out into the yard, keep an eye on her in case a neighbour’s dog gets into your yard and mates with her.

It can all happen very quickly, so you do need to keep a close eye on your Dachshund until her season has completely finished.

Speak to your vet about spaying your Dachshund too. There are many important health benefits to spaying females when they get to the right age.

So, there you have it. If you think your Dachshund may be pregnant, it’s important to get it confirmed with your vet. There are other conditions that can have similar symptoms that need to be ruled out. If you’re thinking of breeding your Dachshund for profit or to get another puppy, you may want to reconsider. Breeding is NOT straightforward or easy, it can be very expensive and, sadly, things can go horribly wrong.

This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer, dog breeder or dog behaviourist. If you think your Dachshund is pregnant or want advice on breeding, it’s important to speak with your vet.

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