How Many Puppies Can a Pug Have?

Are your pugs pregnant? Do you plan to breed pugs in your neighborhood? In that case, it’s better if you know how many puppies can a pug have in a litter, right? For an average sized litter, you can expect around four to six puppies. This is considered normal, but for instances, some pugs give birth to nine puppies at once.

This is the normal litter size for an average female pug dog giving birth. To ensure an accurate number, you can let your pug pregnant get an x-ray or ultrasound. Now, you know how many pug puppies to expect for your pug dog pregnancies.

Read on to know more tips and knowledge about:

  • Average size for a pug’s first litter
  • What age does pug get pregnant
  • What age do you need to stop breeding
  • Pug Average Litter Size VS Other Breeds
  • How can you tell if your pug is pregnant
  • What do you need to know about Dog C-section Process
  • What you need to know about Pug Birthing Process and Delivery
  • What happens to your pregnant pug every week until giving birth
  • What are some pug pregnancy issues you need to know
  • How can you help pug pregnancy
  • What do you need to prepare for your pug giving birth at home
  • What’s a whelping box
  • How to care for your pregnant pug
  • What are some problems after pug pregnancy
  • How to treat dystocia for pugs and other dogs
  • Why knowing dog litter size is important
  • How many times should you let your pug get pregnant

If you’re planning to breed pugs, it’s best if you continue reading since we include other important details. This will all be about pug dog pregnancies. If you have questions after reading, feel free to contact us.

Why Do People Breed Pugs?

average pugs

Pugs are one of the oldest dog breeds in history. They were bred in 400 B.C. by Chinese Emperors and monks. The main purpose is to serve as companions since they are adorable and loving. The natural good trait of a pug dog makes them desirable to breed.

This dog is amazing since its affectionate devotion started many years back. Then you can still see that in the current pug dogs in society.

The second reason is profit. A pug puppy costs around $800 to $1500. Because of that, a lot of pug breeders are doing it wrongly to breed these small breed pugs. We understand that some do this for the money, but you also need to care for them. Most puppy mills breeding a number of puppies are not properly caring for them. This leads to health problems like trouble breathing.

If you’re planning to buy newborn pups, make sure the breeder is trustworthy. If you want to save money, you can also adopt one from a local shelter.

Average size for a pug’s first litter

pregnant pug and puppies

It’s safe to tell that you cannot expect so much for the first litter when your pug is pregnant. Typically, it will be smaller than average litter size. You can expect around three to five pug puppies. This is most likely to happen if your female pug giving birth is younger than seven years.

What age does pug get pregnant?

A female pug can get pregnant during its first heat (6-12 months). During this period, you need to decide if you want to let your pug give birth or not. If you’re having troubles deciding about it, you can visit your local vet for advice.

But if you like breeding dogs, it’s best if you let your female pug get pregnant when it reaches twenty four months. If you let pug pregnancy happen earlier than two years, your first litter will be small. The female pug will also likely suffer from health problems.

But to avoid these health concerns, you can visit your local vet to ask for prenatal vitamins. This helps female dogs get enough nourishment during the gestation period.

What age do you need to stop breeding?

just one puppy

There are many references to answer this question, but the standard one for dog kennel clubs is at eight years. This is the last dog age suitable for breeding. If you go beyond that, you can expect a higher risk for the mother dog. The quality of pups can also deteriorate when the mother dog is old.

You also need to consider dog breed. For toy breeds like pugs and chihuahuas, stopping at five years for breeding is most ideal. Even veterinarians support this for the sake of the dog. These smaller dog breeds have smaller pelvic structures and birth canals. Considering that, letting them whelp many times can cause irreparable bone damage.

You also need to bring your dog to the vet for check up. That way, you can have regular updates about their health and fertility. Some of the things you need to look into about dog health:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Uterus infection
  • Blood sugar level
  • Breathing and heart problems
  • History of birthing difficulties

Knowing the condition of your pug is important since it can impact its gestation and delivery. If your vet advises for a C-section, then you can have a second opinion from another vet. But mostly, their findings are accurate. In that case, you need to prepare the budget for your dog’s C-section.

Your veterinarian will disclose all this information, and advise if your dog is good for another pregnancy or not. It’s also good if you let your pug be a year old before you let her get pregnant. That way, her bone structure, and health are strong to survive whelping.

Pug Average Litter Size VS Other Breeds

Pugs are smaller dogs, so you can expect challenges with natural birth for large litter size. If you think your pregnant pug will have problems giving birth naturally, they will offer a C-section birth delivery. That’s why you need to do an ultrasound to determine how many pugs will come out from your dog’s pregnancy.

Now, let’s compare the litter size of most pugs to other dog breeds. Here are some of the average litter size of other breeds:

Golden Retriever: 8

Beagle: 6

Boston Terrier: 4

Corgi: 7

Chihuahua: 3

French Bulldog: 3

Shih Tzu: 3

How can you tell if your pug is pregnant?

female dog pregnancy

The signs to tell if your brachycephalic dogs are pregnant are simple. It may not be universal, yet there are great similarities among all dog breeds. The important part, you know how to tell if your female pugs are pregnant or not. Here are the signs:

Appetite Changes

One of the obvious signs that your pug is pregnant is when its eating behavior changes. Typically, your pug tends to eat more when they are pregnant. Weight gain is one evident sign that your female pug is soon to become a mother of six puppies.

When there’s weight gain, expect your pug’s abdomen to swell. This also leads to less physical activity since they feel heavier, so they would prefer to lie down.

Swelling of Abdomen

Seeing your pug’s stomach swell is not a direct sign that it is pregnant. This can also be due to weight gain. But if you see other signs telling your pug is pregnant, then that swollen abdomen is the puppies.

They also have an increased appetite when they are pregnant, giving them additional fat in their belly. Because of that, pugs love to just lie down. They have lesser movements when they are pregnant.

Behavioral Change

Your pug is usually stubborn and independent, right? But these brachycephalic breeds tend to shift their moods when they are pregnant. A pregnant pug commonly becomes affectionate to its owner. They want more care and comfort from you.

They do not want to feel alone since they know they will need your help during the birthing process. If you notice this kind of behavioral change in your female pug, you can guess it can be pregnant.

Enlargement and Discoloration of Dog Nipples

Once your female pug is pregnant, you will also notice its nipples being larger. Pregnant pugs tend to have enlarged and darker red nipples due to hormonal change. There is the production of milk already happening during this phase. It’s in preparation for the newborn puppies that are coming out soon.

Lower Physical Activity

You will also see that your pregnant pug tends to walk or jump less than before. That’s because of the added weight of the puppies and fat. The reduced activity is also necessary to prevent any deformities of the unborn pug puppies.

Still, you need to encourage your pug to do short walks to exercise their hip bones. This is also good to enhance their stamina in preparation for giving birth. Similar to humans, you need to have a healthy heart and lungs before giving birth.

Nesting Trait

You may also see that your pug is digging on their bedding, right? That’s nesting behavior. Pugs tend to gather soft fabrics and materials that will serve as a nest for her newborn pug puppies soon. Your pug can either make a nest in her whelping box or bedding.

This is totally normal for a dog pregnancies since they want a soft cushion for their puppies. You can also prepare this spot for your pregnant pug.

Is it safe for a pug giving birth naturally?

When your pug is pregnant, you need to visit your vet to know if it can do a natural birth. It’s usually challenging for a pug giving birth naturally since the head and shoulder of the pup is larger than the birth canal. This makes pug pregnancy more challenging, that’s why you need to have them checked by a vet.

Besides that, pugs have narrower hip bones, making it more painful for them to give birth. This puts a lot of stress on your poor dog. But your vet can prescribe prenatal vitamins to sustain dog pregnancy and help them do natural birth delivery.

But if that’s not possible, then your vet will recommend for your pet to have a C-section process. The average cost of a cesarean section for dogs is between $500 to $2000. It is expensive but most breeders choose this to protect the welfare of female dogs and puppies. Also, to help your pregnant pug recover, they cannot bear puppies twice or more annually.

What do you need to know about Dog C-section Process?

how many pups

Cesarean process for dog birthing is your last solution when there is a birthing problem. For pugs, this is most ideal to preserve the health of the mother dog and her puppies. C-section is frequently done for this toy breed since it has a small birth canal. If the unborn have a large head and shoulder, there will be problems with whelping.

Doing this surgery is unexpected most times. Doing x-rays or ultrasound is recommended for you to determine if your dog needs to undergo C-section.

For this procedure, a cut will be made from the belly button of your dog down to its pubis area. The cut is estimated to be just enough for one pup to come out. Always go for a vet clinic with intensive experience in doing animal caesarean process.

By doing this method, your pregnant pug and her litter have a higher survival rate. There is also less suffering from pain for your dog.

How much is dog caesarean?

The price varies on your location and the vet hospital doing it. But for the average price, it falls between $500 to $2,000. A local and general anesthesia will be given to your dog, so they won’t feel any pain. Make sure to go to credible vet clinics for your dog’s C-section process.

Recovery Rate

The female pug has a higher survival rate than normal birth. But you need to monitor her vitals, especially when the anesthesia’s effect wears off. There are times that your vet will prescribe medicines to help alleviate the pain and infection.

Dangers of C-section

There are two dangers to having caesarean for your dogs. One is for the effects of anesthesia on the pups. The second is for the possible hemorrhage during the operation. The recovery rate of the mother dog is at 99 percent, yet lower for the puppies. There is a huge risk for intense bleeding to happen for your puppies if they get cut during the C-section. This puts them at a 70 to 90 percent survival rate.

Aside from that, there is also a risk for uterus infection if the tools used are not properly disinfected. Still, this medical procedure is most suitable for pugs with troubles in natural birth.

What you need to know about Pug Birthing Process and Delivery

Just like human giving birth to a child, there are different phases for a dog giving birth. There are three phases in general, and we are going to briefly discuss them below.

Stage One

During this stage, your pug experiences discomfort. This is due to uterus contraction, and it causes them to vomit and breathe heavily. The muscle contraction gives a painful sensation to your pregnant dog. This stage usually lasts for 12 to 24 hours.

This stage tells you that your pug is ready to give birth. During this time, you may notice that she is restless. Your pug tends to eat a lot before labor. She will also start licking her genital. If you stop her from eating, she might dig on your couch or on her bedding. Your pug’s rectal temperature will also drop. It will be lower than 37.77 degrees Celsius.

Stage Two

This is the main birthing process of your pug. The average period for a pug giving birth is 24 hours. There is thirty minutes to an hour gap between each pup coming out from the birth canal. This gives enough time for the mom to wipe clean her newborn puppies.

Stage Three

This is the last process when your pug gives birth to her new puppies. The placenta will also come out during this stage. It’s also the sign telling that your dog is done giving birth.

What happens to your pregnant pug every week until giving birth?

sleeping pregnant pug

Pug breeding is not as easy as you think. But if you know the essentials and you are passionate, it will be easier. Let’s try to discuss the things happening on a weekly basis for pug pregnancy.

Week 1-2

This is tricky since the signs won’t be that evident to tell if your pug is pregnant or not. But you can always observe them having a change in appetite and vomiting. Your pug may feel a little sluggish since there will be weight gain.

Week 3

You will observe that your pug is becoming lazier than ever. But you won’t be able to accurately tell if that’s because they are pregnant. Well, that’s because pugs are naturally lazy. As an owner, if you truly know your pug, you can tell the difference. Below are some additional signs you can observe on the third week.

  • Stomach becomes larger
  • Nipples turn darker red and swollen
  • Your pug will frequently clean herself more than the usual

Week 4

During the fourth week, all signs of dog pregnancies will be noticeable. Her nesting trait will be more evident than ever. Better prepare her whelping box, or she will dig on her own bedding. Your dog’s appetite will be greater. That’s to get the sufficient nutrients she needs before birthing begins.

Week 5-6

This is the last part of her gestation before she starts her labor. Be sure to prepare the necessary medical supplies you will need if she will be giving natural birth at home. If your pug cannot do the natural birth process, send her to your nearest vet clinic. A veterinarian needs to do a caesarean section procedure to save the mother and the puppies.

What are some pug pregnancy issues you need to know

long are pugs pregnant

Besides knowing how many puppies can a pug have, you also need to know the possible health concerns. Here are some common health issues you need to know in advance.

  1. Uterine inertia is also called stalled labor. This happens when your pug’s natural birthing process temporarily stops. That’s because her uterus stopped contracting, so no puppies are coming out from the vulva.
  2. Genital infections after giving birth.
  3. Pugs are brachycephalic breeds, so the head and shoulders of the newborn are larger than their pelvic. This leads to difficulty in doing natural birth, a condition known as Dystocia. When your pregnant pug experience this, better go for a C-section process. This is expensive but it will be safer for your Fido and puppies.
  4. Your pet will also have extreme blood sugar level variation. You need to watch out for their sugar level to avoid obesity and complications.
  5. When no puppy comes out fifteen minutes after labor starts. You can stretch that to three hours of labor. If nothing comes out after three hours, better rush them to your nearest vet clinic.
  6. A distressed unborn puppy. Your sign for that is seeing a green fluid coming out from your dog’s genitals. It can mean the pup inside lacks oxygen.
  7. Newborn pups are not breathing.
  8. Uncut umbilical cord an hour after labor. You need to cut them a few minutes after the pup comes out. Don’t let it stay longer since that can be a source of infection. Use a disinfected surgical scissor for that.
  9. Sac is still wrapping the newly born pup. Some new mother dogs do not have the instinct yet to remove the sac, so you need to them yourself. Use surgical gloves upon doing it.
  10. Excessive bleeding during whelping is dangerous, so you need to call your vet right away. This could mean some major arteries are cut.
  11. Stuck puppies with big heads and shoulders.

How can you help pug pregnancy?

black pug

Have you thought about how you can help your pregnant dog? For a pregnant pug, you will know if the labor starts when there is a sudden drop in temperature. That will be from 38 to 37 degrees Celsius. That means labor will start in the next 12 to 24 hours. Besides preparing their whelping box, here are some other things you can do to help your dog’s pregnancy:

  • If your pregnant pug needs a C-section procedure, better send them to your nearest vet clinic.
  • Prepare medical supplies, heating pads, towels, and blankets for the natural birthing process.
  • Secure the number of your nearest reliable veterinarian for emergency reasons.
  • Call the vet when you see that there is a gray sack falling off from your pug’s genitals but there is not one litter coming out.
  • Call the vet if your pug is suffering from labor pain but there are no puppies coming out
  • Make sure the sac covering each puppy will be removed by the mother pug once the pup is out. This must be done to ensure those newly born young pugs can breathe.
  • If the mother pug won’t be chewing on the umbilical cord, you need to cut them yourself. You can use a sterilized surgical scissor for cutting it. Cut it an inch above the belly button of the puppy. Tie that off with dental floss and wipe that with a cotton ball dipped in antiseptic.
  • After all puppies have come out, you can discard the placenta. Otherwise, the mother pug will just eat them. There’s nothing with the latter since that’s natural instinct.
  • The whelping box will be where you will place the young puppies. It must be filled with a clean towel or blanket. You need to place those newborn pups inside the whelping box. Use the heating pad to provide warmth to the puppies.
  • Place the whelping box near the sight of the mother pug so that she won’t be distressed.

What do you need to prepare for your pug giving birth at home?

medical supplies

Once you see that your pug is starting the whelping process, you must stay beside them. You have plenty of things to do to assist your pug’s whelping. Here are some of the things you can do for your Fido:

  1. You can move her puppies to a nearby whelping box.
  2. Cut out the umbilical cord
  3. Remove the sac covering the puppy
  4. Observe the mother pug’s condition while giving birth

To efficiently do these tasks, you need to prepare the necessary medical supplies. Here are some of them:

  • Thermometer
  • Heating pad
  • Clean blankets or towels
  • Antiseptic
  • Surgical scissors
  • Thread
  • Disposal gloves
  • Medicine dropper
  • Alcohol for disinfection

These are the things you need to have if your Fido will be whelping at home. Take note, be sure to have your vet checked on your Fido to know if she can do a natural birth.

What’s a whelping box?

whelping box

A whelping box is where your pregnant Fido gives birth to her puppies. It can be made from wood or other natural materials that are sturdy. You can also search online to buy a pre-made one for your pet.

Here are some things your whelping box should have:

  • Placed in a quiet area that is not humid
  • It must have a cushion and clean fabrics lined around it
  • It must be huge enough for your pet and her newborns
  • It must have the right height and width for your mother pug and pups
  • There must be a siding or barrier around your whelping box

How many puppies come out during pug whelping?

Once labor starts, you can expect one or two puppies to come out after ten to fifteen minutes. For most dogs, the average time for whelping is between three to twelve hours once labor starts. The exact time varies per dog breed. But the estimated time for a dog to deliver an entire litter is around three to twelve hours.

If the whelping runs for twenty four hours, that is risky for the mother pug. Thus, you need to call your local vet for assistance.

To know how many puppies can a pug has during whelping, you can do an ultrasound or x-ray on her. For first time delivery, expect around three to five puppies for an entire litter.

Because this toy breed has large heads and shoulders, it may take longer for one pug to come out from the birth canal.

How to care for your pregnant pug?

purebred dogs

Keeping your pregnant dog healthy is a must to ensure they are strong during whelping. They need extra nourishment to sustain their strength during delivery. It will also be needed for her newborn puppies. Here are some of the things you can do to care for your pregnant dog.

  1. Feed them nutritious dog food. You can ask your vet about this one. Your pregnant Fido will eat more as she is in the gestation period. Her blood sugar level will increase because of increased appetite.
  2. You can also consult your veterinarian about prenatal vitamins for your pet.
  3. Minimize giving her food or supplements rich in Calcium since it increases the risk for postpartum hypocalcemia. This can cause seizures in your Fido, which is life threatening.
  4. Walk your pregnant pet daily, around fifteen minutes. This helps keep her fit with strong muscles and bones.
  5. Let her sleep in a cushioned bed that will support her body and bones. This helps her get a good sleep necessary for whelping.
  6. Always engage with your pregnant dog since they also need emotional support. Pugs are emotional dogs, so giving them care and love is a must.

You can also ask your nearby veterinarian for more advice on caring for pregnant dogs. Certified pug breeders also know this, and you can ask them as well.

What are some problems after pug pregnancy?

pug and newborn puppies

You already know some common health concerns before and during whelping, right? Now, let’s cover those issues after your dog has given birth to a whole litter. For medical advice, consult your local vet.


This is an inflammation of the breast of your mother dog. An infection causes the swell and pain in the mammary gland of the mother dog. This can cause fever and chills. Better to consult your vet for medical treatment.

Here are some of the symptoms of mastitis:

  • Redness and swelling of the breast
  • Itchiness
  • There is less milk coming out

Womb Infection in Dogs

This is called metritis which also happens to dogs. Your pug, after giving birth, can have this disease if there is an infection in the uterus lining. It could be an Escherichia coli that has infected the womb. This usually occurs a week after your dog’s whelping.

It is considered normal for your dog to have fluid discharges six weeks after giving birth. But there must not be any disturbing odor to it.

Below are some symptoms:

  • Fluid discharges that have a bad odor
  • Abdomen is swelling
  • Dry skin
  • Gums are dark red
  • Loss of appetite
  • Less milk produced
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Mother dog losses care for her newborns

Causes for Dog womb infection:

  • Long hours of whelping
  • There are placentas stuck inside the uterus
  • Abortion
  • A dead pup is left inside the uterus


This condition is caused by severe low calcium levels for your lactating pug. Eclampsia can happen a week after your Fido has given birth. One main reason is malnutrition for toy breeds. That’s why you need to feed them well before whelping.

Eclampsia can produce deadly seizures in your pet. It can cause their muscles to become stiffer and even cause death. Here are some common symptoms of this disease:

  • Muscle cramp
  • Salivating too much
  • Body tremors
  • Wobbly walks

Dog behavior disorder

Similar to humans, dogs also undergo postpartum syndrome. This happens to first time mothers who undergone extreme stress during whelping. When this happen, the mother pug losses affection and care for her young puppies. To prevent that from happening, here are some tips:

  • Comfortable whelping box
  • Clean and quiet place
  • Proper nutrition
  • Constant love from the owner

Besides helping your Fido from giving birth, you also need to show them love after whelping. This helps them recover emotionally from a challenging situation.

How to treat dystocia for pugs and other dogs?

newborn pug

Dystocia is a condition where your pug experiences problems with birthing. There are many reasons for that, and here are the common ones:

  • The newborn pup has a larger head and shoulder than the birth canal of the mother dog
  • Rare position of the unborn pup that leads to birthing difficulty
  • There is not enough contraction happening in the uterus

To prevent this from happening, here are some things you can do:

  • Consult your vet
  • Do some x-ray or ultrasound on your pregnant dog
  • Ask for a prescription from your veterinarian
  • C-section procedure as the last solution

Why knowing dog litter size is important?

dog and puppies

Knowing how many puppies can a pug have is essential for many reasons. Firstly, you can determine if your pug needs to have a C-section or not. Secondly, you can estimate the size of your whelping box. Thirdly, you can prepare for the right room size to where you will place the mother and her puppies.

There are other reasons we can state for that, but those are the top ones right now. If you want to be responsible pug breeders, you need to know these things. It will help you care for your pugs and pups.

Are you interested to know what factors can affect the litter size of your pregnant pug?

  • Dog breed: The kind of breed matters, and for pugs, you can expect around three to six puppies. For first time whelping, expect a smaller litter size, around three to five pups.
  • Dog age: Younger pugs can bear more pups than seniors ones. That’s due to decrease fertility and hormones. If you want your adult dogs to bear average litter size, you need to give proper nutrition. Otherwise, pair them with a younger stud.
  • Dog health: Puppy count is also influenced by your female dog’s health. They must be in good shape for the entire gestation and until whelping is done. The male pug must also be healthy so that the offspring are good.

How many times should you let your pug get pregnant?

The recommended is once a year so that your dam has enough time to recover. Your pug has a delicate physical structure, so ample time must be given from recovering after giving birth. This is applicable whether it’s a young or senior female pug.

Final Words…

On average, letting your pug and other dogs get pregnant three to four times over their lifespan is ideal. For pugs, you need to be careful since they are delicate. Give them enough attention and nourishment before and after whelping.

If you let your pugs whelp as many times as you like, it can deteriorate their health. This leads to uterus problems and infection. Seizures and low calcium levels in the blood will also be higher.

We hope you learn many things about how many puppies can a pug have, and other topics related to it. If you have questions, feel free to read our blogs – we have pretty much all answers about pugs.