Compared to humans, dogs have a shorter gestation period amounting to 9 weeks (3 months); the normal gestation or pregnancy period for dog breeds including Yorkies is 56-67 days, give or take a few days. It’s hard to determine the exact time period so only a vet can tell you exactly how much time has passed since your dog’s pregnancy and what health precautions to take.
This article gives you detailed information about a Yorkie’s gestation period, how to take care of your dog’s health in that period, as well as how to make sure they get proper veterinary care.
Table of Contents
- How much time does it take for Yorkies to give birth?
- What are the initial signs of a Yorkie’s pregnancy?
- Do these signs and symptoms change later on?
- How do I confirm my Yorkie’s pregnancy?
- How does a Yorkie’s gestation differ from human’s?
- How does a Yorkie’s pregnancy progress over the 3 months?
- What are the health precautions I should take for my Yorkie during the gestation period?
- How do I find out if my Yorkie is in labor?
- What are the red flags I should look out for during my dog’s pregnancy?
- How many puppies will my Yorkie have?
- Can a Yorkie get pregnant again in the same year?
How much time does it take for Yorkies to give birth?
According to Yorkie info center, the leading source of information on Yorkies and their gestation, for a toy breed dog such as a Yorkie, the normal gestation period is 56-67 days, 56 being the minimum and 67 being the maximum. If more than 67 days have passed to your dog’s pregnancy, it’s time to consult a veterinarian.
What are the initial signs of a Yorkie’s pregnancy?
Yorkie owners often wonder how to find out if their dog is pregnant or not. There are a few telltale signs and symptoms which, when combined together, indicate that a dog is pregnant:
- Their physical activity will decrease
- Long bouts of sleep
- The areolas will grow larger than usual
- A firm stomach upon touching
- The dog will frequently self-groom
- Nesting behavior
Do these signs and symptoms change later on?
Yes, these signs are for the initial period of the Yorkie’s pregnancy, and they change as time goes on and they progress more weeks into the gestation. By the end of week 3-4:
- The dog may gain excessive weight – approx. 1.2 to 2.2 Ibs
- Their abdomen will be considerably larger
- Their appetite will increase
- They will urinate often than normal
How do I confirm my Yorkie’s pregnancy?
Since dogs have very vague gestation periods and symptoms, it’s better to consult a veterinarian to find out if your dog actually is pregnant or not. Upon visitation, the vet will ask you about the predicted day of breeding and when the initial symptoms started appearing, along with doing a handful of tests:
- Blood test – accurate after 22 days of pregnancy have passed
- Ultrasound – done after 42 days to detect the fetus and any abnormalities
- X-ray – done after day 45 to check how many puppies the Yorkie will be birthing
How does a Yorkie’s gestation differ from human’s?
Comparatively, dogs have a shorter gestation or pregnancy period (9 weeks) than humans, which makes it all the more convenient for the dog owners and the dog. Furthermore, since a dog’s sense of taste and smell are better and much more heightened than a human’s, they’re able to detect more scents during the gestation period than humans.
How does a Yorkie’s pregnancy progress over the 3 months?
During the first month the dog will experience the initial symptoms relating to external bodily changes, bigger appetite, frequent naps, and lesser physical activity.
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Progressing to the second month, the fetal development speeds up, and the dog experiences symptoms such as a firm abdomen, appetite changes, weight gain, and frequent urination.
In the last month, the fetal development is almost complete, bones start forming, and the dog experiences appetite loss, drops in body temperature, restlessness, panting and shivers.
What are the health precautions I should take for my Yorkie during the gestation period?
Because of the sensitive nature of a dog’s pregnancy, as the owner it’s important to take extra care during the gestation period. As American Kennel Club suggests, you should:
- Test your dog for any genetic issues that the pups may inherit and prepare accordingly
- Take into account the increase in appetite and feed her accordingly
- Prepare a comfortable space for her to rest in
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise (no strenuous activity)
- Remind anyone who comes into contact with your dog to take extra care not to handle her too roughly
How do I find out if my Yorkie is in labor?
Before labor, the dog experiences frequent body temperature changes, so it’s better to take her temperature twice a day starting 1 week before her due date, if your dog’s temperature drops below 100 F, it’s a clear indication that she’s about to give birth. As her labor begins, she may refuse to eat, vomit out the food, will whine a lot, and cry out because of contractions pain.
What are the red flags I should look out for during my dog’s pregnancy?
Although most Yorkie pregnancies go just fine without any hurdles or hitches, there are some dangers listed by Noah’s Ark Veterinary Hospital that you should know how to identify:
- More than 70 days have passed and your dog hasn’t gone into labor yet
- Sudden temperature drops have passed but there’s no sign of a pup appearing
- There’s a significant time frame after the birth of the first puppy
- Your dog seems to be in unbearable pain
- Excessive blood loss, vomiting and weakness
How many puppies will my Yorkie have?
The average number of puppies that a Yorkie can birth is 4, although this number may vary across different Yorkies, the range being 1-5. If your Yorkie has more than 5 pups, get the pups checked out by a vet as there’s a chance of some being stillborn or dying shortly after their birth.
Can a Yorkie get pregnant again in the same year?
For most dog breeds, having 3 cycles a year is considered to be common and normal since they have frequent bouts of heat and more physical capabilities for breeding.
For Yorkies this number may be less because they only go into heat every 5-8 months and produce 1-5 puppies each time. As they’re a smaller breed of dog, they only have about 2 cycles a year and can birth two times a year, this too depending on your Yorkie’s health and breeding tendencies.