Shih Tzu Pregnancy Information: How long is a Shih Tzu Pregnant, Signs, Care and Food

Shih Tzu head image

Shih Tzu

Popularity: №20
Origin: China
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Before we start lets me explain some terms:

Bitch – female dog

Nipple – Yes, both male and female dogs have nipples. These small bumps extend from their groin area up their stomachs, and the number of nipples can vary. Dogs tend to have between 8 and 10 nipples, but some have more, while others have fewer nipples.

Vulva – the vulva is the outer part of the female genitals.

Let’s start.

Is she pregnant?

Psychological changes

The main thing you would probably like to know about your dog’s pregnancy is how to test whether she actually is. The very first sign is behavior. Behavior is bound to alter under overwhelming pressure of hormones. She will look more so to say friendly; will try to look for your attention more than usual. Or she may look depressed and lethargic. Anyway, her behavior will digress from the usual.


Apart from psychological changes, check your female Shih Tzu’s body. Swollen, hardened, sharpened, and pink nipples are a true sign of pregnancy.


When pregnant, Shih Tzu’s vulva swells up. But unlike swelling during heat, in this case, the vulva doesn’t bleed and the swelling will not go down until after the very birth. If your bitch starts licking her vulva from time to time because of raising discomfort, this is also a sign.

Pregnancy Bump

It’s common knowledge that during pregnancy a tummy starts growing. So if you see a bump on her side and notice that her gait has changed (she’s swelling back and forth while walking), it means she is pregnant. The tummy steadily grows starting from the third week.

Other ways to know she is pregnant

  • Ultrasound – the best and expensive (in the US $100 and $1000 depends on the region) way to know. If you want to get 100% correct results you should do this only after 4 weeks after mating. You may have earlier but the result couldn’t be so correct. This procedure is pain-free but may be stressful for your Pet because its belly hair will be shaved off.
  • Blood Tests – second-way blood test but only 35 days(5 weeks) after mating. It’s not expensive but less accurate especially if she mates for less than 35 days.
  • X-rays – 100% accurate way but can be done only for 7 weeks. By these days puppies will be big enough inside the tummy and doctor can see them on x-ray and even count them by skulls.

If you looking for the answer, must you do one of these tests? No, we do not recommend it, only if you are extremely curious.

How to make pregnancy easier

Your Shih Tzu Pregnancy Diet


  • 4 weeks of pregnancy – she will need to eat 5-15% more food;
  • by the 7th week – 25 – 30% more than usual;
  • by the 8th week – 50% more.

All these numbers are approximate. You need to take care of her and I even recommend giving her as much as she needs since 7th week.


If your dog eats good brand food no need to give her extra vitamins or minerals. But if you feel worried about your dog you should consult with your vet.

If you want to give some medicine to your pregnant Shih Tzu also ask the vet before.

Also very popular question about calcium. Be careful with it, I also recommend asking your vet before because it can be harmful to your dog.


Keep up with your exercise routine during your Shih Tzu Pregnancy.
Exercise is good for Shih Tzu dogs and especially for pregnant Tzus. If you normally walk your dog, continue to do so. But don’t allow her to over-exert herself.

Shih Tzu pregnancy calendar

Knowing week by week timeline of events and how long they last can help you to face any difficulties with bells on. All in all, the length of the pregnancy cycle is nine weeks in total.

Week/Days What happensWhat to do
1 (Days 1 – 7)
  • after mating fertilization ovulation occurs, although it may take more than one mating to achieve ovulation;
  • at the beginning of week 1, the bitch may show signs of morning sickness.
  • she may need a vitamin supplement your vet can prescribe
2 (Days 8 – 14)
  • the cells begin to grow and separate, new embryos descent into the uterus;
  • usually, during this week the vulva swells.
  • feed and exercise your dog as usual
3 (Days 15 – 21)
  • embryos begin to implant into the uterus, where they will get vital nutrients from the body;
  • the fetuses at this stage are less than one cm long.
  • watch the eating habits. If the dog’s appetite increases, extend her ration accordingly;
  • keep the content of the ration the same.
4 (Days 21 – 28)
  • fetuses’ spine and eyes begin to develop, faces begin to form;
  • fetuses increase to about half an inch. The dog’s nipples swell, and her vagina discharges thin, clear liquor.
  • limit rough play and active exercises;
  • at this stage the dog’s diet should probably be adjusted, consult a vet to find out if it’s necessary.
5 (Days 29 – 35)
  • amniotic fluid increases to protect puppies, which means they are not as vulnerable to physical damage as before;
  • their individual toes begin to shape; whiskers and claws start to grow;
  • besides, in this stage fetuses’ sexes are defined.
  • as the bitch’s weight increases, you should extend the ration now if you haven’t done it yet;
  • feed often and in small portions;
  • start feeding the bitch puppy food, for this is the ideal diet for a pregnant dog, buy her puppy replacement milk and allow her to drink that a couple of times a day as it is high in protein and fat;
  • make an ultrasound scan to know the number of puppies and search for problems they may have.
6 (Days 36 – 42)
  • the tummy increases;
  • the puppies gain skin pigmentation and markings.
  • increase the amount of puppy food in the diet;
  • add a multivitamin supplement to the ration;
  • prepare a box for whelping.
7 (Days 43 – 49)
  • the dog starts shedding hair on the belly;
  • the puppies at this stage finish their prenatal development.
  • stop feeding puppy food and get back to the normal diet plan your dog had before the conception;
  • yet, the amount of consumed food should stay high.
8 (Days 50 – 56)
  • the bitch displays so-called nesting behavior; she is thoroughly looking for an ideal place for birth and breastfeeding. Alas, there is no chance you can force her to prefer some place over another, you’ll just have to accept where this place is situated (e.g.) under your bed.
  • the dog starts producing colostrum(a yellowish liquid, especially rich in immune factors, secreted by the mammary gland of female mammals a few days before and after the birth of their young);
  • even though the dog may give birth at this stage, she is supposed to stay pregnant for one more week.
  • avoid anything which may result in early labor – rough play or any stimulation.
9 (Days 57 – 63)the dog’s appetite may drop
  • your bitch should comfortably lie in the whelping area. You can arrange one;
  • don’t try to feed her more than she demands.
The birth
  • temperature falls from 101°F to about 99°F before the labor;
  • the bitch starts giving birth.
  • you had better call someone experienced to deliver a puppy;
  • lay down plastic and cover this with clean towels or blankets for the dog to lay on;
  • if there are more than four puppies to be born, the dog will probably need C-section;
  • if the dog doesn’t lick the sac off the puppy and doesn’t break the umbilical cord by her own, use your fingers to simulate the licking, and cut the umbilical cord by a string;
  • if the mother doesn’t lick the puppy, rub him with fabric to stimulate blood flow;
  • if a puppy’s breath is hardened, use a syringe bulb to remove fluids from the mouth and nose of the puppy;
  • after it’s done, offer your dog food and drink.

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In the end, we would like to say that the main thing you need to know about pregnancy and all the stuff is that any disturbing sign (bleeding, overly lethargic, or irritating behavior) should ring the bell – a vet knows better what to do in any case.

We and our partner provide vet consultations. Click here if you have a question.

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Author of Silvia Brown
Written by Silvia Brown
Glad to see you, my friends! I started this blog several years ago as a hobby and continue to write articles about dogs.
I'm a dog lover and the proud owner of two wonderful dogs: French Bulldog Maya and Beagle Tom. It's been more than 10 years since I had a dogs and worked closely with them. I've raised four dogs throughout my life and have experience assisting in the births of two dogs. At least once a week, I volunteer with friends at a dog shelter AMA Animal Rescue and Animal Care Centers of NYC in NY.

Comment Box of Shih Tzu Pregnancy Information: How long is a Shih Tzu Pregnant, Signs, Care and Food

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Crystal Slider
Crystal Slider
7 years ago

I really need help my dog Daisy get not up until June 6 I think her puppies are going to Be born on August 7 can anyone help me to let me know how far she is if I’m right she is 7 weeks and 5 days

Reply to  Crystal Slider
7 years ago

Hello, she will be mummy soon 🙂 I’ve sent you recommendations to your email

Robin Rindahl
Robin Rindahl
Reply to  Crystal Slider
2 years ago

How are your puppies and how did it go how many ty

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