My Shitzu is pregnant
My shitzu is pregnant & 20 months old, this will be her first litter. what can i expect?
ShihTzu's are small breed dogs, so she is fully mature at this age which is good.
Your dog will be pregnant for 63 days (give or take a day or two either side), counted from the day of conception. If you didn't see the mating itself, you can estimate her fertile period as being between days 10 and 15 of her heat cycle.
She will need extra food and nutrition from the middle to the end of her pregnancy, and while feeding her pups. Although, towards the very end she may not be able to eat much food at a time as her tummy is being compressed by her uterus full of puppies. Extra fluids are also good.
If you have any concerns about her during this time, be sure to consult your vet. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
As this is her first litter, she may have a long 'lead-up' to whelping, and may be confused and scared during this actual births. Make sure you are always with her when it gets near her 'time', and be prepared with your veterinarian's phone number handy in case of emergencies.
Most dogs can manage to give birth without too much assistance, but small breeds may have more difficulty delivering. If your dog has more than 2 hours between births, and seems to be contracting without producing a puppy, you need to consult your vet as there may be a puppy stuck in the birth canal.
Even in first labors, most dogs instinctively know what to do, and can take care of their puppies. Make sure she has a nice, warm, quiet place to deliver and care for her puppies.
You can find information on taking care of newborn puppies on my New Born Puppies page.
Best of luck.