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How Long Are Shih Tzus Pregnant? What You Need to Know!

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

mother shih tzu feeding her puppies

If you’re the proud owner of a Shih Tzu, you know how amazing and sweet these dogs can be. Also, if you think your Shih Tzu is absolutely adorable, wait until you see the puppies. Shih Tzus are pregnant for, on average, 63 days.1 This can, of course, vary by several days in either direction. We’ll discuss how long this breed stays pregnant, how to care for your furry friend during the pregnancy, and more in the article below.

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Pregnancy Length of a Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu, like most dogs, is pregnant for an average of 63 days, give or take a few. The biggest problem is determining when your little dog became pregnant. That can be difficult to do because even if you’ve been watching your dog, sperm can survive for days, and the dog’s eggs are fertile for at least two days. You can find out how far along your Shih Tzu is by taking her to the vet.

white and brown Shih tzu standing on the grass
Image Credit: Radosław Zmudziński, Pixabay

How Many Puppies Should You Expect?

While most dogs can have puppies into the double digits in one litter, that’s not true with the Shih Tzu. You can expect a litter of between three and four puppies, though this can also vary.

Signs Your Shih Tzu is Expecting

If you’re concerned that your Shih Tzu is pregnant or hoping she will be soon, you’re probably wondering what the signs to look for might be.

  • Nausea
  • Gaining weight
  • Prominent nipples
  • Increased appetite
  • Mucous discharge present

If you see these symptoms in your Shih Tzu, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet immediately. Your vet will do ultrasounds and administer a blood test so that you’ll know for sure. Not only will the vet be able to tell you how far along your pet is, but they’ll also give you tips on proper nutrition for your little mother-to-be so that she and the puppies will have the best chance of staying healthy and happy through the pregnancy.

Cute Shih Tzu the dog looks at the owner with sleepiness.
Image Credit: Phonpipat Jampatip, Shutterstock

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Tips for Taking Care of Your Shih Tzu During Pregnancy

Your vet will advise you on how to take care of your little mother-to-be during her pregnancy, but we’ll give you a few tips in the section below.


Whether a Shih Tzu should take supplements during pregnancy is debated back and forth between breeders. Some feel that extra vitamins and minerals aren’t necessary for the Shih Tzu, and some think they are. It’s best to consult your vet and see if they believe the supplements are needed before making a final decision.

giving shih tzu a dog supplement
Image Credit: ALPA PROD, Shutterstock


While your vet will give you advice on nutrition, many pet owners switch their pregnant Shih Tzus to a puppy formula food once they find out she’s pregnant. However, it’s essential to start mixing the new food with her regular food gradually to avoid making the dog sick.

Mood Swings

Many pet owners don’t know it, but dogs have mood swings when pregnant, just like humans. Your loving, lap-sitting dog may become distant and not want to be around anyone. However, the dog may decide she wants to be up under you all the time and be upset when she’s alone. Either way, do your best to give your Shih Tzu her space.

If you have children, it’s best to keep an eye on them when they play, as she could sometimes be irritable. It’s also possible that the mother-to-be will fight with or snap at dogs and cats she used to love to play with. Dogs are just like humans in this regard when they are expecting!

pure white shih tzu dog on couch looking sad
Image Credit: Lindsay Helms, Shutterstock

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What Is the Earliest Age a Shih Tzu Can Become Pregnant?

According to the AKC, it’s best to wait until your pet is at least 8 months old before breeding them. If your Shih Tzu is under this age, her body isn’t mature enough to handle the pregnancy, so it’s best to wait. Although 8 months is the minimum, most breeders do not breed Shih Tzus until they’re 2 years old.

What Is the Oldest Age a Shih Tzu Can Become Pregnant?

The oldest age a Shih Tzu can become pregnant is seven years old; this is for the pregnancy to be safe for the dog and the puppies. Many dogs will be unable to become pregnant by this age, and it won’t be safe for them to do so. If you’re considering breeding an older Shih Tzu, it’s best to consult your vet before deciding.

brindle shih tzu dog
Image Credit: 12122, Pixabay

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If you’ve decided to breed your Shih Tzu, it’s best to take the dog in for a checkup with your vet to determine if it is healthy enough to handle the pregnancy. If you don’t want to breed your dog, you need to find out how old the dog is and have her spayed before she is of child-bearing age, or you might find yourself with a litter of Shih Tzu puppies you can’t take care of.

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Featured Image Credit: Pedro Helder Pinheiro, Shutterstock

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