Raising puppies is an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. When your beagle has a litter, the joy is doubled.
As you get ready for this special time, it’s essential to understand what to anticipate regarding your beagle’s litter size.
It’s helpful to have an idea of the typical number of puppies beagles usually have. This article delves into this topic.
Beagles are incredibly charming dogs, and if your beagle is expecting puppies, it’s a thrilling time.
You might be curious about how many puppies beagles usually have.
What Is The Typical Size of a Beagle’s Litter?
The number of puppies in a beagle’s litter isn’t certain.
Typically, beagle litters have around four to eight pups, with an average of six healthy puppies for a medium-sized beagle.
This average applies even to first-time pregnancies.
However, it’s challenging to predict the exact number of pups your beagle will have. It could be as few as six or as many as ten puppies.
For a more precise estimate, consider getting an X-ray for your beagle around week 6 of her pregnancy.
At this point, the puppies’ bones are fully developed, providing you with an exact count.
Factors That Can Influence The Size of Your Beagle’s Litter:
No matter if this is your first time dealing with a beagle’s pregnancy, the whole journey is filled with excitement and lasting memories.
While beagles typically have around six puppies, there are certain factors that can influence this number, causing it to be either more or less than six.
Here are some factors that can affect the usual number of puppies in your beagle’s litter:
The first time your beagle has puppies can give you a clue about what to expect in the future.
If her first pregnancy resulted in a small litter, it’s likely that her subsequent litter will also be small.
For instance, if your beagle had an average of 5 puppies during her first pregnancy, you can expect a maximum of six in the following pregnancies.
The Age of the Parents
Another aspect that can impact how many puppies your beagle has is the age of the parents.
Both very young and older beagles tend to have smaller litters.
The ideal age for breeding beagles is between 2 to 5 years old.
Additionally, once a female beagle reaches menopause, you can anticipate an even further decrease in the litter size.
The Health of Your Beagle
A female beagle with existing health issues may have a smaller litter.
If she has chronic illnesses or isn’t in good health, it can make her pregnancy more challenging.
You should carefully watch over her to ensure the safety of both her and the puppies during the pregnancy.
The Ideal Moment to Determine Your Beagle’s Litter Size
You still won’t be able to determine the exact litter size early on.
Getting an ultrasound at 30 to 35 days of pregnancy isn’t very useful because the puppies are still developing and there’s limited information available during this stage.
The best time for a more accurate assessment is between 7 to 8 weeks of pregnancy when you can schedule your dog for radiography.
This method allows you to see how many puppies have developed skeletons in your beagle’s womb.
Once their skeletons have formed, they will be visible in the X-rays.
Timing a beagle’s pregnancy is tricky because it only lasts for a maximum of two months.
Collaborate closely with your veterinarian to determine the best timing for ultrasound or radiography.
It’s not advisable to repeat these procedures frequently as it can be detrimental to your beagle and her puppies.
Beagles are robust dogs, and when they are in their best health, they can easily give birth to as many as six healthy puppies.
How to Take Care of a New Litter of Beagles
When beagle puppies are born, they typically weigh just a few ounces and are unable to open their eyes or move around independently.
One of the most important things you can do is to ensure the mother is well-fed and comfortable.
This way, she can provide nourishment to the pups and ensure that every puppy in the litter grows up safely.
Steps to Care for Newborn Beagles:
- Prepare in Advance: Gather necessary supplies like towels, cotton balls, a small warming box, thermometer, heating pad, and waste disposal items if needed.
- After the First Birth: Allow the mother beagle to nurse the first puppy. Only touch the puppy when the mother allows it; she will be very protective initially.
- Prepare the Warming Box: Set up a small warming box with a heating pad on low heat and cover it with several towels. When ready, gently place the first puppy in the warming box.
- Repeat for Other Puppies: Repeat the same process for the remaining puppies.
- Give Privacy: Once all the puppies are born, place them near the mother beagle and allow them privacy.
- Handle with Care: Be very gentle with newborn puppies as they are fragile, and unintentional handling can harm them.
Common Complications During Beagle Whelping:
Smooth Sailing with a Healthy Mother: If the mother beagle is healthy, there are usually no complications during her pregnancy.
It’s best to let the mother and her puppies bond naturally during the birth process. Interfering can cause problems, so it’s best to avoid it.
Intervention in Emergencies: However, there are times when your intervention becomes necessary.
Occasionally, a mother beagle may become confused or frightened upon seeing her puppies.
In such cases, she might ignore them. It’s important to feed the neglected puppies until the mother forms a bond with them.
Large Litter Challenges: If the litter size is large, the mother beagle may not be able to care for all the puppies at once.
In such cases, your role becomes crucial in feeding and caring for the overlooked puppies.
Dealing with Major Issues: Sometimes, more serious problems can arise, such as puppy or mother fatalities, insufficient milk production, or mastitis (swelling of the mammary gland due to a bacterial infection).
In these situations, it’s essential to seek immediate veterinary assistance.
Precautions to Take During Birth:
Here are some important steps to follow:
- Proper Heating: Place the heating pad on medium heat under the blanket where the mother and her puppies rest. Ensure that half of the resting area is not on the heating pad (maintain room temperature) so the mother and puppies can adjust their body temperature as needed.
- Regular Monitoring: Keep a close eye on each puppy’s weight, recording it at birth and weekly during the early stages. Share this information with your vet when you take them for vaccinations and deworming.
- Feeding Malnourished Puppies: If any puppies are malnourished, it’s crucial to step in. Use a baby bottle to feed them dog-recommended milk every two hours, even during the night, for the next four weeks. Afterward, gradually transition them to solid foods.
The Bond between the Mother and Her Siblings:
By the time your puppies reach four weeks of age, they’ve developed their senses of hearing and vision, and they’ve even learned to take their first steps.
These curious little ones will want to explore their surroundings, and it’s your responsibility to create a safe play area for them while keeping their well-being in mind.
During this time, they are still developing their bond with their mother, so it’s important to handle your interactions with them with extreme care.
Once they reach the age of 8 weeks, you can start to separate them from their mother.
Your role is more than just babysitting; you become their true caretaker from the moment they are born.
Your responsibilities include feeding any malnourished puppies and engaging with them when they reach 8 weeks of age and are ready to learn about your family.
How Long Should a Newborn Litter Stay with Its Mother?
Without a doubt, newborn puppies should spend time with their litter-mates, especially their mother.
This time is crucial for receiving proper training, learning social manners, and getting the best nourishment – their mother’s milk.
In terms of timing, the ideal period for puppies to stay with their mothers is around ten weeks.
This duration allows them to develop optimally, receive the necessary nourishment, and learn valuable lessons from their mother’s example.
If a puppy stays with its mother and litter-mates for more than three months, it may struggle to adapt to interactions with humans and other animals.
This prolonged attachment could lead to behavioral problems such as excessive growling, disobedience, and separation anxiety.
Dogs, especially beagles, are known for their strength and independence.
Whether you’re a breeder or a dog owner who unexpectedly finds themselves in this situation, it’s reassuring to know that beagles can handle the birthing process on their own.
However, they will certainly benefit from your support, providing them with shelter, food, and care during the whelping process.
Wishing you the best of luck with your new litter!