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How Long Are Malteses Pregnant For (Gestation Period)

The gestation period refers to the time between conception and birth. On average, Maltese dogs are pregnant for approximately 63 days, though the range can vary from 58 to 68 days. Factors such as the health of the mother and genetic variations may influence the exact duration. Properly tracking the mating dates and working closely with a veterinarian can help predict the due date and ensure a smooth pregnancy.

Understanding Maltese Pregnancy

Maltese dogs, known for their affectionate and lively nature, are popular as beloved family pets. Female dogs experience estrus, commonly known as heat, during which they become receptive to mating. Maltese dogs typically reach sexual maturity between six and twelve months of age, but responsible breeding practices advocate waiting until they are at least two years old before allowing them to mate.

Signs of Maltese Pregnancy:

If you’re trying to figure out if your Maltese is pregnant, there are several specific signs to look for that can help you confirm her condition and ensure she gets the right care during her pregnancy. Maltese, with their distinct characteristics and small size, may exhibit certain pregnancy signs more prominently. Here’s what you might notice:

Appetite Changes: A Maltese might initially show less interest in food due to nausea in the early stages of pregnancy. However, as the pregnancy progresses, her appetite will likely increase significantly to support the nutritional needs of her developing puppies.

Physical Changes: Given the Maltese’s small stature, even slight abdominal enlargement can be quite noticeable. You may observe a more rounded belly and weight gain as the puppies grow.

Behavioral Shifts: Maltese are known for their affectionate and companionable nature. During pregnancy, your Maltese might become more attached or, conversely, might seek quiet places to rest more frequently than usual.

Nesting Behavior: As the birth approaches, your Maltese may start looking for a safe and cozy area to give birth, arranging blankets or bedding to create a comfortable nesting spot.

Frequent Urination: Due to the increased pressure on her bladder from the expanding uterus, your Maltese may need to go outside more often to urinate.

Visible Puppy Movement: In the later stages of pregnancy, you might be able to see or feel the puppies moving inside her, especially given the Maltese’s fine-boned structure and small size.

Restlessness Before Birth: As the time for delivery gets closer, your Maltese may show signs of restlessness or discomfort, indicating that labor is imminent.

How Many Puppies Do Maltese Dogs Have?

The size of a Maltese litter can vary, but on average, they typically have three to five puppies. Smaller breeds tend to have smaller litters compared to larger breeds. Factors such as the health and age of the mother may also influence the litter size. Adequate prenatal care, a balanced diet and a stress-free environment can positively impact the size and health of the litter.

Labor & Delivery

As the due date approaches, your Maltese will enter the labor phase, which usually occurs during the 63rd day of pregnancy. Labor is divided into three stages: early labor, active labor and delivery of the puppies. Early labor may involve restlessness and nesting behavior, while active labor is characterized by contractions and visible straining. During delivery, each puppy will be born in its individual amniotic sac and the mother will instinctively clean and care for them.

Postpartum Care for Maltese Dogs

After giving birth, the mother requires special attention and care to ensure a healthy recovery and successful puppy rearing. A warm, quiet and secure whelping area should be provided for the mother and her puppies. The mother will nurse her puppies frequently and you must monitor their growth and health. Adequate nutrition, fresh water and regular veterinary check-ups are essential during this phase.

Understanding the process of Maltese pregnancy and gestation is fundamental for responsible pet ownership. By being knowledgeable and prepared, you can provide the best possible care for your Maltese during this extraordinary phase of life. Remember that consulting with a veterinarian is essential throughout the entire journey to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and her precious puppies.

Maltese Specific Advice During Pregnancy

Maltese dogs, known for their small size and long, luxurious coats, have some unique aspects to consider during pregnancy. While many aspects of canine pregnancy are universal across breeds, certain breed-specific considerations can impact the care and management of a pregnant Maltese:

Small Size:
  • Physical Considerations: Maltese are a toy breed, and their small size can make them more susceptible to complications during pregnancy and whelping (birthing).
  • Dystocia Risk: The risk of dystocia, or difficulty in giving birth, may be higher due to the small pelvic size. Monitoring by a veterinarian is crucial, especially as the due date approaches, to determine if a cesarean section might be necessary.
Nutritional Needs:
  • Dietary Adjustments: Pregnant Malteses require a well-balanced, high-quality diet to support the nutritional demands of pregnancy and lactation. Given their small size, even slight increases in food volume can significantly impact their overall health, so adjustments should be made carefully and gradually under veterinary guidance.
Coat Care:
  • Matting and Hygiene: The long coat of a Maltese can easily become matted and may interfere with the birthing process or the puppies’ ability to nurse. Keeping the coat clean and well-groomed, and possibly trimming the fur around the belly and genital area, can help minimize complications and maintain hygiene.

Malteses Pregnancy – Gestation Period, Litter Size & How Long Are They Pregnant?