Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Marco
If you are reading this, perhaps you have a female Husky who is in the family way, or you may be contemplating breeding from her.
How many puppies a bitch has can depend on a few factors. If it is her first litter, then the number of pups is likely to be smaller.
In this article, we will explore the topic, how many puppies does a Husky have the first time? and other areas related to Husky pregnancy and labor.
How Many Puppies Can A Husky Have?
If it is her first litter, the average number of puppies that first-time Husky moms have is between four and six. Any litters she has after that are likely to be larger.
But this is just an average! Bitches that are overweight or underweight tend to have smaller litters. Age can play a part in litter size too.
You can read more about the factors that determine litter size in bitches here.
If your Husky is pregnant, the only true way to know how many puppies will be pregnant is by having a vet perform an ultrasound on her.
At What Age Can A Husky Get Pregnant?
On average, a female bitch has her first experience coming into heat when she is 6 months of age. Of course, this can occur a little earlier or a little later.
Once this occurs, she can become pregnant. But just because your Husky has come on heat does not mean she is ready to have a litter. 6 months is still way too young; she is still growing herself.
Huskies are not fully grown until they are 12 to 18 months old, and so they should not become pregnant earlier than this. This is for the health and safety of both the mother and her babies.
Bitches Should Ideally Become Pregnant No Younger Than Two Years Of Age.
And like with humans, the older the bitch, the more risky the pregnancy will be, with it being more likely that there will be complications.
Before getting pregnant, the mother dog should be in tip-top condition – meaning that she is the ideal weight for her height, that she is up-to-date with her vaccinations, worming, and flea treatments, and she has had a vet check to rule out any health conditions.
She should also be eating a highly nutritious diet before, during, and after pregnancy (during lactation.)
Read more about how to care for a pregnant bitch here.
Husky Labor: What To Expect
Signs that your bitch is about to go into labor are:
- Becoming restless (2 days before)
- Looking for a quiet and private place to give birth (2 days before)
- Her body temperature drops (1 day before)
You should have already prepared a whelping box for her to give birth in, and familiarized her with it prior to this.
Dog Labor Happens In Three Stages:
During stage one, the puppies are ‘lining up’ in the uterus, waiting to come out. The bitch’s uterus is contracting, though this is not visible on the outside.
Look for a watery discharge from her vagina. This is a sign that her cervix is opening.
She will have taken to her whelping box, and she will refuse food at this stage.
Stage one lasts for 12 to 24 hours.
During stage two, the bitch will give birth to her puppies. Contractions are progressively stronger and visible, and the mother bitch may yelp or pant.
The vaginal discharge may vary in color – clear, red, and green are all considered normal.
This stage should only last for one to two hours.
This is the stage where the mother bitch delivers the placenta. There should be one placenta (also known as ‘afterbirth’) per puppy.
In some cases, the bitch will have a puppy and then deliver the placenta. In other instances, she will have two pups then pass two placentas, for example. The placenta comes about 15 minutes after the pup. It is really important that you count the number of placentas and that there is one for each pup, regardless of the order they come out in.
Some bitches will want to eat the placenta. This is normal and allowable.
If a placenta is not passed and remains inside the mother bitch then this can lead to infection and death! So call your vet right away if this occurs.
Other Reasons To Call The Vet
Call your vet right away if you observe any of the following during your bitch’s labor:
- She appears exhausted or unhappy
- Her contractions are forceful but intermittent
- Has not given birth to a pup two days after her temperature dropped
- Strains for over an hour without producing a puppy
- Does not pass a puppy two hours after she passed the last one
The Takeaway On Husky Pregnancy
Huskies will come into heat when they are approximately 6 months old. But this does not mean that she is ready to become pregnant because her body and her mind still have a whole lot of growing to do.
Huskies are fully grown by the time they are 12 to 18 months old. The ideal time for a Husky to have her first litter is when she is around two years old.
Before getting pregnant, your Husky girl should be in the best of health.
For a Husky, that is in top health and it is their first litter of puppies, on average you can expect that she will have between four and six babies.
Any other litters that she has after that are likely to be larger.
Female dogs start to ‘nest’ a day or two before they go into labor.
Dog labor has three phases – the uterus contracting, the passing of the babies, and the passing of the placenta (of which there is one per pup.)
You can help your Husky mom by preparing a whelping box for her and familiarizing her with it prior to her going into labor.
Keep your vet’s emergency number on speed dial, in case your Husky or her puppies need help during labor and birth.
Read more about: How Long Are Huskies In Heat?