With their piercing blue eyes, unique coat patterns, and comfy hugs, it’s hard to resist huskies. What’s even harder to resist is a husky puppy, with tiny paws and all!
If you have a pregnant husky female, you’re probably excited about the puppies that’ll grace your house in the upcoming weeks. But you need to know how many puppies your dog is expecting, so you can get all supplies ready.
So how many puppies can a husky have? A female husky can have 4-6 puppies each time she gets pregnant, but the number may change according to many factors.
Here’s everything you need to know about the husky litter size and the factors that affect it.
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How Many Puppies Can a Husky Have?
A female husky can give birth to 4-6 puppies per litter, but that’s only an average. Some litters are smaller and some are larger; it depends on plenty of factors that we’ll discuss later. Some dogs can give birth to litters as large as 8 pups.
On top of that, the first litter in a female’s lifetime is often the smallest; it can be as small as two or three pups.
How Many Puppies Can a Husky Have on the First Pregnancy?
A female husky often gives birth to 2-4 puppies on the first pregnancy, and some dogs may give birth to up to six pups, depending on many factors. It differs from dog to dog, but the first time often comes with the smallest litter sizes because the dog will still be young.
How Many Puppies Can a Husky Have on the Second Pregnancy?
Huskies usually get the largest litter sizes on the second and third times they’re pregnant. So, if a dog gives birth to 2-4 puppies the first time, she may give birth to 4-6 puppies the second time.
Of course, the amount may vary according to a lot of variables, but these are general estimations. More often than not, the second time will yield more pups.
About Husky Litter Size
Huskies have relatively large litter sizes compared to other breeds, but it differs from one dog to another. According to size, hormonal balance, and age, some female huskies will give birth to more than 8 pups per litter.
Litter size isn’t the only factor where huskies come on top of other breeds. They’re also stronger than most dogs of the same size. In addition to that, they have high endurance for cold and frosty climates.
To know where huskies fall on the litter sizes spectrum, here are a few popular breeds and their litter size:
- French Bulldogs: 2-4 dogs
- Beagles: 4-6 dogs
- Golden Retriever: 4-7 dogs
- Bulldogs: 3-4 dogs
- Poodles: 5-7 dogs
- German Shepherds: 6-9 dogs
Factors That Affect Husky Litter Size
A female husky’s litter size can vary according to plenty of factors, such as nutrition, age, and hormonal balance. Here’s a roundup:
Female dogs need the same things humans need when pregnant, most importantly nutrition. If a pregnant dog isn’t properly fed, there’s a high chance she’ll give birth to a smaller litter size than average.
Underfeeding dogs when they’re pregnant may lead to embryo loss, which means the dog will give birth to 2-3 pups instead of 4-6 healthy ones.
Malnutrition also causes the puppies to be born fragile and small.
It’s not news that age affects a female’s ability to give birth, not only in humans but in most animals as well.
An older female dog will give birth to a smaller litter. It’s said that dogs give birth to the largest litter when they’re between 2 and 5 years old. After that, the reproductive hormones decline, and the dog undergoes some physical changes, which causes her to give birth to fewer pups.
A male dog’s age can affect the litter size as well. According to studies, older dogs have a lower sperm count, which leads to smaller litters.
Genetics has to do with almost every function living organisms do, even giving birth. They play a rough role in determining a female’s litter size. For example, inbred dogs may have shorter lifespans and smaller litter sizes due to breeding with close relatives.
Likewise, some dogs are genetically predisposed to give birth to large litters, and some dogs aren’t.
Pregnancy and giving birth are all about hormones, so a female’s hormonal balance can determine the litter size she’ll give birth to.
The chief pregnancy hormones are estrogen and progesterone.
When any of these hormones fall or rise higher than the healthy level, it may affect the pups’ health or the litter size. Hypoluteoidism, which is only another name for low progesterone levels, is one of the leading reasons for smaller-than-average litter sizes.
How Many Times Can a Female Husky Get Pregnant?
Dogs can only get pregnant when they’re in heat, so the frequency of pregnancy depends on how many times the female can get in heat.
Breeds differ in that matter. For example, female huskies usually go into heat twice annually, while smaller breeds may go into heat more times, which leads to more pregnancies.
Larger breeds, on the other hand, may go into heat only once a year, which means they get pups less frequently.
A female husky can get pregnant once a year or every two years.
While these dogs go into heat twice a year, pregnancy takes a huge toll on their bodies, and they need ample time to recover. So, breeders often wait 18 months after birth before breeding huskies again, so the mother isn’t put under much strain.
This means a husky can get pregnant roughly 5 times during her lifetime, or less depending on her health and nutrition.
So, how many puppies can a husky have? A healthy female husky can give birth to up to six pups each time of pregnancy, but the number may vary depending on many factors.
These factors include age, nutrition, and hormonal balance.
Younger dogs with healthier hormonal levels and sufficient nutrition will often give birth to more pups. However, the first time may not yield as many as six pups; the second litter is often larger.
If your husky is pregnant, make sure you are feeding her the best dog food for pregnant huskies.