How Many Puppies Do Beagles Have? Zen Beagle Knows!
On average, A female beagle will typically give birth to 6 to 8 newborn puppies; however, litter sizes can range from 1 to 10 pups depending on several different factors.
Beagles are fun-loving, small to medium-sized dogs and members of the hound group. They are one of the most popular dogs in both the United States and England. They are a breed of dog known for their friendly, loyal, and energetic personalities, and their cute expressions with long floppy ears.
If you are thinking of bringing home a beagle or are simply curious about this breed, one question we hear often is: How many puppies do beagles have?
In this article, we will explore the answer to this question in detail and provide some additional information about beagles and their puppies.
What Happens During a Beagle Pregnancy?
A female beagle will have their first heat cycle around the age of 6 months. According to the American Kennel Club, these heat cycles will continue approximately every 6 months for the remainder of her life, unless she is pregnant or you have her spayed.
Regardless of breed, all dogs will be full-term and deliver their puppies an average of 63 days after the time of conception. It is normal for the beagle’s pregnancy to last between 58 to 65 days. However, if your Beagle has not delivered after the 65 day mark, you should contact your veterinarian immediately and prepare for a visit to the vet.
Related: How Long Are Beagles Pregnant?
During the first several weeks of pregnancy, your Beagle’s food consumption will remain pretty regular but you may notice a small decrease in appetite during this time. By the time the pregnancy hits 4 weeks, there should be a noticeable increase in appetite.
On average, you can expect your female beagle to eat 20% to 30% more food than normal. A healthy and balanced diet is always recommended for your beagles, but this is especially true during pregnancy – proper nutrition is important to both mother beagle and the developing puppies.
With regard to a pregnant Beagle’s weight, you will see approximately a 15% to 25% gain. For example, a 25 pound female Beagle will gain anywhere from 4 to 6 pounds during a typical pregnancy. Their weight gain will vary somewhat depending on the size of the litter.
In addition to the puppies in utero, this extra weight also includes excess water, amniotic fluid, body tissue, excess blood, the umbilical cord, and the placenta itself.
It is important to provide enough exercise, but not strenuous exercise, during her pregnancy to maintain a healthy weight and conditioning.
What is the Average Litter Size for a Beagle?
The average litter size for beagles is between 6 to 8 puppies. However, it is not uncommon for beagles to have smaller or larger litters. Factors such as the age and health of the mother, as well as the breeding practices, can influence litter size.
Beagle litters can range from 1 to 10 puppies – our first Beagle CeeCee, was the only puppy in her litter and was absolutely spoiled rotten!
Female Beagles will often have similar sized litters in subsequent pregnancies. That is, if your Beagle has 5 puppies in their first litter, then they are very likely to have 4 to 6 in there next litter of puppies.
It is crucial to ensure that both the mother Beagle and the puppies receive excellent care both during and after the birthing. A lot of care and attention is necessary, a female beagle giving birth to a large litter can take several hours or more.
Set aside plenty of time to be able to view Mother Beagle and her newborn pups, if health issues arise, immediate action must be taken to properly care for the dogs.
How Soon Can You to Check Your Beagle's Litter Size?
During week 7 or 8 of the pregnancy (which is only a couple weeks prior to their due date) the puppies’ bones have calcified so you can schedule your dog for radiography. This is the best method to identify how many puppies are in your mother beagle’s womb. With calcified bones, the skeletons have formed, and will show up on the x-rays.
Work closely with your veterinarian so that you can schedule the best time to have the radiography. Having an idea of how many puppies to expect in the litter will be beneficial when planning what supplies to have on hand and also will give you an indication on when labor and the birthing have concluded.
It is not recommended to have multiple radiography exams since the radiation can be detrimental to both the Beagle mother and her puppies.
Beagle Puppy Development
Newborn beagles are born deaf, blind, and entirely dependent on their mother for food and care. During the first few weeks of their lives, they will spend most of their time sleeping and feeding. As they grow, they will start to explore their surroundings and interact with their littermates.
At around 3 to 4 weeks of age, beagle puppies will begin to develop their senses of hearing and sight. They will also start to become more physically active. At this point, they may start to eat some solid food, although they will still rely heavily on their mother’s milk.
Around 8 weeks of age, beagle puppies are typically weaned and can be separated from their mother and litter mates. At this point, they are old enough to be adopted and will require plenty of socialization, training, and attention to become a well adjusted family member.
Related: Recognizing and Preventing Beagle Separation Anxiety.
Factors that Can Affect How Many Puppies Beagles Have
There are several factors that can have a bearing on the number of offspring your Beagle has. Check out the three most common factors below.
Mother Beagle's Age
Both younger and older female beagles tend to have smaller litter sizes. Adult beagles that are 2 to 5 years of age are in their prime breeding period and will have their largest litters. It is not recommended to breed senior female beagles as the pregnancy and the birthing can be very hard on a senior beagle mother, possibly causing major health concerns or even death.
First Beagle Pregnancy
The number of puppies that come from a first-time mothers pregnancy will provide a good indication of how many puppies you can expect from subsequent pregnancies.
Often times a good breeder will recognize that a female is producing small litters and retire her from breeding. These retired females can be purchased from the breeder and make really fantastic house pets after they acclimate to their new environment and family.
Mother Beagle's Overall Health
A female dog with existing health issues is more likely to produce a smaller litter. In addition to fewer puppies, a female dog with health conditions prior or during pregnancy poses a health risk to both herself and her puppies.
If your beagle is pregnant and has known health issues, it is extremely important to pay close attention to her during the pregnancy and the entirety of the birthing process. Some symptoms to watch out for include loss of appetite, heavy panting or labored breathing and lethargy.
In summary, the typical litter size for beagles is between 6 to 8 puppies, although larger or smaller litters are possible. While beagle puppies are undeniably adorable, taking care of a litter of puppies is a significant responsibility that requires a lot of time, effort, and resources.
If you are considering getting a beagle, or any other breed of purebred dogs, and plan to breed a female beagle, it is important to be prepared for the commitment and to provide proper care and attention to both the mother and the puppies.