How Many Puppies Do Rat Terriers Have? Pregnancy Guide

How Many Puppies Do Rat Terriers Have? Pregnancy Guide

When your beautiful furry friend gets pregnant, it’s a time of excitement. Your doggo deserves special treatments now and undivided attention. We’re ready to guide you through this. Let’s find out more about Rat Terrier’s pregnancy and how many puppies do Ratties have.

First of all, how many puppies do Rat Terriers have? During a Rat Terrier pregnancy, the mummy dog will usually lay a litter of 5 to 7 puppies, but this depends on various factors; and we’ll explain everything in the discussion.

How Long Is A Rat Terrier’s Pregnancy?

Every pregnant lady goes through a period where she carries her babies inside until they’re ready to be born. We, humans, stay for nine months before delivering babies, so, naturally, it’s the same in the animal world too.

Sometimes their pregnancy cycle is longer than ours, but many animals have shorter cycles than us. One of such is dogs. 

Usually, the delivery occurs around 1.5 to 3.5 months after the mummy-dog mated with the father. Rat Terriers stay for 53 to 64 days after the initial mating to pop their pups. 

But this could vary according to many factors. Such as the age of the female doggo or her ovulation dates. Sperm can stay in the womb for 48 hours before getting together with the egg and fertilizing it. Delays like these will also set back the date that she gives birth. 

What Is The Average Litter For A Rat Terrier? Litter Size 

Having a batch of eight or ten puppies at once is typical among dogs. Sometimes it could be even larger.

Similarly, during a Rat Terrier pregnancy, the mummy-doggo will have around five to seven puppies, but it can vary from dog to dog. Such as;

  • The size of the doggo-mum-to-be 

To hold a big litter inside, the female dog must also have a significantly big body. But a Rat Terrier pregnancy will only produce a litter of around 5 to 7 pups to match the size of the female Ratties body size. 

  • The age of the stud and the female-dog 

The age of the female dog affects a lot in determining the litter size. Naturally, the first Rat Terrier pregnancy will result in a smaller litter than the rest.

And AKC recommends that you mate your female first in her life during the second or third heat cycles because your girl will be ready to get pregnant and very fertile at that age. 

Even though the effect of a stud’s age is very low on a Rat Terrier pregnancy, the older he gets, the quality of his sperms will drop, affecting the size of the litter. 

  • Health and the diet pattern of the couple

Health plays a vast role in the litter size of a Rat Terrier. For a pregnancy to be healthy and produce a good batch of litter, the diet plays a great deal.

Because highly nutritious food makes both parents healthy, they become effective in producing healthy puppies. 

Moreover, both dog’s genes involve generating a sizeable litter after a Rat Terrier pregnancy.

How Do You Know When Your Rat Terrier Is About To Give Birth 

you must give your girl as much help as you can when she’s in labor. When humans are going into labor, many doctors will be around to assist them. But in the animal world, things are different. They have to tend to themselves alone. 

Even though they have developed it in their genes about giving birth alone, it’ll help if you could give a hand in the process. But before you do so, you have to know how to identify the labor in dogs.

You’ll notice that your soon-to-be-mom ‘s body has some changes to the end of the Rat Terrier pregnancy.

Her breasts will be significantly grown and oozing milk because her milk glands are starting to work. Her big belly will be at its maximum size, and you’ll also see her pups moving around inside. 

Expect your girl to be ready for whelping, AKA the birth of her puppies, by this time. About two days before giving birth, the female dog will start nesting and trying to make a comfortable place for her and the pups.

Also, 24 hours before going into labor her rectal temperature will drop below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Pacing, shaking, digging, and vomiting will happen a few hours before delivery.

Moreover, if you ever see a bloody discharge at the end of the Rat Terrier pregnancy, don’t be surprised or scared that there’s a problem. It’s a sign of labor.

How Can You Help Your Rat Terrier When She Gives Birth? How Long Does It Take?

It could take anywhere from one or two hours to twelve hours for labor caused by a Rat Terrier pregnancy to end. By then, all the puppies will be born. But 12 hours is a very long time.

Other than letting your Rattie handle it on her own, it’s better to keep giving her some side support. 

Let’s see how you can do that. Even though they don’t need much help from us, we could always set up the environment so that she could give birth comfortably. 

  • Set Up A Clean Hygienic Place

Birthing is a sensitive event, so wherever your girl is to give birth, you need to ensure no germ escapes inside. So, set up a cozy corner for your doggo with clean, smooth bedding.

  • Puppy’s Outer Membrane

Each puppy will come out of its mother with a thin membrane. The mother dog will chew it off, but if she cannot do it within 2 minutes, your assistance will be required. 

  • Prevent Her From Overeating

Giving birth is not an easy process. During a Rat Terrier pregnancy, she might lose blood and body organs such as the placenta. Many dogs eat this as it comes out with the pups but later vomits.

Your Rattie will be exhausted after hours of giving birth, so vomiting later will cause her much discomfort and weaken her. So you must prevent her from eating those.

  • Keep Her Hydrated 

Usually, a Rattie will refuse food when she’s at the edge of giving birth. But staying hydrated is very important. So try to get her to drink some water before she starts labor.

Also, other than cleaning the newborn babies, be ready to call the vet if any complications occur.

Useful Gear For A Successful Delivery For Your Rat Terrier

You must be wondering what items you’d need to get ready for the Rat Terrier pregnancy. Well, let’s see. 

  • Whelping box

First of all, you need to prepare where your baby girl will give birth. The whelping box will provide warmth to mom and puppies and protect the pups from getting cold or crushed by the birthing dog. You can buy one online or build a whelping box for your girl.

  • Scale 

It’s essential to check the weight of newborns. So make sure you have a scale in hand.

  • Antibacterial wipes

You always need to keep your hands and the area clean if you’re helping during the Rat Terrier pregnancy. 

  • Some soft clothes

When the puppies are born, you will need to hold them securely and clean the blood and other fluids off its body. For that, a few soft yet clean clothes will come in handy.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you got some valuable insights by reading this article! Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed.


  • Lisa Watson

    Lisa W. is a practicing certified veterinarian (BVetMed Hons in Veterinary Medicine) who graduated from Royal Veterinary College, UK. One of her research fields is mixed-dog breeds and their temperament, behavioral issues, and genetic health concerns. Also, she gathers data about purebred dog breeds and their origin, lifespan, and genetic conditions. Lisa is a loving dog parent who is keen to share her expertise with other fellow dog parents.

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