Can puppies in the same litter have different dads?

Can puppies in the same litter have different dads?
The answer: Yes!

By: Cris Raiche

The scientific term is called superfecundation, and it happens often among un-spayed, stray females who mate with two or more males.
How does it happen?
When female dogs are in heat, they release many eggs during their three-to-four-week fertile period. Since sperm can remain in the female dog’s reproductive tract for up to seven days, female dogs don’t have to ovulate on the day they mated to become pregnant. If a female dog has mated with two or more male dogs, she can have puppies from different dads in the same litter. While the puppies may have different dads, each individual puppy will only have one father.
Does superfecundation happen only in dogs?
Cats, like dogs, can also have litters with different dads. Superfecundation occurs when during the same heat cycle, two or more eggs become fertilized by different mates. Animals that have multiple eggs and often large litter sizes can have litters with different dads.
Is superfecundation harmful?
Not typically. In dogs, if the female is in good health and becomes pregnant by two or more dogs of an equal to a smaller size than herself, then generally there is no issue. If there is a size mismatch between the female and a male, it could create pups much larger than the female is designed to carry and could make for a difficult birth
How different might puppies in the same litter look?
Take a look at all these adorable puppies and their mama coming to Ruff Start Rescue!
While a few do look just like their mama, others look like yellow labs or rottweiler mixes. If you’re able, please consider helping to foster << Foster – Ruff Start Rescue>>, or adopt <<Adopt – Ruff Start Rescue>>, or donate <<Ways to Give – Ruff Start Rescue>> to help not only these sweet animals – but all the animals we care for and help to find their forever homes. We are dedicated to saving the lives of animals in need and know we couldn’t do this important work without the help and support of the many generous and kind people who love animals just as much as we do. Thank you!