Do you find one or two children a handful? Well spare a thought for a tiny Chihuahua set to enter the Guinness Book of Records after giving birth to a staggering 10 pups.
Coco’s owners, Dawn and Bill Slater from Cumbria, were told to expect five pups but were astounded when twice this number arrived.
The largest litter on record for any dog is 24, but the creation of a standalone category for Chihuahuas could now be created.
Coco’s pups were the size of mice when they were born 13 days ago and the smallest weighed in at only 70 grams, the same as two packets of crisps.
Bill, 52, explained: ‘When she had the fifth we thought that was it and so for a while we started to relax.
But Benji was quicker than anyone realised and just two days after Coco had her pups, Bambi delivered a surprise of her own and gave birth to another three.
Also living with Dawn and Bill are their two daughters, son and grandson.
Their bungalow is therefore home to 17 Chihuahuas, a collie-terrier cross, two cats, four adults, a teenager and a seven-week-old baby.
It what must be a tough time for the family Dawn said: ‘We have all been taking turns staying up with them then sleeping throughout the day.
‘Coco has only got eight teats so we have been having to take the bigger ones off to let the smaller ones on.’ Coco’s litter is being kept in the master bedroom and Bambi’s brood are camped out in daughter Shakira’s room.
hey have to be looked after separately otherwise their mums get confused when they hear whimpers from the pups.
Not yet able to walk, the puppies ‘swim’ across the boxes Bill specially made for them -which have heating pads underneath.
The Slaters will soon find the 10 pups new homes so are trying to not to get too attached.
Until then they’ll keep juggling their usual jobs of running Silloth Market, Cumbria, with doggy day-care.