How to Care for Pregnant Pets

Whether you have a cat or a dog that's expecting, it's important to be aware of the special care that pregnant pets require.
How to Care for Pregnant Pets

Last update: 01 December, 2019

How to care for pregnant pets

Whether we’re talking about pregnant dogs or pregnant cats, it’s important we know how to care for them. It’s true that, except for certain exceptions, pregnant pets can carry on with normal life. Just the same, it’s fundamental that their owners pay attention to their needs and changes.

Of course, taking them to the veterinarian is also important to make sure everything is evolving correctly. A vet will be able to assure that both the mother and her babies are in good health.

Caring for pregnant pets: Dogs

Pay good attention to the following advice to make sure that your pet spends the weeks to come as well as possible:

A pregnant dog walking outdoors.

1. Be careful with your dog’s nutrition

Consult with a veterinarian about the amount of food you should give your dog each day. Also, ask if there’s a special food you should be giving her during her pregnancy. Don’t forget that pregnant pets need more nutrients than in any other moment of their lives.

2. Don’t forget about exercise

As long as your pet’s routine is relaxed, it’s important that she keeps up her physical activityTaking your dog to the park is one of the best options. Your pet may not feel up to playing as much as usual, so respect her wishes. But do your best to get her to walk at least a few yards each day.

3. Keep her away from abrupt temperature changes

Both extreme heat and cold can be harmful to the health of pregnant pets. Abrupt temperature changes can be dangerous. Therefore, it’s a good idea to bundle her up before going outdoors during the winter months. In the same way, during the summer, only take her outdoors during the coolest hours of the day. Your dog’s metabolism is faster during pregnancy. So, keep her warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

4. Be sure your pet has access to fresh water at all times

It doesn’t matter what season you’re in or how hot or cold it is outdoors, you need to make sure your pet stays more hydrated than usual. If she’s not a big fan of water, then you’ll have to insist. Remember to change your pet’s water bowl on a daily basis.

Caring for pregnant pets: Cats

While it’s true felines are much more independent than dogs are during gestation, they still need additional care.

1. Give your pregnant cat the nutrition she needs

During the first weeks of a cat’s pregnancy, she can eat the same way as always. However, later on, you’ll need to change the type of food she eats, as well as the amount. Check with a veterinarian to find out just how much to give her. Some recommend giving pregnant cats kitten food because it contains more calories and nutrients.

2. Give her milk and water

Your cat should never go without liquids during her pregnancy. Take advantage of the fact that cats love milk and give it to her in the morning as breakfast. It’s true that cats prefer liquids that are moving–such as running water. However, they can become thirsty at any time. So, keep your cat’s water bowl full of fresh water at all times.

3. Let your feline pet play and jump

During the early stages of pregnancy, your cat can continue on with her normal life. That means you’ll probably see her running, climbing, or jumping all over the place as always. She won’t stop behaving this way until she starts putting on a little weight. When that happens, she won’t have as much energy as usual. When that happens, make sure she walks a little bit, even if it’s just around the house. Relaxed play is okay as well.

A pregnant cat lying on the floor.

4. Prepare a “nest”

Your cat will appreciate having a calm spot where she can have her babies. The place should be far away from loud noises and, at the same time, warm enough for giving birth. Set up a special corner ahead of time so she can get to know it. You can use cardboard with newspaper or a small pillow.

Lastly, whether it’s your cat or dog that’s expecting, remember that pregnant pets need plenty of care, attention, and dedication. Your pet is in the middle of an important moment in her life and will want to share it with you. Take advantage of the opportunity to spoil her more than usual and assure her that you’re with her every step of the way.

Source of main image: Julian Rodriguez

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.