Dog Pregnancy - Three Diet Tips to Follow

You should keep an eye on your pet and their diet at all times. But, some special instances, such as dog pregnancy, require your special attention.
Dog Pregnancy - Three Diet Tips to Follow

Last update: 07 November, 2019

The arrival of new members is always a source of good news. But you must ensure a proper diet that’s suited for dog pregnancy so the outcome is as happy as it should be. Today My Animals would like to give you a few simple tips and guidelines.

Dog pregnancy – what’s it like?

A dog’s gestation period lasts an average of two months, from 57 to 65 days, to be precise. Both their body and physical and nutritional needs are ever-changing and will vary throughout that time. Right after your vet confirms the dog’s pregnancy, one of the first things you’ll notice in the animal is how their daily activity considerably decreases. Thus, they’ll spend most of their day lying down and resting in general.

Another symptom that indicates a dog is pregnant is the gradual loss of appetite. This is completely normal and is due to the fact that a bitch’s stomach compresses to create more space as her fetuses develop.

This, as we said above, can decrease their appetite and their first nausea will also appear. But, it’s important to emphasize that both the dog and her pups will need an extra nutritional contribution. So, one of the first measures you should take is to increase their daily food allowance.

Extra food during pregnancy

A dog and her puppies.

The extra supply of energy is vital throughout your dog’s pregnancy. However, you should carefully administer that extra dose because the dog will feel sick during the first weeks and will, most likely, not have much appetite.

You can gradually increase their food allowance from the fifth week on, approximately. For example, you can add an extra 5% to their daily meals every week. This will ensure that all puppies can equally receive their dose of nutrients. Don’t worry if your pet progressively gains weight as this is normal during pregnancy.

Add puppy food to your pregnant dog’s diet

A dog cleaning her pups.

It may sound weird, but puppy food is an ideal complement to a pregnant bitch. This kind of food is particularly designed to be an energy and protein booster. And, it contains essential nutrients in a higher proportion.

You can begin to feed your dog this special food from the third week. It’s best if you do it progressively until the day when it becomes the total of their daily diet. Also, continue this diet until the puppies are entirely weaned; this way you’ll ensure that they all receive the necessary nutrients they need to grow strong.

Dog pregnancy – Other useful tips throughout

It’s essential to provide your pregnant dog with plenty of drinking water. An expectant animal will tend to drink a lot of water throughout her gestation. So, place several bowls of clean water in the areas of the house where your bitch spends most of her time. Keep in mind she’ll have a harder time getting around in the last stages of her pregnancy and would surely appreciate always having water at her disposal.

Finally, nutrition and exercise are directly related and it’s for this reason that you need to maintain a routine of moderate exercise. This is highly beneficial for the mother-to-be. Of course, you should avoid high-intensity activities and should even shorten the walks as the pregnancy progresses.

Thanks for reading.

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  • Verstegen-Onclin, K., & Verstegen, J. (2008). Endocrinology of pregnancy in the dog: a review. Theriogenology70(3), 291-299.