All types of dogs need to be properly nourished for them to have a healthy and happy life. This is especially true during the pregnancy and nursing period. Dogs require a specific set of nutrients to provide their puppies with the best possible start.
When it comes to pregnant and nursing mothers, certain dietary changes are necessary. In this article, we’ll cover what you should feed your pregnant and nursing dogs to give them the nutrients they need.
What Should You Feed a Pregnant Dog?
When your dog is pregnant, it’s important to feed her the right amount of food and nutrients. Here’s what you can do for your pregnant furry pup:
Switch to Puppy Food
The first step is to switch her to a high-quality puppy food. Puppy food contains more calories and nutrients than regular adult dog food, which will give your pup the energy she needs during her pregnancy.
Additionally, puppy food has higher levels of DHA and arachidonic acid. These are essential for her puppies’ optimum development.
Feed Her Smaller, More Frequent Meals
Your pregnant pup should be eating 3-4 smaller meals instead of one large meal. This prevents her from feeling overly full after eating, which can make it difficult for her to get the proper nutrition.
Increase the Amount of Food Gradually
Throughout her pregnancy, you should increase the amount of food you give her as she grows. Give her enough food to maintain a healthy weight.
What Should You Feed a Nursing Dog?
When your pup is nursing her puppies, she needs extra energy and nutrients. It will help your dog lactate and support the growth of her newborns. Here’s the best way to feed your nursing mom:
Switch to a Nutrient-Rich Diet
You should switch your pup’s diet to one that is protein-rich and high in fat, calcium, and calories. This will give her the extra energy she needs to support herself and her puppies.
Give Her Several Small Meals a Day
Feeding her several small meals throughout the day will help ensure that she gets all of the nutrients she needs. This also prevents her from feeling overly full and helps her digest her food more easily.
Increase Caloric Intake Gradually
Just like with a pregnant pup, you should gradually increase her caloric intake as she grows. This ensures that she is getting all of the nutrients she needs for herself and her puppies.
Why Do Pregnant or Nursing Dogs Need Special Care?
It’s important to provide extra care for pregnant and nursing dogs as they need more energy and nutrients than usual. Pregnant and nursing moms need a specific type of diet that contains more calories, protein, and fat. This helps them stay healthy during their pregnancy or while nursing their puppies.
Feeding them well can also lead to:
- Increased milk production for lactation
- Healthy weight maintenance for pregnant pups
- Proper development of puppies in the womb
- Lower levels of stress and anxiety during pregnancy or nursing
What Challenges Do Pregnant or Nursing Dogs Face?
Pregnant and nursing dogs can face a few challenges. These include:
Low Energy Levels
When pregnant or nursing, your pup’s body is expending a lot of energy. This can lead to fatigue and lower energy levels. They need the right food that meets their energy requirement and nutritional needs.
Pregnant and nursing moms have higher caloric needs than usual. So, it’s important to monitor their food intake carefully. Giving them too much food can lead to weight gain and other health issues.
If your pup isn’t getting the right nutrients, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies. This can have serious consequences for her and her puppies.
Stress and Anxiety
Pregnancy and nursing can be a stressful time for your pup. It’s important to provide plenty of love and attention during this time. Also, feed your dog the right food.
Pregnant and nursing dogs can have digestion issues due to their increased caloric needs. Feeding her several small meals throughout the day can help with digestion.
Pregnant and nursing dogs are more susceptible to health risks. This includes the following:
How Do You Know If Your Pregnant or Nursing Dog Is Getting Enough Nutrition?
It’s important to monitor your pup’s weight, energy levels, and overall health to make sure she is getting enough nutrition. She may not be getting enough food if:
- She is losing weight
- She is not gaining any weight
- She is showing signs of fatigue
- Her energy levels low
- She is exhibiting stress or anxiety
Tips on Feeding a Pregnant or Nursing Dog
Aside from providing a nutrient-rich diet, you can do other things to help your pup stay healthy. Here are some tips:
Provide Plenty of Fresh Water
It’s important to make sure your pup is well hydrated. Provide her with plenty of fresh, clean water at all times.
Give Her Time to Rest
Your pup may need extra time to rest and relax during her pregnancy or while nursing. Allow her plenty of time for this to keep her stress levels low.
Monitor Her Weight
Keep an eye on your pup’s weight. Doing so can help you make sure she is getting the right amount of food. Monitor her weight weekly and adjust her intake as needed.
Bring Her to the Veterinarian
It’s important to bring your pup to the vet for regular check-ups during her pregnancy or nursing period. This will help ensure that she and her puppies remain healthy.
The vet can also do the following:
- Check her weight
- Recommend an appropriate diet
- Monitor for any health issues
Your pup’s vet is also your best bet if she is showing any signs of illness or distress.
To Wrap Up
Pregnant and nursing dogs need a special type of diet to make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need. They also require extra rest and love during this time. Monitoring your pup’s health and weight, providing plenty of fresh water, and taking her to the vet regularly are all invaluable. With the right diet and care, your pup can have a safe and healthy pregnancy or nursing period.