Prenatal Vitamins for Dogs

There is debate as to whether vitamins for dogs are necessary. That would depend upon the type of diet that a dog owner feeds his pet. Some commercial dog foods lack certain nutrients and need to be supplemented, while others readily have the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients for a healthy dog. Whenever a dog is pregnant, it is important that she is receiving the proper amount of nutrients for both her and her puppies.

Read the Label

It is important to read the label of dog foods. Some dog foods include meat byproducts. These meat byproducts are not healthy at all and are really just filler. Meat byproducts include parts of animals that normally are not eaten by humans, such as beaks and feet that are ground up to be included as part of the food. The same goes for cereal products such as corn. Chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and fish should be included.

Make sure that the dog food contains at least a portion of the necessary vitamins and minerals. Then you can supplement the diet with additional vitamins in either pill or powder form. The labels on the supplements will instruct you as to whether or not the food contains the additional vitamins for pregnant dogs, the dosages and how to administer the supplements. The better the vitamins, the healthier the mother and puppies will be.

Dietary Needs

Pregnant and nursing dogs require 69 to 158 grams of protein and 29 to 67 grams of fat per every 33 pounds of weight. So if a dog were 66 pounds, she would require double the above-mentioned amounts. If her litter is greater than six puppies, it is necessary to supplement her diet with more protein and fat. Remember that during gestation, the puppies also consume anything the mother consumes. Consultation with a veterinarian or reputable pet store will guide you through the process of providing enough nutrients for pregnant dogs.

Necessary Nutrients

The family of B vitamins aid in the enzyme function throughout the body, metabolism, energy level, immune system and formation of red blood cells. Calcium aids in the formation of bones and teeth, while folic acid aids in the metabolism of amino acids and improves cell growth.

The following vitamins and minerals listed below are also important:

  • Iron – Aids in blood cell production
  • Magnesium – Aids in muscle and bone development and growth
  • Potassium – Improves nerve response
  • Phosphorous – Helps in the proper formation of DNA and RNA within each ell
  • Sodium – Maintains proper blood chemistry levels
  • Iodine – Important for proper thyroid function
  • Zinc – Aids in proper cell division
  • Vitamin K – Essential for blood clotting and bone formation

Proper amounts of chlorine, copper, pathothenic acid and selenium are also important for the proper function of fluids, iron, metabolism and immunity within the body. These nutrients are just as important for the mother in maintaining her health as it is important for the puppies' proper development and growth. After the puppies are born, it is equally important to continue the nutrient-enriched diet with vitamins for dogs and mineral supplements, since the puppies are getting all of their nourishment from their mother.