What to Feed a Pregnant Dog

Dogs need a number of essential nutrients to maintain a good health. A pregnant dog needs a balanced diet more than ever, so that the puppies turn out healthy, and to prevent any pregnancy complications that are linked to vitamin deficiency.

Pregnancy and Dog Appetite Fluctuations

The pregnancy in dogs lasts for 63 days or 9 weeks. The dog will have fluctuations in appetite, depending on the stage of the pregnancy. During the first 10 days or 2 weeks, the dog may experience nausea, so this will affect her appetite. If she refuses to eat for more than 2 consecutive days, consult the vet.

A pregnant dog will start gaining weight and eating more starting from the second stage of the pregnancy, after the 3rd week.

A few days prior to delivery, the dog will start to become more agitated and will refuse to eat 24 hours before giving birth.

A pregnant dog will know exactly how much food she should eat, so it is a good idea to free feed your pet during this period; if you fail to feed your pet the right amount of food, this will equally affect the puppies and the mother.

Diet for Pregnancy

You should feed the mother a high quality adult dog food in the first 6 weeks of the pregnancy; talk to your vet about the best option. If your dog has a balanced diet, you should stick to it. If your vet decides that your dog’s diet is poor in nutrients, he will prescribe a different type of diet.

During the last stage of pregnancy, the last 3 weeks your dog should receive a different diet, due to the fact that the puppies will grow at a fast rate during these last weeks.

This means that the mother should get more calories; she should gain 25 to 30% of her normal weight.

You should gradually switch to puppy food, which contains the nutrients needed for the puppies. You should continue this diet until after the dog has delivered the puppies and the lactation period is over.

Consult your vet to recommend you an optimal puppy food.

You should feed your dog several times per day: two large meals and numerous snacks.

24 to 48 hours before the delivery, your dog may stop eating. This is normal and should be a signal to prepare for the delivery. Make sure you have all the needed supplies to assist your dog and ensure that the delivery is trouble free.

Fresh water must be provided for your dog, as this is essential in keeping the mother hydrated.

Supplements and Pregnancy

If your dog gets the right type of food, supplements are not necessary. Consult your vet about supplements. An excess of vitamins and minerals may affect the puppies. The vet may recommend calcium supplements towards the end of the pregnancy which will help the lactation and prevent eclampsia, which is a condition that causes fainting and seizures in calcium deficient dogs.