Pregnancy, lactation, and weaning can be stressful to a dog’s body. That is why extra precaution should be taken regarding her nutrition.
There are some nutritional aspects that need to be changed so that you can help your dog sustain all the puppies growing in her tummy. Here are some tips to follow.
Do not feed her too much too soon or too little during lactation.
Pregnant and nursing dogs need more calories and fat to meet their increased energy needs. Pregnancy typically lasts 63 days. For the first 4 – 5 weeks, it’s okay to feed her regular adult dog food. However, give her 30 – 50% more calories during the last half of the pregnancy.
After giving birth, allow her to take in as many calories as she needs.
Your dog will need to nurse a lot of puppies who all need to grow. In fact, lactation is even more energy intense compared to pregnancy. She will need at least 25% more calories for each puppy she has. Free-choice feeding will be to her advantage during the first 3 – 4 weeks of lactation. Leave food out all the time so that she can eat at her own schedule.
Make weekly visits to the veterinarian.
Your vet needs to check your dog’s condition during pregnancy and lactation to make sure that your dog’s nutritional needs are being met. He or she can also watch out for any potential problems and make other recommendations on how to keep her comfortable, such as which dog clothes you can let her wear.
This time in your dog’s life is crucial especially when it comes to nutrition. Make sure that you take your dog’s unique needs in mind to avoid serious health issues and to keep her and her puppies healthy.