Whether you’re a first or long-time breeder, one question may often stick with you; what to feed a pregnant dog. As pregnant dogs have accelerated needs, they require more care and attention. Like humans, they may also develop intolerances to food during their pregnancy. Looking at a pregnant dog diet chart, there are also foods that owners must avoid. Doing so can guarantee owners provide the best care to their breeding dog. This can also ensure that the litter has the best chance at life.
When looking at what to feed a pregnant dog, you also need to consider after-birth meals. This can make sure they produce high-quality milk for their pups. If they have the right, nourishing content, it will ensure their pups receive the best immune-boosting nutrients while growing.
What to feed a pregnant dog: Preparing for pregnancy
Considering the best food for pregnant dogs doesn’t just start after the mating process. Feeding your breeding dog the right food before they begin mating can ensure they are not over or underweight. Feeding them a balanced diet at all times is important, but it is essential during the months leading up to mating. Therefore, during this time breeders must feed them a mixture of quality raw foods, dry foods and vegetables.
Helping your pup sustain a good, healthy weight during this time can reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy.
What to feed a pregnant dog: How much to feed during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your dog may be growing up to 12 pups inside of her. So, they are going to need more nutrients than ever to ensure every pup grows big and strong. They may also need significantly more meals to help them develop the energy they need. You don’t necessarily need to reconsider what to feed a pregnant dog until about four weeks into their pregnancy. But, as they move into their 5th week, you will need to increase their diet by about 20-30%. By week eight, with the upcoming labour, they will require 50% more food than they had been eating prior to pregnancy.
What to feed a pregnant dog: What type of food to feed during pregnancy
Your pregnant dog will have a more sensitive stomach during pregnancy. So, it’s important to feed them food that is highly digestible and won’t cause stomach problems. If you are interested in homemade food for pregnant dogs, it’s important to avoid acidic foods, such as tomatoes. Though these foods are safe for dogs in moderation, they can cause acid reflux. This can be incredibly damaging for a pregnant pooch.
When considering the best dog food for pregnant dogs, it’s important to consider their genetic make-up. Before dogs became domesticated, they consumed a high volume of meat and bones. These are high in alkalines. Therefore, maintaining an alkaline-rich diet can ensure your pregnant dog feels their best throughout the process. This will also allow them to produce more milk, which is essential if they have a large litter.
What to feed a pregnant dog: Making homemade meals
Whether you choose to feed your pregnant dog kibble or homecooked meals are both great choices. But you must place some extra thought into your homecooked meals to provide the best food for your pregnant dog.
Some things you must consider:
Include enough protein – This is high in amino acids and will support the development of her puppies. Great sources include chicken, turkey, beef, lamb and fish. You can also mix in some eggs and dairy.
Ensure she consumes enough fat – An increased fat intake at 6 weeks is essential. Increasing her red meat content during this time will help her maintain a healthy weight.
Provide plenty of fatty acids – Also known as Omega-3, these fatty acids aid the development of the puppys’ brain and nerves. Great sources include salmon and fish oil.
You must also ensure their diet is high in vitamins and minerals. This can guarantee the tissue building and puppy development processes are well supported.
Best food for pregnant dogs: After-birth feeding
After birthing her litter, a breeding dog will still need a specialized diet. This will allow her to stay within a healthy weight range, so she can produce enough milk. Feeding her smaller meals three to four times a day can guarantee she can recover between nursing periods. It will also make sure her body has the energy to continue producing milk.
Though her diet can begin returning to normal, it’s important to make sure she is still consuming plenty of calories. She will lose wight during nursing but this will allow her to do so steadily. If you notice dramatic drops in her weight, be sure to add more to her diet. Remember, the more pups she is nursing, the more food she will require.
Plenty of water is necessary
As well as sourcing the best dog food for your pregnant dog, it’s also essential she has access to water. Dehydration will decrease her milk supply fast, so the more water she has, the better. As a tip, at Dog Breeders Brisbane Club, we recommend keeping this water close to where she chooses to nurse. This means she won’t need to travel far, which could tire her out.
Remember, whether you’re a new or experience breeder, we are always here to help. Reach out to us today to find out more tips for breeding your companion pet.
Because this Blog has information about food and diet please note we are not vets and don’t give Vet advice, and would suggest before you rely on any advice of this matter that you seek their advice in the interest of keeping your pet happy and healthy.
Shyne Cavalli is an accomplished writer, Dog Breeder, and Animal welfare advocate. License and breeding registration holders: SUPPLY #: BIN0002583563378 – DBBC: D8819 – AA: 93740. She has introduced the “SHM” her brand of puppies and nurtured and cared for them since 2015. To learn more, visit her website at www.dogbreedersbrisbane.com.au. Interested in joining a Dog Breeders Club? Go to: www.dbbc.com.au