What to Feed Your Pregnant Dog
Is your furry family member expecting her first litter? Congratulations! You need to be extra careful with her diet though, so that she remains healthy and has healthy puppies. You will need to change her diet during the following stages of the pregnancy:
- Weeks 1 to 6
- Weeks 6 to 9
- Week 9
This article will explore the nutritious options you can go for in each of those durations for a happy pregnant dog and equally thriving puppies. This guide includes instructions on what to feed a pregnant dog and in what intervals.
Is Your Dog Pregnant?
Expecting puppies can be an exciting time for dog owners, but it can be dangerous for your dog if her nutrition is neglected during her pregnancy. What to feed your pregnant dog should be uppermost in your mind at this time. A pregnant dog has to eat a specific diet to ensure her litter arrives on time and in top health. It is up to you to make sure she gets what she needs from the food you give her.
If she is expecting a large litter, check out our wide range of highly nutritious dog food such as Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice Formula for adult dogs. It contains real and nutritious ingredients your pregnant dog will thrive on.
Feeding a Pregnant Dog
Weeks 1 to 6
Once you know that your dog is indeed pregnant and have a rough idea about the delivery date, your goal for the first 6 weeks is ensuring she maintains her ideal weight. Weight gain at this stage can lead to dystocia which can make delivery extremely difficult.
At most, she should not gain more than 10% of her body weight during this time. The embryos are growing slowly and she does not need more energy. Feed her what she has been eating but make sure it is a complete and balanced diet that follows a normal feeding guide.
Try out our Exclusive® Adult Dog Chicken & Brown Rice Formula if you are searching for nutritious alternatives to her regular food. Plus, make sure you take her size into account as well. Many brands of dog food offer small and large breed-specific foods.
Don’t worry if her appetite dips or increases sometimes. This is normal because she is undergoing a lot of hormonal changes. However, take her to the vet for a checkup if either of the conditions persists.
Weeks 6 to 9
At around the 40 to 42 day mark, you will notice a few changes. For one thing, your dog’s energy and nutrient needs will start to increase to accommodate the growing puppies. Plus, as the puppies grow, they will start to take up more room in her abdomen which will give her less space for food, lowering her food intake.
So at this point, you need to start making serious changes to her diet. If she is expecting a large litter, she will need more energy and if it is a small one, you need to be cautious about the portion size you give as you don’t want the puppies to grow too large.
At the start of week 6 you should also transition her onto some puppy formula from Grange Co-Op, make this transition gradually so she doesn’t get an upset stomach. The food is important at this stage since it is higher in protein, minerals and vitamins, as well as phosphorus and calcium which adult dog food does not have. The nutrients will help her in the later stage of her pregnancy as well as the puppies.
Puppy food will go down better as she starts losing her appetite. Make sure you select a brand that is easily digestible so your dog’s delicate gut doesn’t have to work overtime to break it down. Once you have made the transition to puppy food, start to increase her feed an extra 10% per week till she gives birth. Just make sure she doesn’t get overweight or it could lead to delivery problems. Always make sure she has plenty of water especially if she is on dry feed. It will help her milk production post delivery.
Week 9 and Delivery
This is the last week and at this time, your pregnant dog will start to eat less and less. This is perfectly normal since the puppies have formed fully and are taking up most of the space in her abdomen now. Do not force feed her! You don’t want to cause her stress, which can result in problems with the pregnancy.
There can be quite a bit of prep that goes into making sure you have everything ready. An important step before your dog gives birth is to make sure you have a whelping box set up. This will keep the puppies contained and safe during and after they arrive. For an easy set up pick up a kiddy pool from Grange Co-op and line with puppy pads and blankets.
Once your dog gives birth, your job isn’t over yet. She may give birth to a litter of 8 to 12 puppies depending on her size and breed. Each one of those puppies needs to keep growing now that they are out of the womb.
As such, the mother will need special attention and may suffer nutritional deficiencies if her diet is not supplemented. This can happen during the first 4 weeks of nursing, a good way to avoid this is by feeding has Diamond® Naturals™ Beef Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula. in her diet which This food is formulated specifically for pregnant and nursing dogs. Now you know what to feed your pregnant dog without worry.
At Grange Co-Op we have a wide range of adult, puppy, pregnant and senior dog food that can keep your beloved pet healthy and happy for years. Shop by size and breed so you can make the right decision for your pet. We also have a variety of bowls and feeders!