Everyone loves puppies! But before they come into the world, owners need to make sure that while they are in their mom’s belly, they develop and grow properly. And this of course means that the new mum needs to be fed as a queen.
In this article, we will talk about what a pregnant dog needs and what you can do to help her during this time.
Providing good nutrition is crucial
The possibility of getting healthy puppies starts not the moment your vet tells you that you will have puppies, but way back. If you are planning to breed your female dog, that means that you need to help her body prepare better for the upcoming changes.
Proper nutrition plays a crucial role during that period. A dog that is over or underweight will suffer more and may have serious consequences on the puppies too. The reason we are mentioning this is because oftentimes we get to see dogs that are overweight and owners complain that their dog just won’t get pregnant. Even if that happens, obese dogs often have harder deliveries, and usually may have trouble taking care of the newborns.
What are the essential nutrients a pregnant dog needs?
Balanced and appropriate diets are imperative for healthy mama and babies. Dogs, just like humans have their pregnancy divided into trimesters and different things happen during that period.
In the first two trimesters, the development of the fetuses happens and usually, dogs do not get much weight on them. In this period, it is recommended to have your dog on dry puppy food, as that diet is well balanced with everything that is needed for the period.
The last trimester, which happens after 40 days of gestation, is the most crucial, and at this point, the dog gains most of the weight, because at this time the pups develop the most. However, since the pups grow the most at this time, it means that there won’t be much place in the gastrointestinal tract for food. That is why vets recommend you switch the dog to a highly digestible and high-quality puppy development food.
Make sure that the food you are giving to your pregnant dog has the following ingredients:
- Protein: Protein is essential for tissue growth and development. Pregnant dogs should have a diet that contains around 25-30% protein. Good sources of protein include lean meats like chicken, turkey, beef, and fish.
- Healthy Fats: Fats provide energy and support the development of the puppies’ nervous system. Look for diets with a moderate fat content, usually around 15-20%. Sources of healthy fats include fish oil and vegetable oils.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide energy and fiber. Look for dog foods with whole grains like brown rice, oats, and barley. These can also help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Calcium and Phosphorus: Adequate calcium and phosphorus levels are crucial for proper bone development in both the mother and her puppies. The commercial dog food you choose should have appropriate levels of these minerals.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Ensure the dog food is well-balanced and provides essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D, vitamin E, and folate are particularly important during pregnancy.
- Fiber: A moderate amount of fiber can help support digestion and prevent constipation, which can be a concern during pregnancy. Fiber can be obtained from sources like vegetables and whole grains.