Dog Nutrition During Pregnancy
Dog nutrition varies across all different breeds and ages of dog, and also depending on their health condition. The requirements for pregnant dogs, as with any other pregnant pets, differ to normal adult dogs. Most dog owners find themselves unprepared to deal with a pregnant pooch, and in fact caring for her, birthing the puppies and then raising them correctly in the early weeks of their life is quite a difficult task and you may well want to seek the advice and/or help of a professional.
Pregnant dogs need an increase in protein from what you should have been feeding her previously. Make sure her diet includes at least 22% protein, and ensure that she doesn’t start to put on too much weight. It can be difficult to monitor the weight of your pets when they are pregnant, but your vet should be able to give you advice on what an appropriate weight should be at each stage of her pregnancy. It may even be that she starts to lose weight, in which case try switching to a more nutritionally-dense food.
In the first six to seven weeks of the nine week pregnancy, you won’t see much difference in the dog nutrition habits. She should be eating around the same amount, although after this point she will need to eat more so give her around a quarter extra food. If her appetite starts to disappear or alter towards the end of the pregnancy, this is an indication that she might be ready to give birth.
Following the birth of the puppies, dog nutrition is even more important as she needs to nurse her pups. Across the first month, her diet will gradually increase to perhaps between two and four times what she was eating pre-pregnancy, which you will then need to decrease again when weaning the puppies (around six to eight weeks).
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