Is it good to feed a pregnant dog puppy food? Here’s the Answer

Are there nutritional issues that cause problems leading up to pregnancy?

Good nutrition sets the stage for successful breeding and pregnancy. A malnourished mother – both over- and under-weight – will suffer reproductive consequences, as will her puppies.

Obesity is the most common nutrition-related problem in reproducing dogs. Obesity can cause increased intervals between estrus cycles, decreasing lifetime reproductive capacity. Obesity can also decrease the number of eggs released at ovulation, resulting in smaller litter sizes. Obesity increases the risk of dystocia (difficulty delivering puppies). Finally, obesity can decrease milk production during lactation, negatively impacting puppy health and growth. An overweight or obese dog should lose weight before breeding. There are no specific nutritional requirements for a female dog during her heat cycle.

Different Stages of Pregnancy, Different Needs

The last part of your pet’s pregnancy is when the babies grow to full term. In the final weeks, most of their organs are fully developed, and they are preparing to thrive outside the womb. As the puppies develop quickly, they need a lot of nutrients from the mother. Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever experienced pregnancy will agree, eating can be uncomfortable for the mother, since the babies have grown to capacity.

The AKC has specific dietary recommendations including a diet that contains plenty of calories without too much bulk. It should have at least 29 percent protein, 17 percent fat, high amounts of soluble carbohydrates, and low fiber content. It should also include calcium and phosphorous for proper bone formation in the puppies and adequate milk for nursing. DHA is also important for your developing puppies’ nervous system.

Hill’s Pet recommends one of their nutrient-dense Science Diet puppy foods during both pregnancy and nursing. Underfeeding of dogs during pregnancy, from poor quality food, imbalanced nutrition, or just too few calories can lead to weak puppies and even fading puppy syndrome.

Whatever food you choose, try to get your expectant mama to eat small portions throughout the day rather than a large meal. This will go a long way in easing her prenatal discomfort. As the time for birth nears, you will want to transition your dog to a lactation diet, designed for nursing dogs.

Will my dog be likely to have any changes in appetite?

During weeks three and four, your dog may suffer from a little nausea and lose her appetite, similar to morning sickness in humans. If an upset stomach or loss of appetite lasts longer than a week, or is accompanied by listlessness, you should contact your veterinarian.

In the later stages of pregnancy, the space left in her abdomen may be very small, so feeding dog food little and often will make her more comfortable.

Should I give my pregnant dog puppy food?

Like expectant human moms, pregnant dogs need special attention too especially in their health and nutrition. And as an owner of your furry fella, you have the responsibility to make sure that she gives birth to healthy puppies. Now, what to feed pregnant dog? Follow through this article for guidance and some tips.