If your dog is pregnant, you may be thinking about what you can do to make them comfortable and ensure that they have the healthiest pregnancy and puppies possible. Here are some considerations for this exciting time, and some products that can help make pregnancy and raising puppies a bit easier on your dog and you.
Your Girl Is Going To Need Quality Dog Food
During pregnancy, your dog is going to need to eat more. Over the course of the 3 month gestation time, her food consumption is going to go up. It is a good idea to feed three times per day at least or better yet, keep available for her all the time so she can eat as desired. An autofeeder and waterer can help you keep up with her dietary needs with no worries. Food consumption 12-24 hours before giving birth may be little or none. This is not a cause for a concern other than a sign that you need to have a space ready for her to give birth.
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Puppy, Large Breed Lamb and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag
Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Dry Puppy Food, Chicken & Salmon, 24-Pound Bag
Victor Active Dog & Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, 30-Pound
Making sure your dog gets plenty of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids and DHA can help with brain and eye development of her puppies. Some dog foods already contain substantial levels of these, but you can give a supplement like Alaska Salmon Oil to give them a little extra. This can also help ensure that her coat and skin stays in a healthy and shiny condition. There are products that can help with lactation to guarantee good milk production.
Pet MD – Canine Tabs Plus 365 Count – Advanced Multivitamins for Dogs – Natural Daily Vitamin and Mineral Nutritional Supplement – Liver Flavored Chewable Tablets
Breeder's Edge Oxy Momma Soft Chews Medium & Lg Dog 40ct
Happy Jack Milkade, 2-Ounce
Parasite Control & Vaccinations
Parasite control and prevention in puppies starts with a parasite free mother. Your girl should be wormed ten days before you expect her to give birth and every three weeks after she gives birth throughout the time she is nursing puppies. This ensures that she doesn’t transfer any parasites through her milk.
A booster vaccination before she is bred is advised so that she can pass on some immunity to her puppies until they are old enough for their vaccinations to start. If your dog is pregnant and it was not planned, then a booster shot should be given no later than 6-7 weeks into the pregnancy. Your vet can advise you on the best course of action if you find out your dog is expecting.
8 In 1 Safe Guard Canine DeWormer for S Dogs, 1-Gram
Nemex-2 Wormer 2oz
A Supportive Dog Bed
Dogs gain a lot of weight that can be hard on their legs and joints. A supportive dog bed can make their pregnancy more comfortable and alleviate some pain. There are a lot of affordable bed options out there no matter what size your girl is. Remember to get a bed that it is easy for them to get in and out of and that is large enough to accommodate her increasing size while still offering good support. An elevated dog bed may be too high for her to use past the first stage of pregnancy so if that is what she usually sleeps in you may want to switch her to a comfortable low to the floor mattress or dog nest.
FurHaven Jumbo Quilted Orthopedic Sofa Pet Bed for Dogs and Cats, Navy
Orthopedic Pet Sofa Bed – Dog, Cat or Puppy Memory Foam Mattress – Chocolate Brown Comfortable Couch For Pets With Removable Washable Cover – Extra Large – By Petlo
Serta Orthopedic Quilted Pillowtop Dog Bed, Large, Mocha
Stewart Freeze Dried Treats 4 oz Beef Liver
A lot of breeders love kiddie pools for an easy to clean and comfortable nest for their dogs to give birth. You can line the pool with inexpensive fleece blankets or pillows to offer comfort and support. You can throw away the blankets after birth. Old sheets or blankets can work too.
Birth is not a mess-free process. The kiddie pool is easy to clean and reline with bedding for Mama and pups. The kiddie pool also keeps puppies from being able to squirm away from their mother during the first few weeks when their eyes are closed. Always make sure that water dishes for mom are outside of the birthing area so that puppies cannot crawl in and drown.
Fuloon Foldable PVC Pet Swimming Pool Bathing Tub Bathtub Dog Cats Washer 32inch.D x 8inch.H
EZwhelp Washable Whelping & Puppy Pad 36" (Round)
Special Treats & Chews
Having to take care of a lot of puppies can be stressful! Like any new mom, your girl is going to appreciate some special treats and care. Healthy chews and snacks just for her can help keep her happy. High protein snacks and tasty treats are just what you need to have on hand. Here are a few of Scout’s picks that are all made in the USA and nutritionally sound for pregnant and nursing dogs.
True Chews Premium Jerky Cuts Dog Treats, Sirloin Steak, 12 Ounce
BLUE Bones Puppy Mini Dental Chew Dog Treat 12-oz
A Get-Away Spot
Even the best dog needs some time to themselves. A good dog mom is going to go back and forth to her puppies. Having puppies with her all the time can increase stress levels substantially. When puppies’ eyes finally open and they start to move around, you may want to make more of an effort to allow her to have a space she can go to when she needs a break.
Your dog will send some major signals when it is time to go back to her puppies or she will just wander back on her own. This might mean just getting a puppy gate so you can let her into other parts of your home while containing the puppies. If you have a fenced backyard, then make sure to give her ample opportunities to go outside and relax. Unless there is something wrong with her mothering instincts, she is going to know how often to check in on those little ones.
Regalo Home Accents Extra Tall Walk Thru Gate, Hardwood and Steel
Richell Wood Freestanding Pet Gate, Large, Autumn Matte Finish
Attention and Walks
A pregnant dog or one nursing puppies needs extra attention and love. Make sure to take your girl on a lot of walks and give her some attention away from puppies when they are sleeping. Right after nursing is a great time to do this. A walk to the dog park or around the neighborhood or even just playing in the yard for awhile can do a lot to add to your dog’s happiness. Just remember that your dog may not be 100% up to doing everything they did before those puppies came along so take a little extra time on walks.
Veterinary Care & Feeding Help
A lot of dogs never need any veterinary care during pregnancy or while raising their puppies. It is, however, important to pay extra attention to any signs of health problems in your girl or the puppies. If they or a puppy seem to be losing weight too much or just not gaining growth and weight as fast as the other pups then you should ask why.
Sometimes a puppy will need to be bottle fed or gave supplemental feedings if they fall behind. Any signs of distress in the mother should also be looked at. You can buy a bottle and puppy milk replacer at almost any pet store and even most major grocery stores. If you want to be safe, then consider keeping a few cans of puppy milk replacer and a bottle on hand when your dog is due to have puppies.
Esbilac® Powder Milk Replacer for Puppies & Dogs 12oz
Pet-Ag Nursing Kit 2oz Bottle (Carded)
Remember To Have Fun!
It can be easy to get majorly stressed out taking care of your dog and their litter. It is important to remember that this is a special time that should be a lot of fun too! Remember that dogs have been having puppies for a long time and usually things happen naturally without any major problems as long as a dog has a safe, warm, and dry place to have their litter and good access to food and water!