What to Do if My Dog Gets Picky During Her Pregnancy

by Naomi Millburn
    It's normal for your pregnant pooch to be fussy when it comes to food.

    It's normal for your pregnant pooch to be fussy when it comes to food.

    George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    It’s only natural to be extremely attentive to your dog’s behaviors during her pregnancy. Doggie pregnancy is a big deal. Canine gestation can be a time of many changes, whether they relate to mood or even appetite. Shifts in dogs' eating habits during pregnancy are often no cause for alarm. When they get excessive, however, they call for prompt veterinary assistance.

    Finicky Pregnant Dogs Aren't Unusual

    If you notice that your pregnant dog is suddenly an extremely finicky eater, she's not unusual. Dogs are sometimes highly fussy about eating when pregnant, according to veterinarian Karen Hedberg. Not only is it common for pregnant dogs to be choosy about what they put in their mouths, it's also common for them to display zero appetite. Dogs often temporarily drop all interest in eating when they're approximately 3 weeks into gestation, says veterinarian Dawn Ruben.

    Peculiar Eating Habits

    Pregnant dogs can be peculiar about their meals in a few different ways. Some of them might not touch the food in their bowls, period, even if they usually adore canned chicken and brown rice. Others might give their meals halfhearted bites, consuming them slowly and reluctantly. Others might be somewhat unpredictable in their eating patterns, readily chowing down on Monday and then acting totally unimpressed and uninterested in food on Tuesday.

    Take Action Through Veterinary Attention

    Dogs across the board frequently display appetite issues when they're pregnant. If your pooch is getting some food in her belly, regardless of how slow and hesitant she might be about it, it's usually no reason to fret and panic. If you notice, however, that she's so picky that she hasn't eaten anything for over 1 to 2 days, notify your veterinarian of the matter immediately. Proper nutrition is essential for expectant dogs, which is why it's key to receive the guidance of your vet during the full gestation. Note, too, that problems with eating and appetite are sometimes related to factors outside of pregnancy. These issues sometimes denote tooth troubles or gastrointestinal disorders, to start.

    Additional Food Requirements

    As far as eating goes, canine pregnancy runs the gamut. Development of unborn puppies speeds up during the final few weeks of gestation. As a result, pregnant dogs require energy boosts at this point. They also frequently develop hearty appetites during these periods. To accommodate these things, pregnant dogs have to slowly but surely begin consuming larger amounts of food. Talk to your veterinarian about feeding your pregnant pooch more -- incrementally -- as her parturition draws closer. Note that pregnant dogs often have no interest in eating right before whelping, though that's often a short-lived situation. They generally quickly regain their enthusiasm about food post-birth. If you have any questions regarding your individual dog's eating habits and caloric demands during pregnancy and nursing, speak to your vet immediately.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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