Women should take it easy while they're pregnant, and this also applies to expectant canines. If your precious dog is carrying a litter, make things as comfortable and safe for her as possible. Whether it comes to feeding, daily exercise or anything else, stay on top of things throughout the entire process -- roughly 63 days.
Improper diet is a big culprit behind many deaths of newborn puppies. If a mother dog doesn't eat properly prior to mating and throughout her gestational period, this becomes a serious risk to her upcoming litter. Pregnant dogs can eat standard amounts during their initial weeks of gestation, but as parturition draws closer, bigger portions are a must. Canines in late pregnancy need to eat about 1.5 times as many calories as they do otherwise. Make sure that your pregnant dog eats commercial dog food that is high in energy. Seek specific recommendations from your veterinarian. Importantly, ample clean H20 is crucial for pregnant dogs at all times.
Take precautions to make sure that your pregnant dog receives sufficient exercise. Dogs who are at healthy weights and who are in optimal condition in general tend to have smoother whelping experiences. Routine outdoor walks should work well for keeping your pregnant pet as fit as a fiddle. Avoid any exercise that is particularly vigorous or physically taxing, however. The goal is not weight loss, but rather to ensure the safety of the upcoming pups -- and mom. Weight loss in pregnant dogs is generally not recommended. If you have any specific questions regarding what types of light exercise are beneficial for expectant canines, talk to your veterinarian.
Consult Your Veterinarian
Keeping up with your dog's health is vital during pregnancy. Speak to your veterinarian regarding whether or not your pregnant dog requires any medications against heartworm or external parasites such as fleas, for example. Veterinary guidance throughout a canine pregnancy is essential. Never make any decisions about medication without getting veterinary approval beforehand.
Dogs occasionally experience genital discharge during gestation. This discharge is often pinkish in coloration. If the discharge for any reason concerns you, or includes any pus or blood, contact your vet as soon as possible. The presence of pus or blood often signifies problems, so take the matter seriously. If you ever notice anything seemingly abnormal in your pregnant dog, whether reduced appetite or insatiable thirst, don't hesitate for a second to receive veterinary attention, the sooner the better.
In caring for your pregnant dog, you want to do all that you can to ensure that her experience is as serene and frustration-free as possible. Make a point to keep her living area silent, calm and predictable. Separate her from fellow household dogs three weeks prior to parturition, and keep her away from them for three weeks after whelping, as protection against potential disease transmission.
- Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital: Care and Feeding for Your Pregnant or Nursing Dog
- American Kennel Club: Responsible Breeding
- Windy Hollow Veterinary Clinic: Tips for Pregnant Dog Care
- Hilltop Animal Hospital: Taking Care of Your Pregnant Dog
- Pound Ridge Veterinary Center: Canine Care During Pregnancy and Whelping
- Village Veterinary Hospital: Dog Pregnancy
- Mar Vista Animal Medical Center: Care of the Pregnant Dog
- Quarry Hill Park Animal Hospital: Pregnant Dog Care
- American Animal Hospital Association Healthy Pet.com: When Is it Appropriate to Vaccinate Pregnant Dogs?