How To Care For Your Pregnant Dog

8 Simple Steps for Making Your Dog's Pregnancy a Breeze

Resting dog on pillow
All the signs have pointed to pregnancy. Your dog has lost her appetite, changed behavior, shown a decrease in energy level, gained a super appetite and gained weight. Maybe you took her to the veterinarian, where an ultrasound was performed and revealed that, sure enough, she is carrying a litter of puppies. So, now what do you do?

Step 1

Visit the vet, if you haven't already.

Have a vet that you trust examine your dog. They should be able to tell with a simple feel of the stomach whether or not your pooch is pregnant. If it is still early, then there are simple solutions that will guarantee if you have a litter on the way.

While you’re waiting, browse over the pet pregnancy brochures in the vet's office. This might give you some ideas for your home.

Figure out whether you can afford having multiple pets or if you want to let others enjoy them. Your vet will give you great tips on how to easily handle your decision.

Step 2

No supplements.

When humans get pregnant, they start get to enjoy the benefits of vitamin supplements. You should not give your dog supplements. The change in diet portion and frequency (mentioned later) will provide healthy intake of nutrition. Additional vitamins (especially calcium) in your dog’s body can cause problems during and after pregnancy.

If your vet recommends a supplement, then do some research before you hand it off to your dog. There are other ways to make sure your pooch gets an adequate amount of nutrients in her diet.

Step 3

First month – routine diet:

  • She may experience an increase in appetite, so it is important that you allow her extra food.
  • Moderate her intake. Fast eating is known to lead to future health problems that may impact the puppies.
  • If she is eating larger quantities fast, make more frequent meals at smaller quantities. This will ensure a healthy meal and digestion. Remember she is now feeding for more than just herself.

Step 4

After the first 30 days:

You should switch your pooch over to a puppy food diet. Try to gradually ease her into the new diet over a few days. Puppy food has plenty of nutrients to satisfy your dog’s needs. It also provides extra calories to take care of the little ones.

Always have plenty of water available to your dog. Pregnancy requires large amounts of fluid, and your dog needs to stay hydrated.

Step 5

Exercise is still important.

Even if your pooch isn’t pregnant, she should always get plenty of regular exercise. Do not take her to run a marathon, but do provide plenty of play time. Take her on daily, non-exhaustive walks, and spend time playing outside.

As the pregnancy progresses, you should continue the walks. However, the walks should gradually shorten. 30 minutes or less is ideal for a pregnant pooch. Duration and intensity should shorten as the pregnancy progresses.

Step 6

Vaccinate as recommended by your "trusted" vet.

There should not be a generalization because of the severity of the aftermath. I have heard vets recommend this as a general practice to people over the phone! Not acceptable. Your vet should examine your pregnant dog before any referral treatment, especially before medication is recommended.

Vaccinating before breeding does not normally lead to complications, because the strengthened antibodies can be passed from mother to pup. Vaccinating during pregnancy, however, can cause delivery complications and possibly abortion.

Step 7

Approaching the delivery date:

  • You should start taking your pooch’s temperature frequently a week before her due date. This what some people have a problem with because the temperature should be taken rectally.
  • Keep a simple log of her daily temperature so you can monitor her health. A normal temperature will be between 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Roughly 24 hours before your pooch goes into labor, her rectal temperature will drop two or more degrees. Cancel the dinner plans; it looks like you are about to deliver pups!

Step 8

Private, secluded and comfy:

  • Start preparing a place for you pet to have her pups. A box, known as a "whelping box", is a good place to start. The box should have sides tall enough so that the puppies cannot escape, while the mother should be able to safely exit the box. Cover the bottom of the box with old towels and blankets to make it comfortable for your pooch.
  • Many breeders suggest making a ledge near the bottom of the box. The ledge provides protection for the puppies in case the mom accidentally lays on them.
  • It is natural for a female dog to "nest" before she delivers, so pay attention to any other areas around the house where she may go. Get her familiar with the whelping box, so that she will not be afraid when the time comes.

You have confirmed that your pet is pregnant. The signs are there and the vet verified the presence of little ones. There’s not much for you to do during the first month of your dog's pregnancy. She should stay on the same diet and continue to exercise. As the pregnancy progresses, her food intake will increase and her diet should change to puppy food.

Remember, never personally prescribe supplements or give vaccination to your pregnant pup, because this can lead to pregnancy complications. As the time gets close, help your dog prepare by creating a comfortable delivery place. By checking her temperature daily, you will know when the puppies are on their way!

Article written by Collin Walker & provided by Pet Super Store featuring:
dog gates, dog crates, and dog steps

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