The Right Dog Food For Pregnancy, Whelping Phase & Nursing

The Right Dog Food For Pregnancy, Whelping Phase & Nursing

Taking care of your dog during her normal days and while she is pregnant are two very different things. When your dog is pregnant you need to be more careful and take care of her more responsibly. Speaking of which, there are a lot of things that you also need to keep in mind in order to take proper care of your dog during her pregnancy. Like for instance, you need to take her to the vet for regular checkups, give her proper rest and sleep, check on your dog whether she is facing any trouble complication with her pregnancy etc.

But the most important that you need to take care off is the food. You need to make sure that your dog is getting all the right nutrients during her pregnancy. To make that happen you need to give her the right food in right amounts and at right intervals. If this is your dog’s first time and you are not sure what to do or how to feed your dog right then, don’t worry because we have provided you with a guide below. This is a normal guide with is applicable for wide range for breeds such as pitbull, doberman, yorkie ,labrador, mastiff etc.

What to feed a pregnant dog? 

  • During the first half of the pregnancy which is 4 to 5 weeks make sure that you are providing your dog with proper adult dog food.
  • During the second or the last half of the pregnancy you need to supply your dog with 30-50% more calories than what you used to give her before. This is important as your dog weight is likely to increase at this stage because of the increased body weight and also because of the puppies that she is carrying.
  • In case, you are already providing your dog with high-quality food then, you need not give her any dietary supplements.
  • During the whelping phase, your dog may not eating. It is advisable that you should not force feed her during this stage as it is very normal for the dogs not to feed during this phase. The only thing that you need to make sure is that whether she is hydrated or not. Therefore, provide her with a lot of fresh water to drink.
  • Once your pregnant dog has delivered all her puppies, it is obvious that she needs to nurse them. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make sure that she gets all the attention from you at this stage. Nutritional deficiencies are likely to happen at this stage because of nursing. So make sure that you are providing your dog with all the right nutrients. The minimum nutrition for pregnant dogs is 1589 Kcal energy per pound food with 20% protein. 
  • You can provide your dog with active dog food or high-quality puppy food to keep her fit. Also, these foods have the right amount of fats and proteins in them to keep her diet balanced also the nutrients passes to her puppies via her milk.
  • Nursing dog diet: It is advisable that you keep food available for your dog at all times rather than feeding it in controlled proportions. This will ensure that your nursing dog is getting more calories each day. Moreover, a free feeding method is always preferable during this phase. 
  • Also, take your pregnant dog to the vet for regular check-ups so that the vet can prescribe her the kind of foods that will meet her demands of proteins and fats.

What Are The Things To Keep Your Dog Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • When you have a pregnant dog to take care off make sure that you take her out for regular walks. This will help your dog to retain her strength and stay active. But at the same time, you need to make sure that you do not make your dog do any intensive training. That’s because it may be stressful for the pregnant dog and may also have negative effects on your dog. So all you got to do is take your dog out for regular walking. Walking is a great way to keep pregnant dogs fit.
  • Another important thing that you need to take care off is that your dog has got all the proper vaccinations or not. This is actually very important for your dog and also for her puppies that are yet to be born so you cannot afford to be negligent towards it. Make sure that your dog is up to date on all her vaccinations before she is up for mating. This will keep her antibody levels high.
  • The next important thing that you need to take care of is that your dog is free from fleas during her pregnancy. In order to make that happen, you need to take your dog for worming and flea treatments regularly. This is one thing that is surely going to help your dog very much during her pregnancy. This will allow her to be free from the bugging fleas on her body. Also, Mother dogs are known to pass hookworms and roundworms to their unborn puppies. Therefore, in order to be on the safe side, you need to treat your pregnant dog with the right products so that both your dog and her puppies can be safe. You can obviously discuss it out with your dog’s vet that what is the best thing to do.
  • When your dog is almost close to giving birth to her puppies, she will require rest and peace so what you can do is prepare her a nest where she can sit and make herself feel comfortable. This will be her private place to relax when she is on the verge of delivering her puppies. You can use a cardboard box and a few blankets, towels or sheets for the purpose and make sure that you place the nest in a quiet spot. It is guaranteed that your dog will love it.

Problems During Pregnancy


This a common problem occurs in a pregnant dog. This happens when she is eating a lot to pass nutrients to her puppies, but not able digest all foods. Due to this, diarrhea happens.

TO overcome this problem give your pregnant dog protein enriched food. If you are feeding dry dog food then protein & fat amount will be 35% & 25% respectively. For wet food 7% & 5% respectively.


If this happens, the mother need to separated from pups for a day. Start feeding mother calcium & vitamin D supplements.

Now that you know how to deal with your dog’s pregnancy hopefully, you will be able to handle it better the next time your dog gets pregnant.

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