Congratulations to all those dogs who are about to have their pups soon!
You may not notice any signs of your dog’s pregnancy straight away, but as soon as you do it’s essential that you visit your vet so that you can start to monitor her health more closely.
However, there’s more to it than that – so follow our pointers below to give your pregnant pup all the love and care she needs before giving birth…
Food & Diet
From around her fourth week of pregnancy, it’s recommended to change your dog’s diet to a premium quality dog food because of the high level of vitamins and minerals that supply everything she needs. This premium quality dog food should continue throughout her lactation stages and gradually reduced as the puppies start to wean at around 4 weeks old.
Changing her diet should be done gradually over the course of a week to avoid any stomach upset, and you should try and stick to the brand of food they are used to. Alongside the diet change, pregnant dogs require extra fresh water, as they are more prone to dehydration than normal during this time.
Fitness and health is incredibly important during pregnancy, and the fitter your pet, is the easier she’ll find it when she’s in labour. We obviously don’t recommend strenuous activities like jumping over obstacles, but a good walk (twice a day) should help. As will swimming if she enjoys water.
Vaccinations should not be given during canine pregnancy. However, if possible, it is a great idea to have your bitch vaccinated just before pregnancy as this will ensure she has a high level of antibodies to pass onto her puppies during lactation.
It’s important to de-worm your pregnant bitch to ensure that any worm infestation is not passed onto her newborn puppies. Always check with your vet to ensure the correct dosage and frequency is administered.
Preparing for birth
Towards the final stages of pregnancy, we recommend creating a whelping area and box that your dog will start to feel comfortable giving birth in. This should be in a quiet area of the house and she should be encouraged to sleep there.
Your whelping box should be large enough for your bitch to stretch out, with an opening made in and out and high enough sides so she cannot jump over (to avoid her squashing any pups after they’re born).
Do you have any stories about your dog’s pregnancy and how you prepared for it?
Let us know in the comments below.