Congratulations to all those dogs who are about to have their pups soon!
Initially you may not notice any signs of pregnancy in your pet but as soon as you do it’s essential that you visit your vet as soon as possible so that you can start to monitor their health more closely.
There’s more to it than that though so follow our pointers below to give your pregnant pup all the love and care they need before giving birth.
From about the fourth week, it is 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 they need to support the pregnancy. This should be continually fed throughout lactation and gradually reduced as the puppies start to wean at around 4 weeks.
Changing the 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 pets require 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 is important to de-worm your pregnant bitch to ensure that worm infestation is not passed onto her puppies. Always check with your vet the correct dosage and frequency is administered.
Preparation 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 birth).
Do you have any stories about your dog’s pregnancy and how you prepared for it?
Let us know in the comments below!