If your female dog ja currently pregnant you might be wondering about all of the changes that you should do in her diet. A pregnant dog should be fed a high-quality and well balanced diet. There are even some prenatal vitamins for dogs that you can consider.
The nutritional needs of a pregnant bitch only increase slightly in the first half of her pregnancy. During the first few weeks your dog will most likely eat as much as she usually did. If you do decide to increase the amount of food, don’t go for more than 10%. Most of the growing will only appear in the second half of a dog’s gestation. Always choose highly digestible food that doesn’t irritate your dog’s tummy.
When it comes to macros, the diet should be a balanced mix of carbohydrates, fat and protein. It should contain at least 29 percent protein and 17 percent fat. High amounts of soluble carbohydrates and a low fiber content are also important. That will make sure to give your dog enough energy and good blood sugar levels.
Make sure that your dog gets enough calcium (between 1 and 1.8 percent) and phosphorous (between .8 and 1.6 percent). These minerals are important for milk production and for the puppy’s bones and teeth.
However, don’t overdo it with calcium or vitamin D. That could possibly lead to calcification of the soft tissues of the fetus and lead to complications such as birth defects.
Prenatal vitamins for dogs
Many different vitamins could benefit a pregnant dog. Some dog owners will go for a healthy and balanced diet, while others will seek for supplements. Either way, there are some vitamins that you should increase in your dog daily diet. The most important ones are:
Folic Acid: It’s important for the production of red blood cells and helps aid in the metabolism of amino acids. It also helps support healthy fetal development.
Iron: Helps in red blood cell production and helps prevent anemia.
B-complex vitamins: Highly needed for metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, normal enzyme function, and the function of the immune system.
Vitamin D: Important for the formation of the fetuses’ bones and teeth.
Iodine: Fetal development of the brain and nervous system.
Increased nutritional needs
During the last two to three weeks of a dog’s gestation, the nutritional needs of a pregnant bitch increase significantly. The intake of food should be slowly increased and reach up to 25% more than it was before the pregnancy. Feed your pregnant dog at least twice a day. Some dog owners will even make sure that their bitch has some food available at all times.
However, the loss of appetite is possible in late pregnancy. If that is the case, make sure your dog has many small meals during the day.
The last three weeks of your dog’s gestation are crucial, not only for her health, but the health of her puppies as well. While prenatal vitamins for dogs and other kinds of supplements can help, a well balanced and high-quality diet is still key.
Make sure that your dog is eating the good stuff, and enough of it. She is not only eating for herself, but for the puppies she is carrying as well.