A new life is always a miracle and it’s always a great thing when one more litter of pups is added to the world. Caring for a pregnant dog requires lots of time and responsibilities. Yes, it’s very exciting and sometimes anxiety creeps in but with the right knowledge on dog mom care, you would be able to meet up with the challenges. It will always be worth the stress when you have a new set of adorable puppies to play with. Below are a few tips on how to properly take care of a pregnant dog.
Signs of Pregnancy
The first step is to be sure your dog is actually pregnant or make sure that the swelling of her belly is not caused by too many treats. It may be quite amusing but true, dogs do have symptoms of pregnancy as well. You’ll need to properly study your dog to be sure she is pregnant. You may begin to notice changes in her body and behavior 3weeks after she ovulates and conceive. It might just be a suspicion, but still you’ll need to confirm so proper care can be taken. Checking for other signs like early morning sickness, a bigger appetite, enlarged nipples, clear mucoid discharge from her privates and the telltale enlargement of her belly are the first obvious symptoms. If after all these signs you are still not convinced that your dog is pregnant, then you need to go see a veterinarian. There they can carry out an ultrasound to be 100% sure that your dog is truly pregnant.
Diet and Nutrition
From the moment you realize that your dog is pregnant, you need to make sure you feed her properly as her diet is very important for the growth of the puppies. You’ll need to include more nutritious food in her diet and only feed her healthy treats that will benefit her babies. Dogs have a gestational period of 63 days, so while approaching 40 days of pregnancy her diet has to change so her puppies don’t get too big. Enrich her diet with more nutritious foods, rich with calories and protein, you can also begin to feed your dog with puppy food gradually because at this stage the puppies are almost fully developed and need all the nutrients they can get. You need to also cut down the quantity of food you give to your dog because as the puppies grow, they’ll begin to press down on her stomach which can be very uncomfortable and make delivery more strenuous, hence the need to reduce her food intake.
Vaccination and parasites
You don’t want to pass on any diseases or health challenges from mother to puppy so it is important for you to make sure that your dog always gets all her shots and annual vaccines on time as it protects the puppies from getting infections. As it isn’t safe for your dog to be vaccinated while pregnant, you should always make sure they get their shots pre-pregnancy and you also need to maintain proper hygiene and parasite control by bathing them and keeping their bedding and surroundings clean so the puppies don’t get infections from their mother.
Dogs needs to be dewormed during and after pregnancies, as there are certain kinds of worms like roundworms that are usually in the body of adult dogs that are infectious to puppies and could kill them. Thus deworming your dog during pregnancy is very essential to kill any worms and prevent them from harming your unborn pups.
During pregnancies, your dog is bound to gain weight just like any other pregnancy because of their increased appetite and pregnancy hormones. You need to make sure your dog exercises daily to keep her bones strong and fit and also avoid her becoming overweight. Exercise will get her blood pumping and keep her energy levels high. This will come in handy during her delivery, she won’t get tired out easily or feel excessively weak.
Caring for a pregnant dog may come with some challenges, as dogs can’t speak so it might be difficult for them to express the way they feel. However, if you pay attention to your pregnant dog and take note of how she reacts to different things, you’ll know when she’s in pain or when she needs something. If you are a first-timer, you can always visit your veterinarian for guidance on caring for your pregnant dog and remember to give her extra belly rubs.