top of page
  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Caring for your pregnant pooch: 3 top tips

The thought of little puppies running about the home is thrilling, yet is not a decision that should be made lightly. When thinking about whether your dog should have puppies, it’s first important to consider the age and breed of your pup as well as the time and commitment that will be required.

Preparation is key, so be sure to arm yourself with all the necessary information you’ll need to ensure your dog remains safe and healthy. We discuss three essential steps below for your pregnant pooch.

Preparing your home

It’s critical for your dog to be as comfortable as possible during the pregnancy to ensure it goes smoothly. This means making changes to your home to accommodate her condition. For example, purchase some stainless steel food bowls that will prevent harmful bacteria from building up.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to provide your pup with a large dog bed that’ll accommodate the gain in weight and alleviate the pain in their joints. Closer to the time of the birth, consider setting up a whelping box to help your dog prepare for her pups. This must also be warm and comfy, so make sure to include blankets, towels, and pillows within the box.

Changing their diet

During the initial few weeks of your dog’s pregnancy, it’s recommended that you increase their food intake by around 10% or more, regardless of whether this is a commercial or raw diet. Increase this further in the final few weeks to about 15-20%.

The food provided should be high in fat, protein, and minerals but keep an eye out for large increases in weight as this can place the unborn puppies at risk. A specialist dog food for pregnant pups is your best option and the manufacturers will state the amount that should be given according to your dog’s body condition.

Try to spread meals throughout the day with smaller portions. This usually helps if your canine has issues with morning sickness.

Keep an eye on their condition

While it’s common for pregnant dogs to become less active and tired during pregnancy, if you notice a loss in her appetite or symptoms of withdrawal, it can be a telltale sign of complications. From two to five weeks, your dog’s weight shouldn’t change, so any drop in weight should be monitored by a professional.

Their demeanour is also likely to change; for example, you may find your dog begins to hoard food, experience urges to nest, or become restless by noise and strangers. Dogs can also become more affectionate – all are fairly normal responses but serious signs of discomfort may need following up on.

Dogs tend to not need help when giving birth but this will depend on the breed and any pre-existing conditions. Ensure you remain on hand to help if necessary and call the vet immediately if you notice any signs of serious pain or if more than 2-4 hours have passed with no puppies being born.

bottom of page