Feeding your Pregnant or Nursing Dog

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Reference against Health Pregnancy

Having a litter of puppies can be very exciting, but a pregnant bitch needs the right diet to keep her healthy and give her puppies the best start in life.

Weeks 1 to 6

  • At the start of the pregnancy, the puppies won’t place too much of a demand on their mother, so her regular diet will usually be sufficient.

Week 6 to birth

  • At this point, the puppies are growing quickly, roughly doubling in size each week. This means that your dog is going to need a different diet to provide enough nutrients for herself and her puppies.
  • We recommend moving your dog onto one of our Ultra Dog Puppy foods, in order to provide the right nutrients and extra energy to help her through her pregnancy. Remember that, because of the rapid growth of the puppies, there is increased pressure on your dog’s stomach, so you need to feed her several smaller meals for the last two weeks.

Birth to weaning

  • Until her puppies are weaned, your dog will need to continue eating Ultra Dog Puppy. It provides all the nutrients your dog needs to make sure her puppies get everything they require for healthy growth and development. It is better to give her more meals per day, rather than larger meal sizes.

Weaning to 8 weeks

  • Weaning is the process of moving your puppies from milk onto solid food. Start introducing solid food at the start of the puppies’ 4th week. Add luke warm water and mash the food into a porridge-like consistency.
  • The puppies should start eating the food quite naturally, while still taking some milk from their mother. They will need at least 4 small meals per day. Over the subsequent days, you will notice the puppies taking more and more solid food, while their mother’s milk production begins to decrease.
  • The whole weaning process usually takes around 10 days to complete and you can start feeding your puppies on dry food between 5 and 6 weeks old.
  • During the weaning period, the mother’s feeding amounts can gradually be brought back to normal. Therefore, you can switch her back to her normal adult food. However, if her general condition is poor, it may help to keep her on puppy food until she is back to full strength. If you have any health concerns about the mother or the puppies, please consult your vet.