avoiding malnourishment of a bitch from the pre-breeding phase to parturition is vital to the health of both the bitch and her pups. veterinary nutritionists strongly believe that malnourishment of bitches before breeding and during pregnancy is a major factor in neonatal puppy mortality, which is estimated to be between 20 and 30 percent. a bitch who is pregnant or has just given birth draws upon the nutritional reserves deposited in her body before and during pregnancy. nutritional deprivation during pregnancy has been shown to affect the immune systems of both the bitch and her pups.
once a bitch is pregnant, she should be fed a high-quality, well-balanced performance diet throughout gestation, even though the pregnant bitch’s nutritional requirements increase only minimally during the first half of gestation. adequate intake of calcium (between 1 and 1.8 percent) and phosphorous (between .8 and 1.6 percent) intake is important for adequate milk production by the bitch so that the pups’ bones form properly. the bitch’s food intake should be gradually increased by a total of 15 to 25 percent by the time of whelping to ensure adequate gain of body weight and increase of nutritional reserves. in part two, i will discuss proper feeding of the bitch during whelping and lactation to support adequate puppy growth and health.
each provides specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize the health of both mother and puppy. obesity can also decrease the number of eggs released at ovulation, resulting in smaller litter sizes. there are no specific nutritional requirements for a female dog during her heat cycle. overfeeding can result in obesity at the end of pregnancy, increasing the risk for difficult or prolonged labor and extra stress on the puppies. meal feeding is the best way to control body condition and weight gain during pregnancy.
the highest energy requirement for the mother occurs between weeks 6 and 8 of gestation. do not feed a puppy food designed for large breed puppies as this will not have the correct calcium phosphorous balance to support the developing bones of the fetuses or healthy milk production in the mother. once the puppies are born, the mother can increase her food intake, but the energy density of the food must be high enough or she will not be physically able to consume enough to sustain milk production, weight, and body condition. the mother can eat on her own schedule, she can consume smaller amounts of food each time she eats, and the puppies can begin sampling solid food as soon as they are able (at about 3 weeks of age). on day one of weaning, withhold her food, allowing the puppies to eat their food while they are away from their mother. on day two of weaning, the pups are separated from their mother and she is fed about 25% of her pre-breeding portion and formulation.
it should contain at least 29 percent protein and 17 percent fat. high amounts of soluble carbohydrates and a low fiber content are important to regular short walks and light play time as well as attention are all good exercises for pregnant dogs. do not over-stimulate the pregnant dog, caring for pregnant dogs includes feeding the correct food, giving vitamins, and setting them up for a successful labor. learn about prenatal care for dogs., what to do when your dog is pregnant for the first time, dog pregnancy week by week, dog pregnancy week by week, signs a dog is going into labor soon, dog pregnancy.
before you breed your dog, take her to the vet for a prenatal checkup. she should be up-to-date on vaccinations. your vet will probably recommend either a fecal exam to check for intestinal parasites or just have your dog de-wormed with an appropriate medication suited for your dog prior to mating. it is best to feed your pregnant dog food that has been formulated for growth according to aafco requirements. 1ufeff usually, this means feeding puppy food. by the time she is halfway through her pregnancy, your dog will require roughly twice the calorie intake that she needed before pregnancy. make sure the puppies are warm and dry and receive some of the dog’s first milk within 24 hours. it’s a good idea to take your dog and her puppies to the folic acid and essential fatty acid supplementation may be beneficial to support developing fetuses. consult your veterinarian regarding their use in your dog. the gestation length in dogs (dog pregnancy length) is around 63 days from ovulation or just over two months. ovulation is determined by, dog pregnancy calculator, dog labor stages, early signs of dog pregnancy, dog pregnancy symptoms week 1, dog pregnancy stages week by week pictures, dog pregnancy test, pregnant dog nipples week by week, how long is a dog pregnant, dog pregnancy symptoms week 2, 59 days pregnant dog symptoms.
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