How to Care for Dogs During Their Pregnancies
There's nothing more exciting than knowing that your dog is expecting a litter of puppies. While the idea of endless puppy breath is heart-warming, just like human pregnancy, dog pregnancy can be stressful and confusing, especially as an owner. Here's what you need to know about caring for your dog during her pregnancy.
How to Determine if Your Dog Is Pregnant
Since dogs don't have the convenience of at-home pregnancy tests, it's important to know the signs that your dog is pregnant. Common signs include weight gain, increased nipple size, and an increased appetite.
Since other conditions can cause these signs, the most effective and sure way to know if your dog is pregnant is to visit an animal hospital in Fort Collins for diagnostic testing.
Tips for Taking Care of a Pregnant Dog
After you're 100% sure that your dog is expecting, there are many things you'll want to do to ensure her health throughout the next few months.
Feed a Quality Diet
To begin, you'll want to ensure that your dog receives the proper nutrition. To ensure the health of your dog and her puppies, feeding her a high-quality diet is a must. If you're already
feeding providing a quality diet, chances are you don't have to make any changes.
However, during the last five weeks of the pregnancy, you'll want to feed your dog 35-50% more food. To prevent discomfort, switch to feeding your dog smaller frequent meals versus one big meal.
Set Up a Whelping Box
To ensure your dog feels safe and comfortable during her delivery, you will want to design a whelping box. This area makes the delivery much less of a hassle for both you and your pet. Place the whelping box in an area of your home that's quiet and private. Use plenty of blankets to keep the space warm and comfortable.
Once the whelping box is ready, introduce your dog to it so that she realizes it's a safe place to deliver her pups. To make the delivery easy on you, be sure you also have these items handy:
- Paper towels
- Newspaper to line the box
- Clean scissors and dental floss for umbilical cords
- Heating pad to keep puppies warm
- Clean towels to clean the puppies
Once your dog is ready to deliver, she will head to the whelping box. Unlike humans, dogs are often able to give birth without assistance. You will only want to help your dog if she doesn't remove the placental membrane from the puppy or if she doesn't sever the umbilical cord.
It’s also important to keep track of the delivered placentas to ensure there’s one per puppy. A retained placenta can cause all sorts of health issues.
Routine Trips to the Vet
While there are certain things you’ll want to do to take care of your dog at home, it’s best to ensure your dog gets the professional care she needs to ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy puppies! At our office, we offer a wide variety of veterinary services, including pet wellness, surgery, and holistic treatments.
For a caring and trusted veterinarian in Fort Collins, consider the staff at Advanced Animal Care of Colorado. We will work with you to confirm that your dog is pregnant while providing the required services and treatment to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Contact us today at (970) 493-3333 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting the soon-to-be puppy mom!