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How Do I Care for My Pregnant Dog?

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Table of content

Having a furbaby can be a joyful thing. But just like humans, they require additional care and attention, especially when they are carrying a litter of their mini versions. Before we all freak out, let’s just go through this article to make sure you do the right thing for your soon-to-be-mamas.

At what age can a dog get pregnant? Before the first heat?

Female canines can get pregnant as soon as they have their first heat cycle. Their first heat cycle could begin as young as 6 months to 1 year. However, a very important thing to note, they are still not considered adults during their first heat. Because of this, oftentimes dog mamas who gave birth during their first heat cycle might have a really difficult motherhood experience. 

How long are dogs pregnant?

On average, pregnancy in dogs will take around 9 weeks, approximately 63-65 days. Their pregnancies are usually divided into 3 trimesters. 

First Trimester

During the first trimester, there are not many changes, except she might gain a few kilos.

Second Trimester

This is the time when your dog will look pregnant. Her mammary glands will swell and her belly will grow bigger.

Third Trimester

During the last trimester, this is the time when you can bring your dog to the vet for an X-ray of the puppies. You will also know how many puppies and if the delivery will be a smooth process.

How do I know my dog is pregnant?

During the early stage of your dog’s pregnancy, you might not notice a lot of changes. However, gradually, you will notice that the dog mama is starting to gain weight and her mammary glands are becoming more prominent. They might seem tired, eat lesser than usual, and even vomit. Those symptoms could also be present in dogs with normal hormonal changes. 

Ultrasound and Abdominal X-Rays

So, to make sure that your dog is indeed pregnant, you can bring her to a dog pregnancy ultrasound. This should be done around day 25-28 of the pregnancy. Abdominal X-Rays can be done on the 45th day.

How to stop my dog from getting pregnant?

I am going to be straightforward. There is no other way to prevent pregnancies in your furry friends other than spaying or neutering them. Multiple pregnancies can take a toll on your dog’s body and the costs will build up.
Small-breed dogs can be spayed at a younger age because they tend to go into heat earlier than larger-breed canines.

Can dogs be spayed while pregnant?

This is a very common question and oftentimes, we get very different answers. The answer is YES, you can spay your dog if she is pregnant.
How does this work? Well, usually the vets will perform the procedure and terminate the pregnancy entirely. The procedure involves the complete removal of their ovaries and uterus, which means there won’t be a place for the pups to grow.
You will probably think that this must be a really difficult surgery. Surprisingly, it is not. If there are no complications, your dog will have a speedy and successful recovery.

Dietary needs for a pregnant dog 

Just like humans, pregnant doggo mamas need more food during pregnancy. They should be fed a high-calorie, commercial diet labelled for pregnancy and lactation. For those pet owners who like to feed raw diets, please do not feed your pregnant dog raw diets. This is because raw diets have a high probability of infections that could cause abortion.

Can I feed my pregnant dog bananas?

Yes, you absolutely can! Bananas are a great source of essential vitamins and nutrients for your dog. They are packed with fibre and are low in cholesterol, which is always better than the usually packaged treats that might contain a high level of fats and preservatives. 

Supplements/vitamins for pregnant dogs

Feeding your pregnant dogs high-quality food is definitely something you should do. However, if you want to give her more love and care, you should consider giving the soon-to-be-mamas supplements or vitamins
You could choose supplements that contain a lot of different ranges of probiotics, antioxidants, fish oil and vitamins/minerals. Other than that, look out for supplements with folic acid, iodine, iron and vitamins A, D, E, K, C and B. 
Though it is recommended to give them supplements, do not ever over-supplement! Always, always check with your vet first before giving them anything.

Things to take note of if your dog is pregnant

1. Vaginal Discharge

Small amounts of vaginal discharge for up to 8 weeks after the puppies are born is actually normal. This discharge contains old blood, so it is usually reddish-black in colour. However, the issue arises if the discharge is overly bloody, looks like pus or smells bad. If you notice this, please bring your dog to the vet immediately for a checkup so it can get treated accordingly.

2. Metritis

Metritis or inflamed uterus happens when the placenta is left in the body after birth or there was trauma during delivery. Some of the common symptoms are lack of appetite, lack of interest in the puppies, fever, and odorous vaginal discharge.

3. Eclampsia

This complication usually happens during whelping and a few weeks after giving birth. One of the major reasons is that the mothers’ bodies are unable to keep up with the calcium demand of lactation. Hence they will show abnormal mothering behaviors, restlessness, stiff gait and muscle spasms. The biggest takeaway is to NEVER supplement calcium to your dog during pregnancy because this will cause your dog to suffer from this complication. 

Pregnancy might be complex but it does not have to be difficult. Always check with your vet so you can help your dog to have a smooth pregnancy.

While taking care of your dog, why don't you let us take care of your vet bills? Check out Oyen’s insurance today and I promise you will not regret it!