Hello everyone! In this article, I am going to try to enlighten you with some information on the pregnancy stages for your dog and the best foods for you pregnant friend in each stage along with the benefits of each vitamin, mineral, protein etc. Let’s jump right in, shall we.

Pregnancy stages and what’s important in each one.

So, to start with, unlike human gestation period of nine months, a dog’s gestation period is only nine weeks. These nine weeks are very important as to what they need to have as far as food goes. Follow along with me here.

  • The first four weeks are really not much different from their normal feeding habits. You continue to feed them as you normally would, probably twice a day.
  • Week 5 – you want to increase their food intake by about 25 – 30% of their normal intake, still about twice a day.
  • Week 6 – by this time, the puppies are starting to develop and your dog’s stomach capacity is decreasing, naturally with less room. At this time is where you want to start increasing their feedings to four to five times a day, no less than three, but with smaller amounts. They will still be getting more food on a daily basis, but in smaller amounts through more feedings. This is important.
  • Week 8 – here, you want to increase their feedings by approximately 50% than what they had before pregnancy. Now, they may start to decrease their eating, which will be normal and by the last week of their pregnancy, they may refuse to eat at all; also normal. At this time, you want to look for foods that are labeled as easily digestible formulas or even foods specifically designed for sensitive stomachs. Always make sure they have an abundant water supply at this point as it will aid in the milk production for their offspring. After they have their litter, naturally, they will lose weight, but they still need all the nutritional values from their food. These are found in proteins, fats, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals etc.

What they need in their food

Let’s get into it.

  • Protein – this is a vital source for amino acids which helps to promote healthy development of the puppies. These can be found in chicken, turkey, beef, lamb and fish, provided they are not allergic to any of these. Eggs and dairy products are a good secondary source for these as well. You will want to avoid cod liver oil as this is too rich in Vitamin A
  • Fats – while red meats are a good source of protein, they are also a good source for fats like in beef, lamb and pork to be introduced more so in week six. You now, at this time, want to decrease the white meats.
  • Fatty acids – these aid in fetal brain development, nerves and eyesight for the puppies. Salmon and/or fish oils are good supplements for this process.
  • Vitamins – three important ones are Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Folate (a Vitamin B9). These aid in tissue building and immune system building. Vitamin C is gained from fruits, vegetables an organ meat. Organ meat consists of the hearts, liver and kidneys from beef and chicken. Vitamin D is good for calcium absorption, very important for the milk producing process for the pups. These come from salmon, canned mackerel, dairy and eggs. Don’t add too much liver in their diet as this contains high amounts of Vitamin A. Too much Vitamin A can cause birth defects, smaller litters and also death in the newborns. Folate, or Vitamin B9, helps to prevent birth defects.
  • Minerals – the three most important ones are calcium, iron and phosphorous. Calcium is important for teeth and bone development in the puppies and also crucial for aid in the milk production. Iron aids in the formation of red blood cells and helps to prevent anemia. Finally, phosphorous. This also helps with bone development in the pups. Good sources for this are animal tissues, eggs and fish. Dairy products also aid in this process to include different cheeses and yogurt along with cottage cheese.

A few final tips to keep in mind for the mother to be

Oats or oatmeal, flax seeds and brown rice are good grains for expecting mother. I mention brown rice as opposed to white rice, as brown rice has three times the nutrients than white rice has. Fatty fish and fish oils should be included for their Omega 3 acids. Salmon is a good source for this. As for fish oils, I previously mentioned, do not use cod liver oil. Some holistic veterinarians suggest that red raspberries are good for them as they can ease the labor and aid in a speedy delivery. Once you know your dog is pregnant, be sure to check and watch their weight. Under weight and over weight dogs can create problems with the beginning growth of the puppies as there will not be enough room for them to develop properly. High nutrient value is extremely important. Without this, complications may arise such as smaller litters and a higher risk of puppy death. There are also several supplements that can be added to their daily feeding that can aid in the prenatal growth of the puppies and subsequent milking process. There are also special foods for the newborn puppies. Additionally, if the new mother is having issues nursing, there are milk replacements that can be given to the pup that are very close to the mother’s milk. Always read the directions and dosage requirements before using.

In summary

Well, I hope I have been able to provide you with a helpful and healthy starting point for your pregnant pooch. Following these helpful hints, tips and information provided will ensure your new mommy has a happy and healthy litter of little ones to care for properly. Should you have any questions or comments for me, please feel free to leave them below and I will be happy to assist you and your new furry family.

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or replace a veterinarian’s medical advice or treatment.

12 Replies to “Best foods for pregnant dogs and their children”

  1. Great article on best foods for pregnant dogs! I’ve never owned a pregnant dog so this is helpful for me. Can I share with a friend?

    1. Thanks Alyse, I’m glad you liked it. I don’t know where I got the idea from, but it doesn’t have a lot of competition so I thought I’d give it a shot. Yes, of course you can share it. Have them pull it up online, it would be great traffic for me. I still have to add images and links yet. I was having problems trying to add the images yesterday. Will work on that again today. Thanks again for reading it 🙂

  2. Reading through this article made me understand something and it is the fact that no one knows it all, I never realized the kind of food dogs eat when they’re pregnant really affect them, thanks for considering to share this here. The foods you’ve mentioned here are good food and they’ll be safe for the dog and it’s babies.

    1. Thank you again for reading this article as well. True, even I don’t everything there is to know, especially about dog pregnancies. I’m glad I was able to do the research for you. The foods I mentioned are high quality, reasonably priced foods and very much available. Thank you again for your comments.

  3. Wow, these are very clear and helpful tips to deal with dogs and I have two female dogs. I have always shown less concern personally when they are pregnant because I’m not always available. But now that I am ah home, and seeing the older one is pregnant, I have divided to make finding to know what food is best and which nutrient they will need most. 

    1. Thank you for commenting on this article for me. I hope it published in time for you to properly your dog and her pups for the occasion. If you noticed, I have chosen a couple of high quality, low priced products available in the links within the article that should help in your dog’s health during the pregnancy and for the newborn pups. Thanks again for doing the research. I would hate for this special occasion to be anything but that. Good luck!

  4. Hello there! Thank you for sharing this article on best food for pregnant dogs and their children. I must say I really did enjoy going through this article as it contains valuable information and it’s also well detailed. Healthy food for a pregnant dog is very need for the health of the dog and it’s children. I had a dog some time ago and I gave her malnourished food when she was pregnant and the result was a mess. I gave lots of carbohydrates, didn’t know protein and fats were the most needed. I’ve learnt my lesson, thanks a lot. 

    1. Hello and thank you for your comments. Sorry I did not have this article available to you at the time of your need. I hope if you get another dog in the future, this article will help you with the pregnancy and it won’t be such a mess next time. Thanks again for reading and commenting on this article for me.

  5. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your review as it contains valuable information’s one needs to be aware of when handling their pregnant dog. I wish i had since this earlier because i was not able to handle mind when she was pregnant, had to take her to the vet. Thanks for this

    1. Hello and thank you for your comments. I’m sorry I didn’t have this article up in time for your dog’s pregnancy, but hope it’s helpful for you should the occasion arise again. Even though the dog does the hard part, now you know for the next time what you can do to best prepare the dog better nutrition wise. Thanks again for reading and commenting on this article for me.

  6. Joseph,

    I’m glad I came across this article. I’m hoping that both my Atlas, and Muse are pregnant since we just tried 2 weeks ago. I haven’t seen any signs yet, but I have my fingers crossed since I really want a daughter of Atlas more than anything. Her eating habits haven’t changed much, but she sure is sleeping excessively. Though I don’t know if this is because she’s lazy (she’s a tired breed of dog, they sleep all the time) or if she’s prego. She is sleeping more than usual, so again, I’m hopeful!

    I’m going to keep the supplements in mind that you mentioned in here though. I won’t know for sure if she is for another 2 weeks, but I already have salmon in the freezer for them, as well as lots of brown rice. I like to make my own foods for them now and again for added nutrients. I think it’s good for them.

    Thanks for sharing this!


    1. Hello again and again apologies for the delayed response. I hope you get what you want from Atlas and I’m glad my article could be of some help at least. I found it very interesting doing the research on this one and was happy to write it. Thanks again for your comments:)

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