The care and maintenance of a pregnant dog is quite different from one that isn’t. You have to monitor the dog’s fluctuating hormones, nutritional needs, and behavior changes. You also have to keep the mom safe while making sure that the puppies will come out healthy and strong.
Be Aware and at the Ready on the Estimated Due Date
Always keep a record of the first breeding. It will serve as a guide for the estimated due date. The average period of pregnancy is 56-69 days. Count 56 days from the first breeding and mark that day as the potential due date of when your dog will give birth. Never leave your dog alone from the 56th day onwards and take its temperature regularly. The dog’s average temperature is 101-102.5 °F. If it drops below 100°F, she could go into labor within 24 hours.
Lay Low on the Calcium
Do not feed your pregnant dog foods that are rich in calcium or calcium supplements especially during the last two weeks of its pregnancy. They can get sufficient calcium from the dog food. Too much calcium in the pregnant dog’s system can make it suffer eclampsia or milk fever. You can go back to feeding the dog calcium supplements once its pups are born.
During the first few weeks of pregnancy and if the pregnant dog needs to gain some weight and strength, you can feed it puppy food. However, stop feeding it this type of food around 10 days before it is expected to give birth. Remember to introduce the new food gradually.
Exercise and Medications
You can stick to the pregnant dog’s routine exercises such as by having it go on its scheduled walks. This will help keep the dog strong and healthy. Avoid strenuous exercises in the latter part of its pregnancy. If it is not in the best of shape, you can keep the exercises light to avoid complications.
If you must, you can give it a dewormer specifically for pregnant dogs but it is advisable to deworm your dog before it even gets pregnant. Flea and tick treatments should be stopped during this time. Also, live vaccinations should not be given to the pregnant dog.
Monitor Your Dog
As the pregnancy progresses, the dog’s body will change and it will begin to get heavy and big with its puppies. The dam will start shedding tummy hair, you can begin to see the pups move around in her belly, and she can start to produce milk around the 50th day. Keep an eye on your pregnant dog at all times, and once you see her nesting, it is a sign that it is nearly time for her to give birth.