How to Keep Your Pregnant Dog Comfortable

How to Keep Your Pregnant Dog Comfortable

If your dog has recently gotten pregnant, this will only be the first step towards a wonderful, albeit confusing and sometimes messy experience for you and your household. Not unlike a human mother, your dog will require some special care at this momentous time in her life. You’ll need to be extra attentive to her condition to ensure that she and her pups remain in good health even after whelping.

To that end, here’s PrideBites’ short list of things to do to keep your dog comfortable and at ease during her pregnancy and prepare her for delivery:

1) Take Your Dog on Regular Vet Visits

First, you should know off the bat that your dog will need to visit the vet more frequently during her pregnancy. Aside from her standard checkups, your dog might also have to undergo a blood test and an ultrasound to confirm if she’s carrying any pups, since false pregnancies (also called phantom pregnancies) are quite common in unspayed female dogs. False pregnancies can happen due to changes in hormone levels, which can result in signs of pregnancy such as swollen teats, lethargy, and nesting.

If your veterinarian confirms that your dog is pregnant, they can give her prenatal vitamins to ensure a healthy pregnancy. The vet can also give her an x-ray to check the number of pups she will have. Work closely with your vet to make sure that your dog will get whatever care she needs throughout her gestation period.

2) Prepare Your Home for Your Pregnant Dog

Your dog will have an easy pregnancy if she’s surrounded by a comfortable environment. You won’t have to give your home a complete tear-down, but you should implement simple changes to keep her in good health and make it easier for her to move around your home. 

Start by replacing her plastic pet bowls with customizable stainless steel dog bowls. Compared to plastic bowls, stainless steel dog bowls don’t hold on to any harmful bacteria and are easier to clean.

Another change that will be beneficial to your pregnant dog is to start her on a diet that’s specially formulated for pregnant dogs. This will ensure that she and her pups get the nutrients they need. Before buying any new dog food, however, discuss matters with your vet so that they can recommend a diet based on your pregnant dog’s particular needs.

Next, you’ll want to create a whelping box for your pregnant dog and her pups. Place the whelping box in a quiet corner of your home so that she has a place to rest and nest in peace. The box must be warm and comfy, so it’s a good idea to leave some dog blankets, pillows, and towels inside. You might also want to buy your pregnant dog a few plush toys to encourage her nesting behavior.

Lastly, consider getting a dog bed to keep her comfortable. Your dog will gain a lot of weight during her pregnancy and she may start feeling pain in her legs and joints. An orthopedic dog bed will give your pregnant dog the cushioning and the relief her joints need. Just make sure that the dog bed is large enough to accommodate her growing size.

3) Limit Your Dog’s Activity and Minimize Stress

Pregnant dogs need to get more rest the further along they are in their pregnancies, so try to gradually limit your dog’s activities the closer she gets to her due date. 

You don’t have to make any changes during the first three weeks of her pregnancy. However, once she enters her fourth week, she must be able to avoid strenuous or stressful activities. This is because the fourth week is when her growing puppies are susceptible to developmental defects and issues. 

If you want to ensure that your dog stays at a healthy weight during her pregnancy, you can take her out on gentle walks outside. Strenuous activities such as obedience training, dog shows, or travel plans must be put on hold until after she’s given birth.

4) Keep Her Indoors Near the End

By the time she reaches the eighth week of her pregnancy, it’s a good idea to stop actively making your pregnant dog exercise and to have her stay mostly indoors. At this stage of her pregnancy, she’ll be more susceptible to premature labor, so it will be a good idea to limit her movements to keep her from being overly stimulated.

Fortunately, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep your dog indoors and to limit excursions to short trips to the yard dog. By this time, your dog will have become heavier, will feel more fatigued, and move more slowly than she usually does.

During the last three weeks of pregnancy, it’s wise to keep her indoors and away from the other dogs and animals in your home. This will limit her potential exposure to parasites and illnesses that can affect her and her puppies’ well-being. Try to consult your vet at least a couple of times a week so that you can give your dog the right type of care.

Explore PrideBites' Custom Dog Pregnancy Essentials

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