Taking care of your pregnant dog can be a wonderful experience for you and your furry companion. During your dog’s pregnancy, your pet will need special care to ensure that she and her pups remain in good health even after whelping. Here are several things you can do to make the process comfortable for your dog and prepare her for when it’s time for her to deliver her puppies.
Take Your Dog on Regular Vet Visits
Your dog will need to visit the vet more regularly during her pregnancy. Aside from getting her standard checkups, your dog may have to undergo a blood test and an ultrasound to confirm if she’s carrying any pups. False pregnancies (or phantom pregnancies) are quite common in unspayed female dogs. Due to the normal changes in their hormone levels, their bodies trick them into thinking they’re pregnant. As a result, female dogs experiencing phantom pregnancies show signs of pregnancy such as swelling of the 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 your dog an x-ray to check the size and number of pups she will have. During your dog’s pregnancy, it’s important to work closely with your vet. This way, your dog will get the care she needs should she experience any complications or get sick while she’s pregnant.
Prepare Your Home for Your Pregnant Dog
To help ensure that your dog will have an easy and comfortable pregnancy, it’s a good idea to create a home environment that’s friendly to her condition. Simple changes like replacing plastic pet bowls with customizable stainless steel dog bowls will help your dog stay in good health. Compared to plastic bowls, stainless steel dog bowls don’t hold on to any harmful bacteria and are easier to clean.
Another change that’s beneficial to your pregnant dog is swapping her food with one that’s formulated for pregnant dogs. This is to make sure that she and her pups are getting the nutrients they need. However, before buying a new dog food, it’s best to consult with your vet so they can recommend one based on your pregnant dog’s particular needs.
Creating a whelping box for your pregnant dog is also a great way to prepare her for her pups. Placing a whelping box in a quiet corner of your home will give her a place to rest and nest in peace. The whelping box must be warm and comfy, so it’s a good idea to place dog blankets, pillows, and towels inside the box. You might also want to buy your pregnant dog more plush toys so she has something to encourage her nesting behavior.
You can also get your pregnant dog a dog bed to help her stay comfortable. Your dog will gain a lot of weight during her pregnancy, so a bed with adequate cushioning can help alleviate the pain she’ll feel in her legs and joints. Investing in an orthopedic dog bed will give your pregnant dog the relief and comfort she needs. Just make sure that the dog bed is large enough to accommodate her growing size.
Limit Your Dog’s Activity and Minimize Stress
Pregnant dogs need to get more rest the further they are into their pregnancies, so it’s advised to limit your pregnant dog’s activities the closer she gets to her due date. During the first 21 days of your dog’s pregnancy, you don’t have to make any changes to her exercise regimen. However, once she enters her 4th week, your pregnant dog must avoid strenuous or stressful activities at all costs. This means that any prior engagements, such as obedience training, dog shows, or travel plans, must be put on hold. This is because the 4th week is when her growing puppies are susceptible to developmental defects and issues. If you want to ensure that your pregnant dog stays at a healthy weight during her pregnancy, you can take her out on gentle walks outside or let her walk around indoors so she can get some exercise.
By the time she reaches the 8th week of her pregnancy, it’s a good idea to stop actively making your pregnant dog exercise. Your dog will become heavier, feel more fatigued, and move slower in her 8th week, so she won’t be in any condition to participate in any kind of exercise. She’ll also be more susceptible to premature labor if she becomes overstimulated during this time.
During the last 3 weeks of your dog’s pregnancy, it’s wise to keep her indoors and away from the other dogs and animals in your home. This way, she can avoid contracting parasites, diseases, and illnesses that can affect her puppies’ well-being. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pregnant dog’s health, always consult your veterinarian to ensure that you can give your dog the right type of care.
Making sure that your pregnant dog is healthy, comfortable, and properly cared for will ensure that her pregnancy will go smoothly. By giving her proper care and attention, you can expect to welcome a new litter of cute puppies into your home.