It is quite exciting when you find out your dog is pregnant. The idea of having puppies is thrilling and scary at the same time, especially if it is your first time. Dog pregnancies can be confusing and stressful and can overwhelm a new owner who has no idea how to take care of a pregnant dog.
Dogs are pregnant for approximately 63 days or about two months. In this short span of time, a lot of things happen and a lot of changes occur.
Here are some tips from the American Kennel Club that you need to take note of when caring for your pregnant dog.
How to Tell If Your Dog is Pregnant
Since there are no pregnancy tests for dogs being sold in pharmacies, we must rely on other methods to determine if she is indeed pregnant. The most accurate way would be through diagnostic testing. You can bring your dog to the vet and have them test her. Signs of pregnancy include an increase in appetite, weight gain, and increase in nipple size.
Caring for a Pregnant Dog
One of the most important things you can do for your pregnant dog is to make sure she gets proper nutrition. You have to feed her good quality dog food and make sure she does not go beyond or under a healthy weight. As her weight increases in the last five weeks of her pregnancy, you can increase her food intake gradually, until she consumes 35 to 50 percent more than usual. It is helpful to feed her small, frequent meals, as large meals can cause discomfort.
It is also important to bring your dog to the vet regularly. This will cause any problems to be discovered early. Your vet can also present you with choices like spaying your dog.
Preparing for Puppies
Get a whelping box for your dog’s delivery. You have to introduce her to the whelping box way before she is scheduled to give birth to her puppies. This is to prevent her from giving birth in other places like your closet.