What Foods Should You Feed a Pregnant Dog?

Pregnant female

Pregnancy in any animal is a delicate and important time. The growing pups in a pregnant dog demand a great deal from the mother's body, and will actually suck nutrition from the very bones of their dam if it is needed. For puppies to be born healthy and fully formed, it is important to provide optimal nutrition to the mother while she is pregnant.

Take Her to the Vet

Begin with a visit to your veterinarian. Any healthy pregnancy should be checked and verified by a vet, and then the health of the mother should be evaluated. Her physical condition will be assessed and you can ask the vet at that time what food is best to feed her. Often, vet offices will have a selection of food available that you can buy on site.

Home Care

Feeding your dog at regular times in controlled amounts is the best way to care for her at home. A pregnant female does not have as much room in her stomach for food, so feeding more frequently, in gradually increasing amounts to meet the demands of her growing babies, is helpful--especially as her stomach becomes more and more squeezed as the pups get bigger and take up more room. Twice a day will suffice, and then--towards the last 3 weeks--smaller portions three to four times a day is easiest on the female.

Types of Food to Feed Her

Foods high in easily digestible protein are what you need to look for. The main ingredient should be meat, and meat that you can easily recognize--such as chicken, beef, pork, fish or lamb. Avoid "ground animal meal." You have no idea what that meat is, or how old it is or what it was ground with. Avoid anything with ash or too many fillers, and look for natural ingredients, with supplemental nutrition such as dried brewers yeast, vitamins and minerals. Dry food, or kibble, is best, although mixing it with wet food will make it more palatable for your female.