It is the time for happiness because your dog is pregnant and soon you will have little puppies running around the house. Aren’t little babies just so adorable? We all love them and more so if they are the children of our own furry friends. You eagerly await the days when you will be able to play with those little paws and you hope it comes soon. But it is not all that easy. Dog pregnancy is a difficult time and it requires you to take special care of your dog. There are a number of things including food and other habits of your canine that need to be supervised. We shall see here how you need to be prepared for the pregnancy of your dog at a very basic level.
The period of pregnancy for a dog is not the same as that of humans. Gestation is the period from conception to birth. This generally lasts for just 63 days. It is better if this is a planned event as everything can be done systematically in this scenario. Your dog might experience certain behavioral changes during this period. The process of giving birth is called whelping.
1. Take your dog to the vet
As soon as you suspect that your dog is pregnant, take her to the vet for her to be examined. The vet will tell you everything you need to know about your dog’s pregnancy, which stage she is in and what must be done. Also ask the vet about her health and check if she has any problems. If she is back on any of her vaccinations be sure that they are administered to her before her pregnancy, if this is a planned event. Vaccinations must not be administered to a pregnant dog. Keep taking your dog for regular checkups throughout her pregnancy and be updated about her health and needs.
2. Parasite Control
It is important the external and internal parasites that your dog might have should be eliminated. Worms can be transmitted from the mother to the puppies. Therefore parasite control is important before and even after the birth takes place. Consult the vet to know when your dog needs to be wormed. The puppies must not be wormed until they are at least a week old. If the external parasites like fleas etc are passed on to the puppies then do not use any products on them. Rather, gently remove them from the body with the help of tweezers. Never give the mother or the puppies any medication at home without first enquiring with the vet.
The needs of your dog will change during pregnancy. She might start to feel hungrier. So you must give her more food when she has approximately 3- 4 weeks left in her pregnancy, so as to feed her and also the little one within her. But be careful not to over feed her as obesity is not good for the health of pregnant dogs and it may also create problems while giving birth. About 3 weeks into the pregnancy, she may experience a little nausea and appetite loss similar to morning sickness. This should resolve within a week. If it does not, then you should take her to the vet.
Foods high in calorie and easily digestible protein are what you need to look for. A good quality puppy food is best during both pregnancy and lactation (feeding pups). Do not feed her extra calcium as it might lead to eclampsia or milk fever. Give here clean, filtered water every day.
Due to the pregnancy, the regular exercise of your dog should not take a back seat. In fact, exercise is all the more necessary for pregnancy dogs so as to prevent obesity. Regular walks are good for her health but intensive training and obedience school will be too stressful during this period. However, during the last 3 weeks of her pregnancy, the dog must be kept in isolation from all other dogs. This means that walks in public places where there are other dogs must be avoided. This isolation should also protect the mother from exposure to herpes virus of dogs, which causes innocuous vaginal sores and nasal drainage in the mother but is often fatal to puppies.
Apart from those mentioned above, there are other things that need to be taken care of. Firstly, give your dog a lot of rest as pregnancy can be quite exhausting. Prepare a quiet room for her and place a huge box in the room so that she can deliver in the box. Do this about 2 weeks prior to her delivery as she will need to get used to the box. If she delivers anywhere else, then you can shift the puppies into the box which must be complete with comfortable bedding.
As the date of whelping approaches, your dog might become more clingy and in need of your attention. Give her your time and be with her while she delivers. Keep yourself open to the possibility of complications during birth. It is also important to make sure that there is a vet nearby whom you can go to at any time, since you do not know when your puppy will deliver. All in all, do not be worried as this will prove to be a memorable experience for the both of you.