A dog’s pregnancy lasts between 63-65 days. Pregnant animals have very different needs and problems to non-pregnant animals.
Their nutritional needs change during pregnancy and milk production. To maintain a healthy mother and babies it is important to feed correctly throughout pregnancy and lactation.
Labour can be distressing for both owner and pet unless you are aware of what is normal, what is not and when to call for help. We have a labour information leaflet at the practice to allow you to be able to tell the difference between normal birth and problem births where you may need to call for hep. Problems during labour, unless promptly dealt with, can lead to death of mother and puppies.
Please make sure you educate yourself on this subject if you have a pregnant pet. We are happy to help.
An appropriate diet is very important during milk production as a mother will always feed her babies to the detriment of her own health. This means that if she doesn’t get the nutrition she needs from her diet she will use her own body reserves instead resulting in a very thin mother and fat puppies.
A lack of calcium in the mother’s diet while producing milk can also lead to seizuring of the mother which can be life-threatening (hypocalcaemia).
An infection in the mammary glands, or the breasts, is a common and painful problem. Glands should be checked twice daily for signs of swelling, teat redness and hardness. Mastitis can cause illness in both mother and puppies.
Pups should be fully weaned by 6 weeks of age. You can start weaning from 3½ weeks of age and sometimes, if medically necessary, even sooner.
To find out more about looking after your pregnant dog, or to book an appointment with us, please call 091 867008 today and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help.