Tips for Caring for Your Pregnant Dog at Home
It’s an exciting time when your female dog is pregnant. So naturally, want to make sure she has the best care possible, and you may be tempted to take her to the vet every week. However, that isn’t necessary! Dog pregnancies are usually pretty routine and only require one or two visits with a vet. The following tips will help you care for your pregnant dog at home:
Read and Research About Dog Pregnancy
If you’re using a vet to help with the birth, they may recommend some reading material for you to read before the event. You can also refer to online materials on dog pregnancy and how to deal with it; one good source for pet-related articles is PetCareRx.
Make sure your dog is healthy enough to give birth. Dogs who have medical conditions or problems with their reproductive organs may not be able to carry a litter of puppies safely. Talk to your veterinarian if you think something might be wrong with your dog’s health that could affect her ability to become pregnant or give birth safely.
Prepare for the puppies’ arrival! You should make sure everyone in your household knows what will happen when your dog has her puppies. Try practicing the commands now, so everyone knows how things will go when it happens! Also, plan on getting supplies (blankets, towels) needed at least two weeks before she goes into labor, so you have time for everything else that needs to be done beforehand. There’s no point in rushing around trying to find everything once she has her pups because it could all be too late by then!
Prepare for the Puppies.
You should have a safe place ready for the puppies to be born. It should be a quiet space where your dog can rest before and after the puppies are born, and it would be helpful if it were relatively easy to clean up any messes that may occur. If you don’t already have such a room in your home, consider converting a spare bedroom into an area for birthing and raising newborns.
If you’re still unsure how many pups your dog is carrying (and she won’t tell), consult with her vet about what to expect from her litter size based on breed and age.
Practice Good Hygiene.
- Wash your hands before and after handling your dog.
- Don’t let your dog lick your face, mouth, or other parts of your body. It can pass illness and germs to you that could make you very sick.
- Do not let your dog lick food from the table or any serving bowls. It could pass bacteria from their mouth onto the food and make humans sick if they eat it afterward.
Inspect the Nest.
- Check the nest every day.
- Keep the bedding clean and dry.
- Check to make sure your dog is safe in her nest and that she’s comfortable resting there.
Keep the Veterinary Contact Information Handy in Case of Complications.
If your dog experiences any of the following symptoms, call your veterinarian right away:
- Pain or discomfort when breathing
- Bleeding from the nose or mouth
- No contractions for more than six hours after whelping
If you’re not sure what to do, consult a professional.
Let Your Dog Get Some Exercise.
Regular walks are a great way to keep your dog active, healthy, and happy. It’s also a bonding experience for both of you!
Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. A pregnant dog needs more exercise than usual to keep her body shapely and strong for labor. But don’t overdo it if she’s already getting plenty of daily activity outdoors or at home with other dogs or small children around. Excessively active dogs can develop joint problems from running on hard surfaces or against resistance from harnesses or leashes too often. Exercise can help relieve stress and improve moods too!
Keep a Close Eye on Your Dog’s Food and Water Intake.
Keep a close eye on your dog’s food and water intake. If your dog is pregnant, you should be feeding her more food than usual. It will help ensure that the puppies get enough nutrients from the mother to grow properly. If your dog is pregnant and has been eating less or not wanting to eat for several days, consult with a veterinarian immediately.
Don’t Assume That All Will Be Fine Because Everything Has Gone Well So Far.
Remember that despite how well things have gone so far, there’s always the possibility of an emergency. We don’t want you to be caught off guard by an unexpected event and find yourself in a very difficult situation. That’s why it is important to be prepared for any eventuality during your dog’s pregnancy. If you are prepared for the worst, you will be able to cope better if it happens.
If you are not prepared for the worst, however—if something goes wrong and no one knows what they should do—it could put everyone involved at risk.
Watch for Signs of Depression or Anxiety.
Your dog may also be feeling a bit down during the last few weeks of her pregnancy. In some cases, this is normal and expected—she may become a little more skittish than usual or stop eating as much. However, suppose you notice that she shows signs of depression or anxiety beyond what you would normally expect during this time (such as snapping at other animals or people). In that case, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
Depression is common in pregnant dogs and can occur due to pregnancy hormonal imbalances or general stress about being pregnant. It should be treated promptly by an experienced veterinarian who can recommend appropriate treatment options for your dog based on her condition and symptoms.
Enjoy This Time with Your Pregnant Dog, and Be Prepared.
It’s important to have a veterinarian who is familiar with pregnant dogs so they can advise you on the best way to keep your dog healthy during this time.
Check out their website and see if they offer maternity care or if they do not, ask them about it. Of course, you’ll want a vet who has seen many different breeds of dogs give birth before so that he or she knows what to expect.
Make sure your vet knows about your dog’s breed (if you know). For example, some small dogs might have trouble delivering because their bodies are too narrow for puppies!
Ask about any special procedures (like an epidural) that may be needed for your dog during labor and delivery. These things depend on the size of the litter and whether there will be any complications with either mom or puppies during labor itself. Make sure both will receive adequate care after birth as well!
Just remember that while caring for a pregnant dog can be a stressful time, it’s also extremely rewarding. It’s a unique opportunity to bond with your canine companion in a way you’ve never done before. You’ll have puppies born safely by following the advice listed above and putting in the time and energy necessary!
Tips for Caring for Your Pregnant Dog at Home