Knowing that a dog is pregnant usually gives owners a sense of thrill or excitement. A dog could usually get through the 60-63 days of pregnancy without much help from humans. However, in order to be sure that the dog’s health is at its optimum level, your support is needed for the entire duration of her pregnancy.
The most important factor to be considered is the dog’s diet. Make sure that you give highly nutritious foods and avoid foods high in calories or junk foods. Increase the amount of protein in the diet. Puppy foods may be given because it is made to aid in growth and has high protein content. Before giving vitamin and/or mineral supplements, make sure to consult your veterinarian. Some vitamins and minerals should only be given in moderation because it may cause defects to the puppies. Other vitamins and minerals should not be given at all because it causes miscarriage or abortion.
For humans, there are certain vaccines that should be received by women during pregnancy. However, this is not applicable to dogs. Ideally, vaccines should be given before the dog is bred. Vaccines should never be given during pregnancy because it proved to have harmful effects to the unborn puppies.
You should provide your dog with protection against parasites especially with her condition. Worms like hookworms and roundworms can be transmitted to puppies and that circumstance should be avoided. Give deworming products, but make sure your veterinarian approves it. Also, flea control products such as medicated shampoos or anti-tick powder should be used.
Even though the dog is pregnant, you should still provide her time for exercise. Daily walks in the neighborhood are a good way to strengthen her muscles. Also, it promotes good blood circulation. However, strenuous activities such as running or jumping should be avoided.
You should not expose your pet dog to other dogs or animals 3 weeks before the expected date of delivery to prevent acquisition of diseases. Indoor activities are recommended for this period. Monitor her weight, and make sure that she gains the expected weight as notified by the vet.
Ideally, upon knowing that your dog is pregnant, you should take her to the veterinarian. By then, the veterinarian will give you schedules for her check-ups during pregnancy. Follow the scheduled visits so that the mother dog and the unborn puppies will be monitored well. Also, these visits usually determine if your dog could deliver her puppies normally or via Cesarean section. This is a very important factor to be determined as difficulty in labor could lead to very dangerous situations for the mother and her puppies.
Stay with your dog during labor. Prepare the whelping box few weeks before the expected delivery of the dog. You will know if the dog will be undergoing her labor when her temperature drops below her normal rectal temperature, which is 100.5 - 102.5 ºF. During labor, you should make sure that the mother cleans off the membrane from each of her puppies. If not, then you must help her with it. Also, tie and cut the umbilical cords and you may disinfect it with antiseptic agents. If you have any problems, call your veterinarian.