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Homemade Food For Nursing Dog (Healthy Diet For Mother Dogs)

Key Takeaways

  • To maintain optimal health, a pregnant or nursing dog should have a high-quality diet with increased protein, calcium, and calories. I should also be supplemented with nutritious treats.
  • The mother dog should be fed within 24 hours after they give birth. Lactating dogs also require two to three times the calorie levels of those not lactating.
  • Generally, a nursing dog’s diet should boost milk production.

A good homemade food for a nursing dog includes healthy components such as chicken, rice, sweet potatoes, peeled yams, and baby carrots. Experts carers of pregnant and nursing dogs highly advise palatable foods to increase milk production such as, ice cream, eggs, and homemade mixtures like the one above.

Dog pregnancy is an interesting but challenging period for both pet owners and their dogs. More than ever, your dog will need you during this time. After a dog’s pregnancy, one of the main things to consider is a healthy diet to give a nursing dog. Most people think making homemade dog food for nursing dog is best. I am one of those pet parents that is a big fan of fresh dog food diet for a happy and healthy canine companion, so it is not surprising for me to learn that this is also a better diet for nursing dogs. If you are diligent, the vet will provide a week by week diet plan to make sure you meet all of the dog’s needs.

Some people believe that a momma dog needs lots of proteins immediately after giving birth to the litter. It may be true, but there is a balance to be maintained for your dog’s health. The best dog food for a pregnant or nursing dog is usually high in protein, calcium and calories. It should also be high-quality dog food, which may be supplemented with nutritious treat types.

What to Feed a Nursing Dog

Most breeders suggest dog owners should feed a nursing dog palatable foods to increase milk, like ice cream, eggs, homemade mixtures and even commercial dog food. Did you know that eggs are great foods for dogs and wolves. However, although eggs are nontoxic for pets, it would be advisable to be careful before bringing new foods to their previous diet. Raw eggs are okay if you are sure that it is fresh and from a reputable source.

The bitch should eat dog food within 24 hours after they give birth. Lactating dogs also require two to three times the calorie levels of those not lactating. The majority of nursing dogs will also tend to increase their intake without prompting until the peak. That is around the third week of the puppy’s life. You can then reduce it back to the maintenance level around the sixth week after birth.

You can provide dry dog food as well, provided it is high quality. It has an American Association of Feed Control label indicating growth and reproduction or for every life phase. These foods are also tested to make sure they align with the requirements of pregnant dogs and those of growing puppies. Puppy food is also appropriate for nursing mothers.

Dog mom nursing puppies.

Human food can also be occasionally given to pregnant dogs and nursing mothers. These treats are to be served in moderation, so they do not bring imbalance to the dog’s diet. It is because the nutrient and caloric requirements are high, so they can include more food even if it is for people. The only condition is it is non-toxic and has all the nutrients the dog needs.

Nutrient requirements are also based according to the dry weight of the total weight. Considering the dry weight of the human foods tends to be low, some amounts will not throw off the nutrient balance needed from the nursing dog’s diet. They can be fed chicken, rice, potatoes, peeled yams, baby carrots or pasta even, but this is provided it is fresh food.

Overall the lactating diet should have 29 percent protein [1], 17 percent dietary fat, and less than five percent of it would be dietary fibre. That would be measured according to the dry weight rather than the caloric count. The proportions are optimal to facilitate the increasing demands of milk from the litter and stimulate the growth of the new puppies.

Effects of Improperly Feeding the Nursing Dog

If the nursing dog is not well fed, she will probably be thin with poor muscle tone when the time comes for whelping. These issues can get worse, especially during lactation as well. The dog may also try to instinctually overeat available food sources if she is not getting the right balanced diet. It is counterproductive as it can develop into diarrhea.

Dog mom and puppies.

The puppies that are unlucky to be born when the mom is ailing like this get fading puppy syndrome [1]. They become weak and grow poorly. There is also a lack of coordination, and they tend to cry a lot of the time. Unfortunately, a lot of weak puppies die from this syndrome. The pregnant dog should get her nutritional requirements before the birth, or she will not be able to produce milk as well.

Is There a Need to Change Feeding During Weaning?

Weaning is when the puppies transition to solid foods, which means reduced dependency on the mother for milk. Restricting the mother’s food intake four to six weeks after birth can help her reduce the milk production, making the transition more comfortable.

On the second day of weaning, you can separate the puppies from the mother so they can eat their homemade puppy food. Then you can feed her 25 percent [2] of the pre-breeding food. Over a time of four to five days, then increase the pre-breeding portion.


What can a nursing or pregnant dog eat to increase milk production?

Most breeders suggest feeding the nursing mother highly palatable products like ice cream, puppy milk replacers or growth and lactation approved commercial dog food.

Are eggs good for lactating dogs?

Eggs are nontoxic foods that dogs can eat. They have good protein levels, so they would work well within the diet. However, it is advisable to consult with a vet before introducing the new food to the dog’s diet if they are not used to it.

Can you give your nursing dog puppy formula?

You can give a nursing dog puppy formula to assist her in meeting the diet’s dog food requirements.

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