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What To Feed A Pregnant Dog (Dietary Tips For All Stages Of Dog Pregnancy)

Key Takeaways

  • Experts suggest feeding a pregnant dog with a diet that is high in protein, healthy carbohydrates, and fats.
  • A good diet will help your pregnant dog for a less painful labor and increased milk supply.
  • Feed your pregnant dog three times a day, but you can increase feeding if your pup seems to be more hungry.

Getting the good news that your dog is pregnant should be a happy and exciting time. Not sure what to feed a pregnant dog? The thing to keep in mind is that your dog needs high-quality diet with a good amount of protein, carbs, and fats to ensure adequate energy intake and help both your mama dog and her puppies grow healthy.

I always advise pet parents to discuss a pregnant dog’s needs with the vet before breeding to help prepare for nine weeks of gestation and understand her nutritional needs. Knowing what to feed a pregnant dog goes a long way in determining how successful her pregnancy will be. The impact of her diet will affect her chances of pain-free labor and levels of lactation. 

Before Pregnancy

Let’s start with feeding your dog before she is pregnant. A top-quality feed is always the best choice for a healthy life. Today’s best fresh dog food brands are your top options for ensuring healthy meals for your pup. For specific dietary needs, subscribing to the best dog food delivery service companies helps many pet parents get proper nutrition for the mother and secure puppy health.

In the weeks and months before your dog becomes pregnant, you should consult with your vet. If she is a good candidate for breeding, your vet will provide you with advice about her cycle and feeding. Your vet will help with the type of food you are providing and how much food will keep her healthy. 

A malnourished dog will struggle to become pregnant and maintain her pregnancy. Malnourishment during and after pregnancy will lead to problems with lactation. Overweight dogs also face problems with pregnancy. Getting the right level and type of food will help your pup to limit problems during her pregnancy. 

The First Weeks of Pregnancy

Continuing her regular feeding program will reduce the chances of gastric distress. Pet parents should be aware of the risks of pregnancy and switch to premium commercial food. Did you know that the best puppy food brands contain a high level of vitamins and minerals which a pregnant bitch can benefit from? A healthy litter will be possible when you provide premium puppy food, otherwise, malnutrition will likely cause fading puppy syndrome and other similar conditions. Food intake will not change during the first few weeks of pregnancy. The development of the puppies is slow during the initial month. A 25% increase in food intake during weeks five to six will benefit her.

How Much Food Does She Need?

An overlooked aspect of pregnancy in adult dogs is her shrinking stomach. This is why it is important to monitor your dog’s food intake. By week six, dog owners should be feeding pregnant dogs regular small amounts. A general rule of thumb is to feed her three times a day to help provide support for her puppies throughout each day. Pet parents need to keep the actions of the expectant dog in mind when increasing feeding. If your pup is looking for food more than three times per day, you can expand her feeding times to five-time per day. During the last two weeks of pregnancy, an x-ray will determine the number of puppies in her litter. A large litter will drain the body of your pregnant dog.

What To Feed A Pregnant Dog | The Pampered Pup

Week eight of her pregnancy is a difficult time when your pregnant dog may not want to move around too much. You need to take into account the size and number of puppies your dog is carrying. A 50% increase in her food intake will help your dog to remain happy and healthy over the last weeks of her pregnancy.

Should I Add Supplements?

Various supplements. | The Pampered Pup

Adding dietary supplements for pregnant and nursing dogs is a complex question. A dog fed a homemade dog food diet may need the inclusion of extra milk, meat, and grains to remain healthy. A pregnant dog eating premium commercial dog food will not need extra supplements. High quality puppy food have levels of calcium and phosphorous to stimulate healthy development. 

Adding the best dog supplements includes adding different vitamins to ensure your puppies are healthy. Knowing what to feed your pregnant dog includes keeping the levels of vitamins B9, C, and D in mind. These are some of the important building blocks of life for your puppies.

A Homemade Pregnant Dog Food

There are many options for providing a healthy diet for your dog. Pet parents are constantly trying different options for keeping their dogs happy and healthy. Because the by-products in commercial dog foods have often caused allergies in dogs, many pet parents have made the switch to providing furbabies with homemade human-grade foods. In this regard, pregnant and nursing dogs provide their owners with a range of challenges. Making sure your pregnant dog gets adequate nutrition [1] from homemade dog food is difficult. Adding cream cheese, oatmeal, and molasses provides extra nutrients for the developing puppies. Flaxseed and meats will also keep your adult dog healthy during pregnancy.

Feeding a Nursing Dog

Milk production is important when your dog is nearing her due date. As soon as she has delivered her puppies, your thoughts will turn to her ability to provide milk. Healthy puppies will demand milk until they are old enough to eat solid food. Your nursing dog’s puppies need her milk filled with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Young pups will demand milk from your dog for up to eight weeks, with bottle feeding puppies an option later in puppyhood. 

German Shepherd with puppies. | The Pampered Pup

You should continue with your pregnant dog’s puppy food diet while she is lactating. Her puppies need a regular supply of nutrients and vitamins to help them remain healthy. The use of nutrient-dense puppy food supplies the vitamins and minerals your litter needs to develop. 

It is tempting to load up your pregnant and nursing dog with large food quantity during lactation. After giving birth, continue to provide smaller meals. Feeding her between three and five times per day will help her to remain healthy as her puppies get their milk. 

Dog owners faced with a litter of puppies can become obsessed with the amount of pet food they provide. A steady supply of water will keep your dog and her litter healthy. The mother’s milk production is dependent on the amount of water your pregnant and nursing dogs enjoy. Your nursing dog can become dehydrated when she is nursing and provide less milk for her litter.


1. What should you not give a pregnant dog?

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your pregnant dogs. Supplements can include high levels of vitamin A which provides too much calcium. Avoiding the problem of too much calcium is important in developing a healthy litter of puppies.

2. Is scrambled eggs good for pregnant dogs?

Cooked eggs are good for pregnant and nursing dogs in all forms. Never feed raw eggs to your dogs.

3. When should I start feeding my pregnant dog?

Continue a regular diet for the first four weeks. During the fifth week, her food intake will increase.

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