We are providing you with pregnancy info for dogs in general and what pregnant dogs might need.

Pregnancy in Dogs

The gestation period differs for each breed of dogs and odorless vaginal discharge in the last two weeks of pregnancy is an indication that it is time to puppy foods that are higher in calories and protein for the mother. If there is an odor to the discharge, it is wise to get your dog checked for any possible uterine infections. It is not advisable to give a pregnant dog, a diet having more fibers and less caloric density. Low fiber, high protein and high calorie diet works best for the dogs during this period. A pregnant bitch needs about 20% more proteins than normal and in the later period that ranges from the fifth to sixth week, the energy density becomes quite vital for the proper nourishment of the bitch and the puppies inside her. The diet should be easily digestible. One should start the lactation diet at the start of the heat period so that the bitch gets adjusted to the dietary changes before she actually gets pregnant.

Caloric intake should only be increased in the fifth to sixth week of the pregnancy and several small meals a day during the last 3 weeks of pregnancy are easier to assimilate by the bitches. The amount of food should be gradually increased 25% to 50% more until the delivery. The body weight of the dogs increases only by 15% to 25% during pregnancy and beyond this, the bitch may be accounted as overweight. Just after delivery, the body weight should not be more than 10% over the normal body weight, Calcium supplement is not needed in dogs while vitamin supplements may be needed if you are not using a good quality commercial diet. Nutritional problems may result in uterine inertia problems during delivery of puppies.

Overweight bitches have more problems delivering puppies though severely underweight bitches have a problem too. Keep the knowledge about accurate gestation information and stages of labor for the particular dog breed at hand. It is advisable to measure the body temperature of the bitch twice during the last week of pregnancy and when it drops to 99 degrees Fahrenheit or less, labor should ideally begin within 24 hours of the drop in temperature. Nesting behavior, uterine contractions on a minute level, panting, restlessness and a decrease in appetite in the first stage that lasts not longer than 24 hours, usually follows the drop. In the second stage there are hard contractions and should not go on for more than an hour without a puppy being delivered. It gets repeated for each puppy delivery. In the third stage, is the period between puppies, which should not exceed 4 hours, and after the last puppy; other fetal membranes are expelled out of the body after some rest.