Knowing the dietary needs of pregnant dog is just important as knowing how to feed a puppy, adult, or senior. Pregnancy is one of the most important phases in the life of a female dog and a balanced diet is crucial for the health of the mother and the puppies.
Even if you are already feeding your female dog with the high-quality food, that might not be enough to sustain her and the puppies during pregnancy. The best food for pregnant dog has more calories and all the necessary nutrients to keep everyone healthy and strong.
Finding the right food for a pregnant dog can be hard since there isn’t a special pregnant dog formula. To help you find the right one we will list 5 complete and nutritious options.
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Having your dog on a high-quality food prior to her pregnancy means that you won’t have to change her food right away. However, as the pregnancy progresses your dog’s needs will start to change and you will have to transition her to a new food.
What to look for in food for expecting dog?
A typical dog pregnancy lasts 63 days and there is no need to change your dog’s food until about 50 days of its pregnancy if the food is high quality. Pregnant dogs need more nutrients to sustain their and the tiny bodies of growing puppies.
Soon to be or already pregnant dogs require higher amounts of proteins to sustain muscle and tissue development of the pups. Look for foods that contain around 30% crude protein.
Being pregnant is a hard work, and your pooch will need more energy for daily activities and growth of the puppies. Foods with around 20% crude fat meet the needs of pregnant and nursing dogs.
Foods with fresh fruits and vegetables and added supplements are necessary for expecting dogs. The boost will keep your dog healthy during pregnancy and lower the chances of any complications.
Foods that contain fillers, colors, additives, and preservatives aren’t healthy for dogs in general and should be completely avoided during pregnancy. Try finding a high-quality brand at your price range, that won’t jeopardize the health of the mother or pups.
How to feed a pregnant dog?
Owners often make a mistake when it comes to feeding a pregnant dog and many struggle in achieving the perfect balance. It is very important that a dog isn’t overweight prior to conception and that it doesn’t end up skinny after the birth.
If a dog is fed with a premium quality food there isn’t any need to increase its meals during this period. During this time the fetal growth is less than 30% and extra calories can put a dog at risk of eclampsia.
After this period and until the labor a dog’s weight needs to increase by 15-30%. That means that you will have to give your dog 30-50% more calories and continue this regime while she is nursing.
Some dogs can experience morning sickness and have loss of appetite because of the additional weight they carry. To get your dog to eat properly leave a bowl of food though the day.
#1 Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
Best food for pregnant dogs with allergies
Formulated to meet the needs of dogs in all life stages, this is a grain-free and highly digestible food for pregnant females with allergies. To give your dog enough nutrients that will fuel its bundles of joy and her we recommend a free feeding approach.
The main ingredient Beef is combined with Lamb Meal for a higher protein count. This formula has a minimum 24% crude protein, which is a good amount to sustain developing puppies and mother’s muscles.
Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and Lentils are healthy carbohydrates that won’t cause upset stomach or constipation. With 5% crude fiber your dog won’t experience any uncomfortable allergy symptoms or flatulence.
Canola oil, Flaxseed, and Salmon oil are sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, DHA and support healthy skin and coat, brain and eye development. Combined they create 14% crude fat that supports the energy needs of pregnant dogs.
Tomatoes and Blueberries contain vitamins and minerals that are also supplemented for a strong immune system. Diamond also included Dried Chicory Root as a natural source of probiotics for easy digestion and nutrient absorption.
#2 Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection
Best affordable food for pregnant dogs
This is a complete and balanced puppy formula suitable for pregnant and lactating dogs and owners who are on a tight budget. To meet the needs of your dog feed 50% more food than stated for her weight.
Poultry by-product meal is the main source of protein and not so high quality compared to other foods on our list. It, however, creates 27% crude protein which is a recommended amount for pregnant dogs.
Ground Whole Grain Corn and Brewers rice are sources of carbohydrates that make this formula not suitable for dogs with allergies. Combined they create 4% crude fiber, that will keep your dog’s stomach full during the day.
Animal fat and Fish oil are sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and DHA. Combined they create 11% crude fat which is less than it is recommended for pregnant and nursing dogs.
All the vitamins and minerals are supplemented in order to make this formula complete and balanced for pregnant and nursing dogs.
#3 Orijen Original Dry Dog Food
Best food for picky pregnant dogs
This is a premium quality dog food that is made of 85% meat, 15% vegetables, and 0% grains. Higher calorie content and high-quality ingredients make Orijen a great choice for pregnant and nursing dogs.
The main ingredient Deboned Chicken is followed by fresh Turkey Meat and fresh whole eggs amongst others. All meats combined, create 38% crude protein which supports the mother’s muscles and the development of puppies.
Whole Red Lentils and Whole Green Lentils are grain-free easily digestible sources of carbs. This formula contains 5% crude fiber that will keep your dog’s stomach full and provide regular bowel movements.
Herring oil and Chicken fat are sources of energy and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Combined they create 18% crude fat which is the optimal amount for energy needs of a pregnant dog.
Fresh Pumpkin, Squash, Cranberries, and Blueberries are just a few fruits and vegetables that provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals for a strong immune system. Orijen also included DHA, probiotics, Glucosamine, and Chondroitin for an overall well being of your dog.
#4 Bully Max High Performance
Best dog food for pregnant Pitbulls
This is a high performance all life stage formula for dogs who need to gain weight, pregnant and nursing dogs. Since this is extremely calorie dense food stick with the recommended feeding guidelines in order to avoid excessive weight gain in pregnant dogs.
The main ingredient Chicken meal is a suitable choice since it is in fact dehydrated meat that has a higher protein count. This formula has 30% crude protein, which is more than enough to sustain pregnant mother and unborn pups.
Brown Rice, Ground Sorghum, and Pearled Barley are wholesome carbohydrates that easy to digest and support nutrient absorption. Combined they create 3.8% crude fiber that supports bowel movements and longer feeling of fullness.
Chicken fat, Flaxseed, and Menhaden Fish oil are sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that support a luxurious coat and healthy skin. Combined they create 20% crude fat which is the perfect amount for pregnant dogs.
This food contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals for a healthy mother and unborn pups. Bully Max also included probiotic cultures in order to help with digestion and nutrient absorption.
#5 Hill's Science Diet Puppy Food
Best puppy food for pregnant dogs
This is a puppy formula tailored to meet the needs of growing puppies and to provide all the necessary nutrients for a pregnant dog. Made without artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives this food supports good digestion.
The main ingredient Lamb meal is a suitable choice since it contains higher protein count pregnant dogs need. 29.3% crude protein supports lean muscles and provides energy for a pregnant and nursing dog.
Brewers Rice and Whole Grain Wheat are complex carbohydrates that contain fibers that regulate bowel movements. With 2% crude fiber your dog’s stomach will be full for longer periods of time.
Pork fat and Flaxseed are sources of energy and also support good looking skin and coat. Combined they create 16.2% crude fat to sustain the growing energy needs of your dog.
Hill’s Science supplemented this formula with all the essential vitamins and minerals that support a strong immune system. DHA, Chondroitin, and Glucosamine are also included to support brain and eye development and joints and mobility.