Considering that a nursing dog eats for more than herself, we understand why you’ll be trying to find out what to feed a nursing dog. And trust us when we say we’ve got you covered.
What Are The Nutritional Needs Of A Nursing Dog?
First off a nursing dog needs higher calories. Given that nursing dogs have four times the energy requirements of an adult dog, it is imperative that nursing dogs be given high calories meals.
High calorie meals help your dog to properly feed her puppies. It also helps your dog gain considerable weight during the nursing period.
Another nutritional need is phosphorus and calcium. These two nutrients help the nursing mother produce milk easily. They are also important for the development of the puppies’ bones.
Nursing dogs also need more protein as this plays a vital role in the healthy development of the puppies.
Furthermore, nursing dogs should be given food items that contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
These food items contain the omega 3 fatty acid that helps in the brain and eye development of the puppies.
This DHA can be found in food items like eggs and some special types of organ meat.
What Else Can I Do To Help?
One thing you could do to help is to increase the quantity of food your nursing dog consumes. Nursing mothers get hungrier than usual. And this is as a result of the nursing dogs having to breastfeed the puppies.
If possible, we advise that you increase your dog’s food by 25 or 30 percent. Once the nursing period is over, you can slowly revert back to the norm.
It is also important to add that you need to give your nursing dog enough fresh water to drink. This helps to keep her adequately hydrated and also helps your dog in the aspect of milk production.
What You Shouldn’t Do
One of the things not to do during this period is feeding your dog homemade meals. Out of our overzealousness, humans sometimes get to overdo things.
We know you love your dog already and we get that you want to show it but cooking meals for her during the nursing period is one action that has more demerits than benefits.
The reason for this is that homemade meals are rarely balanced and sometimes do not meet the required nutritional needs of a nursing dog.
Another thing not to do is to give your dog meals that are not easily digestible.
Inasmuch as we have established the fact that nursing dogs are to be fed highly nutritious feeds, it is also important to point out that nursing dogs should be given meals that are easily digestible.
This helps the dogs to easily receive the nutrients into their body and that will help when breastfeeding the pups as they will also have access to these nutrients in the breast milk that they get to suck from their mother.
Finally, your vet is the best bet as to what specifically to feed both the mother and her pups.
After the birthing process, your vet should be able to detect if there are any complications and whether your dog mum has to have special meals as a result.