What To Feed A Nursing Dog

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 To Feed A Nursing Dog
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What Are The Nutritional Needs Of A Nursing Dog?

The following are the nutritutional needs of a nursing dog:

  • Higher calories
  • Phosphorus and calcium
  • DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)

Now, for a full explanation:

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 To Feed A Nursing Dog
Image by Jan Steiner from Pixabay

What Can I Do To Help A Nursing Dog?

You help by increasing 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.

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What You Shouldn’t Do When Your Dog Is Nursing

One of the things not to do during this period is feeding your dog homemade meals. This is because homemade meals are rarely balanced and sometimes do not meet the required nutritional needs of a nursing dog.

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.

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.

What To Feed A Nursing Dog — FAQs

How Much Does A Nursing Dog Need To Eat?

A nursing dog needs to eat about 25% more than what they would normally eat. Now, this is per pup that they bear. So, this means that if your dog just bore four (4) pups, she could be eating twice as much as she would normally eat.

That said, make sure to consult with your vet before changing your dog’s diet.

How Do I Know If Puppies Are Getting Enough Milk?

Puppies that are getting enough milk usually look really content and calm. Hunger will make anybody cranky and pups are not left out of it. So, if your pups are calm, sleeping well and generally look contented, they are most probably getting well fed.

Can Nursing Dogs Drink Milk?

Feeding a dog milk, whether they are nursing or not, could be a terrible idea. And this is because a good number of dogs cannot process milk.

So, if you think your dog is not producing enough milk to feed her pups, speak with your vet instead of resorting to feeding her milk.

Also, just ensure that your dog is properly fed with the right nutrients. You could also try feeding your nursing dog some puppy food.

Can You Give A Nursing Dog Raw Egg?

Giving a nursing dog raw egg or any other raw food is really tricky. A nursing dog is at a very sensitive time in her life, so you want to be really sure about what you’re giving her. It’s a good idea to stick with foods that are properly cooked.

Can A Dog Feed 11 Puppies?

Most dogs can feed as many puppies as they birth even if the number is up to 11. However, if your dog has that many puppies, she’ll need your help throughout the nursing period.

Because she’s feeding that many puppies, she’ll be losing nutrients quickly. So, she might need you to feed her as her pups are feeding. Make sure that her meals are rich, nutritious and sufficient.

Can A Dog Feed Another Dog’s Puppies?

Technically, a dog can feed another dog’s puppies, provided she is also lactating. However, whether she should be doing that is another question.

You should maybe not be considering getting a pregnant or nursing dog to feed another dog’s puppies. This is because the pregnant or nursing dog needs the nutrients for her own pups. However, if it is just one pup, a nursing dog should be able to feed that one.

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