The dog's nutritional needs always vary depending on age, sex and activity level, and for a pregnant female, additional factors are added that affect the nutritional needs; how far in she is in her pregnancy, how many puppies she is carrying and how much milk she is producing.
What's the difference between "normal" dog food and dog food for pregnant dogs?
When your dog becomes pregnant, her need for energy, fat and protein increases. When she starts producing milk, this also gives an increased need for minerals in the diet, especially calcium. The dog may also have difficulty eating a sufficient amount of food when the puppies are taking up a lot of space in her belly, and for this reason she also needs a more energy-dense food. Dog food adapted for pregnant and nursing dogs is designed with these special nutritional needs in mind.
When should I switch to a dog food for pregnant dogs?
It is possible to change to food adapted for pregnant dogs already after mating, but you can also wait for the first ultrasound to confirm that the dog is pregnant, before changing to dog food for puppies and pregnant/nursing dogs. Remember to make a gradual transition as with all food changes.
How do I know how much food my pregnant dog needs?
The chart below is an approximate recommendation for your pregnant and nursing dog's nutrional needs concerning our insect-based puppy food. The chart is based on how far along the dog is in her pregnancy and her normal weight, but you should also keep the following guidelines in mind:
During the first 4 weeks of pregnancy, the dog has approximately the same energy needs as usual. During this period, you can gradually shift to puppy food.
During the last five weeks of pregnancy, she has an increased energy requirement of approximately 25-50%. She should increase her weight with approximately 25%, but keep in mind that she should not get overweight. If the puppies are taking up a lot of space in her belly, keep in mind that you need to feed her smaller servings, but more often instead.
The energy requirement is greatest during nursing, hence she can have free access to food. During the puppies third week, she is producing the highest amount of milk, and her energy need could be increased by four times her normal need.
When can the puppies start eating dog food?
When the puppies are about four weeks old, they can gradually begin to be weaned off milk. The first few days, small pieces of well-soaked food are given. The amount is then gradually increased. While the puppies are still nursing, it is recommended to feed the puppies small amounts of food 4-5 times a day. This should slowly reduce nursing until the age of eight weeks when the puppies move to their new home.