Although most bitches breeze through their pregnancy with no problems, you can still reduce the chances of things going wrong by caring for her correctly.

Here are 4 important steps in caring for your pregnant bitch.

1. Don’t let her become overweight. She should be in good body condition when she is mated, so she is strong enough to carry a litter to term, and feed her puppies. Obese dogs can have difficulties giving birth, and may need a veterinarian to help with delivery.

2. Feed her a high quality, balanced diet that provides all her nutritional requirements. As her uterus becomes bigger, she won’t have as much space for her stomach. She may appreciate smaller, more frequent meals through the course of the day. It’s often a good idea to feed her puppy kibble towards the end of her pregnancy, because she will get more energy from that, than from the same volume of adult kibble.

3. Never give your bitch calcium supplements during pregnancy. This can lead to a potentially fatal calcium deficiency when she is feeding her puppies. If she has calcium added to her diet, her body shuts off its own regulating system. It thinks that because there is plenty of calcium around, it doesn’t need to work to keep the calcium levels in her blood high. This can be catastrophic during the second or third week of feeding puppies. Her body has a sudden massive demand for calcium, and her own calcium regulating system can’t increase her blood calcium quickly enough. The resulting drop in blood calcium can lead seizures and death.

4. Your girl will still enjoy regular exercise. It’s not a good idea to allow her to participate in potentially dangerous sports such as agility, where a fall could harm her or her puppies. However a walk will get her out of the house and brighten her day. As her pregnancy progresses, she may not want to walk as far, and a stroll around the garden may be enough for her.

In Summary – Caring for a pregnant dog is in many ways just common sense. If you’re concerned about anything to do with your dog’s pregnancy, your veterinarian will be only too happy to offer advice.