Mumbai: Most pet parents of female dogs nurture the dream of welcoming a litter of adorable little puppies. Catering to expecting pooch is undoubtedly one of the most responsible yet thrilling times. However, there are many basics facts about dog pregnancies that pet parents and their families are often not familiar with.
Dogs experience a gamut of physical, emotional and behavioural changes as they undergo the various phases of pregnancy. Here are some facts that pet parents need to keep in mind in order to prepare themselves better, before they welcome the adorable little ones:
Pregnancy generally lasts for around nine weeks and during this time; an average dog undergoes four distinctive transitions. The first phase does not give away a lot since there are no drastic changes in the dog’s physique.
The second phase marks the beginning of noticeable physical effects with slight weight gain or increase in size of nipples. The most apparent phase is the third one, as the dog’s growing womb becomes very evident and her breasts begin producing milk.
This aspect is ultimately followed by the final one, wherein she begins feeling restless and scouts for a comfortable place to deliver her precious litter.
While her belly growth is apparent from about the fourth week, this is just one among the obvious physical changes. Some other physical changes include enlarged breasts, pink nipples and vaginal discharge. Lethargy, attachment and reclusiveness are some of the behavioural changes observed.
There are a few signs that might indicate towards certain complications and should not be ignored. These include recurring loss of appetite, nutritional imbalances, blood sugar irregularities, infection risks, diarrhea, eclampsia, and other such health issues. If your pet is showing such symptoms, she must immediately be taken to the veterinarian.
Your dog may initially eat lesser than what her regular diet intake is. During this phase, you need to ensure that she consumes protein-rich easily digestible foods. Her appetite tends to get back to normal within two weeks or a month as she begins gaining weight and there may be a drastic increase during the second month to cater to the budding puppies’ nutritional needs.
An adequate diet plan including addition of a quarter more than her routine diet intake in every meal is needed then. Furthermore, you need to ensure that her drinking water is refreshed at least twice a day and avoid giving her any nutritional supplements.
The basic things to do
Spending quality time with pregnant dogs is essential. If she has been a regular walker before, then the routine should remain unaffected. Otherwise, you need to dedicate at least fifteen minutes once or twice a day to walking to your dog. However, as time progresses, you need to shorten the walk time to avoid overexertion.
Emotional attentiveness is also necessary, since your pooch experiences several emotional and behavioural changes. You need to understand that she is undergoing hormonal changes and cater to her emotional needs patiently.
It is important for pet parents to understand and remember that taking care of their pregnant pouch child and her little post-delivery, requires more than twice the amount of effort, time, care and attention. Even though it may be physically and physically taxing initially, becoming the proud grandparent of precious little ones will be more than worth it!
*Disclaimer: This article has been contributed by Bhupendra Khanal- Founder and CEO at Dogsee Chew. The facts and figures appearing in this article do not reflect the views of Deccan Chronicle, and Deccan Chronicle does not assume any responsibility and liability for the same.