Your new puppies get all of their necessary nutrition from their mothers. This means that when your mom dog is lactating, she is eating for five and sometimes more. She has high nutritional requirements during these times, as she is nursing her pups. Her intake of healthy food must reflect her needs.
Nutritional Needs of Lactating Moms
The right food for your lactating mother dog will include a proper nutrient ratio for the mom and her pups. Food should have about 29% protein, 5% or lower in fiber and 17% fat. Food for lactating moms should also include DHA. This helps the puppies’ nervous systems and brains develop properly. It also gives the food extra phosphorus and calcium for the healthy development of bones.
Feeding Moms Puppy Food
Puppy food is an excellent choice for most dogs that are lactating. It is high in nutrients, like vitamin C and calcium, and she needs this during lactating. Puppy food is also higher in calories and fat. Your mother dog will pass nutrients from her own food to her puppies. Use puppy food to ensure that they get the proper minerals and vitamins. Choose an easily digested puppy food, so that the calories are processed most efficiently.
Whatever dog food you select, increase the amount fed while your dog is lactating. This is one of the few times in a dog’s life when you can keep her bowl full and allow her to eat as much as she would like. You may be surprised by the amount of food she will consume while she is lactating. Increase her normal food amount by about 25% for each puppy, every day. Add fruits and vegetables from the safe list for dogs.
Speak to your vet about the proper food for your dog, and ask about including supplements for your lactating mom. If she already eats puppy food, you may add one teaspoon of virgin olive oil to her food. This adds easily digested calories and fat. You may mix cottage cheese in her food, to add extra calcium and calories.
Helpful Snack Foods
Dogs can eat strawberries, and they are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. This will help your lactating mom even more, as she produces healthy milk for her pups. Strawberries are bursting with antioxidants. They also have plenty of vitamin C and are high in fiber.
Strawberries offer a bonus, too: they contain an enzyme that helps in whitening your dog’s teeth. Frozen strawberries work well for your smoothies and theymake crunchy, fruity snacks for your dog. Do not feed in unlimited amounts, since they have a lot of sugar. In moderation, they are quite healthy and delicious for your dog. Dogs also love cheese, and it is healthy for them, as long as it is not high in calories.
Your lactating dog will thank you for attending to all her special needs while she is nursing her puppies.