Having your dog give birth to adorable and healthy puppies is probably one of the best things in life!
However, as the days pass, you notice that your mama dog is starting to get thin.
Now, you want to know – is this normal? And if so, what can you do to get your furry friend back in shape?
Well, you can start by adding nutrients to your dog’s meal. Then keeping it hydrated is also a key factor. If your dog refuses to eat or drink, then you need to persuade so it stays healthy.
It is standard for dogs to lose a couple of pounds after they give birth to puppies.
A nursing dog’s required energy may double or even triple for their bodies to produce enough milk to feed their babies.
Because of this, your mama dog may find it hard to gain weight after giving birth.
9 Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy After Giving Birth
Taking care of a dog who just gave birth might be difficult, but in this article, we will be sharing with you nine ways on how you can help your dog gain weight after giving birth:
1. Those extra nutrients count
Make sure to feed your mama dog with a healthy diet containing extra nutrients, such as puppy food.
This puppy food can also provide additional calories since puppies typically need the extra energy as they are growing up.
Integrating puppy food into your nursing dog’s diet will help her gain weight and contribute to the adequate nutrition her puppies need.
2. Do not skip the treats
There are weight-increasing threats in the market and feeding your dog these treats occasionally will help increase her fat and calorie intake in a healthy and fun way!
Be sure to check the label of these treats first and remember that whatever mama dog is eating will be passed on to her pups while still breastfeeding.
3. Additional meals
You can also help your dog gain weight after giving birth by increasing the number of meals you give them.
If they usually have two meals a day, you can increase the count to three.
Just make sure to provide them with the same amount of food they typically get during each meal.
The key here is increasing the frequency but not the amount of food itself.
After all, you do not want them to end up getting sick due to overfeeding.
4. Bring the food to your dog
One of the reasons why mama dogs get thin after giving birth is that they are now eating not just for themselves but also for their pups.
Many new mothers do not like leaving their puppies to eat.
You can place the food near the mother dog to not have to go their puppies to eat.
However, you may allow your dog to abstain from eating for a few hours after giving birth because they might need some time to rest and recuperate.
5. Do not forget the liquids
If your dog has just given birth, this means that it has lost a lot of liquids in the process.
Help it replenish its bodily fluids to keep it from dehydrating.
If it refuses to drink water, try a small amount of chicken broth, which may be more enticing than plain water.
Just make sure that the broth is not too oily, salty, or does not contain ingredients that may harm your dog’s health.
6. Focus on protein and calories
After giving birth, make sure to feed your dog calorie and protein-rich foods for the first few weeks to help it get back on track.
Make sure to check the label of the foods you are about to give them, and if needed, consult your vet on which type of food is safe for a lactating dog.
7. Set a specific time
Do not just feed your dog whenever you feel like it or when it crosses your mind – make sure to set a specific time and schedule.
This way, you will not forget that it is feeding time, and your dog will also pick up the habit that when a specific time of the day arrives, they will need to have their meals.
Just like humans, animals may need a few food supplements too.
If your dog seems to be very thin or is losing too much weight over the next few weeks, this may be an underlying sign of sickness,.
This might mean that they need additional supplements to help them regain their health.
Do not just give them any vitamins or search on the internet what alternatives you can provide them – go to the vet.
Your dog might be allergic to something you are not aware of, so it is best to consult an expert to prescribe which supplement is safe for your dog to take.
9. Enough rest
Your dog might be losing weight because she is not getting sufficient rest.
It may be stressful for your dog to cater to their newborn puppies, especially if they are first-time moms.
It may lead to stress, which later can cause some adverse effects on their health.
Make sure to prepare a comfortable place for your dog and her puppies to stay in.
this may be a simple box, covered in fabric, with a bit of pillow, and placed in an area that is not too bright and where your dog and her newborn babies can get a peaceful rest.
What to Feed a Nursing Dog to Gain Weight?
What to feed a nursing dog to gain weight? If you find yourself asking this question, then you are in luck.
What food to feed your nursing dog depends on the age of your pup. This is especially important if you have found yourself taking care of a newborn litter of puppies, as they will need more than an older puppy or a fully grown adult.
You’ll first want to check with your breeder to learn how much and what type of food their dam was feeding them before you start adding solid foods.
Puppies under 1-month-old should be fed milk replacer 2-3 times a day for the first four weeks as it provides all the essential nutrients they need until they are old enough for other foods. After that, you can introduce small amounts of moistened high-quality kibble into their diet along with adequate fresh water.
There are other things to consider on what to feed a nursing dog to gain weight. For example, how big is the litter? Is it a large litter or a small litter?
If you have numerous puppies to take care of, they will require more nutrients and may look for food more often which can make nursing difficult.
You may also wonder, “My dog is really skinny after having puppies or My dog is really skinny after giving birth.” What do I do?
In this case, you’ll want to feed your pup 2-3% of its current bodyweight depending on age and activity levels since this is just an estimate. If your pup looks leaner than normal, then increase their caloric intake by 1-2%.
Also, if you want to feed your nursing dog more after giving birth, then you’ll want to introduce canned food into their diet. Puppies can be weaned at 5 or 6 weeks of age and might prefer canned food over dry since it’s softer and moister.
Remember that some complications may manifest hours or even days after your dog gives birth.
It is why you need to keep a close eye on them and if the need arises, take your dog to the nearest vet to have her checked up for signs of underlying diseases.