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How To Care For A Pregnant Dog

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal is the founder and lead veterinarian for Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic. Coufal graduated from State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in May of 2000.

Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is a compassionate and affordable clinic that is passionate about your pet’s health. As a family-owned-and-operated veterinary clinic, we strive to offer unparalleled vet care to the furry residents of Colorado Springs. Whether you just welcomed a new baby to the family, or recently adopted a senior cat, you can always count on the staff at Ponderosa to treat your pets like their own.

Being a dog mama is a huge responsibility. If you’re a first-time parent, it can become easily overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to care for an animal or understand what they need because you don’t speak the same language. Lucky for you, our trained professionals know what every sound and behavior means. If you just found out that your fur baby is pregnant, don’t worry. We have all the knowledge and resources necessary to make sure your baby gets the best care possible.

Caring For A Pregnant Dog

Dogs are pregnant for about nine weeks, and during this time it’s vital that you make sure your baby is healthy and comfortable while she prepares to welcome her own babies. This special time also creates many opportunities for you to bond with your baby girl. Bring on all the belly rubs and back scratches, she’ll love them even more than before!

  1. Nutrition
    • One of the most important factors for a healthy pregnancy is the food that she’s eating. If your dog already consumes high-quality food and is a healthy weight, then you most likely won’t need to adjust her food until the last third of her pregnancy. As she slowly begins to gain weight while pregnant, you’ll want to gradually increase the amount of food she eats. Another way to help keep her comfortable is to feed her small, frequent portions throughout the day.
  2. Exercise
    • If your dog is normally very active and continuously exercises, it’s safe to maintain the same routine until you see her belly begin to grow. During the last stage of her pregnancy, keep her exercise to short walks. You want her to maintain her energy for her babies and the nutrition she’s providing them.
  3. Regular Veterinary Visits
    • It’s always a good idea to schedule regular visits while your baby is pregnant. While you know your furry baby the best, the veterinarian can check over her and make sure that everything is progressing correctly.

Dog Labor

There is a lot of preparation that goes into your dog having birth. Delivery can be a scary and confusing experience for both you and your baby girl. If you plan on having a home delivery, remember to have everything prepared and have the number of an emergency vet in case it’s needed.

As the delivery approaches, you’re going to want to prepare a whelping box. Whelping boxes, or nesting boxes, are designed to protect the puppies during birth and the early stages of their lives. Having your pup get familiarized with the whelping box before she gives birth will help her feel more comfortable during delivery.

Dog labor usually lasts anywhere from 3 to 12 hours. This may include restlessness, shivering and panting. All of these behaviors are completely normal. Remember to try and stay calm and be present to support your pup.

Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic Is Here For You

If you’ve recently found out that your furry family member is pregnant, congratulations! Make sure to bring her in and our team at Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic will do an exam and make sure everything looks good. We look forward to helping you provide a comfortable and safe pregnancy and delivery for the mama-to-be. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll go over all of the information necessary for this exciting time in your pup’s life!

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Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is seeking an enthusiastic and caring veterinarian to work relief, part-time or full-time in our general practice. PVC is a full-service, 3+ doctor, small-animal veterinary hospital. We have established an excellent reputation for developing lasting relationships with our clients and for providing compassionate and quality care to our patients.