What to Feed a Lactating Dog

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A lactating dog needs an increased production of milk, as well as additional nutrients, so a good way to obtain this is through puppy food. Find out why it's important to offer more water to a dog that is lactating with help from a veterinarian in this free video on feeding a lactating dog.

Part of the Video Series: Dog Health Problems
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Dr. Bob Pane from Miami, Florida at South Kendall Animal Clinic. Let's talk about what to feed a lactating dog. Obviously when they're lactating they need more production of milk and they need more nutrients. So we recommend using puppy food. It's the easiest thing to get and it's fairly inexpensive. You can get it at any supermarket. You can offer more water. Because they'll need more. Because obviously they're using a lot of water by the milk is ninety percent water or more. You can add calcium if you want. If there's not enough calcium. If she has a big litter a lot of calcium is probably indicated. Check the breasts make sure they look clean. Because sometimes the breasts will turn into an infection. We call that mastitis. So that's important. Make sure she's, you know she's in a clean environment. Make sure she's, you know kept dry and make sure she can walk away from the puppies while lactating. So she can get a breath of fresh air and also groom herself. Try to clip the area where the breasts are or the mammary glands are. Because sometimes the hair will get in the area of the nipples. Where the milk is coming out. Make sure those are keep clean and make sure that she gets plenty of time to be away from the puppies and it's in a warm and clean environment. An area where you want to keep clean is where she lays with the puppies. Where there's rags change the rags and clean with you know soap and water but rinse them out really well. Keep the area warm but not too warm. Maybe a heat gradient in the area. Where you have a radiant light hitting part of the puppies and mother's cage or area where their pen is. But normally we feed puppy food several times a day cause she probably won't be able to eat it all at one time. You feed her probably two or three times the normal amount you would expect her to eat normally. But give her free access to food if she wants to eat more or less. Because the breast will discourage hunger sometimes. Because they are painful especially at the end of the lactation. The lactation eventually lasts like usually in dogs six to eight weeks and then they involute and become very painful. So if that happens you got to lower the intake and separate her from the puppies.


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