She’s Expecting! Everything to Know About Vitamins for Pregnant Dogs, Including Prenatal Advice

very pregnant dog outside

Congratulations! Your dog is expecting a litter of puppies. This can be a very exciting time for any dog owner, especially if you’re a dog breeder by trade. However, understanding how to best care for your pregnant dog can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time or you’re inexperienced with a certain breed.

As long as you take the proper precautions and understand your dog’s needs during pregnancy, your pup is sure to have a smooth experience and deliver her puppies without issue. As you’re learning how to care for your dog during this special time, you may be wondering which common pregnancy habits carry over from humans to dogs. 

One prime example of this is the concept of prenatal vitamins, which are specially formulated to help pregnant women stay at peak health as they carry their babies to term. Many owners of pregnant dogs ask the question, “Are there prenatal vitamins for dogs?” 

Prenatal Vitamins for Dogs: Do They Exist?

Dog prenatal vitamins certainly do exist! Though they are less common than their human counterparts, pregnant dogs need many of the same vitamins and minerals that pregnant women do. The primary differences will be the dosage of these substances and which ones will specifically be helpful for your dog’s pregnancy. 

Another detail to note is that vitamins for pregnant dogs may not have the word “prenatal” on the label the way you might see it in a pharmacy for human consumption. The best course of action is to ask your vet about their recommendations for the best supplement for pregnant dogs.

Are Supplements for Pregnant Dogs Necessary?

Is it necessary for you to purchase prenatal vitamins for your dog? If you have trouble getting vitamins for your pregnant dog due to budgeting or accessibility, don’t panic. Many of the essential vitamins that your dog needs to thrive throughout her pregnancy and deliver healthy puppies should already be present in her food. 

Even though most dog food brands fortify their products with all the most important vitamins and minerals for dogs, many dog parents will make sure to fill any nutritional gaps that might be present using supplements. However, your dog should still be able to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy without additional supplements. 

It all depends on what your vet recommends based on your dog’s breed and other health markers. Depending on the situation, your vet might recommend dog vitamins after giving birth as well to keep your pet strong and feeling great during postpartum. 

Best All-Natural Health Supplements for a Pregnant Dog

If you’re looking for high-quality supplements that will support your dog’s wellness during pregnancy, look beyond the prenatal label and consider what such a supplement might consist of. Each prenatal vitamin brand is going to be slightly different, especially when comparing those designed for pregnant women versus pregnant dogs. 

At the end of the day, supplementing your pup’s diet during pregnancy means making sure she is getting enough of all of the essential nutrients she would need anyway. 

However, there are some nutrients that your dog’s body will need more of than usual to support the health of her babies as well as herself during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Some of the most important include folic acid, iron, calcium, and several types of vitamins. 

Take a closer look at some simple, healthy ways to add supplementation to your pregnant dog’s diet. 

Folic Acid for Dogs

Folic acid is a type of vitamin B9 that is known to prevent certain complications during pregnancy. Specifically, folic acid has been linked to a lower risk of cleft palates, spinal bifida, and neural tube defects. 

Ask your vet whether your dog is getting enough folic acid in her current diet or if she could benefit from taking supplements during pregnancy.

Vitamins for Dogs

In order to support the health of her puppies as well as herself, your dog’s nutrition needs to be on point. This means she needs to be consuming all of the vitamins her body needs to thrive. 

Some of the most important vitamins for dogs — and humans — are vitamins A, C, D, K, B, and E. There are many dog vitamin supplements available that include a day’s serving of all of these vitamins and more, but you should ask your vet for their recommendation based on your pup’s specific needs before choosing one off the shelf. 

Iron and Calcium for Dogs

Iron and calcium play very important roles in the body, and they also often work together to support overall health. Iron deficiency can create many unpleasant symptoms, including a loss of appetite, digestive issues, and lethargy. 

If your dog is iron deficient during pregnancy, she may give birth to underweight babies and put her puppies at risk of health issues. Consult with your vet about iron supplements as well as calcium supplements to help with the absorption of iron. 

Tips for Pregnant Dog Nutrition and Care

Supplements are a great way to ensure your dog’s total health during pregnancy, but they’re not the only way. Here are a few tips for dog parents looking to support their pregnant pet:

Prioritize a Healthy Diet

Many commercial dog foods are packed with all the essential vitamins a pregnant dog needs to thrive. Cross-check with your dog food packaging and your vet to make sure your pup is getting their proper nutrition. 

Learn About Their Genetics

Every breed’s genetic makeup will play a role in how their body responds to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Do your research about your dog’s breed to learn more details about how to best support their health as they approach giving birth. 

During Your Dog’s Pregnancy, Put Health First

Your dog’s health and the health of her babies should be priority number one during her pregnancy. Schedule regular checkups with your vet to make sure you have all the information you need and your dog’s pregnancy is progressing well. At the end of it all, you’ll have some adorable new puppies to look forward to! 

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Paul Buonopane

Have you ever heard the adage, "Once a cat person, always a cat person"? Well, prepare to have that myth charmingly dispelled! I grew up a cat lover but these good boys just couldn't be denied and I'm officially a convert.

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