If mother dog is ready to whelp any day now or she has already whelped, you may be wondering if there are any things you can do to make your dog produce more milk. As you can imagine, a good supply of milk is important especially for dogs who whelp large litters of hungry puppies. Fortunately, you have options to help your dog produce more milk and veterinarian Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic points out some essential strategies you don't want to miss.
Importance of Supply
Healthy puppies with good appetite suck every 2 to 3 hours each day and increase in growth daily.
In the first days of life, puppies should be monitored for weight gain to determine whether the puppies thrive or losing/not gaining weight.
Lactation in the female dog runs from 6 to 9 weeks. Feeding puppies is a big effort for mother dog especially if the litter consists of a larger number of puppies.
A good diet of lactating dogs is extremely important so milk-feeding does not adversely affect the health of mother dog and puppies. Following are several guidelines to help mother dog produce a nice supply of milk for her babies.
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If you're getting two puppies at once from the same litter, you'll need to be aware of littermate syndrome, also referred to as "sibling syndrome" or sibling rivalry. As tempting as it can be to bring home two adorable puppies, there are certain implications to consider at a rational level before giving in to your impulse and listening to your heart.
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Many dogs keep their mouths open when playing and dog owners may wonder all about this doggy facial expression and what it denotes. In order to better understand this particular behavior, it helps taking a closer look into how dogs communicate with each other and the underlying function of the behavior.
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Whether you should let your dog through the door first boils down to personal preference. You may have heard that allowing dogs to go out of doors first is bad because by doing so we are allowing dogs to be "alphas over us," but the whole alpha and dominance myth is something that has been debunked by professionals.
The Importance of Diet
First and foremost, your dog must have clean and fresh water or even clean chicken broth (cooked, unsalted and with no onion or garlic added).
If your dog is in normal physical condition, you can feed here the same diet as before, just increase the amount of food by double, and increase the frequency of meals, so your dog should eat at least every 3-4 hours.
In big litters (more the 5 pups), the dog's energy needs are much higher, so the diet should contain 28 to 30% protein and 20 to 25% fat during heavy lactation.
Almost every dog owner has a tendency for adding vitamins in his pet’s diet during lactation.
If this is not your veterinary`s recommendation, as long as you feed your dog as given above, everything should be just perfect. Just remember, milk is a liquid, so your dog must drink enough water, and the dog's food must be as high quality as possible, and that means high protein and balanced meals for your dog's overall strength.
"It is very rare for dogs to have a complete lack of milk production after giving birth. More common is delayed milk let down due to inexperience or nervousness on the mom's part."~Dr. Beth, veterinarian
About the Author
DVM Ivana Vukasinovic is a veterinarian in Belgrade, capital city of Serbia.
She received her B.S from University of Belgrade in 2012, and her master’s degree from Veterinary University, Belgrade.
Before eventually becoming director of Vetanima Doo, company that sells animal food, medicine and supplements, she have worked in many different fields of sales.
After finishing college, she started working as sales person in biggest Serbian bookshop chain, and being passionate about books, she had reached the position of publisher.
After leaving this field, she started working as a veterinary commercialist, and then landing a job as veterinarian at veterinary pharmacy, in the same company in which she is now acting as director.
When she is not working, she is either glued to some fantasy book or cooking for friends. She currently resides in Belgrade with her cat Mile.