Labor activity depletes the dog’s body, but nutrition is required for the normal function of lactation. Sometimes the owners of the "young mother" forget about the obligatory proper nutrition for women in labor, who are busy with new worries about caring for puppies. Often, the pet itself refuses food, so the owner should know how to feed the dog after childbirth and follow the schedule.
Why does a dog give birth on an empty stomach
The reason for giving birth to an empty stomach is both the animal’s refusal to eat due to neuro-emotional arousal, and for a number of physiological reasons. The dog is not fed immediately before birth, as:
- all processes in the body are directed to labor, and the body avoids the additional waste of energy in digesting food. Therefore, the dog can do without food during labor;
- a full stomach makes it difficult for puppies to move through the birth canal, especially the first, largest;
- it is harder for a bitch to push, if the stomach is full, and, therefore, the process of childbirth can be delayed, which exhausts the animal and threatens the lives of puppies due to hypoxia;
- muscle contraction during attempts can lead to vomiting and uncontrolled bowel movements, which is an additional stress factor and distracts the dog from giving birth.
If the dog refuses to eat , you can not force it. But in order to maintain the strength of the animal, it is necessary to offer the bitch in the intervals between the appearance of puppies a liquid diet - a nutritious broth, milk with honey, warm tea with milk. This will restore fluid balance in the body, stimulate lactation, and have a calming effect on the animal. Delivery on an empty stomach is a justifiable measure, but after the dog has given birth to all puppies, it is necessary to take care of its full nutrition.
Natural instincts force some dogs to eat the "last". The debate about whether this is necessary for a domestic dog - stretched for more than one decade. In the wild, a female bitch, eating a baby place, provides her body with proteins and hormones that stimulate uterine contractions and prolactin production.
Nobody cares about her, offering nutritious food after childbirth. A pet does not seem to need such a diet. However, most breeders are inclined to allow the dog to eat, at her request, no more than three placentas, otherwise the animal may begin diarrhea . In case of eating the placenta, the dog may not eat for 4-7 hours. If the dog refuses to eat the last, then you need to take care in advance that she will eat after childbirth.
If your dog has not yet given birth, read how to feed a pregnant dog .
Feeding the first hours after giving birth
If the birth was successful, then after a few hours the dog can be offered warm, thermally processed and easily digestible food. The proposed menu should include:
- low protein meat products (liver and heart paste);
- calcium-rich foods to avoid postpartum "milk fever" - low-fat milk, cottage cheese and sour-milk products;
- boiled and chopped raw vegetables as a source of trace elements;
- easily digestible proteins - boiled chicken eggs or in the form of an omelet;
In the prenatal and postpartum period, the introduction of fermented milk products that normalize the intestinal microflora and stimulate metabolic processes is very important.
If the bitch has an upset stomach, then it is possible to prepare an absorbent porridge from steamed and broken rice. Some veterinarians advise in the postpartum period to give the animal special breaks based on bifidobacteria and lactobacilli or fermented milk products prepared with starter cultures.
Even if before delivery the dog was fed with an exclusively dry type of food , you should gradually limit it and transfer the animal to homemade food or canned food. Dry food requires a large amount of fluid to be absorbed, which it can extract from the dog's body, reducing milk production. But some experts recommend special dry foods designed for lactating bitches. With heavy drinking, they are able to provide the body with all the necessary minerals and vitamins.
If milk is not enough or its nutritional value is low, veterinarians recommend adding 10% fat cream to the postpartum diet. They will make milk more fat and nutritious.
Nutrition for Postpartum Toxicosis
Sometimes a complication of the postpartum condition in dogs, especially miniature breeds, is true eclampsia , a severe toxic condition caused by a drop in the level of calcium in the body. The signs of postpartum toxicosis are as follows:
- uncontrolled muscle twitching, tremor of the limbs;
- photophobia and refusal of food;
- feeling of fear, increased anxiety and fussiness;
- ignoring offspring;
- impaired motor function;
- loss of orientation and coordination of movements;
- "Out of focus" vision;
- shortness of breath, a respiratory distress that can lead to asphyxiation and respiratory arrest.
It is not necessary that with eclampsia all the symptoms will be expressed. But if an animal has already had hypocalcemia in a previous pregnancy, then an urgent need to contact a veterinarian and be able to provide the animal with first aid - stop the syndrome with intensive care using anti-shock and detoxification drugs. If the dog feels weak and refuses to eat, try to persuade him to eat or force-feed.
The diet for postpartum toxicosis should consist of products containing a large amount of calcium - cottage cheese, milk, kefir, yogurt with live cultures of lactobacilli. In risk groups for the development of eclampsia, protein-fortified products — raw meat, saturated broths, and fish — should be excluded in advance.
In dogs of large and giant breeds, meat should only be of good quality. Offal should not be used for their nutrition. Nutrition must be supplemented with dietary supplements and calcium preparations - Beaphar Calcium, Canina Canipulver, 8in1 Calcidee and other drugs recommended by your doctor.
If the bitch is too weak during childbirth or does not have enough milk, then care should be taken to artificially feed the puppies. It is necessary to select mixtures that are most adapted to mother's milk. Cow and goat milk are very different in composition from canine and can adversely affect puppy growth. Therefore, experts offer specially prepared mixtures of cow's milk, cream, eggs, enriched with vitamins D2 or 3.
Only proper nutrition of the female dog in the postpartum period will ensure proper nutrition for the puppies and quick recovery of the dog itself. The appearance of the animal, its mood and condition testify to a correctly selected diet.