The pregnant Malinois dog needs balanced diet. Also in order to have the best conditions of gestation and pups in perfect conditions, she needs to be in perfect health (date vaccinations, deworming, and pest control.
The pregnant dog
Gestation has a very constant term in the dog: 63 days (+ -1 day) after ovulation. Here for Shiva first pregnancy it took exactly 63 days!
To diagnose pregnancy you can do it at your veterinarian by:
– Blood test as early as you want.
– An ultrasound from 21 to about 25 days.
– Radiography can be performed from 45 days of gestation. However, it is prudent to wait 50 days to be sure you see all fetuses and assess their size relative to that of the mother’s pelvis, whether pups are likely to get stuck during birth (which is very rare in dogs).
The breasts begin to grow in the second half of pregnancy and milk is now one week before farrowing (two to three days at the first range).
I didn’t do any radiography to know how many puppies Shiva would have which I really recommend to do because during the whelping I was really worried that one was left inside, plus I had no idea of how many puppies to expect. So if you can, I suggest you do the radiography.
Feeding the dog during gestation
The mother should be fed with a balanced diet, rich and digestible. An industrial dry food is the best and least expensive solution. If you choose a good quality food, no mineral or vitamin supplement is necessary. However, choose a rich food is important because it should provide the essential elements for the mother but also to his puppies. In addition, during the second half of pregnancy she prepares the milk flow, which also takes a lot of energy and minerals.
As soon as I knew Shiva was pregnant I used puppies food, my best advisor and breeder from Ruidoso Malinois suggested me to feed her with Taste of The Wild. I wanted to change for Orijen but she said its too rich for the Malinois so I order online on Amazon Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Pacific Stream Dry Dog Food for Puppy, 30-Pound Bag. Processed foods are specially designed to meet the needs of pregnant dogs. These foods are also those that are suitable for puppies at weaning.
If you change food, it is always advisable to make a transition when changing food diet, to avoid triggering diarrhea. Just insert the new food in the old regime, gradually increasing the dose and decreasing the old food over three or four days.
Tips: Shiva was very big so I could imagine she had lots of pups inside her. To cover her needs in protein I gave her everyday 1 hard boiled egg. Plus 1 week before her whelping I added puppies milk in her food.
The mother health
The period from mid-gestation is ideal for immunization reminders. The mother will be able to transmit to her pups via the first milk (called colostrum), a large amount of antibodies (which allow the puppy to defend against disease). Some vaccines can be done during pregnancy, ask your veterinarians for advice because mine suggested to not doing her vaccines before whelping.
It is also the ideal time to start a worming program and if needed, it will be good also to get rid of all external parasites (fleas mainly) of the mother by treating one week before whelping. Always ask advice to a veterinarian before giving medicines.