What To Feed A Nursing Dog To Gain Weight?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Feeding a nutrient-dense diet such as puppy food can help your nursing dog get enough nutrition. Increase the number of meals throughout the day without increasing the amount of food offered at a meal. Throughout the day you can give her a free choice of dry food.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “What To Feed A Nursing Dog To Gain Weight?“.

As a proud dog “parent” you go through many worries one of which is how to safely and quickly put weight back on a nursing dog.

I hope that this stressful and lengthy process has come to a successful conclusion.

You have a healthy little bitty and a bunch of cute little puppies to watch over.

I cannot say anything that will make your loss any easier if you have lost any puppies.

In raising puppies keeping busy will help as well as pass the time. 

In this research we will talk about how you can help your nursing dog put some weight back on by helping them eat well…

Why do nursing dogs lose weight?

Weight loss in nursing dogs is mainly caused by one factor.

Their fat and calories are all going towards feeding puppies.

The amount of weight that nursing dogs may lose depends mainly on the number of puppies in the litter but it can also be influenced by how greedy and demanding the puppies are for food. 

Yet a dog who has just given birth also appears to be much skinnier because they have a completely different body shape.

She has been “born” the puppies that were making her look fat and so the space they were taking up has been cleared.

She has filled her breasts with milk.

As a result her shape is a weird mixture of looking skinny and different. 

Feeding a pregnant dog to gain weight

The weight of your nursing dog needs to be considered long before she gives birth.

When your dog is in the late stages of pregnancy you need to feed her more calories in order to help her gain weight. 

It will be much harder for her to keep her puppies healthy let alone gain weight if she does not do anything until she gives birth then tries to increase her food consumption while nursing.

During the whole pregnancy it is very important that the mother and puppies are fed a healthy and nutrient-rich diet but the puppies’ growth rate really accelerates in the last third of the pregnancy (three to four weeks). 

It is recommended that you increase their food by up to 25% during this period.

How much should a nursing dog be fed?

Generally I would recommend that nursing dogs be fed between two and three times the amount of food they normally consume. It is best to start by letting her eat as much as she wants whenever she wants and then take it from there.

In general dogs will be able to control how much they eat as long as they do not become obsessed with eating and ignore the puppies and as long as they are not vomiting from excess eating. 

What type of food should a nursing dog be fed?

You should feed your puppy high-quality food designed specifically for puppies.

There is no shortage of puppy food brands on the market.

A puppy foods main difference from an adult dog food is its protein content.

Kibble typically contains 18% protein for adults; puppy kibble should contain 22% protein.

Because puppies are growing physically bigger every day puppy food should contain more protein.

This growth is assisted by protein.

The needs of adult dogs are much lower because they are not growing. 

Nursing dogs have similar nutrition needs to their puppies as they use more energy in nursing their puppies than other dogs.

This is not to say that you can not feed your nursing dog their normal food but they will need to consume much more of it than they would if they were fed puppy food.

Are there any foods that will help increase milk production?

As much as we talk about the importance of feeding a nursing dog it is easy to forget that water plays an incredibly important role in her health as well.

Nursing mothers depend on it the most when it comes to producing a healthy amount of milk. 

Breast-feeding dogs who do not drink enough water would not produce enough milk. 

Nursing dogs such as puppies suffer from dehydration far more than adult dogs due to all the energy they are using up.

Make sure you offer your nursing dog plenty of water the more she drinks (within reason) the healthier she will be.

A plentiful supply of clean freshwater is all I would ask for.

You should clean the drinking bowl regularly with dish soap.  

Add some powdered puppy milk to your dogs water bowl if she is becoming picky and turning her nose up at it. 

Speaking of picky dogs what other foods could you consider feeding them to get them to eat properly?

What could you feed a picky nursing dog?

In some cases a buck would not eat for approximately 24 hours before giving birth as well as for a few days afterward.

Dogs just do not feel like it a lot of the time although once they have puppies some mothers are so reluctant to leave them that they would not even get up to eat.

Donot be afraid to take some food to the mother if this sounds familiar to you.

Donot be afraid to spoil your pet if they would not eat their normal kibble or the puppy kibble that you have bought for them and they are being picky.

The practice of spoiling nursing dogs with treats such as ice cream and eggs is not unknown among breeders.

It is essential that your dog consumes and continues to consume large amounts of calories. 

What other things can help with weight gain apart from food?

While consuming more food is a major factor in getting a nursing dog to gain weight it isnot the only one.

As well as these factors there will be others.

Dogs’ weight is an indication of their health and nursing mothers are more likely to gain weight if they are enjoying the experience of having puppies.

She needs to keep her stress levels down in order to achieve this.

In order for your dog to feel like shes in a palace she needs to nurse her puppies there.

Ideally it should be kept in a warm dry place away from distractions.

In addition it must be clean and comfortable.

The only people allowed to access this area for the first few weeks of nursing should be very familiar with the dog. 

Nursing mothers are more likely to eat as much as they need to when their basic needs have been met since they can focus on the health of themselves and their puppies. 

Start weaning the puppies at around three weeks

While nursing her puppies it is very difficult for a dog to gain weight as I have repeated throughout this article.

Another important part of the puzzle is starting to wean puppies between the ages of three and four weeks of age.

Approximately seven to eight weeks is the perfect time to wean them. 

The last part of this research will be a little distasteful perhaps since I want to discuss what you can feed a nursing dog with diarrhea.  

What food could you feed a nursing dog with diarrhea?

In any dog diarrhea can be quite dehydrating which can potentially make them quite dangerous.

Do you realize how much water is in diarrhea do not you?

The dangers of diarrhea are even greater for dogs that are nursing. 

Dehydration and weight loss go hand in hand.

Whenever my dogs get diarrhea sweet potato is something I use to remedy it as quickly as possible.

Because sweet potatoes are high in fiber they are a great cure for diarrhea as they help bind digested food back together.

As I am writing this the day after Halloween pumpkin is another alternative you might have heard of.

However if this cure (or anything else you try) does not work within 12 hours you need to talk to your veterinarian immediately.

If you want to read more about dogs’ daily tips read here: Dog Daily Tips and Tricks.

What To Feed A Nursing Dog To Gain Weight? (Watch Video)

Leave a Comment