At Barking Heads, we might not take ourselves seriously, but making sure our best friends are getting the nutrition they need is always our top priority. Of course, we know mums are always important… especially when they are carrying precious cargo. The internet can be overwhelming at the best of it times, so we have got our experts to jot down some of the best tips for Mum and her Pups- notepads at the ready?
Energy & Density
First and foremost, the nutritional needs for a dog Mum-to-be or a new dog Mum is energy availability and density. Mums food needs to be energy rich and super nutritious. Pregnancy is relatively short (compared to humans) and so it is vitally important that mum is in good health before even getting pregnant. Mum-to-be must be fit and healthy, in great condition as well as parasite free.
Sadly, many vets believe that a poorly fed Mums-to-be before breeding and during pregnancy is a major factor in new-born puppy mortality, which is estimated to be between 20 and 30 percent. Incorrect feeding can result in lots of complications for both Mum and her Pups including low conception rates and birth defects, problems carrying the entire litter to term, labour difficulties, as well as inadequate milk development. Being overweight as well as underweight, may also cause many of these problems. During pregnancy and just after birth, Mum draws on all her reserves so its vitally important a good nutritious diet has allowed her to lay down those reserves (don’t worry, we know just the stuff for mums-to-be).
The immune system
Both Mum and her puppies immune systems can be affected by poor nutrition. Good feeding with quality food is essential for the proper formation, development, and functionality of the immune system. Even if Mum is subsequently fed a good diet after a poor one, her immune system can still be affected in its ability to function during future pregnancies as well.
Growth (Pups) & support (Mum)
Feeding Mum a well-balanced, complete food that contains high quality nutrients (with no nasties) will help to support the development of the Pup in the womb during the final stages of pregnancy, as well as helping to get mum ready for the birth. Pups are demanding after their birth; Mum needs an excellent high-quality diet to help feed her hungry pups. It’s a busy time with lots of factors to consider, particularly litter size, breed, temperament and it is crucial that Mum retains her optimum weight, so feeding a high quality, energy dense food like Puppy Days is vitally important. When the puppies are nursing at their peak, Mums food intake should be increased to ensure she and pups are healthy.
Why Puppy Days?
Good news… at Barking Heads we have the perfect food that can give Mum and Pups all the nutrients they need. Puppy Days meets all the nutritional needs of Mum in the last stages of pregnancy and once the puppies have arrived, and she is feeding them. In the first few weeks of pregnancy, Mums ration need not be increased too significantly, 10% is ideal, however through the last weeks, Mums daily food can be increased by 15-20% to make sure she is fit and in good condition for the birth.
If you are feeding high-quality delicious food like Barking Heads Puppy Days, additional supplements should not be necessary. Supplements of calcium or vitamin D should not be fed as these can cause severe birth defects like calcification of the soft tissue amongst others. We recommend feeding Barking Heads Puppy Days to Mum from week 5 of her pregnancy right through nursing her Pups, increasing her intake at the recommended times and amounts. Feeding Barking Heads Puppy Days, Mum will have everything she needs nutritionally at this magical time - see… you knew we would have you covered!