The search for the best dog food for pregnant German Shepherd Dog has made lots of breeders switch to puppy food.
We advise you to stick with your regular adult food. Switch to 2-3 meals per day. You can add cottage cheese, egg, or yogurt, and fresh meat.
Note: if you supplement calcium (yogurt/cottage cheese) continue to do this throughout lactation. Sometimes people supplement calcium with pills during pregnancy and the body does not work so hard to extract the calcium it needs, then once the puppies seem to be doing well, the breeder stops with the calcium, but the puppies requirement increases with every pound they put on, and the bitch can get a calcium deficiency which can be fatal.
Best Dog Food for Pregnant German Shepherd
From the time of conception, the average length of the pregnancy is about 63 days. Since German Shepherds are large dogs, their pregnancy term may be slightly longer than that of a tiny breed.
Since you will want to monitor your GSD (German Shepherd Dog) pregnancy very closely, ideally you should keep track of the GSD female’s heat period and note how many times she is bred, and record the dates and times. That way you will have almost the exact data on the conception. You’ll be able to note the due date based on an approximate 63 day gestation period.
Get her on some high-quality puppy food. Puppy food has all the right things for her and the pups to grow and be healthy,
Feed her twice a day and make sure it’s enough. Lots of good clean water, and grooming her is important too. Try to get her coat in good shape before delivery because, after that, she will look ragged.
She can go for walk and do all the things you would normally do with a dog (except for stressing and jumping; it could lead to miscarriage).
Also, She may get a bit tired so just don’t overdo it. Read all you can about whelping and how to care for newborn pups too. Ask your vet a lot of questions. Good luck!!
Now that you know the best dog food for pregnant German Shepherds, let’s look at some popular questions.
How Many Puppies do German Shepherds Have?
Generally, an average GSD litter is around 8 puppies. Some large females can give birth to 15 puppies or more while a smaller or less healthy may have fewer than 8.
The health of the pregnant female (also known as a female in whelp) can have an effect on the number of puppies. A German Shepherd is more likely to have a moderate to large litter if she has been given a very healthy diet, adequate exercise, and care, veterinary checkups.
If the dog was bred on its first heat cycle, the litter is most likely to be smaller. If your GSD female is bred at the exact time of ovulation (release of the egg) the litter may be larger. Of course, the father will have some impact as well. A male with a higher sperm count can produce more puppies. The history and the health of the male matter as well.
How to Know if a German Shepherd is Pregnant
So, your dog has been bred, and you want to confirm if she’s taken in or not so you can know when to buy the best dog food for pregnant German Shepherd.
In the first couple of weeks, you may not notice much, although some females will have less appetite in the early weeks of pregnancy. A lot is happening inside the pregnant GSD, it’s just not external yet. About 2-3 days after conception the eggs are fertilized and the dog’s reproductive system is preparing for pregnancy.
If the eggs stay healthy they will typically implant themselves into the lining of the uterus on around the 10th-12th day. By the 14th or 15th day you may be able to see some early changes that really give you notice. Look closely at the dog’s teats and see if there are signs of size and color changes. The nipples may become pinker or darken and will tend to get a bit larger. The fur may also begin to thin out around the teats.
Like humans, some dogs may experience morning sickness. Other dogs will show signs of lack of appetite or nausea. If your dog does begin to seem restless in the mornings by the third or fourth week, this could be an indicator of pregnancy. Females who begin to vomit frequently around the end of the first month are probably pregnant. This will usually pass very soon.
Once the first month ends, you may be able to hear puppy heartbeats if you have a good stethoscope. Even if you press the stethoscope against the abdomen you probably won’t be able to tell much about the number of puppies, but you may hear extra little beats that are clearly not the mother’s heart. At this point, you know for sure that your female is pregnant and the puppies are alive, kicking, and strong.
After the first month passes, you can now begin to feel the abdomen of the mother and see if you can feel the puppies. It takes time and practice, so a vet may be able to show you how if you haven’t done this before.
If you can feel the puppies early enough they will be around the size of walnuts. If you have a practiced hand or are very patient, you may be able to actually count them and get some idea of how big the litter will be. If not, a veterinarian can tell either by doing a test to see the tiny puppies or feeling around the abdomen.
The next sign is commonly a swelling abdomen as the puppies begin to grow. The female’s belly will become bigger and heavier. At this point, even an inexperienced person can probably tell that the female is likely to be pregnant. It is possible to confuse the abdomen of a female who has just given birth with one who is about to give birth, but if you’ve been around the dog every day you will be aware of the stage she is in.
What Happens Next?
Now would be a great time to buy one of our recommended best dog food for pregnant German shepherd dogs.
The mother’s nipples will start to swell in preparation for suckling puppies. The female will begin to perform what is called “nesting” behavior. This varies from dog to dog. Some will show only small signs and others will be quite forceful. Some of this depends on how familiar the female is with humans. The mother will become very restless at around the time.
She will naturally begin to search for spaces that might be suitable for safety and privacy. If you provided her with a good box or another suitable space, she may begin to spend more time there. Be sure to provide blankets or towels and let her fuss with it to get her nest ready. This will also help you to know when the time is coming very near and it reduces the chances that your female will hide somewhere unknown at the time of birth.
At around 45-55 days the female’s stomach will start to get firm as the puppies begin to crowd each other. This will continue to increase until the day of birth. Some females will be very protective about their abdomen at this time and others will let you feel for the shape of the puppies. The abdomen will gradually get harder and appear distinctly stretched. Most females will show very little hunger when they get closer to labor.
Since a female can deliver early, watch very closely by the 50th day after conception. If nothing has happened by the 63rd day, this isn’t necessarily something to worry about. If she has continued to take a small amount of food (don’t forget about feeding your dog the right food) and especially water and seems to be fairly comfortable, she may just be the type to go a little overdue.
It is a normal thing for delivery to take up to 70 days or so. If the GSD female does not show signs of pain or discomfort or if she goes for several days with food, get a veterinarian to check her. If she stops taking water at any point, definitely get a consultation.
Otherwise, things should proceed very naturally. Her temperature will drop a little bit and be closer to a normal human temperature. There may be some vaginal discharge (do not be afraid). When labor begins the female may look at her abdomen or even nip at it and she will seem very restless and may growl loudly.
She may pant or breathe harder. As long as she settles down and begins to deliver puppies, this is all very normal. German Shepherd Dogs make excellent mothers and yours is likely to handle her labor and delivery very well as long as she is healthy and all goes normally.
Now that you know so much about GSD dogs getting pregnant and the best dog food for pregnant German Shepherd mothers.
For the end of this article, I will recommend you a book about German Shepherds. I am of the opinion that every owner of this breed should have this book on their shelves.