Prenatal Vitamins for Dogs

Dog Care

The best prenatal vitamins for dogs are found in quality dog food. Supplementing pre-natal vitamins for dogs is not generally needed, if your dog is in good shape and eating a food that states it is balanced and complete for ALL life stages. That food is where the best prenatal vitamins for dogs are found. Foods marked for “all life stages” include nutrients required for a healthy pregnancy and lactation.

The one exception to this rule is folic acid, or folate, which is vitamin B9. Discuss with your veterinarian supplementing vitamin B9 to your pregnant dog. Not every pregnant dog needs this vitamin added to her diet, but it is a dog pregnancy vitamin that needs to be considered.

This vitamin has been shown to decrease the incidence of cleft palates, especially in brachycephalic (short-muzzled) dogs. Any breed can have cleft palates, however, so it won’t hurt any pregnant dog. It is also associated with the formation of the neural tube, which is the embryonic brain and spinal cord.

The recommended dose of vitamin B9 for pregnant dogs is 5 milligrams, and it should start when the dog you plan to breed goes into heat and continue throughout the pregnancy. This is a water-soluble vitamin, so it is fairly safe, as any excess vitamin will simply be urinated out. Do not supplement with a human prenatal vitamin. Work with your veterinarian to find a quality veterinary source of this vitamin for your pregnant dog.

Your girl will need an increase in her food for the last trimester, but you don’t want her fat. As her abdomen fills with a uterus full of puppies, she may do best during those final weeks with multiple small meals, especially if she has a large litter.

Research has looked at adding some omega fatty acids (specifically EPA and DHA) to improve vision, the ability to learn (easier to train), and memory in puppies. But, again, it’s unwise to add these to your pregnant dog’s diet without checking with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist. You don’t want to throw her diet out of nutritional balance, and too many fatty acids can have side effects, including gastrointestinal upset.

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