The arrival of a litter of puppies is always an exciting experience and to make everything go well, you can rely on your vet’s experience and ‘Birth & Growth’ programme from Royal Canin.
You need to provide the mother, and the litter she is carrying, with a range of nutrients essential for development. They must be found in her diet, otherwise your female dog’s body will draw on its own reserves. Two-thirds of the way through gestation, at around 6-7 weeks, is when foetal development really begins, because this is when they gain weight, increase in size and their skeletons harden. Both the mother and puppies’ needs increase and she can gain around 25 percent of her weight in the week before delivery.
Taking care of the mother
From the 6th week of pregnancy, the mother’s energy, protein and mineral requirements are significantly inline with her puppies’ rapid growth and in preparation for lactation. A very rich, highly digestible, easy to rehydrate and very palatable food meets the needs of the mother and her little ones perfectly right up until weaning. Starter Mini, Medium, Maxi or Giant, according to the mother’s ideal adult weight, fits the bill! Once the puppies are born, they will feed every 3 hours; lactation is an incredibly demanding time for mothers, and her energy needs multiply 3 times in order to produce her very rich milk and rebuild her bodily reserves. Let her eat as much Starter as she likes, always with a bowl of fresh water alongside. She will also need to escape from time to time to stretch her legs – this is a good opportunity to make sure she is in good form and not losing weight.
Weaning made easy
Gradually, driven by curiosity, the puppies will taste their mother’s food, and wean themselves by imitating her. Starter food is easy to hydrate with a little warm water or a special dog milk (Babydog milk) – little by little, from 3 weeks of age to around 7 or 8 weeks, this will be the ideal transition from mother’s milk. With all the nutritional qualities your puppies need, and very palatable, it is also ultra-digestible and meets this very high needs for energy, fats, proteins, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and carefully controlled amounts of minerals and starch. The size of the kibble is specially adapted to the size of the puppies’ jaws, making it easy for them to eat.
Growing up safely
Depending on the puppy’s size or breed, growth is quicker or slower and takes place in successive stages. The Junior Breed Health Nutrition provides him with everything he needs – concentrated energy and digestive security, which help him grow harmoniously and reinforce his own natural defences while taking the specificities of his breed into account.
Dog professionals have chosen Royal Canin for over 40 years. Dogs – and cats – are at the heart of every Royal Canin innovation, because new foods are made for them and them alone, taking account of their real needs, based on proven scientific facts.