How the right diet can get life off to a good start….
We’re having puppies…
The arrival of a litter of puppies is always an exciting experience, and to make sure everything goes well you can rely on your vet’s experience, as well as that of Royal Canin, the brand – the professionals trust 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.
From the 6th week of pregnancy, the mother’s energy, protein and mineral requirements rise significantly in line 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. Royal Canin STARTER Mini, Medium, Maxi or Giant, according to the mother’s ideal weight fits the bill.
Don’t forget the mother!
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 because if not – your dog’s body will draw on her 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 the puppies’ needs increase and she can gain around 25 percent of her weight in the week before delivery.
Once they are born, the puppies will feed every three hours; lactation is an incredibly demanding time for the mother, and her energy needs multiply three 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 big 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.
From milk to solid food
Gradually, driven by curiosity, the puppies will taste their mother’s food, and wean themselves by imitating her. STARTER food is easy to rehydrate with a little warm water or a special dog milk (BABYDOG MILK). From three weeks of age to around seven or eight weeks, this will be the ideal transition from mother’s milk. It is ideal food with all the nutritional qualities your puppies need and very palatable. It is ultra-digestible and meets their 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
Growth is a significant step in a puppy’s life: depending on his size or breed, growth is quicker or slower, and takes place in successive stage. The Junior Breed Health Nutrition provides him with everything he needs – concentrated energy and digestive security – help him grow harmoniously and reinforce his own natural defences while taking the specificities of his breed into account.
(With inputs from Dr Sarita Gulavane, Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecology, Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai. She has been practicing specialisation in small animal reproduction and ultrasonography over the last 20 years).