Finding the best dog food for pregnant dogs is crucial for every dog breeder out there. A pregnant female dog, and a nursing one, both have huge energy requirements to sustain their own growth, but also every single whelp’s healthy growth. It’s demanding and the mother’s diet must be the best it has ever been.
Pregnancy is one of the most important phases in the life of a female dog. Spanning over a period of 63 days, this phase requires special care to be taken for your dog to ensure that she remains healthy and goes through a smooth birthing process, leading to equally healthy puppies. There are several types of dog foods available out there that ensure fulfilling the nutritional requirements of pregnant dogs.
If you are on the search for the best dog food for pregnant dogs, here is a list of some of the products that you must consider buying. Each of them has its own unique selling point but all of them are healthier alternatives to what you commonly find in your pet store’s shelves.
1. Taste of the Wild Canine Formula
— Best Dog Food For Pregnant Dogs
The Taste of the Wild Canine Formula is not only one of the best dog food for nursing dogs but also an overall healthy treat for your furry one. Formulated with novel proteins that include roasted bison, beef and venison, it is a grain-free recipe that delivers highly-digestible energy by virtue of peas and sweet potatoes.
The most unique aspect of Taste of the Wild Canine Formula is its anti-oxidant nature that derives from real fruits and vegetables, as well as its multiple healthy probiotics such as lactobacillus acidophilus. The dried chicory root further ensures probiotic support and healthy digestion for your pregnant dog. All these come together with the essential minerals and amino acids to ensure a wholesome, healthy and balanced nutritional food your dog.
The primary ingredients include buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, egg product, bison, roasted venison, beef, natural flavor, tomato pomace, potato protein, pea protein, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium lactis, lactobacillus reuteri, vitamin e supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin a supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement and folic acid. The calorie content is 3,719 kcal/kg and 370 kcal/cup.
The Taste of the Wild Canine Formula not only takes maximum care of the overall health of your dog but also ensures that she has a shiny coat resulting from the increased absorption of the omega-3 oils. As for feeding, about 2 cups of the food is ideal for medium-sized breeds of dogs while 5 to 6 cups is the standard measure for larger dogs, weighing over 100 lbs.
2. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food
— Ideal Dog Food For Pregnant Dogs With Food Sensitivities
The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food is one of the top choices among dry foods when it comes to giving the best dog food for a pregnant bitch. This Natural Balance recipe is made up of limited ingredients, thereby, reducing chances of intolerance and allergies among pregnant dogs. It is a perfect combination of nutrition and flavour apart from being the much-needed source of protein and carbohydrate for your dog that needs special care during pregnancy. The Natural Balance product is ideal for dogs with allergens to several foods and a sensitive stomach. The Omega-3 fatty acids derived from the flaxseed further nourish the skin of your pup, making her coat healthy and shiny.
The primary ingredients include sweet potatoes, venison, flaxseed, potato protein, pea protein, canola oil, dicalcium phosphate, potato fiber, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, taurine, natural mixed tocopherols and vitamin E supplement among others.
The Natural Balance Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet is also a grain-free formula (see our review of the best grain-free dog foods) with no artificial flavours or colours and comes with very limited carbohydrates. It is an effective nutritional addition that ensures the overall health of your pregnant dog. Suitable for all breeds and boasting of a single animal protein source, this formula can put an end to all the food sensitivity related troubles faced by your furry one during pregnancy.
As for feeding, a daily amount of ½ – 3¾ cup of the dry food is recommended for dogs weighing between 10 lbs to 60 lbs. For larger breeds of dogs weighing above 60-80 lbs, 3¾ – 5½ cups are the ideal measurement. However, the amount can be increased up to 25% during the 7th, 8th and 9th week of the pregnancy of your dog.
3. ORIJEN Freeze-Dried Dog Food
— Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food
The ORIJEN Dehydrated Dog Food is high-quality, perfectly made and one of the best dog food for lactating dogs. It is a wholesome and nourishing source of protein for your dog as it contains optimum and balanced proportion of fresh whole eggs, whole fish, poultry and every other nutrient that comes together to take complete care of your pregnant dog’s special requirements as well as her overall health.
The main differentiator of the ORIJEN Freeze Dried Dog Food is the presence of fresh and raw meats. The former comes refrigerated without preservatives and the latter is flash frozen without preservatives and then gently freeze-dried. The carbohydrate content is limited. On the other hand, there are fresh fruits and vegetables with low-glycemic to ensure that the food is easy on the digestive system of your dog. The ORIJEN Freeze-Dried Kibble also contains botanicals that act as tonics and builders to cleanse your dog’s internal system from all sorts of toxic effects.
There are about 20 nutritious and delicious servings for an 11lbs dog in each 16oz bag. However, you can break up a medallion and sprinkle it over ORIJEN dry food to attract your fussy dog that is particularly reluctant to eat during her pregnancy. The recipe is quick and easy as all you have to do is simply add a 1/4 cup warm water to each medallion and wait for 3-5 minutes for them to rehydrate.
This ORIJEN is not only one of the most wholesome and nutritious dog foods available out there but also one of the tastiest. The freshness of the food couples with its high-quality ingredients to make this a much popular and preferred pregnant dog food among several dog owners. This particular food is mostly suitable for the large breeds only.
4. Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food
— Perfect Human-Grade Dog Food
The Honest Kitchen Human-Grade Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food is one among the most recommended and best food for a nursing bitch available out there. Its USP is its natural human-grade dehydrated nature that makes it suitable for pregnant dogs, from puppies to active adults of nearly all breeds and sizes. Entirely made up of minimally processed and dehydrated whole food ingredients from USA, the organic grain dog food from Honest Kitchen contains no by-products, preservatives or GMO ingredients that can prove to be harmful for your furry one and of course her future puppies.
The primary ingredients include free-range chicken, organic barley, potatoes, organic flax, organic oats, green peas, carrots, bananas, parsley, organic kelp, celery, tri-calcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite and thiamine mononitrate. The average calorie content is 485 kcal/cup.
As for feeding instructions, for dogs weighing up to 50 lbs, about 1-2 cups of food mixed with 1½ – 3 cups of water is ideal while for dogs weighing up to 90 lbs, about 4½ – 5½ cups of food with 6¾ – 8¼ cups of water is the recommended quantity. However, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian for the exact increase in the amount of the food as the delivery of your pregnant dog approaches. Some breeds, with very large litters are allowed almost unlimited food intake due to their very high puppy count.
The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food is an overall budget-friendly and easy recipe. All you have to do is mix the food with warm water, stir well and serve after 3 minutes. Your pregnant dog with little interest in food will simply love the flavour of it.
5. Purina Beyond Natural Grain-Free Wet Dog Food
— Best Food For Picky Pregnant Dogs
This Purina Beyond Natural Grain-Free Wet Dog Food certainly falls in the category of the best dog food for whelping dogs by virtue of its carefully chosen ingredients that are completely devoid of gluten, poultry by-products, wheat, corn or soy. This healthy dog food range from Purina is available in three varying recipes for you to choose the one that best suits the taste palette of your pregnant dog:
- Chicken, Carrot & Pea recipe,
- Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe, and
- Beef, Potato & Green Bean recipe.
This wet dog food is one of the most wholesome meals that you can offer your dog, especially if she likes and is also recommended to have wet food instead of the dry alternatives. Wet dog food is a lot more palatable thanks to the moisture content enhancing flavors.
The other essential ingredients, apart from the main meat alternative, include vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulphate, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulphate, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin A supplement, folic acid, Vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, potassium iodide and sodium selenite. Some of these ingredients may have odd-sounding names, but they are good for a healthy pregnancy!
The average calorie content is about 1,180 kcal/kg. The real chicken, salmon and beef coupled with vegetables like carrot and peas makes the Purina Beyond Natural, a dog food that you can trust to ensure complete nutritional balance or your dog. The taste is delicious, which further makes sure that your furry one will not refuse it regardless of how picky she is during her phase of pregnancy or lactation.
As for feeding, adult dogs need about 1 can per 15 – 18 lbs of body weight daily. Ideally, you should divide daily amount into multiple feedings. Your dog’s needs may vary according to age, activity level and environment. So, it’s best to consult a Veterinarian for the optimum feeding quantity.
6. Bully Max High-Performance Dog Food
— Best Calorie-Dense Dog Food For Nursing Dogs
The Bully Max High-Performance Dog Food, as its very name suggests is an ideal dog food for the bull breeds like American bullies, Pitbulls, Mastiffs and Bulldogs. This all-natural calorie-dense formula provides optimum nourishment to the dogs by virtue of its fresh and high-quality ingredients. The presence of amino acids in the highly-digestible protein helps in the growth of smooth lean muscles for your dog. It is not only one of the most digestible diet ensuring increased nutrient absorption but also the tastiest in the category. A full blend of prebiotics and probiotics supports a healthy digestive tract while the super-premium blend of natural and chelated minerals and vitamins support the dogs’ well-being.
The ingredients include chicken meal, pearled barley, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), whole dried egg, pork meat meal, beet pulp, chicken liver, fish meal, flaxseed, potassium chloride, salt, monosodium phosphate, vitamins, minerals, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product. The average calorie content of this dog food is about 3,902 kcal/kg and 387.88 kcal/cup.
The Bully Max Super Premium High-Performance Dog Food, however, has a very high calorie content and is therefore, suitable for offering extra strength and nutrition to the selected breeds of large and hyper active dogs only. Also, the ideal intake quantity of the food will depend on the particular breed and is therefore best to be determined after consultation with a veterinarian.
While these can be considered to be the top 6 best types of dog foods available for pregnant dogs, your choice should ideally be based on the breed of your dog, her pregnancy stage, health conditions during pregnancy along with several other factors. Consulting with a Veterinarian can ensure that you choose the best dog food that combines nutrition, taste and great value for money.