Like humans, pregnant dogs need a well-rounded diet to ensure the health of their puppies. However, due to their increased nutrient needs, pregnant dogs can often benefit from supplements in addition to their regular diet.
This review will look at the six best supplements for pregnant dogs in 2021. Before giving any supplements to your dog, read the labels and reach out to your vet to ensure that it’s safe for your pregnant dog. Your vet may recommend a different dosage to that on the label. Here’s the takeaway on the 6 best, high-quality prenatal supplements for dogs.
In a rush? Here are the top picks!
This prenatal supplement for dogs features a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, and selected herbs formulated for the specific nutritional needs of pregnant dogs and their developing embryos.
Breeder’s Edge Oxy Mate is a premium prenatal supplement that features elevated levels of iron, folic acid, and zinc to optimize the production of red blood cells and blood flow. We like this prenatal supplement because it gives your pregnant dog all the essential nutrients for healthy puppy development. There are also added herbal ingredients to improve uterine tone and ease birthing.
- National 40 year plus pet health supply company
- Formulated as a complete prenatal supplement for use in pregnant females
- Fortified with iron, folic acid, and zinc
- For dogs and cats
- Soft & chewy
Thomas Pet Bitch prenatal supplements feature over 1,000 positive reviews and are extremely popular among breeders and pet parents. These are crafted as an all-in-one prenatal supplement that supports the female dog before breeding and throughout pregnancy, nursing, and weaning. They are formulated with vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients to support the overall health of female dogs.
We like these prenatal supplements because they stabilize the proper conditioning and support healthy offspring by helping meet the needs of developing pups. When using these supplements, you’ll need to start 30 days before breeding and continue throughout pregnancy, nursing, and weaning. If your dog is not a fan, add some peanut butter!
- Crafted with folic acid, iron, zinc, and DHA to support the development and function of the brain, central nervous tissue, and vision in puppies.
- An all-in-one prenatal supplement that helps the female dog before breeding and throughout pregnancy, nursing, and weaning.
- 120 tablets
- Liver flavored
- Available in powder form as well
The Makondo pregnancy supplement for dogs features beef liver or bacon. Makondo has been around since 2012 and was founded by a family of veterinarians. This product also comes in powder form and is crafted in a GMP-certified under strict purity guidelines to give your pet safe, high-quality support, making the best pet tabs vitamins for dogs and cats.
We like this product because it’s vet formulated and very affordable. It’s ideal for pets of all ages; the dry skin supplements for dogs and cats fortify healthy coats and naturally oiled skin to help reduce hair loss and dry skin while fighting anemia, fatigue, and arthritis. This product has whey protein.
- Vet approved & formulated.
- Pregnancy supplement for complete pet health
- Restores skin & coat health
- Beef liver or flavored bacon options
- Reputable pet company since 2012
The Progeny BB dog breeding supplement premium nutrition for dam and puppy health features pre-breeding and lactation support. This supplement features AMINO ACIDS to build protein for the development of muscles and organs.
This is a powder formula that’s easy to administer. We like this pregnancy supplement for dogs because it’s a premium formula with the correct proportions for proper and balanced tissue growth. Not for use in Bedlington Terriers, due to their genetic intolerance to Copper.
- Amino acid/vitamin formula
- Convenient to use
- Features no drugs or fillers
- Tub is 60 oz. (1700 gm) and will last a Lab sized dog for approximately two months.
The Waggedy chewable dog vitamin supplement for pregnant dogs is suitable for every life stage. This product has over 1,000 positive reviews, and although it works as a daily vitamin, it can be used for pregnant dogs.
We like these because all-in-one multivitamins reinforce digestive and immune system strength. This advanced formula contains dog nutritional supplements that are vital to your pet’s long-term health, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B, and more. These supplements are safe for convalescing, pregnant, or nursing dogs. They are affordable and are vet-approved.
- Over 1,000 positive reviews
- Vet approved & formulated vitamin formula
- Chewable vitamins
- A dog immune system booster
- Time-released vitamin for dogs
VetriScience Canine Plus multivitamins for dogs are among our top picks because its veterinarian recommended and features a blend of 25 balanced ingredients that provide the building blocks to keep your best friend healthy and happy.
This supplement offers daily support for pregnant dogs from immune system support to bone structure and nerve system function. It’s formulated with essential nutrients complementing a raw diet and commercial dog foods.
- Affordable for multi-pet households
- Veterinarian formulated
- Suitable for pregnant dogs
- Crafted with vital minerals to support daily bodily functions
- 30 bite-sized chews
- A suitable addition to a raw or homemade diet
Pregnancy Supplements for Dogs
Many expecting dog owners wonder if they need to give their pet any supplements during pregnancy. The answer is not always straightforward; as different dogs will have different needs. However, some general supplements can be beneficial for pregnant dogs.
Purina adds that pregnant and nursing dogs have specific nutritional needs and explain that between weeks 6 and 7, food intake shouldn’t be much higher than usual, but “Switching to a food designed for growth and reproduction (e.g., a puppy formula) either just before breeding or during the first 6 weeks of pregnancy can help bitches become accustomed to a more energy- and nutrient-dense diet for later in gestation and lactation.
When switching foods, gradually introduce the new diet over 7 days to minimize digestive upsets. They also add that you should try to avoid changing dog food formulas at around 3 to 4 weeks because pregnant dogs will experience a form of morning sickness. Purina also explains that it’s essential to monitor food consumption and to avoid excessive calorie intake during early gestation.
In addition to a good diet, some supplementation may also be beneficial. For example, a multivitamin can help ensure that the dog gets all the nutrients she needs. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important as they support fetal brain and nervous system development.
Pregnant Dogs Need Extra Protein
One of the essential nutrients for pregnant dogs is protein. Protein is necessary for the healthy growth of puppies, and pregnant dogs need around 25% more protein than usual. There are many great protein sources for pregnant dogs, including meats, eggs, and dairy products. Popular protein options include chicken, turkey, beef liver, and heart.
However, if your dog isn’t getting enough protein from her diet, you can also give her protein supplements.
- Animal protein supplements: These are made from animal byproducts, and they provide a good source of essential amino acids for pregnant dogs.
- Plant protein supplements: These are made from plant sources, and they’re a good alternative for dogs who are allergic to animal proteins.
- Puppy food: Most puppy foods contain high protein levels, making them a good option for pregnant dogs.
Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement
A multivitamin and mineral supplement is a great way to help ensure that your pregnant dog gets all the nutrients she needs. This supplement usually contains a range of vitamins and minerals and other essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids. The benefits of taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement during your dog’s pregnancy include:
- Increased energy due to more efficient metabolizing of nutrients.
- Improved bone health since the calcium will be supporting the skeleton of both you and your dog.
- A more robust immune system due to an increased number of white blood cells is essential for fighting infections.
- Improved cognitive function due to increased neurons and dendrites, allowing better communication between brain cells.
- A healthier coat due to the omega-3 fatty acid content (omega-3s are great for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails).
- Potentially reduced risk of cancer later in life.
When purchasing a multivitamin and mineral supplement, look for a high-quality, veterinarian-approved or formulated one. When taken at high dosages, some types of minerals can be harmful to pregnant dogs, especially during late pregnancy when a pup’s bones are most fragile. Always consult with our vet about supplements for dogs during pregnancy.
A good multivitamin will ensure that your pregnant dog gets all of the necessary nutrients, including folic acid. In addition to protein, pregnant dogs also need extra vitamins and minerals. The most important minerals for pregnant dogs are zinc, iron, and calcium. In addition, zinc is essential for the healthy development of puppies, while the iron is essential for preventing anemia.
Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria or yeasts, associated with numerous health benefits in humans and animals alike. Probiotics help ensure that your dog’s digestive system runs smoothly, which can be especially important when pregnant (especially during the last few weeks of her pregnancy, when she will experience difficulty passing the puppies due to their large size).
The benefits of giving your dog a probiotic supplement include:
- Improved digestion and reduced risk of gastrointestinal upset.
- Increased nutrient absorption since probiotics can help improve the gut’s ability to break food down into small enough bits for the body to absorb.
- A healthier immune system due to an increased number of white blood cells is essential for fighting infections.
- Regular bowel movements
When purchasing a probiotic supplement for your pregnant dog, make sure to get one containing Lactobacillus acidophilus – this is the most important type of bacteria when it comes to gut health. Make sure that the dose of your chosen supplement isn’t too high (as this might upset your dog’s stomach), and always give her plenty of water alongside it.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your dog’s health, and they’re even more vital during pregnancy (and in the period after she has given birth). The benefits of omega-3s in dogs include:
- Improved cell membrane structure – the cells of every single organ in your dog’s body depend on omega-3s for their structural integrity.
- Reduced inflammation can help treat arthritis, skin allergies, and joint pain throughout the body.
- Improved cognitive function due to an increased number of neurons and dendrites, which allow for better communication between brain cells.
- Improved mood and mental health.
- Reduced risk of cancer due to the omega-3s’ anti-cancer benefits.
- Potentially reduced risk of cardiovascular disease later in life.
- When purchasing an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, look for one that’s made from fish oil rather than flaxseed oil – they’re both excellent sources of omega-3s, but the body more readily absorbs fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for fetal development and should be given to pregnant dogs starting early in pregnancy. Look for a supplement containing DHA and EPA – these are the most beneficial fatty acids.
Ginger is a wonderfully versatile herb that has been used for centuries in both Eastern and Western medicine for its healing properties. Some of the benefits of ginger for pregnant dogs include:
- Improved blood circulation and delivery of nutrients to the developing puppies (due to improved microcirculation; better oxygenation).
- Relief from morning sickness and nausea.
- Reduced inflammation can help treat arthritis, skin allergies, and joint pain throughout the body.
- Potentially reduced risk of cancer later in life.
- Ginger can be given as a chewable tablet, powder, or capsule supplement. Reach out to your vet for more advice.
Calcium and Magnesium Supplements
Calcium and magnesium are two of the essential minerals for pregnant dogs, as they play a vital role in the development of puppies. CA Animal Hospital adds, “Do not use calcium supplements in pets with high blood calcium. Calcium supplements should be used cautiously in pets with heart or kidney disease or in pets receiving digoxin or calcitriol. Use during pregnancy or in nursing mothers has not been specifically studied, but is generally considered safe when used at proper doses and under the guidance of your veterinarian.”
Some of the benefits of calcium and magnesium supplementation include:
- Improved bone health in both the mother and her puppies.
- Reduced risk of fractures and other injuries.
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis later in life.
- Relief from leg cramps.
As usual, ask your vet what the recommended dosage for pregnant dogs is with the split between calcium and magnesium supplements. VCA Animal Hospital explains that “Calcium supplementation or feeding cottage cheese in pregnant and nursing dogs is generally not recommended. Excessive calcium intake during pregnancy or nursing can suppress parathyroid hormone production and increases the risk of developing low blood calcium levels or eclampsia. Your veterinarian can help you determine if your dog needs supplementation.”
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in the gut and help to keep it healthy – they can be found naturally in several foods, including probiotic-enriched yogurt. For example, a single cup of low-fat plain yogurt contains around 2 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of probiotics, making it a great way to supplement your dog’s diet with healthy bacteria.
When choosing a yogurt for your pregnant dog, look for one enriched with probiotics that does not contain any added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Avoid yogurts high in fat, as these can be difficult for dogs to digest. Instead, give your dog 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt daily, either as a standalone snack or mixed in with her regular food.
Prebiotics are the food that probiotics eat, so they’re essential for their health. Prebiotic supplements are a great way to ensure that your pregnant dog gets enough of these essential nutrients. They can be given in powder, capsule, or tablet supplements.
Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is another essential nutrient for pregnant dogs, as it helps to keep their bones healthy and strong. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to several problems, including rickets in the puppies.
Vitamin D can be found naturally in a few foods, including fatty fish, egg yolks, and liver. However, many dogs don’t get enough vitamin D from their diet, so supplements are often recommended.
Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. They are essential for the health of both the mother and her puppies and can help reduce the risk of cancer in later life.
You can find antioxidants in several foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. However, dogs can quickly get enough antioxidants from their diet alone, so supplements are often recommended.
Prenatal Vitamins for Dogs
Prenatal vitamins are formulated to contain all of the nutrients, minerals, and other essential compounds that both the mother and her puppies need. They can be incredibly beneficial for pregnant dogs, as they help to ensure that they’re getting enough of every nutrient.
You should always talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog any supplement or medication, including prenatal vitamins. The correct dosage will depend on your dog’s lifestyle, age, and current health.
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t give your dog more than one supplement at a time, as this can make it difficult for her to absorb the nutrients. Instead, give each supplement (or combination of supplements) for several weeks before considering a change.
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Frequently Asked Questions for the Supplements for Pregnant Dogs
What are the best supplements for a pregnant dog?
Some good supplements for pregnant dogs include omega-3 fatty acids, multivitamins, calcium, iron, antioxidants, and probiotics. Talk to your veterinarian to find out what other supplements might benefit your dog during pregnancy.
When should I start giving my pregnant dog supplements?
You should start giving your pregnant dog supplements as early as possible in the pregnancy. Many of the essential nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids and calcium, should be provided throughout pregnancy.
Can I give my pregnant dog over-the-counter supplements?
It’s best to consult your veterinarian before giving your pregnant dog any over-the-counter supplements. Your vet will be able to recommend the best supplements for your dog’s individual needs.
How much of each supplement should I give my pregnant dog?
It’s best to talk to your veterinarian about how much of each supplement you should give your pregnant dog. Your vet will be able to recommend the proper dosage for your dog’s individual needs.
Claudia Bensimoun is a writer who specializes in dog content and veterinary topics! Aside from writing for We Love Doodles, Claudia also writes for other major dog blogs like Fido Friendly, Animal Wellness Magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). She has a ghostwritten over 50 different dog e-books. Her passions include animal welfare, veterinary research, and wildlife conservation.
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