Best Homemade Food For Nursing Dogs: 2 Recipes

Lactation is a special phase in the life of dogs. It calls for lots of attention and modifications in feeding, housing, activities, and other expected lifestyles of dogs. A dog’s physiological stage or growth stage determines what a dog eats and how much of the food it needs. Generally, a nursing dog’s diet is targeted to increase milk production. The minimum nutrient requirement for nursing dogs is 22% proteins, 8% fat, 1% calcium and 0.8% phosphorus.

The average gestation period of a dog is 63 days and nursing continues for up to 6 weeks after which the puppies are weaned off their mother. The lactation period is the most important time in a dog’s life because it requires precise nutrition. For a nursing dog, poor feeding can lead to serious health issues and impair the health of her puppies. Hence, the nutritional requirement of nursing dogs must be known and met in all food given to the dogs.

Homemade Food For Nursing Dogs

Ingredients For Making Nursing Dog Food At Home

The ingredients are the pilots that bring the required nutrients into the food; hence, it is important you know which ingredient supplies a particular nutrient when preparing the food for your nursing dog. A good homemade food for nursing dogs must contain protein, carbohydrates, fats and oils, vitamins, and minerals in required quantities. Sources of these nutrients are:

#1. Protein:

Protein is the building block of life that plays a vital role in tissue development and repair. It is the most important nutrient that must be available in high quality and quantity. Protein is a source of amino acid and energy; these two components greatly improve the wellness of a nursing dog as well as increase milk production.

A nursing dog’s diet must contain high protein because it helps to repair worn-out tissues in the nursing dogs as well as fortifies the milk produced by the dog. High-quality protein sources for nursing dogs are chicken, beef, fish, and eggs. These proteins provide essential amino acids vital for the development of milk and body tissues of the nursing dog.

#2. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are sources of energy. Nursing dogs require an energy-dense diet for milk production. There are lots of carbohydrates that can be added to nursing dogs’ food, prominent ones are sweet potatoes, oats, barley, brown rice, wheat, and quinoa.

#3. Fats and Oils

Nursing dogs need high-fat diets. Fats and oils are good sources of energy and essential fatty acids. Energy is measured in calories; the energy needed for a nursing dog is increased as a result of lactation. Food for nursing dogs must supply adequate calories to meet the increased energy needs for milk production and support the cognitive function of puppies.

Also, essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important for improving the nursing dog’s skin and coat health. and they also contribute to the composition of the milk. Sources of essential fatty acids for nursing dogs are fish oil, flaxseed, olive oil, coconut oil, and chicken fat. They are good sources of essential fatty acids as well.

#4. Vitamin and Minerals

Nursing dogs need the right vitamins and minerals; they will help the dog fight diseases and maintain good health in general. Nursing dogs need a balance of minerals, particularly calcium and phosphorus. Also, Vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, K, C, and B are required in a nursing dog’s diet; these vitamins are derived from fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Calcium and phosphorus are two essential minerals in dog food that play crucial roles in maintaining the health and strength of bones. They help nursing dogs build and maintain the structural integrity of their bones and teeth as well as fortify the milk for the puppies.

During lactation, nursing dogs will require a higher calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. The ideal ratio of calcium-to-phosphorus for nursing dogs is 2:1. An imbalance of these minerals, in the form of excess or deficiency, can cause growth issues such as malformation of bones for the puppies. Calcium-rich food for nursing dogs is fish, bones, legumes, eggshell powder, bone meal powder, yogurt, and other calcium supplements.  

#5. Vegetables

Vegetables are often added to nursing dogs’ food because they are the source of fiber. The importance of fiber in a dog’s diet includes the prevention of constipation and the improvement of the dog’s digestive system. vegetables are also sources of vitamins and some minerals. Vegetables that can be added to nursing dog’s food include peas, spinach, carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, and green beans.   

Homemade Food Recipes For Nursing Dogs

Homemade food can be a great option if you’re able to give your nursing dog a balanced and nutritional diet. You just need to ensure you have the right recipes and ingredients and; most importantly, ensure that the food is duly cooked.

#1. Chicken and Rice Recipe

  • 250 grams chopped carrots
  • 250 grams chopped green beans
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or fish oil
  • 2 pounds of deboned and skinned chicken breasts

Cooking Instruction:

Start by cooking the rice at the right temperature, then chop the chicken breast into smaller pieces. In a different pot, cook the chicken breast and vegetables with the olive oil until they are fully cooked. Finally, mix the cooked rice, vegetables, and chicken. You can serve your nursing dog when the food is cool.

#2. Stew Recipes

  • 250 grams chopped carrots
  • 250 grams chopped green beans
  • 250 grams chopped potatoes
  • 250 grams chopped celery
  • 250 grams of beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil

Cooking Instruction:

Start by cutting the beef into small pieces; cook the chopped meat in another pot with olive oil or coconut oil and the chopped vegetables until they are well cooked. Serve the food to your nursing dogs when it is cool.

Foods Nursing Dogs Should Avoid

While you are willing to give your nursing dog the best kind of food for her nourishment, it is important to take note and not feed her the following foods:

  • Avocado has persin, which causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
  • Grapes and raisins are dangerous foods for nursing dogs; they can cause kidney damage
  • Coffee and Chocolate contain theobromine; which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, seizures, or death.
  • Uncooked Bread or Yeast Dough.
  • Nuts, particularly Macadamia nuts.
  • Onions, chives, and garlic can damage a dog’s red blood cells, causing anemia.
  • moldy foods of any kind particularly bread.
  • Cooked Bones.

Water Requirement For Nursing Dogs

Nursing dogs require a lot of water to stay well-hydrated. Nursing dogs must have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Water is an essential component of a lactating dog’s diet. Dog milk contains about 77 percent water; inadequate water supply for nursing dogs can cause reduced milk production. This can be hazardous to the health of the nursing dog as well as her puppies.  

There is no restriction on the amount of water a nursing dog should drink per day. Nursing dogs eat more, it is expected of them to drink more water, moreover, the puppy also drinks a lot of water, even more than adult dogs. Therefore, you must ensure clean water is readily and always available for your nursing dog and her puppies. In situations where your nursing dog is not drinking enough water, you should contact your veterinarian for assessment and prescription.

How Often Should You Feed A Nursing Dog

The feeding schedule of a nurse depends on the number of puppies she birthed and their size. Generally, a nursing dog should be fed three to four times a day to provide adequate nutrients for her and her puppies till they are about 4 weeks old and still dependent on the milk. At about 6 weeks, the puppies begin to eat solid food, as the mother’s milk production decreases. The feeding schedule can then be reduced. Keep an eye on the growth of the puppies and do not forget to make water readily available for your nursing dog and her puppies.  

Read More: List Of Best Dog Foods Without Peas, Lentils, Legumes, And Potatoes

In conclusion,

While it is very good to prepare your nursing dog’s food at home, it is very important to consider the specific nutrient requirements of nursing dogs. Understandably, homemade nursing dog food is cheaper but the quality and nutrient delivery cannot be ascertained. Hence, it is best to opt for a well-balanced commercial nursing dog food formulated for the unique needs of nursing dogs. Also, always consult with your veterinarian to address any concerns regarding your nursing dogs and their puppies’ nutrition.

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