A nursing dog needs more nutrients than usual in order to produce more milk for the litter. Feeding a nursing dog properly is crucial not just for the dog itself, but also for the puppies. In this phase, dogs need a lot of fat and proteins, calcium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acid. Nursing dogs should eat quality food several times a day and always have access to plenty of freshwaters.
- Puppy food diet
Some veterinarians recommend giving a nursing dog high-quality puppy food, including various supplements. This type of food is high in protein and easy to digest. The downside of this diet is that commercial pet foods can contain a lot of grain, which can be harmful to a dog’s health. They also may contain chemicals in order to keep food fresh for a longer period of time.
- Raw food diet
On the other hand, some veterinarians recommend giving raw food to a dog. This type of diet mainly consists of raw meat, bones, organ meats, eggs, vegetables, and fresh fruit. Other than that, they recommend giving a nursing dog chicken wings and chicken feet for extra protein and calcium. This type of diet can also include other meat sources, even fish. It’s recommended to give a small number of leafy vegetables, yeast, egg yolk, yogurt, liver, and goat milk. Some human food can occasionally be included, such as cottage cheese or peanut butter.
Some owners decide to combine these two types of diet, especially when they are not sure if a nursing dog gets enough nutrients. In that case, it’s extremely important that it’s done gradually to avoid digestion problems. The safest way is to always consult a veterinarian before making any changes.