How to take care of pregnant pets

Care for pregnant pets begins before the pregnancy. Owners should make sure they have a healthy mature animal. The goal should be to produce quality off spring, not to make a profit. As such they should only breed proven registered animals. Potential breeders should make sure they have homes for the upcoming off spring and be certain they are not contributing to the unwanted pet population. Finally no pet should be bred if the owner is not financially prepared for an emergency.


Mark your calender with the expected due date. See the chart below.

Establish a feeding program for your pet. They will gain weight, but you do not want them to get “fat”. Pregnant dogs can be fed puppy food, and cats should be fed kitten food. This gives them more protein and energy which helps their young develop properly. In the week prior to delivery it is especially important as it helps them produce enough milk. If you normally feed only dry food, make sure you start feeding them some canned food 2-4 times a day, small amounts, but frequent. Caged animals should be on a good diet as well as given plenty of washed fresh vegetables.

With cats, and even more so with dogs, you may want to have an early vet exam to make sure things are going well. If your pet is young or of a breed noted to have problems, this exam is important.

A dog can be vaccinated but can still get sick or bring virus’s on her paws. Parvo virus can live for months, so newborn pups could easily get it. As such keep your dog walks in areas other than large Dog Parks. Discuss with your veterinarian any required vaccinations and worming your pet should have prior to breeding.

Do not hesitate to phone a veterinarian at any sign of change in the mothers behavior. Your vet will then tell you if it is normal, or a reason to bring the pet in for a check.


As the date approaches monitor your pet regularly for any indication of premature delivery. With the larger animals, cats, dogs, and horses, you need to find a place for her to have her young. With dogs this is traditionally a Whelping Pen, with cats it is often a box with the sides cut short kept in a private room.

For cats and dogs, you will need lots of bedding changes, so make sure you have plenty of blankets. For smaller caged animals, you won’t really need extra supplies but must keep the cage clean without disturbing the nesting site.

The animal should be kept in the room where they are to give birth for a few days prior just to get them familiar with the area. With cats especially it is important NOT to let them outdoors in the days before delivery, in case they go missing or give birth outside. For the cats, this room should have their litter, food, and water, a complete living arrangement that they are not to leave, until the kittens are weaned.

Research the normal delivery process for your type of pet. Have your veterinarians phone number ready. It is always tempting to help, but when the time comes, it is best to stay back and let the mom do the work unless there are problems.

Overall better care of the mother throughout her pregnancy will help ensure an easier delivery, and a healthier litter.


Gestation is the time between conception and Birth, it varies in different pets. A differences of more than a few days is reason to call a veterinarian.

Dogs 62-65 Days.

Cats 61-64 Days.

Rabbits 28-31 Days.

Guinea Pigs 63-68 Days.

Hamster -15-16 Days.

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