My pet is pregnant. How can I help her?
The pregnancy of our pet is an exciting time for the family, whether it is planned or due to an unguarded moment, we must attend to it with love, respect and responsibility throughout the whole process.
pets28 August 2018
The first thing we should do when we realise that our pet is pregnant is to take it to the vet for a check-up, to see that everything is going well and to find out about what pregnancy and childbirth will mean for both the 'future mother' and for her babies, and the care they will need. Every animal is different and will require specific care, so a visit to the vet is always essential.
Although today there are many animals we can have at home as pets, we are going to give you some basic care tips for the ‘mummies' of the most common pets: dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles and birds.
Gestation time for a dog is approximately two months, after which time the puppies will be born and, depending on the breed of the mother, there can be between two and nine pups.
In addition to veterinary control, food is the most important factor in pregnancy and you need to take as much care of this as possible: during the first month, a balanced diet is enough, but then you will need to provide the nutrients advised by the vet and divide the food into several feeds a day. Additionally, the amount of food should also be increased. Finally, during the last days of pregnancy, she may lose her appetite.
The activity of the 'expectant mother-to-be' should be the same in terms of walks and games, although in the final stretch of pregnancy, you should respect possible changes in her disposition when it comes to daily activity.
If problems arise, you should go to the vet to attend the birth, if everything goes well, you should prepare a comfortable and quiet place for her to give birth, ideally a large box with blankets and towels placed in the bottom where the dog can lie down comfortably and not crush the puppies when they are born, and the rest she does with her animal wisdom.
Cat pregnancies are similar to that of dogs; it lasts about two months and after the visit to the vet, it will be enough to provide them with an adequate diet, that is to say, from the month of gestation onwards, feed them more times a day and it is advisable to feed them with additional nutrients; however, in the case of cats, it is not usually necessary to give them food supplements.
Cats are very independent and will continue their normal activity during pregnancy. For the birth, make her a nest in a quiet and dimly-lit place in the house so that she can give birth to the kittens in a calm and natural way.
Pregnancy in rabbits lasts about 30 days and you will notice it from the 10th day onwards because they will have a swollen abdomen and an irritable mood, so we should respect her and let her behave as her nature dictates. When the time comes for her to give birth she will form her own nest, normally with her own fur. You can help her by providing her with a comfortable box. You will also need to take care of her diet, giving her alfalfa hay and adding other foods such as carrots, tomatoes and lettuce, as she will be thirstier during pregnancy.
As there are many types of tortoise, we will focus on land-dwelling ones. They are oviparous animals, so females are fertilised by the male and, after a brief gestation period, they lay eggs and incubate them for two months. During gestation, there will be some changes to their character and appetite, but allow nature to take its course. When the time comes to lay eggs, they will look for a place in the ground to lay their eggs and to do this, they will dig a hole the size of their body. During incubation, the important thing is to take care of the humidity and temperature.
As for birds, although they have some common characteristics, each one also has characteristics that differentiate them from each other. So in the case of birds, more than any other pet, you need to go to the vet to specify the care you will need to provide for the bird we have at home, but as always, food will be a fundamental factor.