new mother? new nutritional needs!

Pet nutrition throughout pregnancy for healthy kittens and puppies

Congratulations! It sounds like things are very exciting at your house. We at Freely want to help support your new mama to ensure she can keep up with the needs of her growing babies while not leaving her with extra weight that will hinder her return to normal activities. It is a tricky balance, and there are many factors that go into calculating how much food she needs when she's pregnant or nursing.

For the first two trimesters of your pet's pregnancy, the mom-to-be should eat about the same amount as she was eating before the pregnancy. Once she hits her last trimester, the babies will start to require more nutritional support. Her normal amount of food should be increased slightly to accommodate these growing babies. Dogs and cats have much shorter pregnancies than humans, so these changes seem to come along quickly!

Nursing growing babies requires even more calories, and the amount of food she receives should change with the number of babies she is supporting. The new mother will need to put more calories into lactation support for larger litters, and as the puppies and kittens grow; therefore, her feeding regimen should change frequently to meet these needs.

You may also notice she needs extra water to support her babies. Don’t forget to fill the water bowl more often to keep her hydrated and her milk flowing!

Her increased need for calories tapers off when her babies are weaned. This usually happens when the puppies or kittens are between 6 and 8 weeks old.

With all of the possible individual differences, we want to give each new mom the care she deserves. Use our How Much to Feed calculator as a starting point, but make sure to talk with your veterinarian or one of our pet nutrition center experts as soon as possible. These resources will help guide your choices to meet the ever-changing nutritional needs of your new mother and her babies.

We can’t wait to hear about all the adventures your growing household has been having!

Still have questions?

Our pet nutrition team is here for you. Send us an email, give us a call, or connect with us through LiveChat. We’d love to talk through your pet’s unique nutritional needs!