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The 11 Best Foods For Pregnant Dogs

Congratulations, you have a pregnant dog! Now, the real job begins, including ensuring that she consumes a nutritionally balanced diet.

After all, she is feeding six or even seven puppies! There are a lot of different kinds of dog food, but she needs one with more calories, minerals, and vitamins.

Up until about the 40th day of pregnancy, your pregnant dog's calorie requirements will remain the same. This increase will continue while she is nursing her puppies.

We are here to assist. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has done research and put together a list of the best foods for pregnant dogs.

There is also a buyer's guide that can help you find the best food for your pregnant dog and make an informed choice.


Royal Canin Starter Mother & Puppy Food — Overall Winner



  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Sizes: 2 and 15 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Calories per cup: 364 kcal/cup

Starter Mother & Babydog Food from Royal Canin is specially formulated for pregnant dogs. It aids the mother during her pregnancy, breastfeeding, and puppies’ development.

It is rich in calories, providing much-needed energy, and is quickly absorbed. The kibble combines nicely with fluids and has a texture similar to oatmeal.

Additionally, it includes minerals, vitamins, and DHA for general health benefits. This is a well-known and vet-approved brand.

It is the only meal designed specifically for pregnant and nursing dogs and includes a feeding guide to assist determine amount quantity.

This is our top pick for the finest meals for pregnant dogs, despite being a bit pricey and containing maize and gluten, which may not be suitable for all dogs.


  • Designed for pregnant mothers during all stages of gestation
  • High calorie content for energy
  • Easy to digest and liquid-rehydrating
  • Contains beneficial minerals, vitamins, and DHA


  • Expensive
  • Contains derivatives, cereals, maize, and gluten


Rachel Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Dog Food – Greatest Value



  • Chicken with brown rice Flavor
  • Sizes: 6 and 14 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Calories per cup: 390 kcal/cup

The most cost-effective food for pregnant dogs is Rachel Ray’s Nutrish Bright Puppy Dog Food. It is strong in protein (28%) and has chicken as the primary component.

It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, including taurine, for a healthy coat and skin.

With addition, it contains DHA and EPA, which aid in eyesight and brain development, as well as additional calcium for your pregnant dog’s joints, bones, and teeth.

This meal may not appeal to finicky dogs, and some dogs may have stomach trouble after consuming it. On a dry matter basis, it includes 17.7% fat, which is at the lower end of the acceptable limit for pregnant and nursing dogs.

If your dog is not gaining weight as planned, you may need to switch to a food with a fat content closer to 20%.


  • Decent price
  • The primary component is chicken, which is strong in protein
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, in addition to additional vitamins, minerals, and taurine
  • EPA and DHA for eyesight and mental development
  • Calcium supplementation for healthy teeth, bones, and joints


  • Only moderate fat levels
  • Picky dogs might not appreciate it
  • It may induce gastrointestinal distress in certain dogs


Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Formula – Premium Selection



  • Bison and venison flavor
  • Sizes include 5, 14, and 29 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Calories per cup: 415 kcal/cup

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Dog Food is our top pick for the finest dog food for pregnant canines. It is heavy in calories (415 per cup) and protein (28%), with buffalo serving as the primary and primary component.

It contains superfoods and fruits with a variety of vitamins and minerals, all of which are designed to promote the health of your pregnant dog’s coat and offer the energy she requires.

This includes probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidants, all of which contribute to general wellbeing and healthy digestion. This dog chow is manufactured in the United States and contains no cereals, wheat, maize, or artificial colors or tastes.

This food’s primary drawbacks are its strong odor, which causes some people to dislike it, and its relatively high price.


  • Highly caloric
  • Buffalo being the primary source of high protein (28 percent)
  • Vitamins, minerals, fruit, and superfoods for pregnant dogs
  • Prebiotics, probiotics, and antioxidants are present
  • No artificial flavors, colors, corn, or grains


  • High in the problematic component pea protein
  • Some individuals may believe that it smells foul
  • Expensive


Cans of Royal Canin Starter Mother & Babydog Food



  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Sizes: 1-oz. cans x 24
  • Type: Wet
  • Calories per cup: 137 calories per can

Royal Canin’s Starter Mother and Puppy. Canned Food has a mousse-like consistency and is nutritionally balanced to maintain the mother’s health throughout the third trimester of pregnancy.

It is easily digestible, making it ideal for breastfeeding mothers and their pups when they begin solid food.

This cuisine has the disadvantages of being pricey and including animal byproducts and grains.


  • Delicious mousse texture
  • Balanced nutritionally for the third trimester
  • Easy to digest and beneficial for nursing moms and pups


  • Expensive


Purina Pro Plan Puppy Formula



  • Chicken and rice aroma
  • Sizes include 6, 18, and 34 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Calories per cup: 456 kcal/cup

The first and primary ingredient of Purina Pro Plan Puppy Formula is whole chicken, making it high in protein and, consequently, high in calories at 456 per cup.

It contains DHA from fish oil for the health of the brain and eyes, as well as phosphorus and calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Additionally, it contains antioxidants for the immune system and is easily absorbed.

However, this meal contains gluten, maize, wheat, and grains, which may cause gastrointestinal difficulties in certain dogs. This may manifest itself as diarrhea or constipation.


  • 456 calories per cup
  • DHA from fish oil for the eyes and brain
  • Calcium and phosphorus are essential for teeth and bones
  • Containing antioxidants and being readily digested


  • Includes byproducts, wheat, corn, and grains
  • Possible gastrointestinal troubles


Cans of Purina Pro Plan Development Puppy Food



  • Chicken and rice aroma
  • Sizes: 13-oz. cans x 12
  • Type: Wet
  • Calories per cup: 475 kcal/can

Development of Purina Pro Plan At 475 calories per can, Puppy Canned Food is reasonably priced and heavy in calories. It has chicken as its primary element.

It provides DHA for eyesight and brain support and growth, as well as 23 vital minerals and vitamins for healthy coat and skin. It has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and is manufactured in the United States.

The diet contains animal by-products and grains, which some people choose to avoid feeding their dogs, and it may cause gastrointestinal distress in certain dogs.


  • Well-priced
  • 475 calories per can
  • DHA and 23 vitamins and minerals are present
  • Made in the United States of America
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives


  • Possible stomach upset


The Hill’s Scientific Diet Chicken with Brown Rice for Puppies



  • Chicken with brown rice Flavor
  • Sizes: 4 and 12.5 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Calories per cup: 434 kcal/cup

The Hill’s Scientific Diet This puppy chow has chicken as its primary ingredient and is a tried-and-true, vet-recommended brand.

For a balanced diet, it contains rice, oats, apples, cranberries, and carrots, which provides additional antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients.

Additionally, fish oil and flaxseeds provide omega fatty acids, especially DHA, for a healthy coat and skin. It is ideal for dogs with dietary allergies to soy, wheat, or maize because it does not include these components.

With chicken as the primary component, this meal may not be suitable for all dogs, particularly those with a sensitivity to this protein.


  • Chicken is the primary component in this dish
  • Rice, oats, cranberries, carrots, and apples are included
  • Omega fatty acids derived from flaxseed and fish oil for healthy fur and skin
  • Not made with wheat, soy, or corn


  • Chicken may not be suitable for all canines
  • Exclusive to smaller bag sizes


Life Protection Formula Puppy Food by Blue Buffalo



  • Chicken with brown rice Flavor
  • 3, 6, 15, or 30 pounds.
  • Type: Dry
  • Calories per cup: 400 kcal/cup

The Blue Dog Formula for Life Protection Puppy Diet has deboned chicken as its primary ingredient, making it a high-calorie, high-protein food.

In addition, it contains LifeSource Bits, which are microscopic particles of antioxidant and nutrient-rich substances.

It contains phosphate, calcium, vital minerals, and vitamins for bone and tooth health, as well as ARA and DHA for the development of the brain and eyes. There are no maize, soy, wheat, cereals, or animal byproducts present.

The downsides of this diet include the possibility of stomach distress and the fact that not all dogs love eating it. With a dry matter fat level of 17.7%, this may not be sufficient for pregnant heifers or those that need to acquire extra weight.


  • Boneless chicken is the primary element
  • LifeSource Bits are packed with vitamins and antioxidants
  • Phosphorus, calcium, ARA, and DHA are present
  • Contains no wheat, cereals, maize, soy, or animal derivatives


  • Possible stomach upset
  • Not all dogs love eating it
  • Only modest doses of fat for pregnant and nursing dogs


Wellness CORE Canine Nutrition



  • Chicken and turkey flavor
  • Sizes include 4, 12, and 26 pounds
  • Type: Dry
  • Calories per cup: 491 kcal/cup

The Wellness CORE Puppy Food has the greatest caloric content on our list, with 491 calories per cup, and a crude protein content of 36%.

It includes poultry, turkey, fruits, and vegetables. It contains salmon oil, which contains DHA, as well as probiotics, antioxidants, glucosamine, and taurine.

It lacks artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, as well as animal byproducts, maize, soy, gluten, and wheat.

This meal has the drawbacks of being highly pricey and causing excessive flatulence in certain dogs.


  • 491 calories per cup and 36% protein
  • Consists of chicken, turkey, fruits, and vegetables
  • Has salmon oil, taurine, glucosamine, antioxidants, and probiotics
  • No artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or by-products; no maize, wheat, or soy


  • Expensive
  • High in protein from peas and lentils, which are problematic components
  • Might induce flatulence


Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food in Cans



  • Turkey with chicken flavor
  • Sizes: 5-oz. cans x 12
  • Type: Wet
  • Calories per cup: 425 kcal/can

Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness Canned Puppy Food has 425 calories per can due to the recipe for grilled chicken and turkey.

It contains a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as extra vitamins and minerals, such as DHA for eye and brain development.

There are no artificial chemicals, preservatives, soy, wheat, maize, cereals, gluten, or animal byproducts present.

Sadly, despite the fact that this is a paté, the consistency is quite gloppy and watery. This meal may not appeal to certain dogs because of its consistency.

While pregnant and nursing dogs require around 20% more fat than usual, this diet has 40% fat and may be better utilized as a topping on dry food.


  • 425 calories per can
  • Recipe for grilled chicken and turkey
  • Contains fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals
  • Contains no cereals, maize, wheat, soy, by-products, or synthetic components


  • The consistency is slimy
  • Some dogs don’t enjoy it
  • Extremely high in fat
  • High in pea protein, whose effect on heart health is now under investigated

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Pregnant Puppies

Check out this Buyer’s Guide prior to making any food purchases, as we discuss several factors that may impact your selection.

Canine Food

You may have seen that every item on this list is dog food. There’s a solid explanation for this: pregnant female dogs have special nutritional needs.

In particular, during her third trimester, she will need a much higher-calorie diet to meet the energy demands of her developing puppies.

However, keep in mind that you should avoid large breed puppy food, as it often lacks the proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to promote the health of the mother.

Overall, though, puppy food is often heavy in calories, fat, and protein, making it ideal for pregnant dogs.


You may have also seen that DHA is regularly stated in most dog food labels. This is a crucial component for developing pups, since it promotes eye and brain growth.

Therefore, feeding DHA to a pregnant dog provides her puppies with a much-needed boost before to birth.

Minerals and vitamins

Typically, puppy food contains additional vitamins and minerals to nourish these expanding bodies. In addition, it contains additional calcium and phosphorus, which not only promote healthy bones and teeth but also aid in milk production.

She needs the additional vitamins and minerals to maintain her health and those of her growing puppies. However, if these vitamins and minerals are not available and balanced in the proper proportions, puppies may experience developmental issues.

Heavy in fat

You should ensure that the food you feed your dog is heavy in fat, which will also ensure a larger calorie intake. This type of meal will supply her with the additional energy she needs.

On a dry matter basis, the minimum recommended fat content is 17 percent, rising to 30 percent.


We recommend Royal Canin Starter and Babydog Food for pregnant dogs because it has a lot of calories, vitamins, and minerals and is made for pregnant dogs.

Rachel Ray’s Nutrish Bright Puppy Dog Food is affordable and has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as taurine and other vitamins and minerals.

Taste of the Wild is our top choice because it has a lot of superfoods and antioxidants, as well as healthy fats and proteins for pregnant dogs.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would like to thank our readers for coming to our website to learn about and look up the best foods for pregnant dogs.

We hope that these reviews and guides to buying have helped you choose the best food for your pregnant dog.

This is a very important time for her to eat the right foods to get the calories and nutrients she needs.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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