Pawrenting: How to care for your pregnant pet
What you need to know:
- Some other signs to look out for is discharge at around one month into the pregnancy, you will also notice swelling of their teats.
- If your pet is lean, the abdomen is also a good place to look, it swells a bit but may not be visible unless you are keen.
- Your vet can confirm if your pet is pregnant through an ultrasound.
If you suspect your pet is pregnant, you can start by looking for signs of pregnancy.
Many signs may not show up until the first month has nearly passed.
The pet experiences changes in weight, appetite, behaviour and hormones just like humans.
Some other signs to look out for is discharge at around one month into the pregnancy, you will also notice swelling of their teats.
If your pet is lean, the abdomen is also a good place to look, it swells a bit but may not be visible unless you are keen. Your vet can confirm if your pet is pregnant through an ultrasound.
You will notice your cat or dog will become less active and may not want to eat their regular food.
They also become irritable and thirstier. Experts say the pregnant pet may start to scratch at floors and some start hoarding on food.
This behaviour is because they start experiencing nesting urges. They also start being unusually irritable to noise and strangers while others want more attention and affection.
Note that you should avoid medication as much as possible for pregnant pets.
Thus, do not administer treatment such as vaccination, flea and worm drugs at home without consulting a vet when your pet is pregnant.
Whelping or queening
During the last few weeks to whelping or queening-whelping is the birth process for dogs, queening is the process of giving birth in cats, they become attached to their owners.
Both cats and dogs need a quiet and secure place to whelp or queen their young ones. A secluded area, with minimal traffic, is ideal.
You can get them a box for the delivery. Make it low and wide and line it with newspapers to absorb the fluids released during birth.
Prepare this several days or weeks to their due date. You may also notice them carry an old piece of clothing to the birth area. This is their way of preparing for the whelping or queening.
Avoid removing things that could make the place less familiar, so let any old furniture or old clothes stay.
Also, inform the children in the household that the pet is expecting puppies or kittens and they should be gentle with them.
So no forcing them to play, or waking them from their long naps. Pregnant pets are irritable and could harm a child.
During the actual whelping or queening, let nature take its course.
Be calm and keep away. Being hysterical and helping them to deliver may not be welcome.
Pregnancy in both cats and dogs lasts about 63 to 68 days. During those few months, try and pamper your pet, they will be grateful for it.
Maryanne is a pet owner. [email protected]