We must always be careful when caring for a pregnant dog. For example, even if they have been prescribed before, there are certain medications that you should not take due to possible effects on your pregnancy. Even the most everyday activities may need to be modified to help the dog during her pregnancy.
At Hospital Veterinari Glòries, we answer a common question that many of you may have during the pregnancy of your dog: can I bathe my pregnant dog normally? Before answering this question, we would like to remind readers that any concerns we may have with our dog during pregnancy should be discussed with her veterinarian. You can call us whenever you want and we will solve your questions.
The basic care of a pregnant dog
A dog’s pregnancy lasts approximately 63 days, with a healthy range of between 56 and 66 days. A normal pregnancy allows the dog to maintain her routine, so it is wrong to be too restrictive when caring for a pregnant dog. However, there are certain basic considerations that we must take into account during our partner’s pregnancy:
- Veterinary check-ups: as soon as we suspect that our dog is pregnant, the first thing we should do is take her to a veterinary clinic. While there are standard guidelines that we must follow, our vet will be able to tell us if there are any specific considerations we should make with our dog. They will usually confirm the pregnancy with an abdominal palpitation or ultrasound. They will also have a final visit before the due date to confirm that all is well.
- Feeding: once the pregnancy is confirmed, you can feed the dog with a special feed. This is because it is the best to meet her nutritional needs during this period and the one that will continue to benefit her during breastfeeding.
- Deworming: deworming is a preventative measure taken to stop parasitic infestation. As puppies are particularly vulnerable to parasites, it is important that the pregnant mother is dewormed. Your vet will likely recommend deworming again around 45 days of pregnancy. They will then need to be dewormed again during lactation along with her puppies. During this period, not all antiparasitic agents are safe, so it is important that we carefully follow veterinary instructions.
- Exercise: our dog will be able to lead a normal life, taking her usual outings and walks. We should only avoid making big jumps or playing rough games with other dogs to avoid injury to her or her puppies. Done right, it is safe to exercise a pregnant dog. Our dog will stop exercising once she is close to delivery.
- Precautions: before applying or administering any product to our pregnant dog, we must consult with the veterinarian. During pregnancy, products such as deworming collars, pipettes, or shampoos may contain ingredients that can be harmful if they reach puppies.
This last point of precautions relates to our initial question about whether we can bathe a pregnant dog. Below we provide the considerations that we must take into account if our pregnant dog is dirty.
Bathing pregnant dogs
A dog that is expecting puppies will follow a routine similar to that before she got pregnant as long as the necessary precautions are taken. If you wonder if you can bathe a pregnant dog, the answer is yes. You can bathe your pregnant dog if necessary, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure that the bathtub or place where we bathe them has a non-slip surface to avoid falls and bumps. We can use special non-slip bath mats or even a simple folded towel.
- Always use a shampoo approved by our vet. As we have said, some products may contain components that could be toxic to pregnant dogs, especially in the case of shampoos with insecticides used to deworm. If you wonder what product you should use to bathe your pregnant dog, do not hesitate to consult with the veterinary specialist who takes care of your dog’s health.
- Handle the dog with care, do not apply pressure or make sudden movements, especially in the abdominal area.
If the animal’s breathing is agitated, it feels uncomfortable, it becomes anxious or it continually tries to get out of the bathtub, we should not continue with the bath. Stress is very harmful for a pregnant dog.
Although bathing is suitable for most pregnant dogs, there are circumstances in which it is not recommended. These include the following:
- At the end of gestation: it is a time when the dog needs tranquility and will be looking for a nesting place for delivery. Unless bathing is a relaxing activity for her, it is best not to stress her out or distract her from her main goal.
- Dogs that do not tolerate bathing: For dogs that get very nervous, restless, scared or that try insistently to escape from the bathroom, they should not bathe during pregnancy to avoid a stressful situation. Since dogs don’t need to be bathed regularly without a specific cause, it should be okay to wait until after pregnancy or even until the puppies are weaned.
What to do if a pregnant dog gets dirty?
It should be fine to bathe a pregnant dog unless they are subject to the above restrictions. We must make an effort to ensure that they are not in a position where they get very dirty, especially in the days leading up to their delivery.
However, there may be times when the dog gets dirty, such as after an unexpected rain on a walk. This situation can be aggravated in long-haired dogs. If they get stressed during the bath, we must find other ways to clean them. It may be sufficient to use wipes suitable for pregnant dogs or even wipe them with a clean damp towel.
Pregnancy is not a reason to stop caring for our dog. We still need to keep brushing her regularly and make sure her coat is well maintained. If they get too stressed out going to a hairdresser, we should do it at home or wait until after pregnancy for more complicated grooming practices.
The insecticide with amitraz and pregnancy in dog
As we have been saying, there are certain substances that are harmful during the pregnancy of a dog. Amitraz is among them. It is an antiparasitic for topical use used against fleas, ticks and lice. It is used in small doses and is absorbed through the skin. For this reason, it can affect puppies in utero and during lactation.
Amitraz can cause teratogenic effects (malformations) or even spontaneous abortions. Although it is possible to bathe a pregnant dog, we can never apply a product that our veterinarian has not recommended with the certainty that its use is safe during the pregnancy of our dog. During breastfeeding, precautions should be maintained, as these and other substances can also be found in your milk. Spraying a pregnant dog with amitraz is not recommended unless directed by the veterinarian.
Is your dog pregnant? We will be delighted to assist you. Get in touch with us and we will make an appointment as soon as possible.