How to Use Whelping Calcium Supplements
Calcium is a mineral that plays a role in both muscle contraction and in building the frame we stand on. It allows the uterine muscle to slide past and shorten, resulting in effective uterine contractions. Low blood calcium leads to ineffective contractions and nervousness, often resulting in puppy or kitten loss.
Should I Give My Dog Calcium Before Giving Birth?
Knowing when to use calcium supplements when whelping is key. If you supplement with calcium before whelping starts, you shut down the pregnant dog’s ability to fine tune the minute-by-minute demand needed for whelping and milk production. By staying away from supplements pre-whelping, you can let her regulate and gear up for the needs of whelping and milking. This helps prevent issues in the pregnant dogs, such as eclampsia or milk fever.
In early labor when the female starts nesting or her temperature drops one degree, that’s when you can give mom the first dose of calcium. Fast-absorbing calcium supplements like Breeder’s Edge® Oral Cal™ Plus Gel are very helpful. Before the first puppy hits the ground, the goal is to get three to four doses in mom. She won’t be eating at this time, so a small amount of gel orally is the only choice. She will accept it readily. This helps to dilate the cervix and get the first puppy on the ground faster. This calcium gel for dogs and cats will help the female not get so tired with a long delivery and she can mother better because she won’t be so exhausted.
In addition to during whelping/queening, providing additional calcium such as Breeder’s Edge® Oral Cal Plus™ Powder during nursing supports the increased nutrient demands placed on mom by her nursing newborns. When nursing, her need for calcium is at its highest since producing milk for newborns may cause calcium to be drawn from her bones and teeth.
Written by: Shelley Hexom
Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.