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Is Raw Food Suitable for Pregnant Bitches?

Caring For Pregnant Pets Family And Dog 2023 11 27 05 30 42 Utc

Feeding your pregnant dog the best, healthy, and species-appropriate food is crucial throughout her pregnancy, just as it is for a human. When it comes to ‘Raw Food for Pregnant Bitches,’ many believe that a diet rich in fresh, raw ingredients offers significant health benefits over processed options. This article explores why a highly processed diet, high in carbohydrates and synthetic vitamins, is less beneficial compared to a nutrient-rich raw food regime for your expecting canine companion.

We believe that feeding a highly processed diet of carbohydrates, synthetic vitamins and inappropriate seed and vegetable oils with very little meat or offal content will not give your pregnant bitch the same chance of a healthy pregnancy as feeding a fresh raw diet.

Puppies need their mother to be well-fed to ensure they get the best start in life through correct nutrition.

Why is raw food best for a pregnant bitch?

We believe that feeding a fresh raw diet provides all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals to not only sustain good health but will support your bitch through pregnancy, ensuring their immune system, digestive system and bones and joints stay strong and healthy.

Dr Conor Brady, whose book Feeding Dogs www.dogsfirst.ie has scientific studies to prove this and states that even in the womb, puppies develop a sense of taste which therefore gives a wider variety that the puppies will be confident eating almost any proteins throughout their life.

A good range of fresh raw foods are safe to feed your pregnant bitch, making sure you use a reputable company such as barkinBISTRO and add supplements such as:

These supplements will add to optimum nutrition and give your bitch the best chance of a healthy pregnancy, leading to a healthy birth for her young litter.

How much food do I give my pregnant bitch?

This is a guideline as every dog is different, just as we are! For the first month of pregnancy, continue to feed as you would normally do. Sometimes in the very early stages of pregnancy, your bitch may lose her appetite and experience nausea, just like humans do. If this lasts for longer than a few days, always seek advice from your holistic vet.

From approximately the 5th week of pregnancy, we recommend you increase her food by about 10% per week. Giving a range of foods and including meals with some vegetables and offal will give her excellent nutrition as every meat has different nutrient values. Adding an organic raw egg a few times per week is also a good idea.

As the puppies grow, they can put pressure on your bitches organs and intestines, which sometimes results in constipation. If this occurs, try feeding boneless minces and tripe.

As the weeks go by, remember that she will have more energy requirements. This will also depend on how many puppies she is carrying. Feeding higher-fat foods such as duck or lamb if she is carrying a lot of puppies will help. It is also kinder to feed her 3-4 times per day as her pregnancy develops – often pregnant bitches struggle to eat large volumes of food as we do as humans, so feeding little and often will ensure she has the right amount of food.

Towards the end of pregnancy

Your gorgeous, glowing bitch is growing each day and will probably be eating 40-50% more food than before she was “with pup”. She may even need more if she is carrying a lot of puppies so we recommend feeding her as much as she wants to eat. This would be different for a bitch only carrying one pup for example.

As she nears whelping (giving birth in dog terms), her appetite is likely to decrease. Some bitches only want to eat foods such as chicken, duck or lamb necks. This could be likely because they know they need the extra calcium found in bones and often, our dogs know best!

Her appetite normally decreases 24/48 hours before whelping. It is important to always provide fresh drinking water at all times and if she is keen to have some raw goat milk, mixed with an egg, this will also be beneficial. At the last stages of pregnancy, your bitch will be looking for places to nest and this can often be outside, so providing a whelping box with smells she recognises is helpful.

Conclusion

By now, congratulations are in order! Your clever bitch has whelped and you spend far too much time looking at the “time-wasting” little darlings before they turn into chewing, biting hooligans!

If your new mum wants to eat the afterbirth when she has whelped, don’t stop her. It is full of nutrients that will help to nourish her in the first few days after the puppies have been born when she may not feel like leaving the puppies or eating. Nature is clever!

Always check with your Holistic vet if you have any concerns throughout your bitches pregnancy.

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