We’re often asked if you can continue with a raw diet throughout the various stages of breeding (mating, pregnancy, lactating & weaning). If the diet is well-planned and species-appropriate, the answer is YES!
It's best to prepare your pet with a change to a raw diet before mating. We do not recommend changing during pregnancy or lactation unless your pet is refusing to eat their regular food, in which case we can support you. Please discuss any diet change with your primary veterinarian.
Consider the nine week pregnancy in three stages. During weeks 1-3 feed as normal. From weeks 4 - 6 aim to maintain body condition by gradually increasing food amounts. Feed smaller meals more often as the puppies/kittens take up more space. And, from weeks 7-9 stop feeding whole bones but continue to feed mixes that contain bone.
For the first two days, feed small amounts and often (4+ meals daily). You’ll likely see soft stools for the first few days depending on the amount of afterbirth the mum has ingested. Make sure the babies are feeding well before increasing the mum’s food. Increase her food gradually. Demands will be high until the babies are having solid food.
Smaller breed bitches may require 3-4x their normal food intake. Larger breed bitches may require 2x their normal food intake. Queens may require 2-3x their normal food intake. Mum can start having whole bones once the babies have begun weaning.
Food requirements will vary for the individual - it is vital to monitor their condition closely and adjust intake to suit.
If you have concerns at any time, contact your veterinarian.
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