The pregnant bitch no longer eats just for herself. She also feeds for the puppies she carries, which obviously affects her dietary needs. How do they evolve and how to satisfy them? Here are some tips to help you do that.
During gestation , the bitch sees her nutritional needs change dramatically. While her diet does not experience any noticeable change during the first few weeks, it changes as the birth approaches.
The needs of the expectant mother become much more important in terms of quantity , but also, and above all, of quality . His master must thus give him meals adapted to his needs by providing him with the adequate doses and the nutrients required by his body and the fetuses.
Rapidly changing needs
We do not observe, in the pregnant bitch, noticeable modifications of the feeding behavior during the first phase of gestation. For the first few weeks, she eats the same amount of food as usual. In the initial month, it is estimated that needs only increase 1.2 times on average, which is not much of a shock.
After this stage, things move much faster . More late gestation approach more quantities of food needed increase. During the last two weeks, the bitch sees her weight increase by 15 to 25% as a result of the growth of the fetuses and her increased consumption.
Quantity AND quality
Be careful not to upset the bitch’s eating habits during the first 5 weeks of gestation. If too much food is given to her, the expectant mother may be overweight and have difficulty giving birth.
After the 6 th week , the needs are in clear increase. The body of the pregnant dog requires more protein , energy and minerals in order to adequately meet its own needs and to support the development of the fetuses.
But at the same time, the stomach has less and less space, as the uterus gains in size at its expense, as the unborn puppies grow.
It is therefore best to give it a dry , concentrated and easier to digest diet, divided into several small meals . Most of the well- known brands of kibble offer products specially designed for the gestation period, with appropriate intakes.
Manage the food transition
If the dog is not accustomed to dry food before, it would be preferable to a food transition to 10 weeks so as not to upset his digestive system and prevent him associated discomforts (diarrhea, for example). It is also important to ensure that she can drink enough by always leaving her bowl of water at her disposal and by regularly changing the contents.
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If the bitch continues to receive a homemade diet , it is necessary to ensure that the rations have a protein level of at least 30% of the dry matter. Eggs, meat, organ meats and dairy products such as goat cheese are well supplied with it. It is also necessary to ensure good intakes of calories and minerals, which are found respectively in fats and vegetables. </p