How to feed raw for breeding

One of the most crucial aspects to focus on is your breeding bitch’s diet. We have put together a guide as to what foods to include in her diet during the gestation period and after the birth that can help your dog have a full and healthy litter.

Body condition

Firstly, it’s important to assess your bitch’s body condition in advance of any breeding as due to the physical demands that come with pregnancy and nursing matters can be made so much harder for those not in the best of health.

Dog weight

Even if your dog is under or overweight it can cause problems – those who are underweight can have a problem with eating enough food to support the nutritional needs of her puppies and herself whilst overweight dogs can have a difficult labour.

Balanced diet

This is why it is so important to feed a well balanced diet in appropriate amounts prior to breeding to get you bitch in the best possible shape for the pregnancy and to help avoid problems like eclampsia (low blood calcium).

Gestation period

A dog’s gestation period is 9 weeks and during that time you will need to modify your dogs diet depending on the week she is in.

Portion size

For the first 4 weeks you can feed your dog the way that you normally would with regular meals without increasing the amount of food. However, by week 5 you should increase the amount of food by 20-30%.

By week 6 the puppies will begin to grow and her stomach capacity will shrink. This therefore means she will need to be fed smaller amounts but more often. As each week passes the amount also given should increase by around 10% so that by week 8 she should be having around 50% more food per day than before her pregnancy.

In her final week, she may start to eat less around 25% and for the last couple of days may stop eating altogether which is quite normal.

The bitches’ intake needs to be broken down into various nutrients as follows: