Raw Feeding pregnant cats and dogs
Feeding pregnant animals
I am writing here about dogs but this will equally well apply to cats - you may struggle to get them to eat vegetables and alway remember to supplement taurine for cats.
Really feeding a pregnant bitch is not difficult, in essence. she simply needs more food
If your feeding is balanced during normal times it will be fine during pregnancy.
FEED A VARIETY OF FOOD OVER THE COURSE OF EACH MONTH to ensure a good balance of amino acids protein vitamins and other nutrients
I would give perhaps
Some additional protein from egg(s) twice a week
Seaweed supplement Keepers Mix or Kelp Powders from Dorwest for example
A good quality oil fish or flax (no added Vitamin A)
Mussels once a week Manganese can be deficient in some diets
Possibly offer a little sea salt: - Do not add to the food but offer a little salty water once a week to ensure she is not short of minerals. If she does drink this then leave it down for the dogs/cats to chose to drink should they wish.
All these are little extras you probably not need
First 4 weeks - No real change unless she is losing condition
Weeks 5 and 6 an increase of 5-10% each week from now on would be fairly normal
You should aways keep an eye on her weight and Body Condition Score, A pregnant animal will put on weight of course but should not get fatter or loose fat cover. This can be hard to assess but perhaps the easiest way is to feel her ribs you should be able to feel the readily but not see them in normal circumstances. You should not see a dramatic change. But if she is loosing condition feed an bit more and if the ribs are harder to feel a bit less. But do not overly worry when feeding pups it will soon change again
Should we reduce the bone content?
There are no strong reasons to suppose higher natural bone levels are harmful either because of excessive Calcium levels or causing constipation. I have never seen problems with raw fed bitches nor do we get problems in nature with wolves etc.
But there are recommendations of a theoretical problem and so I suggest in the second half of pregnancy you reduce the bone content by simply adding bone free to your normal complete mix.
Make the 5-10% extra ration you offer bone free is an easy way to think of it
Do not give Raw Meaty bones in the second half of pregnancy just minced complete feeds.
Week 8-9 feed very little bone but still a good variety of meats and organ meats. She will be eating about 50% more than normal by this point in most cases.
Ian Billinghurst recommends increasing the amount of vegetable in the diet in the last week of pregnancy which will have a gentle laxative affect helping to empty the colon giving more room for pups to pass and a more comfortable birth.
Any vegetable is fine best mashed or minced greens lightly cooked and cooked sweet potato with the skin. perhaps up to 20% of the diet.
BUT after she has had pups she will need the Calcium to pass on to pups in the milk so go back to full 10% bone or a little more. You should not need to supplement Calcium at all
During this Post Partum period she will still be needing a lot more food until the pups are weaned, the amounts depending on how many pups she has of course
I also suggest you give my Birth Tonic or just Caulophylum 6c or 6x three time daily for the last few days before she is due. This homeopathic medicines ease the passage of puppies, kittens and human babies dramatically.
Fenugreek and Milk Thistle herbal formulas will encourage milk production as well if you think you have problems or as a possible preventative measure