Feeding a bitch during her breastfeeding period
Posted on October 07 2018
Gestation and calving are very demanding on the bitch's body. Breastfeeding will also require a lot of energy, which means that you will have to provide a diet that meets your needs.
As during gestation, the feeding needs of the dog vary in quantity and quality during breastfeeding. The lactation phase requires considerable energy and essential nutrients such as calcium to cover her own needs and those of the puppies she is breastfeeding.
You will have to make sure that your dog benefits from a diet adapted to its state, until a return to the normal one which will follow the period of weaning of the small ones.
The first 2 weeks after farrowing
To better meet the nutritional needs of the dog during lactation, it is necessary to understand the course of breastfeeding and its different phases . There are three of these, with a specific evolution in each of them in terms of quantity and nutritional quality.
The initial stage concerns the first 2 weeks after puppies are born. These ensure their survival by consuming the colostrum produced by their mother during feedings. The dog will remain permanently at their side, leaving them only for very brief moments.
The amount of food consumed by the dog is not very high, but her energy needs remain high. Throughout breastfeeding, it is vital that the dog has water at will . The contents of its container must be regularly changed so that it can have fresh and healthy water.
The 2nd phase: needs that skyrocket
From the 3 th week until the 5 th , the needs of puppies and the mother will skyrocket. The food needs of the dog will be multiplied by 3 or 4 during this phase. The contributions you will have to provide will therefore have to be increased accordingly.
Phosphorus, calcium, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins in rab will allow the mother's body to cope and stay healthy. If you are not sure to be able to prepare meals tailored to these needs, you can turn to the dry food available on the market and specially designed for the nursing bitch.
The ideal during this key stage of breastfeeding is to split the daily intake into 3 meals so as not to upset the digestive system of the mother. A dietary transition phase is also recommended if she was previously used to homemade food. The best would be to familiarize with this type of food at the 10 th week of gestation .
The 3th and final stage: weaning approachAfter the end of the 5 th week, the food needs of the bitch come into phase gradual decline . Between the 6 th and 7 th week , the puppies start, in fact, to move towards a food more solid and less based on breast milk .
As the weaning stage approaches, the mother's diet will gradually move towards what it was before pregnancy. A return to normal will then be observed about a month after she stopped breastfeeding her offspring, both in terms of her food needs and in terms of weight .