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Categories: Breeding

Q. I feed my dogs raw and I have a bitch that is 45 days along. She would happily eat more than I give her. Do I need to feed her more? Will a time come to feed her just as much as she'll eat?
Hi Cindy,

My friend thought you might have some advice for me. I feed my dogs raw and I have a bitch that is 45 days along. Normally, she would eat 1.5 lbs. of meat per day. Right now she is eating 3 lbs. a day with moderate amounts of fish, Salmon oil, and eggs. She gets a vitamin supplement, also. She would happily eat more if it were available. Do I need to feed her more? She goes in for an x-ray and a puppy count this Friday. Will a time come when I want to feed her just as much as she'll eat?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Jan

A. I usually only increase my females food by about 50-100% while they are pregnant. If they are thin I may feed more, but if they have good body condition I don’t free feed a pregnant dog.

The big caloric needs are during nursing, typically between weeks 2-6. I feed my dogs frequently during nursing, and if they have a good sized litter this may mean they are eating up to 500% more than their normal feeding amounts. I go by body condition more than anything. All my dogs are chow hounds and will eat til they pop if I don’t limit them.

Is there a reason that you are taking her in for xrays? Does she have a history of problems? I’m not a fan of exposing the puppies to radiation just because I want to know how many there are, and many times you don’t get an accurate counts anyway because of they way they overlap. An xray can always be done if there is a medically warranted reason but no one really knows how the radiation affects the puppies long term so in my opinion it’s not worth doing. I want my puppies to have the deck stacked in their favor, for good health and this could possibly compromise them in the future so I won’t do this or recommend this to people who ask for advice.

Cindy
  
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