What should I feed my pregnant dog?
If you’re a breeder and wanting to switch to a raw diet, we would generally recommend doing this before a mating has taken place. It’s best to have mum-to-be settled on a varied raw diet before pregnancy so we don’t upset her tummy too much whilst in whelp.
So let’s say mum is on an established raw diet and eating at least five proteins over the course of the month. You won’t need to change her diet at all for the first five weeks of her pregnancy.
At Week Five we would recommend increasing her intake by around 5%.
Stomach capacity shrinks at around Week Six to accommodate those growing babies, so start to offer less food at a time but more meals. Increase by another 5%. You can also start to add some higher fat content meals to help those energy levels. Our website will have fat percentages listed, and we even have a high-fat hamper to help.
Week Seven, start to slowly reduce bone content within meals and offer more ‘boneless’ options. Another 5% increase.
Week Eight you could increase up to 10% of her daily allowance and she should have completely stopped eating bone.
Week Nine be led by your girl. Some eat right up to the whelp, others may taper off. Remember, it’s great to have some bone broth on hand during the whelp and feed at regular intervals (just a table spoon will be fine).
Once the babies have arrived it’s important for her to receive calcium and plenty of it. Bones, Carcasses and 80:10:10 meals are a great way to achieve this. You could also supplement with some raw egg, cottage cheese, goats milk etc.
Raw Weaning Puppies
We feel it’s possible to raw wean your pups even if mum isn’t on a raw diet and here’s what we recommend.
Once puppies are standing well, and moving around freely, offer a liquid of some sort so they can learn to Lap. The transition from suckling to lapping can sometimes throw puppies! We usually offer evaporated milk / cool boiled water (3:1). Goats Milk would work too.
When you’re ready to introduce raw, we would recommend something bland like Lamb Tripe. We usually blitz this up in a blender with some milk for the first few feeds so the raw is thin and ‘lap-able’. You could always work with the back of a fork if you don't want to messy up your blender.
After a few days of Lamb Tripe, you can add something Offal Free. We opt for Turkey and Beef. Give 50% Lamb Tripe and 50% Turkey and Beef then at your own pace (generally two or three days) you can lessen the tripe and increase the Turkey and Beef.
After a few days of this, we would recommend introducing our Beef 80:10:10 flavour. You may find this familiar as we talk about this in our Starter Guide and Intro to Raw Hamper.
How much do I feed the puppies?
Initially you could base it very loosely on body weight and percentages.
So whilst the puppies are in your care they will be eating approximately 10% of their body weight. If you wormed them at 8 weeks you should have an idea of their weight. Remember, puppies grow fast! So you’ll constantly want to be checking weights.
The quickest solution we find is to weigh your heaviest and lightest pup and create an average. Also remember, the first few meals are a little like weaning a baby. They might play, lick it off each other, and mess around to begin with. We usually find mum gladly comes in to help with the clean up!
How much should I order?
This will be calculated against how much the puppies are going to need to be eating. Once the puppies arrive, it’s likely you will be monitoring their weight to ensure they double by the time they're a week old. This will give you a good indication of their weights week on week.
You’ll know to start on Lamb Tripe, and you’ll know this needs to also be mixed over to your next flavour. So depending on litter size and your breed, it could be worthwhile just ordering a set amount of Lamb Tripe tubs initially. If you’re still unsure please do get in touch and we can look at your breed, litter size and age to offer an idea of weight to order.
How much room do I need in the freezer?
This will vary on whether mum is on raw and how many puppies you have. A standard under the counter fridge freezer can hold up to x10 1kg Betsy’s tubs. And x20 500g Betsy’s Tubs.
How much should mum eat?
At this point mum should be eating as much as she wants. Depending on litter size she could potentially be producing a lot of milk which will be burning a lot of calories. High fat meals, lots of bone, and plenty of fluids should be offered regularly. Heart and Liver are naturally fantastic ways to boost supply too!
Should the puppies continue on raw when they leave me?
That’s something the puppy owner must decide but we can help! Point them in the direction of our Facebook page or website and ask them to research the benefits of raw. Generally, new owners will want to understand the benefits themselves, not just to be told what to feed.
Remember, we are happy to discuss with puppy owners directly and if you're on our breeder scheme we will support you as much as you need.
We also have literature available and plenty of supportive plans to help with how much to feed, proteins and so on. Your puppy owners will also receive a free tub of food from us when they leave, plus a voucher code for their first order.
So, what are the benefits to the Betsy’s Scheme?
• We offer an attractive discount off every order, for you, as a breeder
• When you register a litter of puppies and they are approved with the KC, you will receive x1 free 500g pack of food for each puppy.
• You'll have a dedicated member of the team to assist you in as much as you need.
• Puppy owners also receive a discount off their first order, alongside some exclusive deals from fantastic suppliers working with Betsy’s.
What Do I Have to Do?
So, here’s what you have to do to apply to be a part of our breeder scheme.
• Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and detail your name, kennel affix, and brooding bitches. Your breed, approximately how many litters a year you have, alongside puppy average is also ideal.
We’d love to work with you! Get in touch and start your Betsy’s journey today.