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Diet for Lactation
#1
The Importance of Diet When Your Bitch is Lactating
 
I have seen supposedly educated breeders get this very wrong and almost killing their bitches. I have seen the very same breeders on the ABS run by the Kennel Club get this so wrong their dogs almost died through poor nutrition and filthy unsanitary conditions. One of those breeders preferred to brush the dog rather than keep her safe throughout the most important time of her life….. The other just left her in appalling conditions to get her name in the show papers with dogs she hadnt even bred.
  • Food for pregnant or nursing dogs must include sufficient calories to meet increased energy needs for milk production and the growth of puppies
  • Increased fat helps satisfy the higher demand for calories
  • High digestibility is important to help maximize calorie intake from smaller amounts of food
  • The mother’s milk production and the bone growth of her puppies require more calcium and phosphorus
  • More protein is needed to nourish the healthy development of puppies
  • DHA for developing puppies’ nervous systems
  • nursing dogs have 4-8 times the energy requirements of healthy adult dogs. Increased fat in precisely balanced nutrition helps supply more energy.
If your dog isn’t intolerant we suggest using the list below to add quality fats , protein, carbs and higher energy foods immediately after delivery to ensure her milk lets down efficiently.
                                                        HOWEVER
YOU DO NOT NEED TO GIVE AS MANY HERBS AS YOU GOOGLE TO YOUR BITCH, HER MILK WILL COME DOWN IF YOU STOP INTERFERRING. MANY ISSUES WITH POOR MILK PRODUCTION IS CAUSED BY OWNERS WHO KEEP HANDLING PUPS WITH THE ANXIOUS MUM ONLOOKING THINKING SOME STUPID HUMAN IS ABOUT TO MAKE OFF WITH HER PRIZED POSSESSIONS. UNTIL AFTER DAY 3 PLEASE DON’T TRY TO HANDLE NEONATE PUPS AFTER FIRST CHECKING THEIR WELL-BEING !
 
Food List : The First 3 days post delivery are exceptionally important for mum and the pups!
Egg Yolks (not whites), cheeses like mozzarella, ricotta, cheese spread, ie soft cheeses, semolina
Custard, cream, butter, puppy food , chicken, lamb, chicken paste, duck, goose, venison,(not beef)
Bones, sweet mashed potatoes, spinach, probiotic yoghurt.
After day 3 milk will be let down and the feeding needs  of mum will become noticeably more ravenous as she tries to take in enough nutrition now to produce about 2 litres of milk for her developing neonates whose growth rate is incredible. SO its important now to encourage her to eat often small meals that are high in fats calcium and energy. She has lost and will still be losing some blood so her iron will need watching so spinach should be added , she will need phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin c and d and omegas 3 6 9 and very importantly she will need quality animal proteins so foods like meats salmon egg yoghurt and semolina and custard will add just about the right level of fats carbs and proteins that are quickly digestible, There is little point in supplying foods like steak that factually deplete the body in order to be digested by the body. It is often found that a bitch that has eclampsia has eaten a quantity of beef prior to suffering from milk fever.
Why is puppy food used ?
Puppy food is highly digestible and full of added vitamins that may now be missing following your bitches strenuous delivery , It is also stuffed with calories for energy, This is why pups have a mad half hour just after feeding using these commercial products. It is deemed safe eating by many a breeder and some vets to follow this feeding plan using puppy foods.
Use of Herbs to Assist Let Down
It is very rare these days to see a bitch with poor milk production,It does happen however if her diet during pregnancy was very poor and did not adequately address her needs for a growing litter inside her. To me that is unforgiveable. If you do not understand the needs of your bitch during pregnancy then frankly you should not be breeding her. Anxiety also causes her milk to fail and this is caused by the human involved who cannot understand that the bitch needs relative quiet with very little interference during her post delivery. She will not appreciate over handling of her pups and in some cases she will kill them by eating them if she feels threatened. So always be careful during the first 3 days her hormones are high and she will be very confused. Do not be giving her herbs to encourage milk let down unless you are certain she isn’t producing quality colostrum first then after day 3 milk. The way to assess this is by listening to her pups, constant crying tells you either a pup is unwell or milk / colostrum is inadequate. If this is seen ensure she has a good supply of fresh water, she will drink vast amounts to produce milk, if you are using a rodent dripper then her needs may not be met and that is cruel. If after all that she is still not producing quality milk then give her some fenugreek , just a small amount, don’t go over the top . it needs to be digested to work…
Galagtagogues are herbs that assist milk production and here is a list, please do not use them all.
Fenugreek, Spirulina ,Alfalfa, Red Raspberry Leaf, Vitex, Nettle, Blessed Thistle (this also helps with PND)Goats rue and Fennel.
Once milk flow is established diet become exceptionally important so get it right, using the best foods will maintain a happy healthy mum and litter that are satiated throughout their formative development stages. Again it is important not to over feed as it is not to under feed 
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