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For Healthy Bitches (all breeds)
Balancing for Gestating Bitches
PDD was specifically engineered to balance meals and treats for all breeds of healthy gestating dogs. By the time you have finished this tutorial you will be able to make complete and scientifically balanced homemade pet food that is precisely optimized for your pregnant bitch.
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Step Oa - Key points to remember when feeding your gestating bitch

Gestation/pregnancy for dogs averages 63 days (9 weeks) and can be divided into 3 week (21 day) trimesters.

Good nutriton should start prior to breeding with both the sire and dam in good physical condition, well exercised, and have an ideal body condition score (4 or 5 on a 9-point scale).

Malnourished bitches have puppies with reduced birth weights, are prone to hypoglycemia, and have poor survival rates (Schroeder et al. 1994). Bitches that are obese prior to breeding have lower ovulation rates and smaller litter sizes (Bebiak et al. 1987; Debraekeleer et al. 2010).

 

 

 

How to tell if your dog is pregnant.
  • A vaginal discharge will occur approximately 1 month after mating.
  • After 25 to 30 days after mating, your dog's nipples will begin to swell.
  • Her appetite may decrease. A temporary decrease in food intake around the 4th week after  conception can indicate pregnancy.
  • She may become a little depressed.
  • She may show signs of agitation shortly before giving birth.
  • She may display nesting behavior by scraping the ground or her sleeping area, shortly before giving birth.
Reproductive and health consequences of underfeeding.
Reproductive and health consequences of obesity.
Reproductive and health consequences of malnutrition.
Energy requirements for pregnancy.
Nutrient Requirements for pregnancy.
How often do I feed my bitch?
When to see the veterinarian.

Step 1a - Adding your gestating bitch

Before you can create meals for your pet you must first add your pet to the database.

Click on the Pets button in the ribbon or on the Pets icon in the modules sidebar to launch the Pets module. Click on the Add button on the ribbon. You should get the Add Pet dialog. Fill out species, call name, gender, and your pet's birthday.

After clicking the Add button your puppy now appears in the list.

Step 1b - Adding your Gestating Bitch (Editing Pet Data)

Once you have added your pregnant bitch to the Pets List, you need to add additional information about your dog before you can start designing recipes.

Highlight the recently added dog in the list and click the Edit button on the ribbon.

We are now in the Edit PET DETAIL screen where you enter basic information for your pregnant bitch as well as your dog's physiology; life stage, weight, etc.

Step 1c - Adding your Gestating Bitches' Life Stage

In this video we will add a life stage record for our pregnant dog. Dogs have 5 life stages for females and 3 life stages for males. Females potentially have a gestating and lactating life stage. Female dogs may have multiple litters over their lifetime, so you will be able to store a complete history of life stage data. The software uses this life stage data to help determine your dog's nutrient requirements.

Click the Physiology tab in the Edit Pet module and then click the Life Stage tab. You are presented with a list. This allows you to record life stage records over the life of your dog.

Step 1d - Adding your Gestating Bitches' Weight and Other Data

Next we will enter a weight record for our pregnant dog. At 4 weeks after mating (June 6, 2019) our pregnant dog is 29 kg.

Clicking on the Profile tab allows us to enter the remaining required data:

1) Uncheck the Neutered checkbox,
2) Select Ideal for Body Condition Score,
3) Select "Inactive Pet (Adult, intact, <3 hr/day, mainly low intensity)" for Activity Level,
4) Select "Golden Retriever" for Breed,
5) Select "Large" for Breed Size, and finally,
6) Click the SAVE button on the ribbon.

That's it! You can see that there is no more "REQUIRED" criteria in the PET INFO PANEL. You will now be able to create precisely balanced meals for your pregnant dog.

Step 2a - Creating Recipes

After your pet is entered and there are no more requirements in the Pet Info Panel, then click on the Recipes Module. You get a list of all recipes. You can either copy an existing recipe and attach your pet or start from scratch by clicking the ADD button on the ribbon. Enter a name for your recipe and attach your pet.

We will enter our a name for our cooked recipe, "Beef and Macaroni" and attach Chloe.

Step 2b - Safe Upper Limits

When formulating a diet for pregnant dogs it is important to make sure that there are no excesses for some nutrients. Safe upper limits will be integrated into our Pet Diet 365 line of products. The table to the right lists the safe upper limit of key nutrients for pregnant dogs based on the NRC recommended allowance.

Pay attention to Total Fat, Linoleic Acid and Vitamin D as they have more stringent requirements than the other nutrients.

KEY NUTRIENTS FOR GESTATING BITCHES SAFE UPPER LIMIT (SUL)
Total Fat 387 %
Linoleic Acid 493 %
EPA + DHA 2153 %
Vitamin A 989 %
Vitamin D 588 %

Step 2c - Continuing to Balance our Recipe

In "Step 2a - Creating Recipes", we started to balance a cooked, ground beef and macaroni recipe for our pregnant dog. In this video, we will continue balancing our recipe while discussing tips and tricks to follow to make the process easier. We will also discuss Safe Upper Limits (SULs).

We want to pay particular attention to Total Fat, Linoleic Acid, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D, as we continue to design our diet.

Step 3a - Editing your Recipe

You can edit your recipe and add additional criteria, such as recipe directions, recipe summary, notes, pointers and suggestions, complexity, prep time, and recipe categories.

This video shows how to edit your recipe as well as how to filter recipes by category and by other criteria. We show how to print a recipe and how to sort ingredients. Before we print, we show how to perform an Integrity Check, to ensure integrity of reports.

Step 3b - Making a Recipe Batch for 7 days

We are going to make a 7-day batch. We will take the gram weight of our recipe and multiply this amount by seven. Click the button Show Gram Weight in the ribbon. The footer of the ingredient list will give you the total gram weight (1221.65 g). Click the calculator button in the ribbon and multiply this amount by 7. You should get 8,551.55 grams. Copy this number to the clipboard and go to the Report Viewer module.

Click the Batch Food Report and start entering the parameters...

Step 3c - Re-balancing your recipe

You should be weighing your pregnant dog each week and re-balancing your recipe, if needed. This is a critical step to ensure optimum health.

As fetal tissue growth increases during gestation, so does the weight of your dog. As a result, nutrient requirements will also increase.

Record your pregnant dog's weight each week in the PETS module and the re-balance your recipe, if needed.

Let's begin!

Step 3d - Some final points to remember when feeding your gestating bitch

Your goals when feeding your pregnant dog are to optimize: 1) conception, 2) number of puppies per litter, 3) the ability of the dog to deliver and 4) the health of prenatal and neonatal puppies (Grandjean an Paragon, 1986).

The dam requires adequate nutrition for herself and for the correct growth and development of the fetus. Nutritional inadequacies in the dam will negatively affect the development of the fetus. Therefore, it is important for the dam to get a complete and balanced diet throughout gestation.

Balance amino acids first and choose palatable ingredients

A simple method to follow when balancing for your gestating bitch:

  1. balance amino acids,
  2. balance fatty acids,
  3. balance minerals and vitamins
  4. remaining calorie target is as close to zero as possible (-30 to +30 kcal)

Don't forget to choose ingredients that are palatable to your pregnant dog. Remember that meat grinds (ground food) are good for mixing supplement powders, pureed veggies, etc.

Bitches should be fed an energy dense diet 2 or 3 times per day.
Weigh bitch every week and re-balance recipe.
Don't feed toxic foods and ingredients for dogs.
Don't use pig liver for copper

Getting Started

View these tutorials to get a good overview of the capabilities of PDD for Windows.

How to balance a puppy

Everything you need to know to perfectly balance meals for your growing puppy.

How to balance an adult dog

All the ins and outs to choose energy requirements and balance for your adult dog.

How to balance a gestating bitch

How to ensure perfectly balanced recipes for your pregnant dog.

How to balance a lactating bitch

Find out how to create perfectly balanced meals for lactating dogs.

How to balance a kitten

Everything you need to know to perfectly balance meals for your growing kitten.

How to balance an adult cat

All the ins and outs to choose energy requirements and balance for your adult cat.

How to balance a gestating queen

How to ensure perfectly balanced recipes for your pregnant cat.

How to balance a lactating queen

Find out how to create perfectly balanced meals for lactating cats.

Taking the Next Step

Take your pet formulation skills to the next level. Choose one of the video tutorials below.

General

Pets

Recipes

Reports

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If you didn't find the help you were looking for in our tutorials, Pet Diet Designer also offers tech support on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (ET). If you need help outside of those hours, check out our online user guides or post to our user community.

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Balance your pet's diet

We offer scientific, evidence-based DIY diet formulation to the world of homemade pet food. Take your pet diet formulation skills to the next level with the world's best pet nutrition software. Our software complies with the guidelines set by the 2006 NRC publication, "Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats". This publication is the gold standard for dog and cat nutrition worldwide. Download PDD today and get started designing dog and cat recipes with confidence using our advanced Pet Diet Formulator™. Designing diets is finally fun!

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