Feeding during lactation
As it was previously said, lactation is the most energy-demanding stage for dogs and cats. They will require three or four times the amount of energy that they would usually require. However, they cannot eat easily three or four times the amount of food. Therefore, in this stage is recommended to feed a highly digestible and energy dense food such as puppy or kitten food to the moms. This is the only stage when it is recommended to feed at free choice or ad libitum, unless the bitch or the queen is gaining weight. After the fourth week, milk production will decrease because puppies and kittens will have started eating some other foods; therefore, we have to restrict the amount to be fed to the mom, unless she has lost a lot of weight. And the most important thing in this stage is to provide abundant clean and fresh water. Remember that between 80-90% of the milk is water, so if the mom does not drink enough water, she won't produce enough milk for the puppies and kittens.