Raspberry Leaf for Pregnant Dogs
by Swanie Simon
Raspberry leaf is the ultimate pregnancy tonic and has been traditionally used for centuries during pregnancies. The effect of raspberry leaf is to strengthen the muscles of the uterus and pelvic region, reducing the risk of miscarriage and increasing the strength of contractions during labor. Raspberry leaf helps relax the smooth muscle of the uterus during the pushing stage, making contractions more effective. Contrary to some common beliefs, raspberry leaf does not cause premature contractions or cervical dilation. On the contrary, it prevents uterine spasms. Studies involving pregnant women have shown no pregnancy complications, toxic effects, or fetal growth disorders after the administration of raspberry leaf throughout pregnancy (McFarlin et al., 1999). There are several studies in the human field that have shown that taking raspberry leaf during pregnancy significantly reduces cesarean sections, forceps deliveries, preterm births, and heavy bleeding (Parsons et al., 1999).
Raspberry leaf also helps with morning sickness and increases fertility, making it beneficial to administer raspberry leaf before breeding. Furthermore, raspberry leaf reduces labor pains and bleeding, helps expel the afterbirths, speeds up uterine recovery, and promotes milk production. Raspberry leaf is an excellent addition to the diet of pregnant and lactating dogs due to its richness in vitamin C, calcium, vitamins A, B, D, E, as well as manganese and iron. Raspberry can also be helpful in cases of pseudocyesis (false pregnancy) in dogs. For this condition beginn adding raspberry leaf to your dog‘s food one or two weeks before their heat cycle begins and continue it for up to three weeks after their cycle ends.
You can either mix the dried leaves directly into the food or prepare a tea and mix it into the food. For the tea, put a handful of raspberry leaves into a liter of cold water, heat it to boiling, remove it from the heat, cover it, and let it steep overnight, then strain it and store it in the refrigerator.
From the beginning of the heat cycle, use one tablespoon of tea per 20 kg of body weight daily. From the 3rd week of pregnancy, increase the dose to two tablespoons of tea per 20 kg of body weight daily, and from the 7th week until birth, gradually increase the amount to four tablespoons of tea per 20 kg of body weight daily.
Dried leaf dosage
From the beginning of the heat cycle, use one heaped teaspoon per 20 kg of body weight per day in the food. From the 3rd week of pregnancy, increase the dose to two heaped teaspoons per 20 kg of body weight per day. From the 7th week until birth, increase the amount to two heaped tablespoons per 20 kg of body weight per day. Raspberry leaf is usually very light and loose, so a teaspoon is not a large quantity by weight. If, for some reason, you have finely ground raspberry leaves, the quantity should be reduced to one-quarter of the above dosage.
After giving birth, continue to administer raspberry leaf until the puppies are weaned to stimulate the dam‘s milk production and support the uterine self-cleaning process.