Reproduction and Vitamins

Managing females is all about getting the sire and dam’s genetics to the next generation. A consistent, predictable, fertile heat cycle is the basis of getting that done and in today’s kennel that takes added vitamins. When we take better care of mom she comfortably raises better puppies and more of them. Consistent fertile females make supplementation profitable!


Mom’s vitamin mineral requirements elevate during pregnancy and nursing. Females can store some vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, and use them during pregnancy. Once pregnant, the female will deplete her body vitamin or minerals required to maintain and raise the litter pulling nutrients out of tissues, bones, and teeth. Prenatal vitamins, like Breeders' Edge® Oxy Mate Prenatal keep that deficiency to a minimum. Continue prenatal vitamins through the nursing period when calorie demand from milk production is at a lifetime high. Many breeders do a great job during pregnancy then allow the bitch to get into a shortage during lactation and recovery from whelping. Mother Nature makes sure the current pregnancy does not suffer; the next pregnancy is where issues show up. Not cycling, a weak heat, or not getting pregnant can result, all of which are preventable if vitamin supplementation was implemented during the last pregnancy.


A puppy that fights to live is a joy to raise! Convincing one not to die is painful at best. Puppies are born with all the red blood cells (RBCs) they will have until 6 weeks when they begin to make RBCs for themselves. As the puppy grows, they double every 10 days, and they have fewer RBCs per pound to 6 weeks. Pups fighting to live are no accident! Supplementing mom with all the vitamins and iron needed ensures that babies are born with all the RBCs possible and gives puppies that fight to live! Shorting mom of vitamins and iron will cause anemic weak puppies. Bulldog breeders have long supplemented mom to ensure puppies are aggressive and fighters at birth.


We can never give mom everything she needs as the demand can be high. A shortage example is the litter of 13 Dalmatians born to a breeder last week. This mom is deficient, but prenatal vitamins will keep this bitch close to her demand. She will restore any deficiency in nutrients quickly after weaning with Doc Roy's® Daily Care vitamins. No need for a prenatal between cycles just an inexpensive daily vitamin to supplement dietary vitamins. When mom is ready to cycle again, we want to ensure all the building blocks needed to rebreed effectively are there. Shorting mom now will give you a smaller litter or none at all the next heat cycle!


Bitches are variable from female to female, but predictable from cycle to cycle. They should have a reliable cycle and whelp the same from year to year. The best indication of deficiency is your interval between heat cycles. If they are longer than 6-7 months (normal) you will benefit from vitamin supplementation. If they are 6-7 months and you are predictable, you do not need supplementing. We put a kennel on vitamins 16 months ago for cycling issues and they had the average heat cycle of over 9 months. We just re-evaluated the kennel and currently they are averaging 6-7 months as predicted. The owners reported they had doubts we could help the females. For the first time, they know when bitches will be in and that helps breeding and sales! If repeat customers want a certain breed we can now give a date when they will be available. Knowing when a female will likely cycle and whelp is the goal and achievable.

Raising dogs can be a joy and worth all the work when females are managed to have a natural cycle and conceive. Prenatal vitamins must be a part of your total management program to consistently raise healthy babies.

It pays to get consistently predictable fertile heats with your females. That is why we supplement!

If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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