Vitamins for the Breeding Female

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 requires 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 and 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 the vitamins and 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, but then allow the bitch to run into a shortage during lactation and recovery from whelping. Mother Nature makes sure the current pregnancy does not suffer, but issues will show up during the next pregnancy. 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 until 6 weeks. Pups fighting to live are no accident. Supplementing mom with the needed vitamins and iron 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.


We can never give mom everything she needs as the demand can be high. Mom 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 for cycling issues because their average heat cycle was over 9 months. After re-evaluating the kennel, we found they are now 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 it is achievable.

Prenatal vitamins must be a part of your total management program to raise consistently healthy babies. It pays to have 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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