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Breeding, Nutrition, Reproductive Health Advice, Vet Minute

Vet Minute: Nutritional Recommendations for Breeding Dogs

August 11, 2022

Vet Minute: Nutritional Recommendations for Breeding Dogs

Last updated: July 9, 2021

What should you look for when choosing a diet for breeding dogs? In this Vet Minute, Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, talks about dog food guidelines for breeding females and males.
If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.

Video Transcript

Shelley: What to look for in food for a breeding dog. In this Vet Minute with Dr. Greer, Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services will be talking about the nutritional needs of breeding dogs and she has tips on what to look for and what to avoid in dog food for breeding males and females.

Dr. Greer: That’s a great question. Purchasing dog food can be an overwhelming process. There are literally thousands of dogs foods on the market. Labels can be difficult to interpret. Start off by understanding that you need to analyze the nutrient profile, not the ingredients. The diet should contain approximately 30% protein and 20% fat. Avoid diets that have legumes, soy or other additives that may contain phytoestrogens, for both male and female breeding dogs. The hardest part to assess are the micronutrients in the diet as these are not frequently listed in adequate detail on labels. Avoid a diet too high in fat for periods of time the dog is not actively breeding to avoid the dog becoming overweight. Feeding a diet known to have great breeding outcomes is recommended.

Shelley:Dr. Greer, what about if the label says for intermittent or supplemental use only? What does that mean?

Dr. Greer: If the statement reads ‘for intermittent or supplemental use only,’ it is not complete and balanced diet for long term use. There are cases when that is okay, such as for a special veterinary approved diet in for example a case of kidney disease, but in general, intermittent or supplemental use only should not be their regular diet.

Shelley: What are your suggestions as far as determine the nutritional value in foods. Are there resources available or what is the best way to go about that?

Dr. Greer: If you or your breeder has great success with a particular diet, continue to feed it. If you find the food to be too expensive, or your dogs are not thriving and reproducing well on the diet, consider a diet change. A really neutral source is the The World Small Animal Veterinary Association, WSAVA has a great webpage, with a list of questions to ask your pet food manufacturer. Most companies have an 800 number on their package or website. Call them and ask these important questions. Taking a little time now to be certain you are feeding your pet the best food on the market is time well spent. Price does NOT correlate with quality. Choose carefully and wisely.

Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 35+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.