Vitamins for the Breeding FemaleLast updated: Oct 27, 2020 by Dr. Marty Greer and the Revival Education Team
How Do We Know Mom Needs Vitamins?
While female dogs within a single kennel may cycle at different times of the year, individuals should be predictable from cycle to cycle. Each dog should have a consistent cycle, whelping at the same from year to year. If your dog struggles with inconsistent heat cycles, a heavy vaginal discharge or smelly odor to her discharge, she may have a vitamin deficiency. If the time in between cycles last longer than six to seven months, your female will benefit from vitamin supplementation. If the intervals are predictably six to seven months, which is a normal duration, you do not need supplements. However, some breeds may cycle twice a year or once a year. Each female should be managed individually. Dams need a minimum of 4.5 months between heat cycles to have the uterus prepared for a pregnancy. Pushing her to cycle more frequently will not increase the number of litters a year.
A customer came to us with a problem: their average heat cycle was over nine months. We suggested implementing daily vitamins. After re-evaluating the kennel, we found they now average six to seven months as predicted. The kennel owners admitted that they doubted we could help their females, but they were delighted with the results! For the first time, they knew when females would be in, and that helps breeding. Proper vitamin supplementation makes knowing when a female will cycle so we can be better prepared.
Daily Vitamin Supplements
Breeding females have higher nutritional demands than other dogs, and vitamins can help us keep her healthy. Breeder's Edge® In Between for Her vitamins will help mom restore any nutrient deficiency quickly after weaning. No need for a prenatal vitamin between cycles. Instead use Breeder's Edge® B Strong Powder or Breeder's Edge® In Between for Her between cycles to successfully supplement dietary vitamins. When mom is ready to cycle again, we want her as healthy as possible to ensure a solid heat and a successful breeding. If mom doesn't get enough vitamins before pregnancy, she may give you a small litter or no litter at all.
Prenatal Vitamins for Dogs
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 to maintain and raise the litter, pulling nutrients out of her tissues, bones, and teeth. Prenatal vitamins, like Breeders' Edge® Oxy Mate Prenatal™, keep that deficiency to a minimum.
Because mom must produce enough milk to nourish all of her puppies, her body's calorie and nutrient demands reach a lifetime high. Breeders' Edge® Oxy Momma™ is designed to supply the nursing mother with vitamins/herbs needed to bring her into milk and keep her milking! Many breeders do a great job supporting moms during pregnancy; however, maintaining this support during lactation and recovery from whelping is vital for future pregnancies. Mother Nature makes sure the current pregnancy does not suffer, but issues will show up during the next pregnancy. Cycling problems, weak heats, and struggles to get pregnant can occur - all of which are preventable with proper vitamin supplementation during a mom's previous pregnancy. Breeders' Edge® Breed to Wean™ is another supplement option. Breed to Wean contains vitamins and minerals to help fill some of those nutritional gaps from breeding through weaning. Breed to Wean is similar to Oxy Mate™ and Oxy Momma™ however, the Oxy products contain amino acids, herbs and antioxidants in addition to the vitamins and minerals she needs.
Supplements and Puppy LossPuppies are born with all the red blood cells (RBCs) they will have until six weeks, when they begin to make RBCs for themselves. As the puppy grows, their size double every 10 days, but their RBCs do not change until six weeks. Supplementing mom with the needed vitamins and iron ensures that babies are born with as many RBCs as possible and gives puppies that fight to live! Failing to provide mom with enough vitamins and iron will cause anemic, weak puppies.
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! We give vitamins to dog moms to keep them as healthy as they can be; this way, they will then deliver puppies as healthy as puppies can be!
If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.
Don Bramlage, DVM, Former 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 your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.