By request, I am going to discuss my protocols for female adult supplementation. How I define adult is that the dog has had their orthopedic radiographs for elbows and hips taken and now I want to supplement them and prepare them for breeding. Do not use this protocol on puppies or young dogs who have not had their “official” orthopedic radiographs taken after their second birthday with the sole exception being the DHA & EPA supplement on this list.
Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for veterinary advice, please speak with a reproductive veterinarian prior to starting your dog on supplements.
DHA & EPA supplement for all dogs - A study done by Canine Companions for Independence found that the supplementation of DHA and EPA during gestation and the perinatal period to weaning does not adversely influence hip joint formation of dogs and benefits cognitive and neurological development as well as eye development.
It is also now known that DHA & EPA can reduce inflammation and potentially boost the immune system and it is common to see DHA listed on commercial puppy foods and now senior foods as well for dogs 7 years and older.. This is the one supplement I do give to everyone but that I felt was crucial to mention for breeding females. I want to give my puppies the best start in life that I can and this is helpful to supplement the mother and the puppies throughout life.
When I learned this information, the product that I chose to start using is Now Double Strength DHA-500. It contains 500mg of DHA and 250mg of EPA and I give one to each dog with dinner, they eat the capsules themselves although you could cut the capsule open and drizzle the oil on top of your dogs food.
CCI Study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30092106/
Breeding Nutrition Episode From Pure Dog Talk: https://puredogtalk.com/podcast/448-nutrition-recommendations-in-breeding-dogs/
So once I have orthopedic radiographs taken, I start my dogs on Doc Roy’s Daily Care Extra Tablets which is a general multivitamin and mineral supplement. I give 2 per dog (this is for dogs 20-50 pounds according to the manufacturers recommendations) at dinnertime.
After radiographs I also start my girls on FOLATE (Vitamin B9) - not folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamic acid). Yes, the Doc Roy’s Daily Care Extra has folic acid in it (150mcg per tablet) but here is why I choose to supplement with FOLATE. Folate is the natural and bioavailable form of Folic Acid. Folic Acid is synthetic and manmade and requires the body to convert it from folic acid to folate before use. I have no way of knowing how efficient my dogs livers are at converting the folic acid into bioavailable folate and I feel better making sure I am giving them a supplement their bodies can readily use. Folate is known to support heart health, proper cell growth and the formation of DNA, as well as lower the risk of cancer and birth defects in humans and puppies. The product I use contains 800mcg of folate and I give 1 tablet with dinner.
When a female is close to coming in season and I intend to breed her I add Breeder’s Edge Oxy Mate Prenatal Vitamin for Medium To Large Females (manufactures recommendation is 1 soft chew daily for females 20-60 pounds). This supplement contains additional vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids that are needed for the health of moms and puppies. I supplement with 1 soft chew per day until she gives birth.
During delivery, when the puppies are on their way, I use Breeder’s Edge Oral Cal Plus in the 30mL syringe. This product is a gel that supports productive labor and contractions with 3 calcium sources, magnesium and MCTs. Follow the manufacturer's directions.
After whelping is complete:
Once the puppies have safely arrived and mom has resumed eating I no longer give Oxy Mate and instead use Breeder’s Edge Oxy Momma Postnatal Vitamin for Medium To Large Females (manufacturer's recommendation is 1 soft chew daily for females 20-60 pounds). This supplement supports lactation and recovery with additional vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids. I give 1 soft chew per day with dinner until the puppies are fully weaned, 1 bottle of 40 soft chews will last me through weaning.
Check out https://www.revivalanimal.com/ for more information regarding Doc Roy and Breeder’s Edge supplements.
This is what I do with my dogs for my supplement protocol. If you have any questions please seek out a Breeder Mentor in your breed AND speak to your reproductive veterinarian.