Keeping the Mama Dog Healthy and Producing Starts in the Gut

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but can you teach a seasoned dog breeder some ways to improve their breeding female care? Like any species, the time leading up to breeding through gestation and into early lactation is the most critically important phase from a nutritional standpoint for a female. She must be taken care of nutritionally so she can take care of her own body while also growing a litter of anywhere from five to 10 pups. 

Health starts in the gut. Did you know that 70% of the immune system is housed in the gut? If you keep your bitch’s gut healthy, chances are she will stay healthy and deliver a healthy litter of puppies with vigor that are ready to eat. 

Chris Mallon, General Manager of A-to-Z Vet Supply in Dresden, Tennessee, specializes in keeping his customers – the animals – healthy, happy and performing. He offers three tips to keep the female breeding-aged dogs healthy and their reproductive performance top notch. 

First, he said increasing their daily kilocalorie intake is vital to maintain healthy future litters that won’t fall victim to fading puppy syndrome. Most canine feeds are made for the pet. However, breeding females should be treated more like Olympic athletes. The breeding female needs year-round perfectly balanced nutrition to produce a healthy litter. Once bred, she will then need to be put on a balanced diet that is higher in protein and fat. Fading puppy syndrome is basically starvation. The bitch is not ingesting adequate nutrition and then cheats the litter from proper embryonic growth and development. Plus, milk production will lack in these breeding females. 

“If she is eating a designated amount before she gets bred, you will likely see an increased appetite in her once she is bred. To maximize the return on your investment and get the most nutritional value from the food she is eating, you will want to try the Vitalize® Dog powder,” Mallon said. “Vitalize with Amaferm® is the huge missing link for pregnant dogs.” 

Vitalize Dog is a vitamin and mineral supplement for dogs in all stages of life that need or deserve extra fortification and improved digestive health. This powder contains a rich blend of vitamins, minerals, Omega 6 and Omega 3 to support overall health and well-being. In addition, it contains the prebiotic Amaferm, designed to maximize performance. It is research-proven to stimulate the gut microbes and improve digestibility and absorption of vital nutrients. 

“Most people are so hooked on old science and don’t believe in prebiotics. Probiotics are not always the answer. Prebiotics like Amaferm are the answer when it comes to keeping animals healthy and performing. Vitalize Dog powder will keep the breeding female’s appetite on par, and the nutritionally- balanced kibble she ingests will be fully utilized,” Mallon said. 

Next, he encourages breeders to continue to keep their dogs’ appetites increased and keep them drinking with the assistance of another supplement, Vita Charge® Liquid Boost. This naturally flavorful supplement supports digestive health and promotes feed and water intake during times of stress and recovery and also contains Amaferm. He said this is important to the bitch’s diet during the first 24 hours of lactation to make sure she is eating and drinking enough to produce adequate milk for her babies. 

“I always tell breeders they should strive for ‘angry puppies.’ I don’t mean puppies that are mad but puppies that come out of the chute ready to thrive and be self-sufficient,” he said.  

Self-sufficient pups should be hungry and ready to nurse and eat unassisted. If the mother has had proper nutrition through gestation that continues through lactation, she should be able to produce adequate milk flow for her litter.  

Finally, when the pups start going on trips to the vet for vaccinations and go through other transitions like weaning, Mallon suggests Vitalize Dog Gel. This gel that contains the prebiotic Amaferm is designed to get dogs back on their feet after trauma, illness, performance or stress. Other beneficial ingredients include MOS to trap and expel pathogens limiting their ability to do harm, nutrients needed during stress and antioxidants to protect and boost immunity. Stress is a natural part of developing puppies.  

“That development can be quickly hindered by diarrhea, weaning or just simple changes in your kennel management routines. When appetite is reduced, or you see digestive upset, turn to the Vitalize Dog Gel for a quick fix to getting the stressed puppy back on track,” Mallon encouraged. 

A healthy mom leads to healthy offspring, which leads to more healthy pups to go out to be man and woman’s best friend. At A-to-Z Vet Supply, they understand the importance of keeping the gut healthy to keep the animal healthy for a long, productive life. 

To learn more about the Vitalize products Mallon recommends and how your canine companion can get the #goodgutfeeling, visit

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