Breeding dogs isn’t quite an exact science, and many owners become frustrated with how much time and energy they must invest into each new litter. While there are many different products on the market that claim they can make dogs more fertile, only a select few are safe and effective. Here are four proven ways you can increase fertility in both your male and female dogs.
Vitamin E Supplements
Vitamin E supplements have been used on dogs for many years to treat a wide variety of issues ranging from liver damage to weak bones. Researchers have recently discovered that vitamin E might also help male dogs that are having fertility issues. This vitamin is one of the few nutrients that can pass through the membrane of the sperm and protect it from free radicals. If your preferred brand of pet food doesn’t have vitamin E, then you might want to supplement with drops or tablets.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
While it isn’t completely clear why essential fatty acids affect fertility, some researchers believe that it has to do with their anti-inflammatory properties. Professionals, like those at Oak Hills Animal Hospital, realize that dogs can’t produce EFAs such as omega-3 and omega-6 on their own, and that means that all of these fatty acids must come from their diet. Much like vitamin E, essential fatty acids can be added to a dog’s diet by feeding it tablets, placing droplets in its food, or investing in dog food that contains fatty fish.
Avoid Campaign Stress
Breeding show dogs can be especially difficult due to campaign stress while out on the road. Female dogs are very susceptible to campaign stress, and almost any changes to their environment could delay or compromise their heat cycle. That includes the quality of water they are drinking, anxiety from being in a crate, and even changes in altitude. Many of those environmental factors will affect a dog’s heat cycle for 30 days or longer.
Don’t Skip Heat Cycles
Contrary to what many breeders believe, skipping a heat cycle immediately following a successful litter can negatively impact a dog’s fertility. Not only does skipping a heat cycle cause hormonal fluctuations, but it can also affect the size of the next litter. As a general rule, the dogs should be able to cycle every six or seventh months without taking any breaks.
If you are still having a tough time getting your dogs to breed, then you should take your animals to a veterinarian to see if they have any underlying medical issues. Many unusual hormonal fluctuations are caused by health complications that the average breeder won’t be able to diagnose and treat.