Dog Diets & Food
Some people claim that diet has an effect on the number of males and females in a litter, and that by feeding certain foods they can control the results. This is a mistaken
idea. The number of each sex in the litter would have been the same if the bitch had been fed on lobster salad. But diet does have a very marked effect on the quality of the pups, if not on their sex. Codliver oil and wheat germ oil should by all means be included in the daily diet.
I quote the following from an article by Miss Phyllis Kobson, former editor of Dogs in Canada:
"When a vitamin E deficiency occurs in the female, there is hardly a noticeable change in the function of the female reproductive process. The female mates as though absolutely normal, formation of eggs is regular, the season is prompt and mating is often within normal limitations. Yet, although the fertilized egg is properly attached, the female seldom delivers the litter at the end of the full term, as the young die in the womb, with wasting of the young taking place within the body of the mother.
"Usually around the third week of pregnancy the young start showing signs of very poor development with death occurring soon after. Coupled with this change the placenta is also destroyed. Thus it is shown that in the female, proper after-birth (placental) function depends upon the vitamin E stored in the animal body and if the animal is treated early in the period of pregnancy the occurrence of these accidents is lessened.
"A vitamin E deficiency in the male often leads to more serious damage than in the female. Often the type of sterility in the male is an incurable one. Hence, vitamin E for male animals appears to be of great importance. It is now known that sterility occurs more often in unmatured animals than in those fully grown.
"It is logical to assume that if the bitch is adequately supplied with wheat germ oil during pregnancy the amount stored in her body, particularly in her milk, will be sufficient to maintain and guard the nursing litter against possible sterility.
"During the weaning state in the young animal more vitamin E should be added to the diet of the young.
"In the mature animal, nutritional sterility is characterized by spermatic weakness which means that although sperm volume is present, the movement of the sperm cell is slow and conception does not take place. The testis of the sterile matured male also undergoes a type of gradual degeneration.
"There appears to be a gradual disappearance of the sperm producing tissue. When vitamin E is promptly administered in these conditions the virility of the mature male is often furthered.'