I’ve been reading that some dog foods have phytoestrogens in them and that those can cause problems with females cycling and producing health litters. I’m feeding my dogs Victor Hi-Pro Plus, which is 30% protein, and 83% comes from meat/meat products. I occasionally have cycling and breeding issues. Trying to figure out if it’s the food…..
If I were you, I’d be looking for peer reviewed articles to back up that claim before assuming food is related.
In general what type of issues are you experiencing and what breed are you in? Do you have a mentor? Have you talked to the vet about your concerns?
Thank you for your input. You are right in that I really don’t know if the food claim is truly related. I have two Samoyed girls, both have had litters, and a male who is proven. I have missed the last two heats with one, and the other seems irregular to cycle and it’s been about a year and half since her last litter. My vet is excellent at everything else but just shrugs and says, ” Go to a reproductive vet.” Last time I did that, (with a different dog, different breed) I spent almost $1000 and didn’t really get any answers. 🙁 There’s a long story with that dog, but save that for another time….I don’t think it was related to the issues I observe now.
I feed Victor, Hi-Pro Plus, give Daily Care vitamins, and add B-Strong to their feed, when I remember.
I welcome input!
The extra vitamins that you are supplementing are really unnecessary when feeding a high quality balanced food. I would personally d/c them at this time. I’m not saying they are related to the repro issues you are having, but they are just not doing anything but wasting your money.
When you went to a repro vet where did you go? A vet school? Or a private practice? The theirogenology department at the vet school in my state is really excellent. Maybe try a different one. Are both bitches litter mates? Could it be genetic?
The two dogs in question are not related. One is 2 and the other just turned 3. Healthy and active.
The practice I went to with this otherdog was a private practice, specializing in repro. It was a while ago, years. They assumed my problem was timing, so they did progesterone levels and AI’d her. Nothing. Turned out, the dog had a chronic liver problem that we didn’t discover until she was in failure. This dog was a different breed, so I’m not thinking these current girls have that problem.
I’ve been breeding dogs since 2005, and YES, I learned through trial and error that food does indeed affect heat cycles, fertility, litter size and thriftiness of the pups. I have fed brands that, without a single doubt in my mind, caused dangerously early delivery, lack of milk production, even what closely resembled a temporary fading puppy syndrome. I had pups only a day or two old that developed weeping, metallic smelling sores which disappeared entirely almost immediately after a food switch. I have older adult bitches raised on foods that caused heat cycle irregularities and low fertility rates in my kennel who to this day are infertile or have only come into heat a handful of times. I have pups with hitching issues that were weaned onto puppy foods that were too high protein, but had levels of calcium lower than adult food levels in a sorry bid to prevent growth issues (this was Eukanuba, btw).
On that note, if I want a bitch to come into heat, I feed Purina ONE adult 26/16. I use that until 2-3 weeks before the due date, then switch to either ONE puppy or Puppy Chow. Quite honestly, at this point, I don’t trust anything but Purina when it comes to the husbandry of a breeding kennel. Just personally had too many problems with the fancier foods, all of which were fixed by Purina in one form or another…
So, I am curious what it is the the Purina food that works for your dogs reproductively. I was under the impression that grain the kibble could be a source of estrogen that is counter-productive. (Excuse the play on wirds). I would change kibble in a heart beat if that solved the problem.
“So, I am curious what it is the the Purina food that works for your dogs reproductively. I was under the impression that grain the kibble could be a source of estrogen that is counter-productive. (Excuse the play on wirds). I would change kibble in a heart beat if that solved the problem. ”
Grain has absolutely nothing to do with the production of estrogen. Soy will produce estrogen like compounds in the body, but quite honestly, if you want a bitch to come into heat, her estrogen levels had better be high. And I personally don’t mind soy, especially for older or spayed bitches, because it keeps their hormones at a more balanced level, since the old gals produce less naturally as they age.
As for ingredients, I honestly could not pinpoint any one in any of the Purina products I’ve tried over the years that “does the trick”, as it were. I’ve used their dry foods from Pro Plan to Alpo, with protein levels ranging from 18-30%, and, like clockwork, bitches who are late to their cycle will come in heat anywhere from within a week to several weeks later, regardless of the brand. Although higher protein, fat and kcals in combination tend to speed this process along.
I do, however, have a theory that there are dog foods which, in my personal experience, seem to cause hormonal issues such as depression of thyroid function, and low carb diets, be they dry, canned or raw, are often a major culprit in irregular cycles. In fact, when I want to speed a bitch out of heat, raw for a day or two will do the trick nicely. Any Purina (dry) product I’ve tried seems to have the opposite effect – in that of balancing the hormone levels, or causing a surge where they previously had been low.
Also, diets that are higher in simple or complex carbohydrates are pure nourishment for the thyroid gland, which has its own functions but is also like a master control for the production of other hormones. And the thyroid is a glutton for sweets. I don’t consider it a breeding food, but when I’ve used Kibbles N Bits, I get the exact same results – instant heat cycles and bitches that stay in full blown heat for a good 10 days.
Anyway, I only recommended Purina ONE because when I was actively breeding, I got the best results with it for brood bitches in particular. I even had a dog with cervical cancer who hadn’t come into heat in almost 2 years, come in after a few days of eating ONE. So, for good or ill, it works like a charm in bringing bitches in season, and the 26/16 ratio seems to be ideal for both pre and post breeding maintenance.
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