Proper care of the female dog begins well before breeding is even considered. We are all aware that good nutrition and proper prenatal care play important roles in ensuring the birth of healthy human children. It is no different for dogs.
We have the mama dog
on a very nutrient rich diet, have her checked by our veterinarian to make sure she is healthy and a good candidate for a litter, we have previously had her genetic testing and her OFA's of her hips and elbows, to make sure she is structurally sound and no abnormalities or inheritable conditions are to be passed on. She is also treated regularly for internal and external parasites that could impair her health or be transmitted to her offspring. She is also given all of her appropriate vaccinations as determined by our veterinarian.
Also, before she is bred and during her pregnancy, we start nutritional supplements to protect and enhance the brain development and nervous system of her puppies, as this effects the long term life of the dog, in that they have better immune systems, better sight, are more easily trained, have more stable reactions to the world, and much more. Also, during delivery and after she is given other supplements to keep her and the nursing puppies as healthy as they can possibly be.
Picture on the right is of Harley and her newborn puppy, just before she has got it out of the "sack" and cleaned up, after it was delivered. Isn't nature so amazing?