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Canine Trauma

Eight Good Reasons Not to Breed Your Dog
Written by: Elizabeth L. DeLomba, DVM
Republished here permission

Is your dog so cute you wish you could fill the world with creatures just like her? Many owners feel this way about their pets. Some even see breeding as a way to make some extra money, through the sale of the litter.

What many people do not realize is that breeding can have serious medical as well as social consequences. It can also be unexpectedly expensive. Although we at VetCentric support the efforts of responsible professional dog breeders, when it comes to letting puppies proliferate in the laundry room or the backyard, we have to give owners a strong thumbs down.

If you are considering perpetuating your dog’s gene pool, we urge you to first carefully consider these Eight Good Reasons Not to Breed Your Dog.

1. Not all dogs are built to be bred.

Most pets, although lovable, are not of breeding quality because they have genetic defects and other problems that should not be perpetuated. People who breed dogs for a living are very careful about choosing which dogs they will breed together based on physical characteristics and behavior. Some people decide that it would be fun to breed and just start looking for a dog that has the proper equipment and is willing. This can be a huge mistake.

2. There are already too many dogs in the world.

Breeding your pet is a serious endeavor and should not be taken lightly. There are far too many pets that end up in shelters without good homes. If your breed of dog has large litters, what will you do if you are unable to sell the puppies? Do you really want to contribute to the massive problem of pet overpopulation?

3. Dogs that aren’t neutered face serious health risks.

Consider your dog’s own health. Male dogs that are neutered are less likely to be hit by cars, because unaltered males have a very strong urge to roam and find a fertile female. Male dogs will go over or under fences, through doors and windows, and will pull leashes out of unsuspecting hands in quest of a mate.

Additionally, neutering greatly reduces the incidence of prostatic disease and eliminates testicular cancer in males, and cuts down on breast cancer in females. The possibility of uterine infections is also eliminated by spaying.

4. Female dogs used for breeding may have unwelcome visitors.

If you spay your dog, you will not have to chase persistent male dogs out of your yard. Also, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up messy heat cycles.

5. Be prepared to work like a dog when your pet goes into labor.

Many people do not realize just how much work and expense is involved with letting dogs have puppies. Getting the mother through pregnancy is the easy part, but labor is truly laborious for dog and owner alike. Dogs usually decide to have their puppies at the most inconvenient times, like 2:00 in the morning when veterinary hospitals are closed.

If your pet develops a problem during delivery, it means at least the expense of an emergency call. If the complications are life threatening, you must be prepared, especially if you have a breed of dog that has a broad head like a pug, to pay for an emergency C-section. It is very distressing to have to leave home in the middle of the night, worry about your pet, get a large veterinary bill and then try to explain to your boss why you cannot possibly come to work the next day.

6. It can be devastating when the puppies die.

There is always the prospect of the loss of some or all of the puppies. A neonatal mortality rate of 10 to 30 percent is considered normal. And, it’s easy to lose a puppy if you don’t have the experience or knowledge to care for newborns. Because puppies are not able to regulate their own body temperature initially, you may need to supplement their environment with heat.

7. Not all dogs make the best mothers.

If your female doesn’t have enough milk to feed all its puppies, or decides that feeding her offspring is not her cup of tea, it will be your responsibility to provide them with nutrition every three to four hours, round the clock. And how many mouths are there to feed?

Another aspect of puppy care that you can look forward to if your dog wants nothing to do with her brood is the manual stimulation of urination and defecation. Until puppies are three weeks old they will only void if directly stimulated. If mom isn’t doing this, you will need to take a moistened cotton ball and gently rub the urogenital area until the babes begin to urinate and pass stool. Failure to do this can result in some pretty unhappy puppies.

8. Good luck seeing a profit!

Your last responsibility before they go to a new home is to have them dewormed, vaccinated, and examined by a veterinarian. You will want to make sure that you have budgeted a sufficient amount for this purpose. Needless to say, if you decide to breed mixed breed puppies, you have no opportunity to recoup this expense.

Puppies are a lot of fun and it can be very exciting when they are born, but more often than not, owners find themselves in over their heads when they decide to endeavor into breeding.

Article republished here with permission from
Copyright(c) 2000 by


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